Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scientific investigation

It came to my attention that there are some unanswered questions in this world. One of such has been pondered over by man for many, many years. There have been given many answers. I have done some research and come up with a suitable answer to it.

The question: "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

One simple answer I found:

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" is one of the oldest and most famous joke riddles still in use in the English language. The most common answer to this riddle is "To get to the other side." When asked at the end of a series of other riddles, whose answers are clever, obscure, and tricky, this answer's obviousness and straight-forwardness becomes part of the humor. Some psychologists believe the riddle's humor comes from the fact that its answer is expected to be funny, but is not.

But that is not the only answer. Another answer from a more scientific view:

The question "Why did the chicken cross the road" is invalid. It is invalid because "why" assumes that the chicken had some reason for taking the action "cross the road". This, in turn, assumes that the chicken has the concept of "road"; after all, if the chicken doesn't know that the road is there, then the chicken did not - from the chickens point of view - cross the road, and consequently it is meaningless to ask for its motivations for doing so.

Since chicken is an animal, it is unlikely that it has the concept of road in the same sense than humans do; since it is a bird, whose ancestors were probably capable of flight in the near past, it is unlikely to have the concept of road in any sense - why would a flying bird need roads?

Therefore, the chicken can never have any motivation for crossing the road, since from the chickens point of view, it never does any such thing. It simply moves from one point to another, and these points happen to be on the opposite side of a flat area of ground. No road-crossing has happened.

Think of it this way: if you walk over a scent trail left by some animal, and you don't know that the trail is there, it is foolish to ask your motives of crossing that trail. One can ask your motives for walking in the first place, but the crossing was pure coincidence and not something you chose.

Finally we must address the standard answer to the question: "To get to the other side." It seems to imply a knowledge of the road (to understand 'the other side' the chicken must have knowledge of some object with two sides, understand that it is on one side of said object and desire to cross the object to reach the other side). The chicken must have crossed the road for the sole and ultimate purpose of reaching the other side of "the road". We are to reconcile this with the (most unassailable) assumption that the chicken has no knowledge of the road "as a road" and the need to allow this statement as a positive answer to the question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" We have specified that the chicken has no knowledge of a road "as a road". However, we have never suggested that the chicken has no knowledge of the road "as something". What then is the nature of the road as the chicken perceives it? We would not be unjustified in suggesting that at the very least the chicken has access to its own sensory data. It then must have a knowledge of the road as the "extended-hard-flatspace". We need go no further in our suppositions. We have here a chicken with an exploratory bent who wishes to discover what lies beyond the "extended-hard-flatspace". This adequately answers the question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" with the statement "To get to the other side" all without in the least requiring that the chicken understand roads in the sense that we as humans understand roads.

This information was taken from the site
I’d just like to say that so I don’t get sued or something.

I found neither of these answers very helpful, so I did some of my own research.

Chicken brains are very small, although in several places I heard that chickens have two brains, that's why they can run around with no head. Also, from what I have heard, chickens are like one of the least intelligent animals on Earth. There is no way they would be able to comprehend what a road was.

My final answer to the question is:
The chicken is simply not smart enough to cross a road, therefore, it just crossed a large flat area, likely to get to food or something similar.

Next question I will find the answer to: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?