Scientific American has a fun sub-blog by Charles Q. Choi entitled Too Hard for Science? He interviewed IEET Fellow David Brin on animal uplift. Brin outlines the problem:

Any attempt to begin such work would encounter furious opposition from animal rights groups, and not without some reason,” Brin says. “The initial and intermediate stages of an uplift project would entail experimentation, false steps, mistakes, and a lot of pain. Mystics claiming the candidate species are already noble enough as they are will sneer at the notion that dolphins or apes or parrots or crows or octopi have any need of our style of ‘intelligence.’

Ah, the problem of anthropocentrism rears its ugly head once again. We are the most intelligent, yes, but are we the best form of intelligence . . . that is a different question entirely. So the “too hard” for science part here isn’t the science itself, but doing the science ethically.

Also, I’m pretty sure corvids are jerks, so their rights may matter less. Test them first.