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Are dolphins non human people?

Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Cetacea » 1/3/10

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons'

Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees.These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.

The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.

“Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size,” said Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has used magnetic resonance imaging scans to map the brains of dolphin species and compare them with those of primates.

Read more...


I think dolphins and other cetaceans are definitely cognitive advanced but most categories used to qualify them as such are very biased towards what we see as ' key features' of human intelligence and there is not enough recognition of other species that are not as appealing to us. Interesting article though.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Ghandi » 1/4/10

I think this article highlights why cetacean hugging researchers should be slapped. :pirate:

As for the mass of dolphin brains am I the only one who remembers research suggesting that a large portion of the brain is composed of cells designed to maintain temperature and function as opposed to cognitive brain cells?
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby David » 1/4/10

Apparently. I thought I had heard that a significant portion of dolphin brains were devoted to sound....

I say all animals should be treated as 'non-human persons' or humans should embrace their status as animals and be done with it. One or the other, it's time.
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Extending a sea ethic would mean recognizing the ocean’s importance to the continued existence of life on our planet and to human futures. From this recognition would flow an appropriate sense of moral imperative, commitment, and urgency—urgency toward ending overfishing and wasteful bycatch and aggressively rebuilding depleted ocean wildlife populations, stabilizing human effects on world climate, slowing habitat destruction, stemming global transport and accidental introduction of "alien" species, curbing the flow of contaminants and trash, developing sustainable seafood farming, cultivating an informed approach to the seafood marketplace, and implementing networks of protected areas in the sea. - Dr. Carl Safina

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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Cetacea » 1/4/10

Ghandi wrote:I think this article highlights why cetacean hugging researchers should be slapped. :pirate:

As for the mass of dolphin brains am I the only one who remembers research suggesting that a large portion of the brain is composed of cells designed to maintain temperature and function as opposed to cognitive brain cells?


Lol, I would not disagree, interesting because it sums up a lot of 'intelligence' work in one go.
But yes, I remember that as well, and a lot of the time brain size still seems to be quoted as being a factor in intelligence when it has been shown that it's really not. Encephalisation is a slightly better indicator if I remember correctly though also to be used with caution.
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

We're not unique, just at one end of the spectrum.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Jellyfish123 » 1/4/10

Not to say everyone elses opinions are incorrect, :oops: but I think training animals for our entertainment is inhumane. Aquariums are a different story. I 100% agree with these scientists.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Ghandi » 1/4/10

Eugh behavioural psychologists *pokes the naughty dolphin lovers with a 10ft pole*

"for example, how dolphins could co-operate with military precision to round up shoals of fish to eat"

Would this be american military precision? *cough*friendlyfireincident*cough*

dolphins are dolphins, yes theyre intelligent but as intelligence is an entirely subjective human fabrication I find the revelation meaningless, in fact I take offence at the disproportinal protection afforded to these rose tinted and widely misrepresented predators. What about sharks? WHAT ABOUT THE COUNTLESS SPECIES IGNORED COS THEY NEVER STARRED IN FLIPPER OR FREE WILLY?

darn hippy dolphins lovers.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Cetacea » 1/4/10

Jellyfish123 wrote:Not to say everyone elses opinions are incorrect, :oops: but I think training animals for our entertainment is inhumane. Aquariums are a different story. I 100% agree with these scientists.
:dolphin2:

-Ms. Future Marine Biologist
:snorkel:

you'll find most people on here will agree passionately on the training of animals, especially dolphins. So do I (just look at my post history, if I was pro-SeaWorld I'm doing a darn good job hiding it :lol:). SeaWorld and co are a disgrace. Good aquariums and zoos can be educational and aid conservation but only if the animals are put first -which is definitely not happening at SeaWorld. Neither is anyone saying that dolphins are not cognitive advanced, it's the anthropomorphisation of dolphins as 'people' (usually better people than us, or even aliens from outer space) and the cetacean nation rubbish a la John Lilly that gets on peoples nerves. Dolphins are dolphins, not people and they should be treated as such, they have different requirements than people have so for their own sake, let dolphins be dolphins. In defense of the article, it didn't actually say they should have human rights but that is the type of reasoning that makes people irritated with dolphin huggers.....
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

We're not unique, just at one end of the spectrum.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby David » 1/4/10

LOL, I hear you. Flipper did way more harm than good actually by causing every marine park such as $eaworld to then go out and capture wild dolphins, etc.
David Campbell
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~~~ Join the MarineBio Conservation Society and help us continue to share the wonders of
the ocean inspiring conservation, education, research, and a sea ethic. ~~~


Extending a sea ethic would mean recognizing the ocean’s importance to the continued existence of life on our planet and to human futures. From this recognition would flow an appropriate sense of moral imperative, commitment, and urgency—urgency toward ending overfishing and wasteful bycatch and aggressively rebuilding depleted ocean wildlife populations, stabilizing human effects on world climate, slowing habitat destruction, stemming global transport and accidental introduction of "alien" species, curbing the flow of contaminants and trash, developing sustainable seafood farming, cultivating an informed approach to the seafood marketplace, and implementing networks of protected areas in the sea. - Dr. Carl Safina

If you think you can, you might, if you think you can't, you never will. - Anon
Don't believe everything you think. - Anon
It's nice to be important. But it's much more important to be nice. - The Nature of Existence
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. - Steve Martin
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Cetacea » 1/4/10

Ghandi wrote:Eugh behavioural psychologists *pokes the naughty dolphin lovers with a 10ft pole*

WHAT ABOUT THE COUNTLESS SPECIES IGNORED COS THEY NEVER STARRED IN FLIPPER OR FREE WILLY?

darn hippy dolphins lovers.


You did see the part where I said that other species don't receive the recognition they deserve right? ;-)
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

We're not unique, just at one end of the spectrum.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby David » 1/4/10

He rarely reads things in here...
David Campbell
MarineBio Founder/Director
>-<ºº>-<
~~~ Join the MarineBio Conservation Society and help us continue to share the wonders of
the ocean inspiring conservation, education, research, and a sea ethic. ~~~


Extending a sea ethic would mean recognizing the ocean’s importance to the continued existence of life on our planet and to human futures. From this recognition would flow an appropriate sense of moral imperative, commitment, and urgency—urgency toward ending overfishing and wasteful bycatch and aggressively rebuilding depleted ocean wildlife populations, stabilizing human effects on world climate, slowing habitat destruction, stemming global transport and accidental introduction of "alien" species, curbing the flow of contaminants and trash, developing sustainable seafood farming, cultivating an informed approach to the seafood marketplace, and implementing networks of protected areas in the sea. - Dr. Carl Safina

If you think you can, you might, if you think you can't, you never will. - Anon
Don't believe everything you think. - Anon
It's nice to be important. But it's much more important to be nice. - The Nature of Existence
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night. - Steve Martin
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Cetacea » 1/4/10

Oh and it's not psychologist, you can get BA in psyche, it's not a proper science :P I believe the proper term is behavioural ecologist or ethologist, so meh :P NOT a psychologist!!!
"There is about as much educational benefit to be gained in studying dolphins in captivity as there would be studying mankind by observing prisoners held in solitary confinement" - Jacques Cousteau

We're not unique, just at one end of the spectrum.
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Re: Are dolphins non human people?

Postby Jellyfish123 » 1/4/10

Cetacea wrote:
Jellyfish123 wrote:Not to say everyone elses opinions are incorrect, :oops: but I think training animals for our entertainment is inhumane. Aquariums are a different story. I 100% agree with these scientists.
:dolphin2:

-Ms. Future Marine Biologist
:snorkel:

you'll find most people on here will agree passionately on the training of animals, especially dolphins. So do I (just look at my post history, if I was pro-SeaWorld I'm doing a darn good job hiding it :lol:). SeaWorld and co are a disgrace. Good aquariums and zoos can be educational and aid conservation but only if the animals are put first -which is definitely not happening at SeaWorld. Neither is anyone saying that dolphins are not cognitive advanced, it's the anthropomorphisation of dolphins as 'people' (usually better people than us, or even aliens from outer space) and the cetacean nation rubbish a la John Lilly that gets on peoples nerves. Dolphins are dolphins, not people and they should be treated as such, they have different requirements than people have so for their own sake, let dolphins be dolphins. In defense of the article, it didn't actually say they should have human rights but that is the type of reasoning that makes people irritated with dolphin huggers.....



You know... that makes perfect sense! Thank you. I am sorry If I irritated you though... you are right. Dolphins are not people, but they are not treated the way they should be in sea world. Great point!
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