Chickens are more intelligent than humans – a headline not in the Sun, but on Radio 4’s Today program.
Now I have a friend (odd I know, but definitely more than a passing acquaintance) who has chickens, and I have to say this feels like a marginal argument. But no, in one recognised test of intelligence, the good old chicken out performs us humans.
Apparently, If you put an item down in front of a small baby, and then put a barrier between baby and item, said baby will believe that the item is no longer there. Do the same with a chick and they clearly understand that the item is just round the corner and has not miraculously disappeared. Can’t argue with that.
Now I was intrigued by this announcement as I thought dolphins were the most intelligent creatures on the planet, and it turns out it’s chickens – I wonder how the dolphins feel about this turn of events. Perhaps chickens are only more intelligent than humans, and dolphins have nothing to worry about.
When I listen to dolphins ‘talking’ I can almost believe that I might be able to understand them, in the same way that I think I can understand the Clangers, but frankly the chickens have me totally foxed. I suspect that there is something about chicken conversation that I am doomed to misinterpret (I have the same problem with some humans if truth be told).
Of course it could be that there is a problem with this particular test of intelligence, perhaps chickens basically talk rubbish and humans are more intelligent than chickens after all - we can all sleep happily.
Of course the standard IQ intelligence test has also been subject to question and yet we continue to use it to categorise people as being disabled. Do I feel less of a person because I have been out-scored in a poor test by a chicken? Oddly, no. Are people that score less in a discredited IQ test less worthy of citizenship? Some people think so – one presumes they are also now worried about worldwide chicken domination?