wild dolphin seeks out human help

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by rhubarbodendron, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Whereas we Yanks and Brits love using anglicized versions of Latin and Greek scientific names, because we think it makes us sound smarter.
     
  2. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And of course we Germans in recent years like to use as many english words and anglicisms as possible to sound trendy and progressive. ;)
     
  3. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Good thing it was a wild dolphin, and not an evangelistic dolphin. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ :D

    Uh oh. I hope that doesn't happen between us and the dolphins.
     
  5. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In all seriousness, if some of the wild suggestions some of us threw in this thread are true, dolphins are very likely to worship us, and that was an evangelistic girl.

    If by any chance dolphins had language complex enough to convey it, they would not hesitate to signal the others of the existence of outlandish godlike creatures from the world above that are a source of both danger and help. Which would be exactly what this dolphin might have been seeking.
     
  6. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I doubt Dolphins can think symbolically like that. Certainly, Chimps can't. They would know that people are helpful, but they wouldn't think they're a deity.
     
  7. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not sure. Can you cite some source on that chimp thing?

    The ability to use sign language and a language based on pictograms certainly shows the ability to utilise at least some basic abstraction in bonobos, and deities are in my mind one of the simpler forms of abstractions, one step beyond a substitute for anything too complex and difficult to understand.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I think the concept of a deity is simply an abstracted form of imprinting on a parental figure. One might say that dogs view their people as deities. I don't think its beyond cetaceans or primates or other intelligent animals to create the idea of a deity (I'm suddenly reminded of a story called "The Pope of the Chimps," but I can't remember who wrote it).
     
  9. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Except that's not true. It's the symbolic thinking - the act of thinking about things abstractly with analogies that is at issue. It's something not known to occur in Chimpanzees.
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    We don't really know if they can or not, or if abstract thinking exists in degrees or flavors like intelligence. Chimps can certainly think of a Human as a parental figure; even baby birds will imprint on a Human or another type of animal as a parent. It isn't much of a step to go from that to thinking of all Humans as god-like figures.
     
  11. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Since Chimps can communicate through sign language, we're able to get a far greater insight into what they're thinking so it isn't quite accurate to say "we don't know."
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    The very concept of a "god" is highly abstract. That's the whole point. Even "parent" is an abstract idea. Young animals don't imprint on their parents because they understand the parent/child relationship. They do it because of simple conditioning: "this one feeds me, this one protects me from other animals." Even that is probably too sophisticated a representation of what goes on in the brains of other mammals.
     
  13. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    But we don't know; if we did, we wouldn't be doing the research. In any case, the question is not whether chimps wax philosophical on on perfectibility or original sin, but whether they look at Humans as god-like in their own chimpy way, which they likely do. As for the original question about whether dolphins see us as deities, I would say that they are very likely to be capable of abstract thought, but have enough practical intelligence to understand that we are fellow animals.

    It doesn't need to be sophisticated. Dogs are man's best friend, but that doesn't mean they sit around pontificating on the meaning of friendship-- they just feel loyalty and sympathy and so forth. People feel the same things, but elevate it to the abstract. Mammals are hard-wired with parent and child behaviors, and that can lead to substitute parental figures. A chimp is unlikely to create an abstract deity or anthropomorphize aspects of nature, but people are not abstract concepts. We're visible and present, and we control the lights and the food and the toys and so forth. So I would say that domesticated chimps would very likely look at us as god-like figures.
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    :wtf: I don't even know what to say. To so utterly miss the point as you have is almost beyond belief. I will just leave you to it.
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ All righty then.
     
  16. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The amazingness of this might be slightly tangential to the debate about intelligence, but it is fascinating enough so I can't resist posting it.

    Dolphins playing with air balloons
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuVgXJ55G6Y[/yt]

    Dolphins know how to have fun, don't they? I wish we could do something as cool.

    A friendly advice: Don't ever watch dolphin videos, you'd start relating to them way too much.
     
  17. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ That's fantastic. It demonstrates that they are capable of not only fun, but creativity and of educating each other. It reminds me of a Whale Watch I was on where we were told about a local whale who invented a new way to fish-- something about slapping the water to stun them or something-- and then taught all the other whales so that now everyone does it.

    Here's another amazing demonstration of cetacean social behavior that somebody on another board posted. It demonstrates not only intelligence, but compassion and charity.
     
  18. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dolphins are angels incarnate! They're showing us their halos. Wow... never EVER kill a dolphin. If you do, you're killing an angel.
     
  19. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed.

    Plus: Always good to meet another member of The Movement.
     
  20. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In related news, this video shows the largest group of dolphins trying desperately to keep an injured female dolphin alive, that is unable to swim on her own.

    Never before have humans witnessed such a strong social behavior among dolphins.

    http://videos.t-online.de/delfinrettung-beeindruckt-forscher/id_61914700/index

    Ultimately they failed and the female died. :(

    I want to cry watching this!

    (sorry for the video being in German, don't know if there is an English version)