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am 13. Februar 2016
Here’s the rub, I am definitely a mystical-magical minded person that wants to absolutely believe in the magical nature of plants, anthropomorphizing them with everything else in the world. The idea of plants having sensory experiences like humans, albeit, less intelligible, is an attractive thing to me. The fact that Chamovitz wrote a book that appears to support my unscientific and magical beliefs excited me like a dancing plant (105).

Having given that caveat, Chamovitz’s book did not disappoint. Granted, he sticks purely to the science, slashing at every turn my hope that plants are self-conscious, or at least, intelligent in a human kind of way, what he does offer is still magical. Science is awesome. The fact that we can determine the exact chemical a plant utilizes to remember something is amazing to me. You heard me right, plants have memory. The Venus Flytrap and Flax are two plants scientists have studied to learn about plant memory.

What a Plant Knows introduces the reader to different ways plants sense, experience, and adjust to their environments: from seeing color wavelengths, tactile sensations, and smelling, to proprioception, memory, and rudimentary forms of consciousness. Sorry to those who were hoping to hear about hearing and tasting, as far as science can tell, these two are out.

Every chapter introduces a sense, discusses the general idea of what that sense is, talks a little bit about how humans experience that sense, and then moves into experiments that scientist have done to discover how the plant utilized that sense to gather information about the world around them. Every once in a while Chamovitz throws in some humorous pseudo-science to shake things up.

Chamovitz is systematic, clear, and fun to read. What a Plant Knows reads almost like a novel series in that it flows, is entertaining, and when it was over there was, at least for me, a sense of satisfaction and a yearning to learn more. If that does not make a good book, I don’t know what does.
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am 5. Juli 2015
Everyone no doubt recalls the idea that plants respond to music or to their owners' talking to them... In this book, the senses of plants are explored both in their complexity as well as in their differences to our own. In spite of all of the information, What a Plant Knows is engaging, understandable for all readers, not only those who have an education in sciences. Various misconceptions about the feelings and perceptions of plants are cleared up, but in a way that people who have subscribed to these ideas are not ridiculed.
Much of the information is helpful in dealing with houseplants (they just plain dislike being touched) , and the description of their senses makes the world of plants appear truly alien, yet with elements we all share with them.
Whoever loves plants or is even vaguely interested in them will find this book highly readable, and a definite keeper.
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am 21. Dezember 2013
Ich habe das Buch als Begleitung zu dem entsprechenden Coursera-Kurs gelesen; es ist aber völlig unabhängig davon eine flott geschriebene, kurzweilige Einführung in ein spannendes Feld; ordentlich Tiefgang, aber dennoch gut verständlich.

Eine klare Empfehlung, aber 1 Punkt Abzug, weil der Kurs teils noch tiefer geht und diese Inhalte wunderbar noch in das Buch hinein gepaßt und dieses noch runder gemacht hätten. Trotzdem: ein tolles Buch und für mich sehr überraschend und zugleich Anregung, auf diesem Gebiet mehr zu lesen.
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am 12. November 2014
Obwohl der Autor ein ausgewiesener Wissenschaftler ist, hat er wphl auch eine romantische Seite. Er kann einen anstecken mit seiner staunenden Begeisterung für alles, was die Pflanzen können.
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