Biology Forum Botany Discussion The Backster Effect and Implications

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    • #9897

      I have been reading a book titled "The Secret Life of Plants" and am wondering if the Backster Effect, the various experiments that followed, and the psychic implications are taken seriously in the scientific community. I am incredibly interested in pursuing the truth of the whole matter myself and wonder how the science scene looks at it.

    • #85266

      no they are not.

    • #85269

      Well, if they are not taken seriously, what is the explanation for the results? I mean, even Mythbusters, a show that would probably reject the Backster Effect, had similar results. The experiments have been retested in environments with no electronic interference. If the scientific community rejects the idea, then I’d hope that there is scientific explanation disproving the Backster Effect. Otherwise I’d assume that everyone is just ignoring evidence. Very unscientific indeed.

    • #85273

      First occurence in my search engine. Probably slightly biased, but probably not much more (also in the opposite direction) than the book you have read.

      And just a note, however funny and entertaining mythbuster might be, they are not scientists, and their experiment would often not be very relevant, except when they are dealing with very simple test with a limited number of variable.

    • #85293

      I think it would be useful for you to know that "psychic implications" are practically the same as those of the lie detector test.

      Plant to plant communication occurs primarily through compounds called pheromones and there is a good chance that plants can respond to human pheromones as well…

    • #85301

      I was skeptical from the start (although I wish I could believe it entirely). But still I’d like to someday perform the experiment myself, with the proper controls of course, just to be sure.

    • #85304

      the mythbusters try to do good science and sometimes they succeed but I watched a recent segment on "catching an arrow with your hand" and they seem to jump to the conclusion that it’s impossible without making the hand moving. The main reason I have gripes with this result is because I saw it being done on video at a Ripley’s event.

    • #85660

      I saw mythbusters once testing the ten second rule, which of course is complete BS. But how they did it was very scientific: they took agar gels and put them on the floor ten seconds apart, then incubated them. Both gels of course had lawn cultures, but instead of diluting them they concluded that "although both were uncountable, there wasn’t any significant difference"

    • #86297

      Mythbusters rocks.

      Thanks for the link Canalon, that was an interesting read. Backster is a perfect example of an inquisitive but undisciplined mind. I don’t think I would ever have thought of hooking up lie-detector equipment to a plant, lol.

      It does kind of intrigue me in the sense that there was a discernable change in electrical resistance. It would be interesting to find out what the physiological causes of the changes in conductivity were. He would have been better off continuing to pursue his water-absorption theory, and narrowing down the variables.

    • #102305

      I really do think there is something else to be found within Backster’s research, I’m actually reading the same book as above. I will never posit that plants have emotions on the same order as us or other sentient chordates, but there is the drive to survive and propagate. The fact that trees actually harden themselves to an oncoming beetle wave (before they arrive) belies at least a sense of self-preservation, therefore something akin to sentience. In fact the excitement of cytoplasm is on a similar daily schedule as the excitation of protoplasm in our cells, both respond to the radiation of the sun, even if the sun isn’t directly visible. And I recently asked my ecology professor if plants communicate via pheromones, and she said no… Some fungi do emit pheromones but plants communicate more via carbohydrates in the root system and the hyphae of the fungus that connects one tree to another. I’d be interested in any other (credible) sources of research of this aim!

    • #106209

      It would be interesting to find out what the physiological causes of the changes in conductivity were. He would have been better off continuing to pursue his water-absorption theory, and narrowing down the variables.

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