Talk:The Secret Life of Plants

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One sided biased negative article[edit]

What a overwhelmingly negative one sided article. New **peer-reviewed** study from Ben-Gurion University in Israel:

"revealing that a pea plant subjected to drought conditions communicated its stress to other such plants, with which it shared its soil. In other words, through the roots, it relayed to its neighbors the biochemical message about the onset of drought, prompting them to react as though they, too, were in a similar predicament."

Troll based skeptics websites and pop-TV shows (myth busters) are NOT valid science or citations.

Darrellx (talk) 15:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Plos One is of dubious quality as a source, articles aren't "excluded on the basis of lack of perceived importance or adherence to a scientific field." Also we should avoid cherry picking single studies as a rule. IRWolfie- (talk) 17:33, 3 May 2012 (UTC)


Plants do not have ESP.

"Do plants have ESP?" The Straight Dope, Cecil Adams, 6 May 1988, available at [1]

"plant perception (a.k.a. the Backster effect)", entry in The Skeptic's Dictionary, Robert Todd Carroll, Wiley, 2003, available at

"Plant primary perception", K. A. Horowitz, D.C. Lewis, and E. L. Gasteiger, Science 189: 478-480, 1975

"A study of primary perception in plants and animal life", J. M. Kmetz, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 71(2): 157-170, 1977

--munge 18:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Hello, i have alot of evidence to proove plants have ESP i will add some links when i get time. I am a qualified botanist in real life and i have carried out some of Baxsters original experiments. There have also been a number of people who have proven Backsters experiments such as Marcel Vogel by replicating them and please read Randall Fontes "Organic Biofield Sensor" it will show you some interesting facts about plants relating to human consciouness. It does indeed proove plants have ESP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
We have a section at the article on Fontes, Randall Fontes#Organic Biofield Sensor, that covers this.
If you add material, please keep in mind that we do not allow WP:Original research, any references must be to WP:Reliable sources, and that WP:Exceptional claims require exceptional sources. Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:29, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Plants can think and remember Plants might not have ESP but they can certainly do a lot more than you might imagine. They are NOT just sentient beings.This link is from the BBC Science website [Plants can 'think and remember'] Best wishes Mary Veryscarymary (talk) 07:55, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Debunked by the Mythbusters?[edit]

Debunked but not disproven. The Mythbusters actually got a positive result, but rejected it because it wasn't the result they wanted.Landroo 23:40, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I have removed the mention of this from the article. Mythbusters is the most disingenuous and misleading source to scientific truths that there is. __meco 11:07, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Science is not about proving conclusions.[edit]

It's about testing them. Landroo 14:06, 12 September 2007 (UTC)


I agree with the split, the film and book should have their own articles, if possible.Shawn in Montreal 02:20, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Done. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 10:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

What is the book about?[edit]

The book is literally a diverse mixed bag of 'information', wether true or bogus, every chapter covering different investigators, with different qualifications, and in most cases vastly different kinds of observations and research. The 'plants are sentient' idea is something that comes up a few times in the book, but many of researches do not even ponder this, and some do and just speculate upon the possibility. It is a minority of individuals documented in the book whom claim this. There is little conclusion reached in the book, but lots of questioning.

Wikipedia is not about truth?[edit]

Truth vs fact - The statement "The book is a collection of information pertaining to the history of the study of alleged unusual phenomena regarding plants" is an legally accurate description and allows for notion that perhaps little in the book is proven or factual, this description should stay. For example George Washington Carver and Jagdish Chandra Bose and both involved themselves with much of what is still regarded as unusual phenomena, as does almost everyone in the book. So its an accurate description and unbiased. If you were to prove that most people in the book were lying, then it might not be accurate. There are so many characters in the book that this would be impossible to prove.

Due weight is what gets content in wikipedia not the truthness of it. Mentions in reliable secondary sources of these points are what give due weight. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:25, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I've re-worked the article to a much better state. before [2], after [3]. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Peter Tompkin[edit]

I suggest Peter Tompkin also be merged in as he doesn't appear notable either. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:36, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

It's not even suitable for merging actually since it is completely unreferenced. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


The book is regarded as a pseudoscientific work by two of the three reliable sources used in the article, this gives it good due weight for being in the lede. The lede should always also summarise the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, this makes sense. I agree that the book should not be presented as an overall scientific work, but there is science within it as a minority and in context with itself in individual chapters. I think the description you deleted that sits on the cover of the book should be reinserted, as it exemplifies the non-scientific nature of the content well.--Birdycatcher (talk) 16:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

There self description of their own book has no due weight. It was previously in the article in a way that made it look like it was someone elses comment. It's in the book cover image that is present. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:54, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

True, I agree.--Birdycatcher (talk) 16:58, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Book Reviews[edit]

Why is an independent book review of a book not a reliable source that can be used in the summary area ? Book reviews are the main source of information about books. And the book is packed as I stated, have you read it? Also the book itself is the best evidence that it is full of '"experiments and names" perhaps to keep you happy it should be "events and names". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Birdycatcher (talkcontribs) 15:16, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Do you not think it's very silly to mention that a book is full of "events and names". I also am not sure if realfoodcampaign is reliable. The review talks about pseudoscience like dowsing as if it is a real. You should discuss your additions here rather than inserting them so we can discuss it. IRWolfie- (talk) 15:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

She does talk about dowsing, and note I ignored that part of her review, but the part about "packed with experiments and names" is an accurate description of the style of the book. Experiments don't necessarily have to be scientific, I think most people know this. Actually I agree that "events and names" is to open to interpretation. My initial term "...a collection of information pertaining to the history of the study of alleged unusual phenomena regarding plants" is better. Something is needed to describe the montage style of the book. It covers 100's of researchers and 100's of experiments, mostly briefly, some in more detail. --Birdycatcher (talk) 16:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

You can't really cherry pick which parts of a source you agree with. I'll rephrase the wording if you wish. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:30, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Undue Weight[edit]

There are two legit scientists listed here, and there are three kooky 'scientists' now listed, so it is now biased toward the kooky camp. In fact we could list 100's of 'researchers' included in the book, as there is literally 100's. I agree that most of the people mentioned in the book would not be considered scientific, but some of them had (they are mostly dead now) good reputations. This balance of legit and non-legit names included within should be reflected in the article. Perhaps we should add many more names. --Birdycatcher (talk) 16:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

People aren't scientific it is what they do if it is scientific or not. i.e Newton worked on alchemy. There is no real necessity to add more names. The book is far from scientific as it seems to be talking about very old "experiments" etc performed probably in the 1800s by Bose and Carver and so does not represent any sort of current knowledge of the scientific discourse. IRWolfie- (talk) 16:29, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Most of the books events are in the 1900's, not the 1800's. Bose was active in the late 1800's but had more activity in the early 1900's, and dicovered things that are still relevant today. Carver however was active in the 1900's. Most by far of the books events happen in the 1900's. You are very interested in authoring this article. You should you read it considering your interest in it.

As to the relevance of the content to today's scientific discourse, you must consider the interest this book will have to the enthusiasts of history, philosophical history, science history, new age movements and mythology, pseudoscience enthusiasts, skeptical researchers, etc. Thats why I think there should be more detail about the types of areas that are discussed within - scientific or not. Some of these are: aura, psychophysics, orgone, radionics, kirlian photography, magnetism/magnetotropism, bioelectrics, dowsing.

Even as these areas are not scientific, they should be listed without judgment as the book includes them. This article is about the book, not about whether scientists agree with it or not. And anyway the issue of agreement is totally covered by the now two mentions that its pretty much pseudo-scientific.

Wether the book is relevant to today's science or not is irrelevant to the purposes of a Wiki article that documents this book as a snapshot in when such a tome can become popular. The right sociological conditions were ripe for the book to climb the charts. This might be of interest to practitioners of cultural studies and social anthropology.

As to how far it climbed, I'm working on it. There is nothing on the web about exactly how many copies it has sold, though Harper and Collin's are still printing it.

As it was a best seller according to many sources including that New York times article, it is notable, and this article should not be deleted for the above reasons.

All the best, Birdycatcher. --Birdycatcher (talk) 16:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Hello IRWolfie, you may have added "An editor has expressed a concern that this summary lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message" If you did, can we discuss this please? Can you explain in more detail your concerns?--Birdycatcher (talk) 13:24, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The reason is that the mainstream opinion of the topics the book covers is not also presented. IRWolfie- (talk) 11:14, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
It's propably fine at this stage. IRWolfie- (talk) 11:36, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Plants are Aware of Thought[edit]

Long ago I visited a Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in San Francisco, California where a large ivy plant was connected to a psycho-galvanometer. A metal plaque stated, believe it or not, that plants have ESP and emotions; that they are sentient.

Amused, by what seemed a highly unlikely possibility, I decided to put it to the test. I imagined, as vividly as possible, that I was on the other side of the glass window separating me from the plant. In my mind, I imagined ripping the plant to shreds. Immediately, the pen on the paper roll jumped to the top of the chart. And, the speaker, attached to the plant, went from a slow click to a high-pitched shriek. I was shocked at the almost instantaneous response to my hostile thought! Furthermore, I felt a bit guilty about scaring the plant. So, I tried projecting feelings of peace and calm towards the plant, but to no avail. Finally, I decided to leave. As I left, I could hear the high pitch of the psycho-galvanometer's speaker slow back down to a steady click.

Two rooms away, I watched as other people passed through the area where the plant was. As they did, I could hear the plant's speaker at a calm click. Then, I decided to reenter the plant's room. As I approached the room, the speaker shot back up to high pitch and the pen on the graph jumped to the top again - the plant remembered me!

It is hard to imagine that this was a trick of some kind. I am more convinced, due to this and later experience, that plants do indeed have ESP, memory, and emotion. Apparently, mind and emotion are properties of the universe, not of the brain and central nervous system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Not sure what this has to do with the article. As an aside, I think mythbusters busted it as well. IRWolfie- (talk) 20:14, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
The myth-busters experiment concluded as 'feasible'. Birdycatcher (talk) 06:39, 23 January 2013 (UTC)