Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-05-2007, 06:42   #1
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Cetacean Intelligenge (2) ?

Starting over - with correct spelling in title.

Are dolphins and/or other cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) intelligent, and/or self-aware (sapient)?

”It is of interest to note that, while some dolphins are reported to have learned English (up to fifty words used in correct context) - no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” ~ Carl Sagan

Previous replies:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Mike
I have read many accounts and seen various specials on TV that would indicate that some species appear to be self aware. And at times behave as though they may have cognitive thought processes. I think a creature can be as intelligent and self aware as us but the gulf between us is such that we can not communicate. It is a very facinating subject, we may never know the real answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pura Vida
Humans think that they're smarter than dolphins because they've developed war, the bomb, and society, while all dolphins do is swim around all day. Dolphins think that they're smarter than humans for the exact same reasons. Not quite the quote by Douglas Adams
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2007, 23:52   #2
Registered User
 
coot's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 367
Images: 2
"Intelligence" and "self-aware" are very fuzzy terms. Usually, when people try to discuss whether a particular animal is intelligent, they really end up dancing around the definition of intelligent. "language" and "tool" can also get you down the same rat hole.

Clearly dolphins are a lot smarter than many other animals. Groups of them engage in coordinated activity. They actively investigate objects in their environment (e.g. boats). They appear to have a language made of various sounds, though we don't know what they mean. They can be taught a simple language made of glyphs (e.g. written symbols), and then can communicate in that language.

As far as I know, they don't make tools, unless you count that air-net thing they make by blowing bubbles around schools of small fish.

Anyway, they seem smarter than most other animals. How smart do they have to get to be "intelligent"? How complex do their communications have to be to count as a "language"?
__________________

__________________
Mark S.
coot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 03:39   #3
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Whangaparaoa,NZ
Boat: 63 ft John Spencer Schooner
Posts: 956
I thought octopi were supposed to be the smartest thing in the ocean?
__________________
dana-tenacity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 03:46   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
I have no idea if they are the smartest or not, but yes, Octopi are very clever. Tests have shown that they can problem solve and carry out very complicated tasks.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 05:53   #5
Registered User
 
Entlie's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New Bern, NC (Fairfield Harbour)
Boat: 1994 Prout Manta Catamaran
Posts: 248
Well on a lighter note:

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, by Christopher Moore, is a wild and wacky cetacean read. His books are irreverent, with off-beat characters and unique plots.

If you are looking for "cerious cetacean" reading, Christopher Moore is not your guy. But after making a statement once that "I don't read stupid books", I must say his are terrifically weird and enjoyable, and Fluke is my favorite.

Entlie
Sailing Catamaran Sunspot Baby
__________________
"Never a ship sails out of a bay
but carries my heart as a stowaway."
-Roselle Mercier Montgomery"
Entlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 07:19   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
FrankZ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Bristol 35 Bellesa
Posts: 13,565
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
I have no idea if they are the smartest or not, but yes, Octopi are very clever. Tests have shown that they can problem solve and carry out very complicated tasks.
I think you would have to be very clever to work out being able to use eight arms at once. Two gives me problems at times.
__________________
Sing to a sailor's courage, Sing while the elbows bend,
A ruby port your harbor, Raise three sheets to the wind.
......................-=Krynnish drinking song=-
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 08:12   #7
Registered User
 
sluissa's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pensacola, FL, US
Boat: Westfield UK Kingfisher 20+ - Rabbit
Posts: 402
Images: 4
Send a message via AIM to sluissa
Tools only make sense if you've evolved the ability to use the easily, namely fingers, or something like them. Dolphins are basically limited in this manner(unless you count a certain prehensile appendage that the males have... ahem...)

I think dolphins are probably pretty close to the intellegence of human beings, although they do have more of an animal side than humans do, mostly, I think, because they've never developed tools to replace instincts they need. (We build secure homes in order that we don't need to be as alert when we're there. We developed a system so that only a small portion of the population actually needs to know how to aquire food and the rest trades for it. etc.)

As was previously mentioned, I'm also in agreement with Douglas Adams. Swimming around and playing all day seems like a better plan than then world we've created.
__________________
sluissa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 09:40   #8
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
As a psychologist, I can tell you that these sorts of questions provoke highly animated debates. It goes to the very core of what is meant by "intelligence". Intelligent when? Where? For what? To what degree do our definitions reflect our species-centricity and transitory values? Steven Jay Gould wrote a number of provocative essays on these sorts of questions. Entertaining, too.

I can tell you this, though: If I'm trying to troubleshoot an engine or PC, I'll ask a human. For catching a fish, learning hydrodynamics, or echolocation, the dolphin is clearly superior.

The fact that we seem to "like" them, is probably more related to their capacity to display more sophisticated emotional states, due to their cranial musculature and vocalizations. This, in turn, also seems related to their high degree of social organization. Social organization needs communication, and vice-versa. By the way, this is also the same reasoning behind why we seem to get along so well with dogs. We "read" each other's emotional states easier.

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 09:43   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 51
Cephalopods (namely octopus and cuttlefish) are surprisingly intelligent, but they certainly are not the smartest creatures in the ocean. Cephalopod researchers suspect the smartest species are roughly equal the domestic housecat - which isn't a high bar when measured against a humpback whale, bottlenose dolphin, Orca, etc...

The amazing thing about cephalopods is that they have evolved such advanced brains in parallel to vertebrates but on an entirely separate evolutionary path. Remember our common ancestor was likely a worm that lived 1.5 billion years ago (give or take a billion). It suggests that we (humans - mammals - vertebrates) have not developed complex intelligence by rare chance, but instead intelligence is predictable to develop if the right conditions and requirements are met.

To sum up; octopus are freaken amazing, but they aren’t smarter than Flipper.
__________________
Hubec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 10:09   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
It must have been twenty years ago, but I'll never forget a show I saw on PBS where an octopus in a tank in a lab got hungry one night, climbed out of his tank, left the room, went down a flight of stairs, climbed into another tank and ate some live fish or clams or something (I forget exactly what it was). He then reversed his course and went back to his tank!

The scientists figured out what had happened because of the trail of water left by the octopus. The building had been locked and no one had entered during that time. To duplicate and prove it, they refilled the tank with more fish, set up cameras, and got it on video.

That's as Hubec said, "freaken amazing".


Steve B.
__________________
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 16:34   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 559
maybe they are more intelligent! and we are
__________________
mike d. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2007, 21:31   #12
Kai Nui
Guest

Posts: n/a
It is all subjective. To define intelligent or cognative behavior, you need a good control group. For instance. Take the managers I work for (please). In cognative abilities, I would guess dolphins (or rocks for that matter) would rate very high on the scale. Now, use a typical group of sailors as the control group. What color would the dolphins paint their MOB pole
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2007, 03:51   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion

"CHICAGO—In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago's School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions..."

Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2007, 04:49   #14
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: No longer post here
Boat: Catalac Catamaran
Posts: 2,462
38% ??

Well, that plobably explains why George Bush still has a 38% approval rating.

Rick in Florida
__________________
Tropic Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-05-2007, 05:03   #15
Registered User
 
mudnut's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 666
If Dolphins were really as smart and intelligent as we would like to believe,they deffinately would not be swimming around Japan.

The skills that they aquire are taught to them as young mamals by the "Group" as a whole.Good refinement creates better skill and better productivity which enables the "Group" to function better as a whole.

I wonder, if you took a dog that has allways been spoken to and given comands is Italian and started comanding it in English or French,would it understand as well.There is a big difference between a Dolphin born in captivity and one taken from the wild as to how they react in their water world pool,but the latter will adapt to his or her suroundings to best achieve survival,even if only to punch a given symble to recieve a suplement of sardines.The former just takes it as another day at water world.

I would imagine what Dolpins do in the wild is more akin to instinct and what happens in captivity is more to do with their ability to learn and not a level of intelligence as we percieve.Flipper was a crock-o-*****.Mudnut.
__________________

__________________
mudnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting 9.9 Merc Two-Stroke to 15hp Sunspot Baby Engines and Propulsion Systems 35 01-06-2011 09:09
Best Watch Patterns for 2 People? ssullivan General Sailing Forum 12 28-09-2007 08:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:23.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.