Saturday, 11 October 2008


I was in my kitchen, took out an egg and saw this tiny plume still attached to it... it begged the old enigma, what was first? The chicken or the egg? Because of the plume I smiled and thought, hhmmm, the chicken... did the research after I had photographed it.
I am pleased to present you the answer!

It is a question that has vexed philosophers since the Greeks.
But it seems we may now have the answer to the beguilingly simple question: "Which came first?" Well I’m happy to inform you: IT’S THE EGG!!!

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was puzzled by the idea that there could be a first bird or egg and concluded that both the bird and egg must have always existed:

"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."
The same he held good for all species, believing, with Plato, that everything before it appeared on earth had first its being in spirit.

"Whether chicken eggs preceded chickens hinges on the nature of chicken eggs," said panel member and philosopher of science David Papineau at King's College London.

"I would argue it's a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it. If a kangaroo laid an egg from which an ostrich hatched, that would surely be an ostrich egg, not a kangaroo egg. By this reasoning, the first chicken did indeed come from a chicken egg, even though that egg didn't come from chickens."

A panel think they may have solved that debate; they were unanimous on the correct chicken/egg pecking order. John Brookfield, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Nottingham said the solution involves piecing together the specification event in which chickens first evolved.

He imagines two non-chicken parents getting together and giving rise to the first individual of a new species because of a genetic mutation.
"The first chicken must have differed from its parents by some genetic change, the first chicken must have started out as an embryo in an egg, with a very subtle one, but one which caused this bird to be the first ever to fulfil our criteria for truly being a chicken," said Prof Brookfield.
"Thus the living organism inside the eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken that it would develop into, and thus would itself be a member of the species of chicken," he added.
The experts looked at the evidence in the long-standing debate over which came first - the chicken or the egg - and opted for the egg.
He explained that the reason was due to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life.
Professor Brookfield said: "The first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg, so I would conclude that the egg came first."

A joke that seems to support the argument that the chicken came before the egg follows thus,
"A chicken and an egg are in bed together when the chicken rolls over and starts to smoke. The egg then says, "Well that solves that argument then...”

LOL, hope you enjoy this? Thanx, M, (*_*)


Paul Indigo said...

I really enjoyed that and the logic is imPeckable :-)

Onno said...

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