[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Aquatic-Plants Digest V2#1061

Oddly, Roger Miller, Albuquerque, refers to the above Aquatic Plants Digest,
and his quotation appears IN that Digest. Most peculiar. Well, "the Internet
does strange things."  More likely, it is either a simply typographical error
or just a mistake. Not a big deal, and not indicative of malevolent computer
intelligence at work. :-)

I quote:

<<Roger Miller

In Albuquerque and feeling combative in preparation for the big Taekwondo
tournament in the Denver area this weekend.>>

I think "combative" is the operative word here. As I am a traditionally
trained TakKwonDo Black Belt, I avoid combat whenever possible. Not all
schools do this - some tournaments are indeed "combative," and unfortunately,
this is the general - and faulty - impression of Martial Arts. As Grandmaster
Ch'ung says, "One out of one hundred thousand Black Belts will ever throw a
single block, punch, or kick in a real situation. Why, then, are so many
schools still teaching 'combat?'"  That is a philosophical question, no
answer is required! 

I was not being combative, just debunking myths that give plants
characteristics that only apply to animals. At the micro level, there are
some organisms that share both plant and animal characteristics. The jury is
still out on those interesting organisms. On the macro level, plants and
animals are quite different.  On the Aquatic Plants List there are MANY
strategies used for getting good growth and health for plants in Aquaria.
 Unless I have missed something, there are no strategies that depend upon
_asking_ the plants what they "want" or even what they "need." 

Roger's arguments come perilously close to such statements as, e.g. "roots
seek out and crack water lines and sewers." There is no malevolent
subterranean intelligence operating. With plants, there is no intelligence at
all. No reasoning. No decision making. Plants do what plants do because they
are plants. The plants that exist today are here and alive solely because
their particular DNA programs cell divisions and differentiations that result
in mechanical structures that are favorable to life. They do not have hearts,
they do not think. All living things could be said to "expend energy," as
that is at the heart of what "life" is. Life, at least temporarily, violates
entropy. Temporarily.

IOW, I concede that plants "expend energy," but I do NOT concede that they do
this with any purpose. Wind is NOT caused by trees waving their leaves.
 Deciduous woody plants do not shed their leaves in Fall because "they know
winter is coming." The abcission layers form as a result of either or both of
two stimuli, day length and / or temperature. The stimuli cause chemical
changes in cell contents, not a decision on the part of the plant. Both
Christmas Cactus and Chrysanthemums bloom because of the length of the day.
(more accurately, the length of the NIGHT. :-))

My views come from BioPhysics, BioChemistry, and Horticulture research that I
have studied in the Iowa State University Library, from my own undergraduate
and graduate course work, from teaching and Extension work, and from
attendance at Seminars for Faculty and Graduate Students in the above
disciplines, among others. 

If one wishes to view plants in a different way, so be it. Different strokes
for different folks.  Don't be surprised if your statements are viewed with
skepticism, especially with the members of this List!  We rather like a good
argument. :-)

P'il Sung.

Jean Olson
JOlson8590 at AOL_com
Out in the Boonies, near
Cambridge, Iowa

Ch'e I Dan TaeKwonDo HakSaeng wa HanGukMal HakSaeng wa Un TweHan Kyosu