Do dolphins debate human capacity for intelligence?
I watch the show “I Survived” which features people telling stories if survival from horrendous situations, including specific explanations of injuries. It is pretty intense. It seems to me the categories of danger are: extreme weather, crazy assailant, car/boat/plane crash, wild animal, injury during solo activity. At times they show interviews with different people from the same mass incident, like the Columbine shootings. You only see the survivor talking to an unseen person, with snippets of reenactments from the incidents. At the end show’s end each survivor completes the sentence “I survived because…” Survivors mention family, inner strength, you know, what you would expect to hear. There is one unexpected response. Everyone who spent time in the ocean before the Coast Guard rescued them all gave credit to dolphins, like they would at an award acceptance event:
I want to thank the dolphins. They came and watched over me. They drove away the sharks. If it hadn’t been for the dolphins I would not be here.Multiple Survivors of disasters crediting dolphins for saving them.
I have heard this expression of gratitude too often to think it is meaningless dolphin behavior that happened to help. The dolphins acted with deliberate purpose–I believe. We humans think we are running the show and never imagine other animals are evaluating us, thinking of our needs, intervening when they feel the need.
Addiction in Dolphin Eyes
What must they think of addiction, assault, war? They might understand war since they fight the sharks. Surely they have fights over mating rights. But self destruction?
Dolphins must say to each other, ” They seem intelligent, but their self destructive behavior is unique in nature.” Another dolphin might mention lemmings “They follow each other off cliffs.” They might say anyone can follow a group down the wrong path. Male spiders who go into mating only to be eaten by the female? Maybe he doesn’t know what’s ahead. Even if he dies, he is going out the best way possible. Makes sense. But destroying yourself, by yourself, when it dies not foster belonging or get you sex? Incomprehensible.
What kind of animal is a human to veer so sharply away from normal self preservation?