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[NewScientist] Talk with a dolphin via underwater translation machine - Page 4

post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadamir View Post
I appreciate your response Mushroom boy, but imagine you come across a group of people who you have no hope of communicating with (no translator/never encountered before, you decide). Are you saying that you would not be able to tell if they were self-aware or not?

So when did humans become self-aware? Did one day someone wake up and say I have consciousness and consciousness is this inner dialog?
I was going to type more but decided to make this simple. Being self-aware is generally associated with extreme intelligence. It is that same intelligence level that is thought to make complex language. If I met a group of people with a complex language I would assume they are self-aware. I would also take other cues, like the ability to communicate without verbal language. That takes an extreme intelligence level, to relate a specific subject without any verbal language. Take being hungry, you could rub your stomach and make eating movements. We have a general universal language, across our entire species.

Your example would best be served under the pretense that we meet aliens. Currently that's easy to answer as we can't travel and so they would be the ones with the technology to reach us.

What about animals? Again as I said, if they won't verbally or non-verbally communicate with us in a way so that we know they are self-aware then we can't know. That's it, there is no situation or magical instance where we will start to believe a being is self-aware. It can mimic being self-aware but those actions are not conclusive.

[edit] Traits that would also work: Reason/Logical Deduction, Written Language

Written Language can break down into the ability to draw complex pictures, hieroglyphics for example work very well.

of course this brings the question; When did we create complex language. What is complex language? The ability to talk about present, past, future, and the self. You can talk about all dimensions of reality so that another member of your species understands. It doesn't have to have full words, just the meaning behind it. So cavemen could have spoke in a very broken manner yet been able to talk about reality (past/present/future) so that the others could understand. Advanced Language.

There are more traits, you just have to go look them up I'm not going to atm.

[edit2] While language itself doesn't mean they are self aware, the ability to use it fully and in context tells us that the creature has potential. Even we don't start out as self-conscious, we learn it in the first year or so of life. Though we don't really learn it, it's more like our brain develops far enough so that we gain the ability. Granted none of these traits are sure things but they do give us huge clues.
Edited by mushroomboy - 5/13/11 at 2:00pm
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post #32 of 37
Thread Starter 
sounds like there's a sophisticated discussion going on here
post #33 of 37
Yeah and I was going to keep it short but I really hate it when people post stuff like "language doesn't mean anything". Which is right, though it's not that simple. I just don't like people pointing out partial flaws, or what they perceive as a flaw and then say something specific makes an animal intelligent. We have a pretty good understanding of how most animals think, it's a few that we believe might have some potential.

You can even condition an animal to do math, that doesn't mean you taught them math. It's stuff like that people don't seem to understand. To distinguish the difference between an animal that knows math and an animal that appears to know math.
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post #34 of 37
This will not stop my lifelong goal of eating a dolphin. I need to know what they taste like, aquatic mammals, should be good.
post #35 of 37
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Originally Posted by the.FBI View Post
This will not stop my lifelong goal of eating a dolphin. I need to know what they taste like, aquatic mammals, should be good.
just go to japan they sell it as whale meat.

the japanese can be cool sometimes, and sometimes they can be straight up evil.

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/4622/cove.html

Quote:
We all knew that the Japanese where still killing whales, but we didn't know they were slaughtering dolphins by the hundreds. It's a stunning movie. At times, it's almost impossible to watch. If you are squeamish then it will be impossible to sit take in. What happens in Taiji is so brutal, and so beyond comprehension that it's hard to put into words. The worst part is that the fishermen end up selling the dolphin meat (which has deadly levels of mercury in it) back to their own people under the guise that it's "whale meat."
    
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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by pale_neon View Post
just go to japan they sell it as whale meat.

the japanese can be cool sometimes, and sometimes they can be straight up evil.

http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/4622/cove.html
I figured that I would have to go to Japan to get some but I thought it would be a more significant investment than that. Good to know, unfortunate about the mercury levels though, my guess is that it will be closest in taste to swordfish which also has high mercury levels.
post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by the.FBI View Post
I figured that I would have to go to Japan to get some but I thought it would be a more significant investment than that. Good to know, unfortunate about the mercury levels though, my guess is that it will be closest in taste to swordfish which also has high mercury levels.
fyi, i wasn't endorsing it. i think it's beyond f'd up what they're doing. if you ever see that movie i can guarantee you will change your mind.
    
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