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March 18, 2007


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Randall Johnson

Although much of his work has been criticized, Dr. John C. Lilly began questioning our ‘unique’ status in the early 1960s by proposing that cetaceans have a predictive, descriptive language and an ocean-wide civilization, and that their intelligence might equal, or even surpass, our own, based on the size and internal structure of their brains. Interestingly, today’s researchers openly refer to whale and dolphin cultures. Dolphins’ cognitive abilities, as determined by formal experimentation, are, indeed, formidable and, with the exception of an individual signature whistle, the rest of their non-echolocation sounds still have not been deciphered. As for their brains, with a baffling mixture of primitive and sophisticated features, about all one can say with any degree of certainty is that they are the result of a very different evolutionary pathway from the one taken by terrestrial mammals.

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