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Watson, Lyall - Volvox aureas



Type of Spiritual Experience


In effect, even the most simple of living organisms with 'no brain' as such controls its actions by triggers relating to external stimuli - software.

A description of the experience

Lyall Watson – Supernature

We know that the earth's magnetic field changes slightly according to the positions of both the moon and the sun.  Readings taken at Greenwich from 1916 to 1957 show that the geometric field alters hourly in direct accordance with the solar day, the lunar day and the lunar month.  So if living things were sensitive to magnetism, they could follow the movements of both the moon and the sun even while confined in the constant conditions of laboratory dungeons...........

Volvox aureas is a small, photosynthetic plant, but one that moves rapidly in water by the coordinated beating of whip cells that stick out from its surface. J D Palmer [the experimenter] placed one third of 6,916 under natural conditions, one third with a bar magnet augmenting the earth's field and one third with a bar magnet at right angles to the field.  The magnet provided a field 30 time stronger than the natural one.

The results showed the organisms could not only detect a magnetic field but were aware of the direction of lines of force and altered direction accordingly.

The source of the experience

Watson, Lyall

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps