Sunday, September 23, 2007
Can dolphins cogitate?
Tough call. One wishes not to fall into the trap of anthropocentrism, in which Homo sapiens is the only creature capable of sophisticated thought; yet at the same time, one should be wary of being too liberal when it comes to attributing this ability to other species. I'm not well-versed in the lore of animal studies, but it seems at the very least plausible that dolphins (and chimpanzees and a few others) are capable of multi-step trains of thought, albeit in nonverbal form. We all know that dogs and cats can be very smart, but I'm not sure that that's the same thing as dolphins' reputed "intelligence"...[scratches head in confusion]