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Researchers argue for dolphin personhood

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Should dolphins be treated as 'non-human people'? That's the argument of some scientists and ethical researchers, who claim their sense of self, social talents, relative brain size, and ability to perform complex tasks put them second only to humans. [Soulskill/Slashdot]

The point was also made last year at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – publishers of the well-known journal Science.


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Well they are aliens anyway, but at least they thanked us for all the fish. :)

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It was eventual that it would come to this. If a species or individual species member can pass the mirror test, or perhaps all other cognitive tests, then it is capable of learning and education, which should technically entitle the species or individual to rights which are already available to all members of homo sapiens (the allowance for the full exercise of such rights is variable in the current time).

However, if they are capable of learning and integrating human-transmitted knowledge, then will at least some of our species be ready to integrate them into our society, and with exactly how many physical overtures of accommodation? Also, if we are able to translate their languages into our own and vice-versa, what will we learn from them and their own knowledge? We're still pretty far from being able to fully translate the languages of dogs, let alone being able to manage a degree of intelligible back-and-forth between ours and theirs.

Frankly, there are many more questions to be asked and answered in how we will integrate them into society, or us into theirs.

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Expanding on what you said, I think this question should not be asked now. It's to early. I'm not saying we shouldn't do it. I'm saying we should wait until we understand dolphin language almost like another foreign language. The question should be held off for now. It is possible that dolphins will one day be integrated into our society but that day will not come until we can fully communicate with them. This question should be asked at a later date because as of now we don't have an answer that everyone can agree upon.

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Darwin... Agrees... rights...

(end Seaquest reference...)

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I don't think it's unreasonable to grant certain protections to certain species based on their cognitive ability. I'm not sure if calling the protection "rights" ends up being helpful, but it's certainly the right attitude.

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Well, if nothing else, this definitely seems to be a step in the right direction. Let's all just hope that this is a sign of the times - people as a species actually treating other forms of creation with the respect they so rightfully deserve, as opposed to the ancient divide, conquer, and destroy mentality that has dominated humanity's view of the rest of creation for almost as long as we have dated records - some 10 millennia back, give or take a century.

My overall point being, "It's about damn time."

We can never overcome that which we never attempt to defeat. Power to the furries!

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Accept another species into personhood? I suppose when you consider the fact that Dolphins are one of the few species on earth besides humanity known to rape, murder and kidnap other dolphins, then yeah- maybe they should be taken a bit more seriously.

Ants too. Probably one of the only species besides humans that wages war with other members of their own species, then enslaves them. :3

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So then comes the question everyone's probably gonna ask in the crazy right-wing media. "If dolphins become people, does that mean you can marry a dolphin?"

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Maybe in California, but the Republican party will just do everything they can to prevent it from happening. *drum roll, cymbal crash*

We can never overcome that which we never attempt to defeat. Power to the furries!

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I thought marrying Dolphins was more of a popular thing to do in Miami.


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I approve! *haz a lol-fest*

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I think each animal should be considered for their abilities. Apes and dolphins should be placed at second; apes have learned sign lanuage(u only have to be civilized by having a written alphabet), and if apes could do that, Im positive dolphins can, too, learn reading or something. Either way, all animals should have unalienable rights; they're a little different than humans, but we still need to respect their homes and selves. After all, dont we all have emotion? The meerkat need a mob so muchone even bit off its front paws because he had no other meerkats.

Humans are social, no matter how quiet we are. I think dolphins n apes should have some more rights that humans have, but not too much that will cause chaos or are too much for them to handle.

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What about Alex the African Grey Parrot? He could piece together phrases to make sentences and used them in the right scenario. (He understood English). The last words he spoke to his handler before he died was I love you.

Famous Koko the gorilla... sign language (She got mad once and broke a sink. When asked who did it, she replied that her pet kitten broke the sink. She lied and blamed a wrong on her kitten. Yes, she was a person!!!)


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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a developer, editor and Kai Norn from London, United Kingdom, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.