How Intelligent Are Dolphins? – The Harvard Lampoon

My Animal Friends #

| Issue Editor: CAS '12 | Art Editor:

How Intelligent Are Dolphins?

  CAS '12

Because dolphins have such large cerebral cortexes in relation to their body masses, humans have often wondered how intelligent they are. Professor Karn’s groundbreaking research shows that most dolphins are fairly intelligent, but not incredibly so. For instance, many dolphins are smart enough to take control of social situations but few realize that they are annoying other dolphins when they do so. Many dolphins have a sense of the past and future, but few realize that all time is perpetually grasped through the lens of the present. The dolphins who understand this phenomenon have no way of communicating it with the other dolphins except through powerful works of poetry, which most dolphins cannot even read. Almost all dolphins are smart enough to realize that technological progress has virtually no correlation with happiness, but the remainder builds these really stupid machines out of seaweed that never even work. Dolphins are terrible craftsmen and this is celebrated in their plays, most of which make fun of the dolphins who tried to invent the seaweed machines. Admittedly, the anti-constructionist motif of these works is fairly profound, but they tend to be repetitively directed and most dolphins are too stupid to even appreciate fully developed characters when they see them. Much has been made of the species’ love of frolicking in the sea, but on a day-to-day basis, most dolphins only frolic because it is a socially-expected activity. Only a small minority of dolphins realizes the irony of this situation, and those that do rarely act on it because that kind of intelligence is not necessarily synonymous with social intelligence.