Plants Doing Maths, I Think Not

Just when you thought science tits could not get any stupider I read today of a bunch of cone headed loons who have convinced themselves that plants can do mathematics.

Plants have a built-in capacity to do maths, which helps them regulate food reserves at night,” research suggests. UK scientists say they were “amazed” to find an example of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation in biology. (full story BBC News)

Now I have often become peripherally involved in religious debates with members of The Church Of Scienceology about the divinity of mathematics. I say peripherally because there isn’t really much point trying to take the piss out of semi – autistic coneheads who are too literally minded to understand when someone is taking the piss.

A few years ago I even blogged here about the insanity of the maths debate. Mathematician Marcus de Sautoy opened for the pro maths side and demolished his own case in his first sentence, saying: “When Wayne Rooney takes a shot at goal he first does a simultaneous equation.”

I think not. Can you imagine the late Motty raving: “ And the ball goes to Rooney. He controls it, he sits on the ball, fishes a scientific calculator out of his shorts, does a simultaneous equation, shoots, … AND HE SCOOOOOOORES! ” The suggestion that Wayne Rooney even knows what an equation is stretches our credulity.

Scientists allways get carried away on a wave of enthusiasm that leads them to see amazing examples of complex science in the most mundane things. And that is what our researchers who discovered the cabbage mathematicians have done. They observed plants doing what plans do, analyzed it mathematically and assumed the plants were doing mathematical calculations rather that simply running the natural processes evolution equipped plants with.

While most of us would accept mathematicians are often cabbages, few people would believe that cabbages are mathematicians.