The Movie Dolphin Tale was a huge hit in the late summer. For a few weeks it was near the top grossing film in the U.S. It ultimate grossed roughly 85 million dollars worldwide. It starred some big name actors including: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Harry Connick, JR. It was “the heartwarming story” of a wounded dolphin who was rescued and given a “bionic” tail and it’s recovery. About the time the movie came out Melanie and I went on a trip that was highlighted by a “Dolphin Experience” in which we fed, helped train, and swam with dolphins. So I was inundated by the “dolphins are sooo smart” phrase. As I stood waste deep in water and watched the dolphins “interact” with us following the commands of the trainer I realized that, frankly, much of what was being done was more slight of hand than intelligence. The trainer would say something like “Darla, do you like these people?” And the dolphin would jump out of the water vigorous shaking it’s head up and down. What I noticed was that as the trainer “asked” Darla, he would also blow on the little whistle a certain number of times. The dolphin didn’t understand the question - he can’t speak English (the trainer barely did) - he speaks “whistle.” He was merely responding with an action that gave him some tasty morsels.
I must admit that dolphins are amazing animals - not surprising - they were created by an amazing God. Yes, dolphins are intelligent - they were created by an intelligent Creator. They communicate and can be trained. But let’s not lose our minds - they are still animals. Some act like they are on the same level as humans, or smarter, more compassionate, blah, blah, blah.
Listen, when they create a bionic leg for a man who lost his leg in an accident then I’ll buy it. When they can conceive of a “show” where dolphins come and pay to see how they have trained humans then we can talk. When she can commission a study and report on how intelligent her counterpart humans are I’ll buy it! Come on. But as long as they are just squealing and performing to receive some free squid then they are just trained animals.
But this isn’t a missive to “diss” dolphins. Like a challenge! Be a human. Create, care, challenge yourself. You were made in the image of God - be like Him. Don’t be a dolphin, just responding to the whistles of a demented society, think, speak, write, do. Make something happen. Remember: we were “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Don’t just “be”, “do” and don’t just “do”, “be.”