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Adam Adamatzky, with the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of West England in Bristol, England, has put forth a surprising theory that fungi may communicate with each other. You read that right. He postulates, based on research he has conducted, that there is communication going on between mushrooms.
Adamatzky noted that previous research seemed to suggest that fungi emit electrical impulses through underground filamentous structures that can be detected and analyzed. As he was considering this idea, it occurred to him to attempt to analyze this electrical activity as if it were a language.
To do this, he inserted electrodes into the fungi and recorded the electrical impulses. He then grouped them into categories based on the rhythmic electrical spikes they emitted. He found that the impulses varied by amplitude (range), frequency, and duration. Using a linguistic model, he developed a mathematical model that allowed him to compare the patterns of these impulses with human speech. Based on his analysis, he says that it is possible that the fungal language comprises up to 50 words organized into sentences – with different species of fungi having different levels of complexity.
In spite of finding these patterns, however, Adamatzky does not seem to have found a Rosetta Stone that allows him to translate what the mushrooms might be saying to each other. Google Translate also does not yet seem to have it figured out.
The truth is, while it is interesting to know that fungi emit electrical impulses in which various patterns can be recognized, this does not mean they are actually communicating with each other. It seems that the more likely explanation is that various stimuli simply cause the fungi to react in certain ways – much like when electricity is applied to a piece of metal and it causes the electrons to be stimulated in the metal as the current passes through it – it’s just a chemical reaction, not communication.
The more interesting thing to me, though, is to watch how various scientists seem to have such a fascination with trying to find sentience in non-sentient life forms – as if these life forms were capable of thinking self-consciously and communicating their thoughts to other members of their species. Recently, in England, for instance, radical animal rights activists have actually been able to get laws passed giving rights to certain crustaceans. And there are even places in the world where features of nature itself (like rivers and forests) have been given the right to sue in order to prevent development. A similar fascination can be seen in the desperate attempt by many space scientists to find life on other planets.
These various fascinations have their root in the naturalistic belief system of those promoting the causes and doing this kind of research. These folks are completely convinced that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. If that truly is the case, then natural evolutionary forces of some kind must be responsible for the emergence and evolution of all life forms – including their ability to communicate. If that is actually true, it would be quite natural for less complex life forms (fungi and crustaceans, for instance) to have evolved means for communicating with each other. Under those circumstances there would be no other possibility than for intermediate communication abilities to have begun forming in less complex life forms as the natural evolutionary process moved forward. And if life evolved that way on earth, it is only natural, given the billions of stars and planets in the universe, that life has also evolved on other planets, right?
But in spite of all of the efforts that various scientists have made, and the spending of literally billions of dollars in the process, there is still no scientific evidence that naturalistic evolution has ever happened. In fact, in spite of scores of speculative theories about how it might have happened, they still have no idea as to how it would even be possible.
The fact is, naturalistic beliefs represent a religious point of view. Those who believe it do not base their belief on science, as they like to claim. There is not one shred of objective science to actually back it up. Rather, it is based purely on faith in their naturalistic philosophy. There is no doubt they will continue trying to find scientific proof that their beliefs are right, and spending more billions of dollars in the process. But it simply is not true. God created the universe, and created man as a unique creature which alone is able to self-consciously communicate.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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