January 7th, 2017| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Bird brains? Nope! Not chickens. They, apparently, take after Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469–1527), the Florentine renaissance politician and writer who has lent his name to unscrupulous and deceitful behavior.

Or so says the author of “Thinking Chickens: A Review of Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior in the Domestic Chicken.”

The solo researcher from The Someone Project [!] at The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, published this in the peer-reviewed journal Animal Cognition, the other day.

My overall conclusion is that chickens are just as cognitively, emotionally and socially complex as most other birds and mammals in many areas.”

Who knew? Well, this is the Year of the Rooster, after all!

She concludes:

Chickens possess some understanding of numerosity and share some very basic arithmetic capacities with other animals. Chickens communicate in complex ways, including through referential communication, which may depend upon some level of self-awareness and the ability to take the perspective of another animal. Chickens have the capacity to reason and make logical inferences. For example, chickens are capable of simple forms of transitive inference, a capability that humans develop at approximately the age of seven. Chickens perceive time intervals and may be able to anticipate future events. Chickens have complex negative and positive emotions, as well as a shared psychology with humans and other ethologically complex animals. Chickens have distinct personalities, just like all animals who are cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally complex individuals.”


And what caught my eye:

Chickens are behaviorally sophisticated, discriminating among individuals, exhibiting Machiavellian-like social interactions, and learning socially in complex ways that are similar to humans.”


Yup, they were found to be masters of manipulation. Males would make food calls even when no food was present, in order to attract females to the area. (The smart females, on the other hand eventually ignored those males who made these false announcements!) Males would also cluck more quietly during courtship when rival males were present, to keep from alerting the competition to a potential mate.

Chicken psychology!

I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no chickens, but the Bible has a few things to say about deception.

[I was particularly fascinated by Proverbs 12 and all of its “antithetical parallelisms”—the “A but B” formula: A and B are antitheses of each other.]

The thoughts of the righteous are just,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
Proverbs 12:5

And …

He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.
There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:17–18

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
But counselors of peace have joy.
Proverbs 12:20

God takes a dim view of deceit:

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
But those who deal faithfully are His delight.
Proverbs 12:22

And there are consequences for such behavior:

A man will not be established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous will not be moved.
Proverbs 12:3

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
Proverbs 12:7

An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will escape from trouble.
Proverbs 12:13

Truthful lips will be established forever,
But a lying tongue is only for a moment.
Proverbs 12:19

Truthful, righteous, faithful-dealers, counselors of peace, and others of those ilk, are found praiseworthy by God.

A man will be praised according to his insight,
But one of perverse mind will be despised.
Proverbs 12:8

Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap