Once Dolphins Are Recognized As People, Will We Send Them Into Space, Or Kill Them?

The webzine Crossed Genres has started a new blog, Science In My Fiction, aimed at encouraging people to put real science into their storytelling. And the first post asks what'll happen when we recognize dolphins as people.

Notes writer KT Holt:

If it ever happens, it'll be a politically, morally and ethically charged occasion, to say the least. Religious humans will protest recognition on the grounds that dolphins weren't made in the image of God. Then there are the challenges surrounding the ways humans use the oceans – for dumping, fishing, shipping, oil production, etc. – and our long history of mishandling property rights and the concept of ownership. Plus, we might be forced to confront our unresolved hypocrisy in regard to indigenous human populations, racism, gender inequality, and child welfare, just to name a few. Any of those arguably adverse consequences of recognizing dolphins as people could provide the basis for a great new story.

Dolphin personhood could be beneficial to humans, too. There's an increased potential for discovery with the help of dolphin reconnaissance; they might already have a wealth of medical and energy information to share with us. Plus, reclaiming our trash from the oceans and processing it safely on land could create a lot of very secure jobs for humans. Then there's the incredible opportunity to communicate with other sentient life without the inconvenience of first achieving faster-than-light space travel.

The concrete stories she suggests include dolphin astronauts, a human-dolphin war, aliens who visit Earth and favor dolphins over humans, interspecies romance and adoption, and even dolphins knowing where to find Atlantis. The "Science In My Fiction" blog looks like it'll be a godsend for writers looking for story ideas. [Science In My Fiction]