100 Islands National Park, Philippines, 2013
By now, it’s no surprise to me to find inter-species empathy. Especially between two groups of mesoscale predators, who have already evolved collective behavior to hunt as part of core survival mechanisms. In the case of the article below:
The post is from 2012, but just came across my Facebook feed today. The article documents the shared fishing behavior between humans in Laguna, Brazil, using nets to fish for coastal mullet, with the help of dolphins who drive the fish into nets. Turns out dolphins that practice this kind of behavior have tighter social networks than dolphins that don’t. Empathy much?
What’s mind-boggling is NOT that two separate species share coordinated behavior, and in a novel way show the power of diversity, making my point that I’ve made earlier that diversity increases data-driven rational acting. What’s wild is that instead of looking at the behavior for the obvious learned behavior that it is, scientists want to explain it with genetics. Think about that — two of the species with the biggest software processor on the planet must have this kind of behavior hard-coded, due to selfishness. V-Meme egocentric projection talking much, scientists?
2 thoughts on “Quickie Post — More Fun with Cetaceans and Humans”
It is not surprising that genetics is offered as an explanation — that is the knee-jerk response to every mystery or puzzle or observation. The advances in understanding in the last 300 years have created many points of knowledge (and occasionally understanding) that are nevertheless almost uncoordinated by any sort of overarching understanding. The multiscale nature of all systems (in time and space), the wholistic nature of real understanding, make the “leaning in your own understanding” as silly as it has ever been. Genetics is just the latest in a very long string of constructs that have gathered support and resisted the acknowledgement that the vision is too small, the grasp too miniscule for us to believe that we suddenly have the world by the tail. Humility — the ability to hear and see and wait in quietness for the insight we need for the next step — is needed now, more than ever.
How about just letting ourselves not know for a bit, find a quietness and a stillness that allows real observation? In that state, when we take time to think, to hear, to see, to feel, we begin to actually learn things that are not already predetermined by assumptions and models that will otherwise create an answer before we even look at the world, before we even open to the data.
The genetics answer was an answer that had nothing to do with the data. It was an answer looking for a question — didn’t care what the question was, just needed a question.
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