Agreed. I have never understood why so many folks seem to have a problem with this concept.
Me too. It's weird how many Trek fans I've encountered online who are hostile to the idea that an intelligent alien species exists right here on Earth in real life. You'd think SF fans would find that thrilling.
Maybe 70s-80s dolphin/whale adoration tainted that idea? I do know that the Japanese had a pretty hilarious dolphin in Mars Daybreak (with power armor too!).