Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Solving Life's Great Mysteries, One Step at a Time

Finally, after millennia of investigating one of the most profound metaphysical questions in human history, we get an answer. . . .


Liam said...

Now if they can just figure out exactly why the chicken crossed the road...

Jeff said...

Did Ray Llul have an opinion on this?

I don't know. Nottingham University, eh? Sounds like something some SUNY Binghamton guy would come up with... Isn't Binghamton the flagship university in the SUNY system...?

crystal said...

Oh good - one less thing :-)

cowboyangel said...


A comment from the Slashdot post on the egg-chicken article:

"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 propably 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."

See also the wikipedia entry: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" This riddle first appeared in print in . . . New York. 1847.

You can also visit: www.whydidthechickencrosstheroad.com for various occasionally humorous answers - [Karl Marx: It was a historical inevitability.

Louis Farrakhan : The road, you will see, represents the black man. The chicken crossed the "black man" in order to trample him and keep him down.

Ronald Reagan : I don't recall.]

If, after all this, you still feel the need for an "answer," I believe the traditional one still holds valid."

cowboyangel said...


I did a Google search on Lull and chickens and eggs, but nothing turned up. Maybe Liam came across something in his research.

Do I detect a slightly satirical tone in your SUNY Binghamton questions?

No, Binghamton isn't the "flagship" of the SUNY system. There is no flagship SUNY school. Unless, perhaps, it's SUNY New Paltz.

But you knew this already, didn't you? There are names for people like you. but since this is a family-friendly blog, I'm not going to use them.

cowboyangel said...


BTW, the mighty State University of New York at Stony Brook Seawolves football team whipped up on the Georgetown Hoyas last Saturday, 35-28, to open their season with a solid message to the rest of the conference.

Binghamton doesn't even have a football team!

cowboyangel said...


Yes, you can stop fretting over the "which came first, the chcicken of the egg" mystery. That gives you more time to fret over other things!

BTW, I was away and haven't been able to look for the Blackfriars article yet - will try to do that today.

crystal said...

Thanks, Will. From a vegetarian's point of view, Colonel Sanders' answer to the chicken crossing the road question had a certain poignancy ...
I missed one?

Jeff said...

Hi William,

Don't know if you saw the game. Like I said over at my place, it was too bad about that ankle injury to Pennington. That was really bad luck, and it changed the whole complexion of the game. Hope he bounces back OK.