Monday, October 22, 2007

IgNobel candidates?

Take a look at this list of top 10 most bizarre scientific papers. Here's No. 4:

Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans (S. Ghirlanda, L. Jansson, M. Enquist; Stockholm University; 2002): Authors at the Stockholm University explain it: "We trained chickens to react to an average human female face but not to an average male face (or vice-versa). In a subsequent test, the animals showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences (obtained from university students). This suggests that human preferences arise from general properties of nervous systems, rather than from face-specific adaptations. We discuss this result in the light of current debate on the meaning of sexual signals, and suggest further tests of existing hypotheses about the origin of sexual preferences."