Secret Life of Plants, Tompkins & Bird

“To Goethe the fact that the action of the root of a plant is directed earthward toward moisture and darkness, whereas the stem or trunk strives skyward in the opposite direction toward the light and the air, was a truly magical phenomenon.

To explain it, Goethe postulated a force opposite, or polar, to Newton’s gravity, to which he gave the name ‘levity.’ ‘Newton… explained to you – or at least was once supposed to explain, why an apple fell; but he never thought of explaining the exact correlative but infinitely more difficult question, how the apple got up there.’ The concept led Goethe to a picture of the earth as being surrounded and penetrated by a field of force in every respect the opposite of the earth’s gravitational field.”

-Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
The Secret Life of Plants

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