Saturday, April 28, 2012

Son 2 and I have been having a disagreement about plants and trees. He says that they are essentially living objects that cannot feel, perceive, make any kind of choices, move, etc. I say that they can do some of these things and that it could be that we lack the perception or the means to perceive or measure some of this; i.e. that they could have some kind of consciousness but for whatever reason we haven't been aware of it yet. He says, no brain, no consciousness. I countered that with examples of something called a neural net (encountered on zoology class, but I don't remember which animal has this). 30 years ago science was so certain that newborn babies couldn't really feel pain that open heart surgery was being done on them without anesthesia. There are still many people who say that fish and earthworms can't feel pain. Obviously these people haven't tried to impale an earthworm on a fish hook before. :-( I'm not saying that trees are sentient beings who think as we do...but what I do assert is that there's an awful lot we don't know and that when we don't know, we have to take care to treat life respectfully.

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