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Comments (28)


Cletus had violated a lot of farm animals in his life, but who would have thought today would have been the day he got down & dirty with Russell's Chicken.

Larry the Dial-Up Guy:

I git the cartoon. I don't git T.

All three guys are wrong, but in their own way ^^


Wonder how many times the world's problems have all been solved in a bar?

Too bad no one was taking notes.


Do you know how many great ideas and inventions were drawn out of a Bar Napkin? Hmmmm????????

Dr. Bob:

A logician after the first two guys would say if "God is love" and "love is blind", it must follow that "God is blind".

That's one heck of a leap of faith (or one heck of a wrong assumption) the third guy took to pronounce "Stevie Wonder is God".

Which brings us to T's post.

I think it's a reference to Bertrand Russell, analytic philosophy and Russell's chicken as noted in the following links:



We have some very smart and learned people here, and I'm certainly NOT one of them.

John Cox:

Hey Dr Bob

I like to think these posts inspire the "smart guy" in all of us.


DR. BOB is indeed correct--Russell's Chicken is a parable that illustrates the fallacy of induction--although I learned it long before there was an "Interwebs".

I think if a person is "smart & learned", it's because one was blessed with both a brain & the potential to develop it--it's not something one develops one's self out of thin vapor. DR. BOB, you've obviously been gifted with the same stuff, because: (1) you know what a logician is; (2) you obviously understand the process; (3) you discovered the parable of Russell's Chicken of your own volition; & (4) you understand it.

"T's Notes" on Russell's Chicken (at least this is the way I first learned it):

(1) There's this chicken.
(2) A farmer opens the gate, feeds the chicken, & leaves.
(3) This happens each day for 2 years (give or take).
(4) The chicken observes, "Each day the gate opens at the same time & I get fed."
(4) One day, the farmer walks through the gate, summarily picks up the chicken, lops off his head, & fries him for dinner. The end.


(5) The chicken made the false assumption (i.e., the error of induction) that because something happened repeatedly in the past, it would continue to happen that way in the future.

Past performance is no indication of future results. Never assume "because". Be careful of where you put your faith.

Now--when Glenn Beck talks about this in the next few days (or weeks), remember where you heard about it. ( :


Damn! And here all this time I thought "Russell's Chicken" was a casserole recipe involving alcoholic spirits!


Wow, one little cartoon and we're into Classic Philosophical thought about what could or will happen in the future. WOW!

Just to bring you back from the philosophical cloudy cosmos, remember the scene in "Gone With The Wind" with the Man Servant chasing the Chicken around the yard with a Cleaver! Add that to the discussion. LOL

Jonathan Logan:

Karl Popper would say that the "searchlight theory" shows that the three individuals are looking for something better/bigger/stronger than themselves rather than settling for what would fall into their laps via the "bucket theory".

Thomas Kuhn would argue that the first two men are searching for a new paradigm with which to base a period of "normal science wherewhich the third guy could begin an observational period to ascertain whether Stevie Wonder is, in fact, god.

Or something



I guess I should have noted that Russell's Chicken is a specific, narrow illustration of the fallacy of induction that is often used as an object lesson in addressing broader inductive errors (such as the one in the 'toon).

Maybe I should have just left it at DR. BOB'S & JOHN'S comments.


Actually--back when times were simpler & I was much, much younger--my father filled "the farmer's" role whenever we had chicken for dinner at Granny's. A tame yard bird isn't all that difficult to catch. If they're expecting dinner, they'll chase you--even when you have an axe in your hand.

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John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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