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WRITER FUEL: Is Planetary Intelligence Real?

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A group of astrophysicists has proposed that individual planets are capable of developing intelligence — not the kind of smarts like knowing your ABCs, but rather an intelligence associated with the interconnectedness of the life inhabiting them. However, don’t assume that our planet is in this intelligent league. Earth is still one major step away from developing true planetary intelligence, a milestone that, if achieved, could help us prevent the impending climate catastrophe, the scientists said.

In the new study, published Feb. 7 in the International Journal of Astrobiology, a group of researchers argues that a planet can be deemed intelligent if it demonstrates cognition — the capacity to know something about what’s happening and act on that knowledge. This could happen if nature and technology on planets like Earth can evolve to the point where they are so interconnected that they can recognize potential issues and create feedback loops to counter them.

“To be clear, cognition is not consciousness,” the researchers wrote in an article for The Atlantic. “We don’t imagine some kind of planetary super-being making self-aware decisions for the world.” Instead, the team believes that cognition is a natural product of the relationship between life and the planets on which they develop.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

Full Story From Live Science