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Everyone knows the famous question:
Which Came First; the Chicken or the Egg.
But where did this interesting question come from and do we finally have an answer?
What better time finally answer these questions than heading into Easter.
It’s one of those philosophical questions that has entertained and confounded people for years. So what are the origins of this brain busting puzzler?
The first recorded reference harks all the way back to ancient Greek philosophers when Aristotle (384-322 BC) wrote:
“If there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother — which is repugnant to nature. For there could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.”
It’s a tangled skein, if one of the greatest thinkers of all time was confused.
Since the chicken emerges from the egg, and the egg is lain by the chicken, it appears to be an ambiguous and circular question with no possible answer.
So it beggars the question, is there an answer?
A few years back Disney organized a debate to promote the release of the movie “Chicken Little”. From which the overwhelming opinion determined that the egg came first.
According to Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics, because the organism inside the eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken it would soon develop into, the first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the chicken species, would be this first egg.
Professor David Papineau, an expert in the philosophy of science, agreed with this opinion by suggesting that the first chicken came from an egg and that proves there were chicken eggs before chickens. He went on to argue that “it is a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it”.
However could they both have it wrong?
If they argue it is a chicken egg because it has a chicken in it, they’ve forgotten there must be a chicken in existence at the same time.
Surely what they have done, is prove that the chicken and the egg arrived together. Or at least very, very close to one another.
The first chicken egg also contained the first chicken. Which evolved from something that was not quite a chicken.
Now the debate can be taken further; to consider the specifics of how chickens develop, starting from a zygote, becoming an embryo around which a shell forms as it in turn becomes a chicken.
Still, we have to decide at which point the chicken actually changes from a developing embryonic life form into a little baby chick.
This is a metaphorical “can of worms” in its own right, since we as a society still can’t agree on when a human fetus actually becomes a living human baby.
Rather than get bogged down in moral debate over when life comes into being and what is and is not a baby chicken, I’ll try and put it more simply:
The chicken and the egg arrived at the same time
Finally, an answer to the age old question: Which Came First, the Chicken Or The Egg.
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