Remember the 1970s sensation The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird? Or Duncan Laurie’s radionics experiments with plants featured in our old TV series?
Fast forward to the present and food’s Renaissance Man, Michael Pollan takes another look at intelligent plants for The New Yorker. In this excerpt he describes what happened after the initial sensation of the Tomkins and Bird book and ex-CIA agent Cleve Backster’s polygraph experiments:
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… In the ensuing years, several legitimate plant scientists tried to reproduce the “Backster effect” without success. Much of the science in “The Secret Life of Plants” has been discredited. But the book had made its mark on the culture. Americans began talking to their plants and playing Mozart for them, and no doubt many still do. This might seem harmless enough; there will probably always be a strain of romanticism running through our thinking about plants.