Woke Thoughts at 3am – What Came First? The Chicken or The Egg?

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After a wild time in Jailbreak HQ today we have been left with a little additional time to spare to do something productive during the 12-8am shift where the sleep deprivation has well and truly began to sink in. That is why we are tackling the age old debate, what came first? the chicken or the egg?

What does the public (aka. Surge Radio) say?

The chicken must come first: otherwise what laid the egg? I mean eggs don’t appear out of nowhere…

Other members say:

The chicken is the closest mammal to the dinosaur, the chicken had to come first. Its evolution. So the chicken evolved from other mammals and then laid the first chicken egg. So the chicken came first. Its science.

And another member, who I suspect was too high on caffeine to really understand the question, said:

the egg appeared as the result of a meteor hitting the earth.

The Chicken

Yeah. I mean that makes sense… What then of Neil Tyson’s suggestion that “which came first: the chicken or the egg? The egg — laid by a bird that was not a chicken.” He argues that it was a bird as genetically close to a chicken as possible, with an unrecognizable small amount of evolution in the next generation making that a chicken. So a chicken-like bird laid the egg which was a chicken. But given that there isn’t a distinct moment a chicken becomes a chicken (it’s just too vague) this argument doesn’t really work. It needs all animals to have a distinct ‘line’ which makes them that animal. But (in the same sense), is there a moment a human becomes a human? Plus we end up in an infinite regress where various X-like animals breed x-type animals. What would be the original animal? Then it would be true that (i) there is no explanation of the first egg itself and (ii) no animal strictly speaking lays the egg of that animal. I’m not sure many people would be happy to accept either conclusion.

The Egg

Okay well…obviously the answer is egg. Don’t be daft, there is no need to keep this discussion going any longer.

Fine, okay if you insist then I will tell you why.

The most simple explanation is eggs existed before chickens did because of course, chicken’s can’t possibly be alive without an egg and the egg has been in existence for millions of years because past species breed with eggs. Research tells us that the oldest fossil of a dinosaur egg is about 190 million years old. In comparison, the oldest birds are only 150 million years old. Furthermore, if we all agree evolution is a thing then that mean chickens must have evolved over time. So some half-chicken animal must have produced a mutated egg that resulted in the existence of a fully formed chicken but it probably a good few thousand years.

We’re now understanding why spending £54,000 was essential to our education and why staying awake for over 24 hours isn’t a great idea.

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I’m a third-year Philosophy and History student whose interests (outside my love for Tudor history) pertain to issues on equality, sex and moral ethics and education. I’m also Philosophy Academic President 2016-17.
@russb005

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