It is a fact that there has never been a documented attack by a wild orca on a human being. There is also the tendency to be anthropomorphic — to attribute human feelings and motives to the behavior of nonhumans.
Some Neanderthal tools, artifacts, and cave art from the Chatelperonian period have survived and remind us that we are not the only species capable of material artistic expression.Neanderthal ivory and bone carvings were used for adornment in addition to more practical purposes.At the same time, cetologists observe, document, and decipher evidence that points to a profound intelligence dwelling in the oceans.It is an intelligence that predates our own evolution as intelligent primates by millions of years.Ingrained anthropocentric attitudes dismiss the very idea that a dolphin or whale could be as intelligent as a human being, or more.
In this respect, science is dogmatic and intransigent, differing little in attitude from the Papal pronouncement that the Earth could not possibly revolve around the sun.We cannot even understand with any certainty what a human being from a different culture, speaking a different language, may be thinking or perceiving.Even among people of our own culture, language, class, or academic standing, it is a formidable task to peer inside the workings of the brain.They have exhibited discriminatory behavior in their dealings with us, treating us not like seals fit for prey but as curious objects to be observed and to be treated with caution.They can see beyond to the manifest technological power that we have harnessed, and they can adjust their behavior accordingly. The interpretation of behavior remains subject to the bias of the observer; one observer can classify behavior as intelligent, and a second observer will dismiss the same behavior as instinctive.In this respect all brains other than our own are alien, and I might venture to add that the inner workings of our individual brains are still a mystery to each of us that possess one.