Re: Alien Communication Re: Ethics of being a Creator

Paul Hughes (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 01:31:58 -0700

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:

> Cetacea are completely non-technological, and aquatic.
> Assume for the sake of argument that, except as compelled by those
> two facts, they are psychologically human. (A pretty unlikely
> assumption, by the way). What *would* they talk about?

To rule out that cetacean's do not have complex language would be a grossly
premature assumption at this point.

Being completely non-technological and aquatic does not preclude language. There
are several reasons to think that dolphins may have developed complex language.

1) They have brain sizes from 2 to 6 times ours.

2) Careful examination of cetacean brain tissue has show it to be as complex as
ours at every level - from the number of average synaptic connections to the array
of neurotransmitter activity.

3) They have had 30 millions years longer than us to develop and evolve a

What would they 'talk' about? Here is my guess:

Since they can't write anything down, they like many other pre-literate cultures
could have an extensive oral tradition of storytelling and history recounting.
Knowing how extensive some tribal cultures oral tradition is with less than 10,000
years history, imagine how much more complex cetacean's oral history could be, if
they developed complex language even 1 million years ago; less than 1/30 of their