Notes Book


The Copernican view of astronomy was that the earth was the center of the universe and all other planetary bodies revolved around it. That view has now been widely discredited.

The view that man is the most intelligent species in the solar system is widely accepted. That view could be just another anthropocentric fallacy.

Perhaps man is the most intelligent species, and perhaps not. There would be little point in writing this if not to present the alternative hypothesis. I have no proof one way or another. I'm not sure there is a way to prove it, but I am also not sure the theory can't be proven.

If there were a greater intelligence than man on the earth what would it be? Why would we consider trees?

First, let's take some evidence from what we have learned by building computers. Stationary computers are usually more powerful than portable ones. Desktops are more powerful than laptops. Mainframes are less portable and more powerful than desktops.

Is it reasonable to assume that a few billion years of evolution would bring information processing capability to animals, but not to plants? Perhaps the term “vegetative nervous system” is more meaningful that we have thought. Viewed from this perspective, an animal is a plant inside a bunch of muscle and bone used to carry it from place to place and protect the delicate parts.

Would a plant that was smarter than other plants have an evolutionary advantage? Perhaps it might be able to grow into a better shape, distribute its seeds better or influence animals to aid it.

If trees are intelligent, they might be very intelligent. The world's heaviest tree, the General Sherman redwood, weighs about two and a half million pounds. The average man in the USA weighs about 190 pounds. The tree is about 130,000 times larger than the man, and lives to be several thousand years old. Trees could be tens or hundreds of thousands of times more intelligent than humans.

If trees are that smart, do they control the planet? Here again, I see no way to prove it one way or another, but I think it is foolish to base our thinking on an assumption of control that may not be valid. The alternative should be considered and not just rejected with no examination.

If trees are in control, why would they allow humans to cut them down, saw them up, and even burn them? Perhaps some trees control some humans and some control others. Perhaps humans are engines of war between competing vegetable overlords.

If trees were in control, how would they exercise that control? It could be that trees are telepathic and control all human thought. That would require some as yet undiscovered mechanism. It could be that trees exert their power through chemical means. Trees pump out tons of pollen every year that get widely distributed in the atmosphere. Perhaps these tiny particles contain chemical messages. Perhaps the plant kingdom controls humans through food, or drugs. Perhaps there are intelligent designers. Oak trees could be designing the next generation of humans by manipulating our genetics.

Or perhaps none of this is even remotely true. We need to consider all the possibilities. One difficulty is that trees might want to conceal their control, if it does exist.

If trees and plants do exert control over animals, then certain plants would be placed to have more leverage. The trees in the White House lawn or plants in important peoples gardens or houses could have the inside track.

Whenever I have talked about these ideas to friends, I have encountered a considerable amount of skepticism. I have no problem with that. But to a true scientist, every hypothesis needs to be evaluated and discussed.