And I think the gradual jading of our society probably soured lots of people on the idea, especially when dolphins would wind up stranding themselves and dying - it's hard to keep your hopes that dolphins were really intelligent alive when they keep beaching themselves for no apparent reason.
Right, because humans never
do anything self-destructive or die in accidents...
With Dark Mirror, I think the problem is more about the image of a dolphin flying around in a water-filled space suit thing than anything else. It just seems like a really ridiculous image and concept to swallow, one that just ruins suspension of disbelief because of how absurd it is.
Why is it ridiculous? Rather, how is it any more ridiculous than a human in an air-filled spacesuit floating around in vacuum? Frankly what I'm hearing sounds like sheer prejudice -- an alien intelligence shaped like a human and existing in the same kind of environment is acceptable, but one that doesn't remind us of ourselves is somehow a lesser form of life. Maybe you need to watch "The Devil in the Dark" again.