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(John Innes Center)   Plants perform mathematical calculations so during the night they consume stored up starch at the most efficient rate. In other words, vegans want us to eat budding little mathematicians instead of bacon   (news.jic.ac.uk) divider line 35
    More: Interesting, plants perform, Biological Sciences Research Council, La Stampa, vegans  
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2189 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Sep 2013 at 9:47 AM (52 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-09-19 09:50:26 AM
Hey, pigs are smart creatures!

//smart, delicious creatures
 
2013-09-19 09:53:49 AM
I love reading these Fark headlines to my vegan SO. And then frying up a pound of bacon for me and the dog.

/kitty's no vegan but she doesn't appreciate bacon like me n pup.
 
2013-09-19 09:53:53 AM
Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?
 
2013-09-19 09:56:05 AM
Embryos are experts in fluid dynamics, engineering, chemistry, and have solved the travelling salesman problem. All in order to ensure that future food can be broken down into the required parts which can then be transported to the required cells.

And the local sluice needs glasses. It can't quite see if the water levels have equalised yet. It is not the sluice's fault, we all lose a bit in the eye department as we get older.
 
2013-09-19 10:09:18 AM

fenian-: Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?


My neighbor's dog is a moron. It can barely understand non-Euclidean geometry.
 
2013-09-19 10:11:38 AM
Pigs are alchemists!They can turn garbage (i.e. vegetables) into the most wonderful food ever (BACON)!
 
2013-09-19 10:15:59 AM
Doin' meh numbers

www.eattheweeds.com

One human ated
 
2013-09-19 10:17:52 AM
This reminds me of when people say that musicians are really good at math because of all of the counting involved.  This may be true.  But it is a totally unconcious effort.
 
2013-09-19 10:25:54 AM

fenian-: Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?


This. "Doing math" involves symbolic evaluation leading to a precise answer. Plants and dogs estimate.
 
zeg
2013-09-19 10:27:00 AM

fenian-: Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?


Depends. Does your dog chase a ball by running straight at the ball until it catches it, or does it run in a straight line to the point where it predicts it will catch it?

If it's the latter, then yes, it's like that. The interesting piece here is that the plants seem to deplete their starch reserves linearly. That implies that they are not simply adjusting their usage rate depending on how much is on-hand at the time. Like a dog running straight at a moving ball, that would lead to a curved path. To get a straight line, you have to do a calculation at the outset.

Also, they seem to have shown that it can't just be that, over time, the plants adapt a fixed usage rate. (I say "seem" because I just skimmed the intro and looked at a couple figures, so I might have missed something.) They showed this by varying the length of the night/day. A plant that was "trained" with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark changes its rate if the night comes earlier or later than expected. It "knows" that it needs to use its starch faster or slower.

There is, of course, no claim that the plants are consciously calculating. They present biological reactions that can perform an analog computation and (I think) find some evidence that these may be operating.
 
2013-09-19 10:41:22 AM
well, i don't think anyone who has ever met a chicken would argue that a chicken is smarter than a plant.  if veganism has anything to do with the intelligence of the creature, chickens, mollusks, and shellfish are animated vegetables.
 
2013-09-19 10:46:57 AM
They're budding grammarians, too.
pacesmith.com
 
2013-09-19 10:47:07 AM

pute kisses like a man: well, i don't think anyone who has ever met a chicken would argue that a chicken is smarter than a plant.  if veganism has anything to do with the intelligence of the creature, chickens, mollusks, and shellfish are animated vegetables.


Shellfish aren't even all that animated. More like spastic rocks.
 
2013-09-19 11:02:22 AM
Damn you daylight savings time!
pfiesterpfit.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-09-19 11:06:18 AM
When I was a kid I used to try to get out of mowing the lawn by arguing that it was cruel to the grass.  So far it doesn't work on my HOA any better than it did on my dad, but I'll show them this article and see if it helps.
 
2013-09-19 11:16:18 AM
The most mathematical plant is the πnapple.
 
2013-09-19 11:18:12 AM
Are you smarter than a potato?
 
2013-09-19 11:18:14 AM

zeg: Depends. Does your dog chase a ball by running straight at the ball until it catches it, or does it run in a straight line to the point where it predicts it will catch it?


Have you never seen a dog chase a ball?   They do neither of the above, they dynamically adjust while on the run and then leap for the motherfarker at the earliest opportunity.  There could be a gust of wind and they would track every distortion of the flight path.
 
2013-09-19 11:22:23 AM

fenian-: Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?


What's even more impressive is the math that the ball is doing in order to follow the correct path.
 
2013-09-19 11:32:48 AM

revrendjim: fenian-: Is this like when dogs "perform calculus" when they chase a ball?

What's even more impressive is the math that the ball is doing in order to follow the correct path.


Not really, its just following the path predicted by the facets of a amplituhedron.

Space and time are an illusion now, apparently. (I don't pretend to completely understand it.)
 
2013-09-19 11:37:45 AM
You guys crack me up.
 
2013-09-19 11:39:06 AM

HailRobonia: The most mathematical plant is the πnapple.


I like circular logic.
 
2013-09-19 11:50:19 AM
Owsley Stanley, the dude who manufactured all the LSD your mom took in the 60's had all sorts of theories about plants being more "intelligent and advanced" or some shiat than most vertebrates. The guy didn't eat one plant-based product for forty years until his death a few years ago in a car accident.

He also tried to mic up the Pyramids when the Dead traveled to Egypt in '78. He was convinced they were loudspeakers for communicating with the aliens who had built them.

/csb
 
2013-09-19 12:01:06 PM
I like to mix my bacon with vegetation ...form of lettuce and tomato.

my new thing with bacon is to brush it with some heated honey, cayenne, and cumin mixed up. bake it for 15 minutes, drain, and eat. with good tomatoes and lettuce, it is an awesome sandwich.
 
2013-09-19 12:24:55 PM
blog.zap2it.com
"Did someone say something about eating mathematicians?"
 
2013-09-19 01:59:12 PM
For me it's a dietary choice, not a crusade. I loved meat when I ate it and would never try to take that away from anyone.
 
zeg
2013-09-19 02:14:42 PM

Bacontastesgood: zeg: Depends. Does your dog chase a ball by running straight at the ball until it catches it, or does it run in a straight line to the point where it predicts it will catch it?

Have you never seen a dog chase a ball?   They do neither of the above, they dynamically adjust while on the run and then leap for the motherfarker at the earliest opportunity.  There could be a gust of wind and they would track every distortion of the flight path.


You got me, I've never seen a dog chase a ball.
 
2013-09-19 02:34:48 PM
headline fail

Dude, the overwhelming majority of vegans don't want you to do a damn thing. They're in it for themselves and themselves only.
 
2013-09-19 03:25:00 PM
Uh, we have known this growing weed for many, many, many, years. You think we have light schedules for fun?
 
2013-09-19 04:51:30 PM
The scientists used mathematical modelling to investigate how such a division calculation can be carried out inside a plant. They proposed that information about the size of the starch store and the time until dawn is encoded in the concentrations of two kinds of molecules (called S for starch and T for time). If the S molecules stimulate starch consumption, while the T molecules prevent this from happening, then the rate of starch consumption is set by the ratio of S molecules to T molecules, in other words S divided by T.

So the plants are not actually performing arithmetic calculations, they are just storing two chemicals in adjustable relative amounts. Seems to me evolutionary fine-tuning would result in the most plants with the particular chemistry that produces the optimal ratios adjusted at the optimal rate.

So nature solved a simple numerical problem after working on it for millions of years. Kind of like Deep Thought.
 
2013-09-19 04:55:45 PM

ReverendJynxed: Uh, we have known this growing weed for many, many, many, years. You think we have light schedules for fun?


THIS

/old news is old
 
2013-09-19 07:06:43 PM
They do not perform math. They undergo processes that may be modeled using math.
 
2013-09-19 09:35:14 PM
No bacon?!???!!!?!?    NEVER!
 
2013-09-19 09:48:42 PM
a process that can be expressed mathematically |= plants doing math
 
2013-09-20 12:30:53 PM

Tanukis_Parachute: my new thing with bacon is to brush it with some heated honey, cayenne, and cumin mixed up. bake it for 15 minutes, drain, and eat. with good tomatoes and lettuce, it is an awesome sandwich.


That actually sounds pretty good.  Gonna have to give it a try.  I assume you use powdered cumin?
 
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