Some researchers believe we should treat them as ‘non human person’
Science has long insisted that humans are the most intelligent creatures on planet earth, but could there be more intelligent creatures that science simply has not caught up with yet?
Some people believe the answer is ‘yes,’ but what exactly?
What is more intelligent than a human being?
According to a study from 2018, the intelligence of Dolphins may surpass the intelligence of humans in some respects.
One of those aspects could be self-awareness.
A mirror-self recognition (MSR) test was used in the studies, which involves presenting a mirror to the test subject and observing the time frame before they recognize themselves.
Humans infants aren’t usually able to recognize themselves in a mirror until they are around 12 months old.
But Bottlenose dolphins can recognize themselves at just seven months old.
The experiment was conducted on both male and female dolphins to get a range of outcomes.
Dolphins are more capable than anyone realized.
The animals are even able to produce personalized whistles, which is the equivalent of names for different members of their pod.
Dolphins are also able to solve problems and communicate with each other with little difficulty.
Some scientists and researchers also believe we should treat them as “nonhuman persons.”
Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and animal behaviorist at Emory University, said, “the response was very much divided.”
Marino was a co-investigator in an experiment that revealed how dolphins are incredibly self-aware, returning to the mirror to see themselves over and over again.
Thomas I. White of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles said dolphins should be viewed as “non-human persons.”
The phrase has caught on among researchers.
“Like humans, dolphins appear to be self-conscious, unique individuals with distinctive personalities, memories and a sense of self, who are vulnerable to a wide range of physical and emotional pain and harm, and who have the power to reflect upon and choose their actions,” White said.
Below is an extract from the report on the dolphins:
We exposed two young bottlenose dolphins to an underwater mirror and analyzed video recordings of their behavioral responses over three years.
Here we report that both dolphins exhibited MSR, indicated by self-directed behavior at the mirror, at ages earlier than generally reported for children and at ages much more previously than reported for chimpanzees.
The early onset of MSR in young dolphins occurs in parallel with their advanced sensorimotor development, complex and reciprocal social interactions, and growing social awareness.
Both dolphins passed subsequent mark tests at ages comparable with children.
Thus, our findings indicate that dolphins exhibit self-awareness at a mirror at a younger age than previously reported for children or other species tested.
Dolphins have both been here longer than us, and have much larger brains than us.
We can learn a lot from these animals whether we seem them as our equals or not.
They should be studied and tested further to see what they are really capable of.
A TedEd talk video on dolphins can be seen below which explains how smart dolphins are.