Do you think palms are smart?

TAB3230August 19, 2012

I live in this world 40 years, homo sapiens 400 thousand years, but palm species about 40 million years, and can I manage these bastards with 4 year use tested fertilizer? Who is homosapiens here?

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Humans are a lot smarter than palms. If something happened that made the whole planet freezing cold (including the tropics), very few palms would manage to survive the cold. Humans would struggle because of lack of food and famine would be a problem, but we are smart enough to keep ourselves warm and to even come up with ways to make crops more cold tolerant and make things artificially more nutritious.
It's hard to compare animals with plants, but as far as comparing plants, I do think palms are pretty smart because they are great at reproducing and are great looking plants which means that humans have allowed many species of them to grow in great numbers in cultivation. There are other plants that are a little bit smarter though, like Kudzu (grow over EVERYTHING), poison ivy (just about anything that touches it can get a rash and if an animal eats it, they can die), and many others too.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Are you sure about the ivy? I have read that animals are not only immune from the skin problems posed by the stuff for most people, it's commonly eaten by many animals! Oh, the plant is also supposed to be becoming increasingly potent in a warmer world.

As far as 'smart' goes, not really sure what is meant here. I wouldn't say plants are smart as you need consciousness for that. Of course if they were, that would mean pose a tricky situation for vegetarians and Buddhists.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Feed meeee. Feed meeeee. FEED MEEEEEEE...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 4:04PM
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These species managed to exist 40-60 million years, there were all conditions, cold hot, dynos etc etc, it cannot be ( or at least look like ) just NPK and minors relation to around world, do they have a brain or something similar to brain? And if they do it is obviously more survivor than us humans :).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:51PM
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As far as I know they do not have a brain or any collection of cells that communicate infomation in that way. Although i'm sure their cells communicate simple tasks but not complex thinking tasks or out of instinct/basic living tasks. And surviving that long doesn't mean they are smart. It means they are well adapted or can adapt to change well.

But an interesting set of questions to ask is this: What if its possible they can think and are just as smart as us by means we don't understand? How would we know?

The thing is, we wouldn't. They can't respond to us in anyway or form that we would notice(except for growing happy, ok, bad, or dying). They can't move, speak, let alone hear or see. They sense the world in different ways. So how could you communicate in the first place, or how would you go about testing it?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:17PM
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That exactly what I know - no cells looking like a thinking brain - just lucky plants to survive all known kinds of life before and after them, I do no mind until some piece of wood in my backyard drives me nuts guessing how I can make it better looking and spending money for care!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 10:37PM
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ericthehurdler(NOR CAL 9a)

Other bacteria, fungi, plants and animals have survived much longer than palms. Just because they are old doesn't mean they are smart, just well evolved/ created whatever... But we define smart with language and reason. So ofcourse we are the smartest of them all. But I don't believe we will live aslong as the organisms that predate us. We are the only organism with the ability to destroy ourselves completely and most likely will. But the true survivors that have seen worse disasters than humanity can create, will. So I guess you can say palms are smart in a refined evolutionary way but not in the way humans define.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Most complicated species ever lived on earth per their complexity/existence, tallest, most evergreen, deepest roots plants are palms, 40 million years of adaption survival. I will ask, is there smarter way to live-exist. Who is homo sapiens between me with my x-y-z organic or non organic fertilizer spreader and my backyard palm?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:49PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Think that award would have to go to the Orchidacea family. At least 30,000 species they are runaway the most numerous and diverse species they occur on every continent except the poles They also hold the record for most number of hybrids at least 40000 Second would be grass at least 25000 species 10000 hybrids??
If you count adaptation as "smart" that award would have to go to ALGAE. There is no place on Earth they don't exist!! they not only seem to be the first but were the only species of life for millions of years.. I'd bet that they will be the first form of life found on another planet? Heck they may have come from another planet?? lol gary

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 5:49AM
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mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)

I think ALL plants(not just palms) are smart. All my plants talk to me. When they show no deficiencies, that translates to "I love you man." When they have yellow leaves, that translates to "You're watering me too much, please slow down and let me finish what I've got, then give me more." When they go through transplant shock, that translates to "Ooo! New soil. I want to explore. Don't fertilize me yet! Let's see what's new in this soil." When they start growing again, they're saying "YES!!! I love it! It's better than the soil I WAS in!" When the leaves start drying up, that translates to "Water... I need water..." So when people say plants can't talk, laugh at them and say:
"They may not be able to talk the way we talk, but they most definitely can communicate their issues better than WE can!"

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:12AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

I have been kind of wondering about this myself lately. Not so much about palms, but after watching one of my Passiflora and how it grew, I began contemplating the idea that perhaps they (plants) are smarter than we give them credit for. Perhaps they're just a different kind of intelligent that we haven't figured out yet.

The case with my Passiflora (which is grown from seed) was that it started growing 4 vines almost from the start. They grew painfully slow and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong with it. Then, one night, one of those vines managed to touch the trellis and it veritably exploded in new growth. In about two weeks it had gone from a 5 inch length to almost 4 ft. But the other 4 vines were still growing slowly and only about 6-7 inches long. So, out of curiosity, I bent one of those vines so that it was in touch with the trellis. The next morning it had put on close to 4 inches and had sent out it's tendrils to grab the trellis. In my twisted mind, I saw this as some sort of very primitive (or perhaps way too advanced) intelligence that let the plant decide when it wanted to let certain parts of itself grow. It wasn't wanting food, it wasn't wanting water, it wasn't wanting sun or shade, it was just wanting something to grab ahold of.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Tab-I am guessing if I understood you I would be laughing pretty hard(-:

To me(whatever the word god means to you)plants are god incarnate,they produce,beauty,shelter and food for ALL of us.

I think of the Orange tree.....littered with fruit at it's base...loaded with fruit and flowering......

Can you imagine a human...anything doing that?
We would b*tch if one piece of fruit spoiled on the ground that
we aren't appreciated..... but no,plants do not judge they do not withhold.

They produce,ever reaching upward to the sun,gladly to whatever fate awaits and they do it,over and over again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake, F

Personally, I think I would love to just stand on a beach somewhere, all day long, feeling the breeze blow across me and waving to all who pass by... I think a trip to the beach is in order for this weekend.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Leekle2ManE, that's exactly the point here, tree pieces driving us insane or make us feel good. Who is a homosapiens? Algee always make me feel awful in my pool or deck. There are not a competition to trees.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:35PM
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Jimmy, I not sure if that will heart your fillings, but there is no substance of superpower in this world, we all, are micros of existing universe, Just like clowds in the sky, like thunder in air. It is not lightening good, who throws his flashy spears around, it is just megawatts of electrycity in the air; there are no god or super substance! Sorry!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:22PM
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You don't have to be sorry for having an opinion...if you think there is no creative
intelligence in the universe you may find one day that- your tiny ego eclipsing it..

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:21AM
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