Re: Alien Communication Re: Ethics of being a Creator

Paul Hughes (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 03:31:11 -0700

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> Uh, that would seem unlikely, give the wavelength of ultrasonic sound
> in water vs. our vision system operates hard at the physical threshold
> for optical instruments. The resolution of long-range sonar whales
> should be pretty lousy, though far ranging.

I was speaking of very short range sonar.

> Inasmuch would this differ from you internal scene representation? You
> have textures, depthcueing and stereo to construct a 3d description.

Subjectively this input of complex sound information could be interpreted similar to
the way we intrepet visual light.

> The interesting part of sonar vision is that you can tell materials
> with different sound propagation velocities apart, e.g. a plastic and
> a steel ball. Also, you could theoretically share a mental image,
> though there is no evidence that the cetaceans really do that.

I fairly certain there is. I can't remember where I heard it, but there was a study
done with dolphins in complete darkeness who were able to discern the identity of
several sets of different tpyes of objects. All I really remeber was that the
conclusions of the study pointed very strongly in the direction that their sonar can
paint a very vivid 'picture' of their immediate surroundings.