General Question

_hxc_'s avatar

What comes first the egg or the chicken?

Asked by _hxc_ (7points) April 21st, 2009

a friend wanted to know!its so sill but i just have to know!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

Jayne's avatar

Which is right, evolution or creationism?

fireside's avatar

The rooster.

like most men

MissAnthrope's avatar

The egg.. whatever laid it may not have been a chicken, but if a chicken hatched, it had to hatch out of an egg first.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I approach this question from an evolutionary standpoint much like @AlenaD .

tinyfaery's avatar

Whoa. AlenaD came out for this question?

ragingloli's avatar

The egg.
Chicken hatch from eggs, but eggs need not be laid by chicken.
End of story.

Qingu's avatar

Eggs predate vertebrates by hundreds of millions of years.

Case closed thanks to the power of Science.

See also “why is the sky blue?” (atmosphere scatters blue wavelength more than red) and “if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?” (if sound is defined as wavelike compression of air, yes; if sound is defined as simulation experience in response to aforementioned stimuli created by animal brains, then no)

rooeytoo's avatar

Well after you figure this one out, can someone tell me why it crossed the road, please.

Qingu's avatar

You’re going to have to be more specific. Science can only answer if you specify a particular chicken and the environmental conditions surrounding the crossing.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Neither the egg nor the chicken came first. Adam and Eve came first. According to some people. Not necessarily me, though.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Qingu – I have a chicken named Chooka, a beautiful red brown hen. She lives in a coastal town in Queensland and I believe she was seen crossing the Sunshine Highway, does that help???

Jayne's avatar

@rooeytoo, but that does not truly strike at the root of her motives. Can you tell us anything about her character, some crucial detail that might give us a hint as to her aspirations and desires in crossing this road?

Qingu's avatar

Are there large quantities of seeds on the other side of this highway?

The problem with explaining animal behavior, especially animals with complex brains like vertebrates, is that there is a huge number of factors that go into any one action, up to and including the entire history of that animal’s life. If we were talking about an ant crossing the road, the answer would probably have to do with following a pheremone trail or, if the ant is a scout, simply scouting randomly. But a chicken is a more complicated matter so I’m still going to need more information.

rooeytoo's avatar

Well she is a very head strong hen. She just appeared in my yard one day, apparently flew the coup of some neighbors down the street. I was fearful of harboring her at first thinking I would be accused of chicken rustling, but the neighbor said I was welcome to her because she was a negative influence on the rest of the hens, an activist and feminist I think were the words they used.

So she moved into my back yard, but not for long, soon she observed the dogs and cat going in and out of their door and she decided she would be a house chicken. It is an ongoing battle to keep her out and allow the dogs their freedom. While she appears to be of reasonable intelligence, she was impossible to house break and it was not a good thing to have her inside. She did however have some interesting interactions with the cockatiel, they would often stare at each other in amazement.

She also had an ongoing interaction with the sulphur crested cockatoos who took a liking to her sunflower seeds. It was amazing to watch her patrol and guard her pan of seeds against a flock of hungry cockatoos, she was more often than not the victor.

I have since moved to a new residence in a state park where she is not allowed to reside. Consequently the house in Queensland is being rented to an older gentleman for a mere pittance of remuneration so that he will care for the chook! I think it is also important to add that she is very carnivorous and always tried to steal the dogs meat so eventually she had to have her own bowl when the dogs were fed.

Is that sufficient background to make an assessment???

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@rooeytoo—She obviously crossed the road to kick someone’s ass!—

Jayne's avatar

I would hazard that her trans-boulevardian adventure was undertaken in the assumption that, having once escaped and arrived at a house in which she was given free-ish range, a pan of seeds, and a bowl of dog meat, she would benefit in kind from similar, subsequent displacements. Futher psychological analysis would be necessary before arriving at a definitive conclusion, however. Perhaps you could arrange an interview with the subject?

rooeytoo's avatar

@Jayne – Well come on down, I am sure it can be arranged and thank you!

@evelyns_pet_zebra – very bloody likey, she is a one of a kind chook!

asmonet's avatar

I am so relieved people said egg.

You have no idea.

AstroChuck's avatar

A night of unbridled chicken passion.

DrBill's avatar

The chicken came first. On the fourth day.

The chicken crossed the road to show the opossum it could be done.

Critter38's avatar

If we are talking about which came first, a chicken egg (rather than a generic egg as indicated by Qingu) or a chicken, then the answer is neither.

This is because there is no “first chicken”, but an intergenerational continuum of subtly changing individual birds, which if considered through time, evolves through natural and artificial selection to be the chicken we know and love. As we cannot define which is the first individual chicken, we cannot define whether the egg it hatched from, or the mother which laid that egg, was in fact “first”. Hence, neither.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@tinyfaery – Whaaaaaaaat? What do you expect, I’m a biologist! ;)

Also, I was very proud of myself, because one night at the bar, I was pondering the chicken and egg conundrum. My girlfriend thought I was silly for trying to come up with an answer, saying there was no answer. But I was convinced there was, especially if you look at it in evolutionary terms. So, after some thought, I came to the conclusion it was the egg. The girlfriend still thought I was full of it, until I Googled it and found I was right. Apparently the conundrum is more philosophical than scientific.

tinyfaery's avatar

@AlenaD Isn’t it always?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Critter38 – You’re right, to a point. However, you must realize that external eggs as a reproductive form predate birds entirely, going back at least as far as dinosaurs. Thus, the hard-shelled egg came first, as a reproductive form. Whatever evolved to be what we call the chicken today, was merely a pre-chicken when it was laying eggs, making lots of little pre-chickens. Then, either by mutation or natural selection or whatever, one of those eggs produced the modern chicken.

fireside's avatar

An then there is the case of Professor Jack Horner who is attempting to reverse engineer a dinosaur from a chicken so that he can bring it on Oprah

MissAnthrope's avatar

Er. Did we learn nothing from Jurassic Park??

Critter38's avatar

“However, you must realize that external eggs as a reproductive form predate birds entirely, going back at least as far as dinosaurs.”

Yes clearly, see my referal to Qingu who makes exactly this point. Hence the reason for specifying a chicken egg rather than the evolutionary origin of the first “egg”. Which actually presents its own problems…but that’s another issue.

“Then, either by mutation or natural selection or whatever, one of those eggs produced the modern chicken.”

Here’s the problem. One of those eggs did not produce the first (or modern) chicken (unless chickens evolved via something akin to polyploidy..which they didn’t). There is no first in a continuum of parent offspring inheritence…there is gradation. As such there is no first chicken egg and no first chicken, hence neither came first.

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