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View Diary: A Perspective on Life on Earth (74 comments)

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  •  Dolphins are interesting for evolution (0+ / 0-)

    They will probably never be able to develop tools or technology, because they have no means to manipulate their world, and really not much need to. They will never have access to fire to shape or melt or chemically change things. If they develop sentience (whatever that truly means, and assuming they don't already have it enough to count), it will be largely just for the hell of it. And that would be very cool.

    •  that is what is so amazing and (0+ / 0-)

      interesting about them.  They are clearly very intelligent, they clearly have language and societies, and they can carry on long after humans wipe themselves out.

      Also interesting are the whales, which apparently have societies and complex language as well.

      We almost killed them off but they are making a comeback with the modest protections some nations have put in place.  they are not nearly as numerous as dolphins but at least they did not go extinct yet at the hands of humans.

      •  Elephants too! (0+ / 0-)

        And a prehensile trunk.

        But we don't know what is any of these other species' minds - although it does seem they have minds, not just brains.  But could there ever be a way for them to have an understanding of our planet in space, its relationship to the sun, quantum mechanics, etc?  That does seem to set a pretty high bar for "sentience."

      •  You might like "Startide Rising" by David Brin (0+ / 0-)

        if you like great sci-fi. Many of the characters are dolphins uplifted to sentience by humans, with harnesses for tool use. He is a sci-fi writer highly informed by the science and gets into what an evolved dolphin society might be like.

    •  I should have also mentioned how much I (0+ / 0-)

      enjoyed your diary.  This type of perspective is fascinating and very helpful.  Well done!

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