Wild chickens bred to be unafraid of humans have smaller brains

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/08/27/wild-chickens-bred-to-be-unafr.html


Sounds like DeVos is way ahead of them on this.


This might explain the seeming comfort Trumptards experience with their fearless leader.


I get that this is a direct quote, but it still is not what the research says. The brain to body ratio was smaller. The animals with less fear that acted more domesticated actually had larger brains (fig. 1), but they were smaller relative to body mass.

This is not a good conclusion. A long-term evolutionary change in brain to body size is one thing. Here, the easier explanation is just that animals more comfortable around people ate more and grew fatter leading to a lower brain to body mass ratio.


What can we infer of humans unafraid of giving their government more power?

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The Bene Gesserit apparently lied to us all about fear being the mind killer. Witches.


like this?


Animals don’t have to be comfortable to get fatter, though. What’s routine in chicken breeding, feeding, and processing now - with the increasing size of parts in supermarkets and restaurants - is disturbing. Some of those parts look like they came from a turkey. :astonished:




This really ain’t new. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods covered this idea in great detail in Survival Of The Friendliest. Worth a read, especially given the current state of the world.

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How did they go about de-correlating the opposite causality (if you will): that the breeding practices generated smaller brains, which have as one effect greater docility? (“you didn’t read the whole reference, now did you? you @#$! It was clearly stated in the footnote to ref153 that they have unpublished data to reflect against that possibility from a separate cohort!!” …oh)


“Now we’ve taken this theory one stage further. If we increase the size of the penguin until it is the same height as the man and then compare the relative brain sizes, we now find that the penguin’s brain is still smaller. But, and this is the point, it is larger than it was.”

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There was a dead chicken on the expressway this morning heading into Boston.

At least it looked like it might’ve been a chicken, sure wasn’t a seagull.

Let me have men about me that are fat,. Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look .

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That we’ve long since domesticated ourselves. Modern humans have smaller brains, and retain more juvenile body characteristics into adulthood, than our paleolithic ancestors.

“Domesticated animals have smaller brains” isn’t a new idea. See domestication syndrome. Admittedly I’ve only seen it discussed in mammals before, maybe this is the first demonstration in birds?

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