Dana kajunhippie at
Mon Nov 29 23:21:40 EST 1999

wow, this is interesting!  I had heard rumors for years of experiments done
on plants with lie detector devices.  I'd never heard for certain if such
experiments had actually been done and, if so, whether they'd been
substantiated or debunked.

Now let me pose you a possibility here.  Y'all seem to think that electrical
activity=consciousness.  That's asking for a lot, isn't it?  We still don't
understand the human brain, and that organ we CAN associate with
consciousness.  Are those electrical impulses running through our nervous
system really indicators of sentience or consciousness, OR are they merely
impulses that allow our moving parts to move?

I mean, think about it.  How many plants do you know of that physically
move?  I can think of two.  The sundew and the Venus flytrap.  The sundew,
if I'm not mistaken, moves because of some kind of physical or chemical
reaction.  The Venus flytrap's movement, OTOH, actually involves a small
electrical current, if memory serves.

I do know I've heard that trees are capable of communicating with one
another through biochemical messages.  For example they can "warn" one
another when a parasite is invading their ecosystem, or when one of them is
stricken with disease.  The trees which are "warned" then put up a greater
resistance to the invading pathogen, and have a greater chance of surviving

I personally think the jury's still out on whether plants have consciousness
or awareness.  And we have no business trying to define whether species
"alien" to ourselves (as plants surely are) have consciousness when we can't
even pinpoint what consciousness IS in the *human* brain.  Or any OTHER
animal brain for that matter.

the Kajun Hippie
***The Goddess Is Coming***
And Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned
Leo Smith <Leo at> wrote in message
news:3842E854.21E4216A at
> Jim Coe wrote:
> > All these "Lie Detector" type circuits put the test subject (usually
> > a high resistance (more correctly a high "AC Impedance"), in series with
> > battery - then they amplify and detect fluctuations in the voltage or
> > current in this battery circuit. Now, a battery contact - especially to
> > high impedance load, is a very squirrelly thing. Many things in that
> > interface act like little batteries in series with the main battery.
> > are electrochemical effects at the connection, such as changing leaf
> > moisture, mechanical (movement) effects that change the impedance with
> > slightest motion of the leaf, EM (electromagnetic, i.e. motors, light
> > dimmers,radio, TV, 60Hz power wiring, etc.) interference effects from
> > wiring and radio/TV (since the interface can also have diode
> > characteristics), etc. etc.
> I confirm everything that Jim says. Picking up low level signals is
fraught with
> problems. Generally you pack so much signal processing after the detector
> unless you know what you are looking foir in advance all you are likely to
> is random and not-so-random noise generated by almost ANYTHING in the
> neighborhood.
> Any thunderstorms within 5-10 miles will push pulses into unscreened
> etc.
> So you need to do a fairly careful design, and put the plant in a faraday
> as well, and stick it on a huge chunk of iron, to get rid of say 95% of
> crap. Then be very careful about how you apply the electrodes. Just
sticking a
> piar of not quite the same metals into any organic matter wil give you
> electrovhemical effects.
> Probably not worth the effort...
> >
> >
> > In other words, this circuit is practically guaranteed to pick up and to
> > generate all kinds of signals that have nothing to do with the plant -
> > except for the impedance and physical characteristics of its leaf. This
> > especially true as you turn up the gain of the amplifier. In
> > this is known as an "active circuit" - that is, it creates signals and
> > applies them to the plant.
> >
> > So, I figured the smart thing to do would be to just use an amplifier
> > up to the leaf - a passive circuit which would simply amplify and
> > as the other circuit does.
> >
> > I built a (rather good) very high impedance input balanced differential
> > amplifier (to cancel out EM and very low frequency contact movement
> > artifacts). I know this circuit worked well, because I could hook the
> > contacts to my head and measure clean brainwave pulses on my
> > Brain waves on the scalp are a high impedance source (though the scalp
> > not as high as a dry leaf) and are in the tens of microvolts (millionth
of a
> > Volt) range - consistent with other low level biological signals.
> >
> That is pretty big signals then. I reckon that input noise is around the
> range for that kind of amp, over the full audio bandwidth. You can get an
> better than that if you filter out the high frequencies.
> >
> > When I hooked this rig up to various plants, I got nada, nothing no
> > at all.
> >
> Surprise :-)
> >
> > I conclude that the signals reported by "Plant Consciousness Sensors"
> > artifacts of the circuit itself and are not coming from the
> > of the plant.
> >
> > Incidentally, I tried other sources, like eggs (talk about high
impedance -
> > eggshell must be practically a perfect insulator!), trees outdoors,
> > milk.
> >
> So many of these crossover scientific experiments prove to have been done
> without the aid of a single competent electronic engineer :-)
> >Well, I also built a couple of good "Acupuncture Point Finders", which
> > clearly indicated points of very different impedance near where
> > Points" are supposed to be on many people. A couple of Chinese
> > doctors thought they were pretty cool and used them.
> >
> That sorta doesn't surprise me.
> >
> > I also took Polaroid photos of two nearly identical slices of a pear -
> > on top of a "Pyramid Energy Plate" device I bought in a metaphysical
> > bookstore and one on top of only the shelf. These were in mason open
> > to stop air currents, and were placed on a shelf in a closed nursery
> > hothouse about 3 feet apart. In other words, one jar with the peach
> > inside was on the "Energy Plate" and the other jar, with the other peach
> > slice inside, was just on the shelf.
> >
> > They looked the same for many days. Then the one on the "Energy Plate"
> > stopped deteriorating, while the other was eventually black and
> > When I put them next to each other on a piece of cardboard and removed
> > "Energy Plate", they were both black and shrunken in a couple of days.
> >
> That does surprise me slightly.
> >
> > Someday, I'd like to do this over, in a double-blind way, and with a
> > "Pyramid Energy Plate" under the "control" sample.
> >

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