Not Ordinary Cells

Dr. Carl Peters doesn’t really talk to plants. He would like to but presently he can only listen to them, and he doesn’t even know what they are saying. It is some sort of code; it will take time to crack it because he is just flailing about searching for a method; no model exists to break this code.

Carl developed his interest in plant communication after reading an article that resulted in an increase in the world population of Vegans. People were moving away from eating animals when it was found that people who ate animals that had been eating GM foods had a higher chance to develop cancer. The new Vegans then had to make sure they, in turn, were not eating GM foods. This led Carl to research on what was the difference between foods that were GM and those without the modification. Which led him to discover plant communication. But, what did it mean?

Carl’s research into unknown territory was not appreciated by those who occupy a more traditional work-a-day world. His more materialistic wife left him. Colleagues saw his behavior as becoming increasingly bizarre. Carl experienced a slide downward in his quality of life similar to that of an addict. Sleeping on the street in the homeless lifestyle and only checking into libraries to use free computers, he was arrested and jailed. He only knew one person to call, his former research assistant, Jim Glover. Before his arrest, Jim had noticed a few newspaper articles about Jim. It seems his former assistant had taken a new look at Carl’s research and was trying to convince others of its validity. It looked like Jim was going to follow Carl’s downward slide into poverty and obscurity.

But that didn’t happen. Jim showed up at the jail, rescued Carl, helped Carl through a reinstatement at his university, and guided him to a publicist so that all his former research was more widely available to and respected by the public. But Carl didn’t just bask in newly acquired fame and wealth. He continued his research. And came to a startling conclusion.

Fun Activity: If you are unfamiliar with Kilgore Trout, google it. Then look up Kurt Vonnegut’s description of what Kilgore Trout thinks of himself. Then make the connection to this story. You can use any crayon color to make your connections.

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