Recently, a study was published in the journal Trends in Plant Science that suggests that plants “talk” to each other. The researchers observed plants making clicking noises, and when the same clicks were artificially reproduced the roots of new seedlings grew towards them. (The article itself may be found here in PDF form, for those interested.)
This is all well and good. However, the researchers then proceeded to jump to conclusions about the significance of the correlation between the clicking and root growth, even using the term “talking” in reference to the clicking, as well as other anthropomorphic language. As anyone with even a basic understanding of research methodology knows, correlation does not equal causation, and one run of an experiment does not equal a sound theory. Note also that the paper did not publish the details of the study, such as the performance of the control group (if there was one), or any statistical analyses of the results. In short, the paper can be summed up as “We played some sounds, and the roots grew this way, so we assume that one caused the other, and what’s a confound anyway?”
Why is this important to nature-based spirituality? After all, spirituality isn’t supposed to be scientific, right?
Read the rest here.