Over at Reality Sandwich, a long essay outlines a growing body of research about the intelligence of plants.
Increasing numbers of researchers, in a multiplicity of fields, are beginning to acknowledge that intelligence is an inevitable aspect of all self-organized systems—that sophisticated neural networks are a hallmark of life.
Even though this intelligence is not exhibited the same way as human beings, it is still a profound way of interacting with the world. Plants constantly question and respond to the environment, tracking everything from dewdrops to predators.
Some plants, such as sundew, are so sensitive to touch, for example, that they can detect a strand of hair weighing less than one microgram (one millionth of a gram) to which they then respond. But what is more revealing is that they can determine with great specificity what is touching them. Raindrops, a common experience in the wild, produce no response. This kind of mechanosensitivity, which is, in plants, similar to what we call our sense of touch, is used much as we use our own…
What do you think? Are the plants in your world actually thinking?