COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MAN AND DOLPHINS: The Possibilities of Talking with Other Species by

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN MAN AND DOLPHINS: The Possibilities of Talking with Other Species

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lilly says that dolphins are so smart they will not attack humans because they know this would bring about massive retaliation. He says a lot of other things about Cetacea (whales, porpoises, and dolphins), too. Some of his observations--on cetacean vocal apparatus, control of breathing, sexual and birthing habits--savor of careful physiological, anatomical, and observational analyses and make these creatures as remarkable and interesting as many, besides Lilly, have found them. On the other hand, assertions that dolphins are truly superior to humans in intelligence, that they are motivated by a sense of mutual dependence rather than aggression, and that they may have more to teach us than we them--these make the book a panegyric acceptable on faith alone. Lilly clearly wants more than anything else to communicate with dolphins. (Indeed, his ultimate dream may be to become a dolphin, considering his experiments with altered states of consciousness achieved in watery submersion with the aid of drugs.) He also wants to invite bright and dedicated young communicators to join in the quest. Thus the book is part enthusiastic exhortation, part paean of praise, part catalogue of cetaceans' manifest talents, part program for interspecies communication experiment, and part appeal for new laws governing human-dolphin interaction in nature. Should the Great Breakthrough happen, Lilly also describes all manner of Homo sapiens-cetacean cooperation. Gee whiz, good luck, and keep trying!

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1978
Publisher: Crown