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The Chicken May Have Come Before the Egg

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the that-settles-that dept.

Science 341

Muondecay writes "The age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, has been tentatively answered. The verdict? The chicken, or rather a key protein needed to form the shell of the egg. The protein, called ovocledidin-17, was known to be involved in binding calcite molecules that formed the shells, but the mechanism behind this was unclear until now. The protein acts as a molecular machine, binding to nanoparticles of calcite and guiding them to begin self-assembly of the shell. This gives tremendous insight for developing methods of nano-scale self-assembly based on natural processes, as well as settling heated cocktail party arguments everywhere."

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2nd link is bad. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908966)

That page is an error page. Can someone find the real link?

Re:2nd link is bad. (4, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909008)

Raped by a pack of niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909508)

it could happen to anyone..

Holy bad link (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908994)

The abstract link could hardly be worse. Here is one that actually works for the appropriate paper [wiley.com] .

Nice job, slashdot editors.

Re:Holy bad link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909018)

Same Session cookie error.

Maybe they have an anti-slashdot mechanism.

But what about other birds, lizards and dinasours that put eggs??

Do they mean chicken's egg that come after chicken???

Re:Holy bad link (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909096)

No the link target actually says cookie_setting_error.html

Re:Holy bad link (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909034)

Perhaps the egg shell developed as a result of a cookie setting error? Did chickens really eat cookies back then?

Okay then. (4, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32908998)

Which came first, the egg or the eggshell.

Thank me when this becomes a major philosophical debating point.

Re:Okay then. (4, Funny)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909056)

The whole thing is moot. If we really wanted to know which came first, we'd only have to conduct a relevant experiment [lolsnaps.com] . Although this could be one of those experiments where observation can alter the outcome...

CJ

Re:Okay then. (3, Insightful)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909082)

Well it would have been soft eggs first. In some of these soft eggs, there would have been mutations in the DNA resulting in a slightly increased amount of ovocledidin-17. These eggs would then have slightly harder shells and likely a higher survival rate due to more durability. As time goes on, those mutations giving even more ovocledidin-17 and resulting in even harder eggs, become more dominant than those DNA strands without the mutation etc.

At least, that's my understanding of how it all works...

So the egg came first, later developing an evolutionary advantageous shell.

Re:Okay then. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909124)

...until the eggs become too hard for the chicken to bite its way out, then you have a lower survival rate.

Re:Okay then. (2, Informative)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909190)

Which is why egg shells seem to stay at the apparent hardness they have now, without getting any harder (or softer) on average. Too hard and the chick can't peck it's way out, too soft and the egg breaks too easily... Also, many birds have a "tooth" on their beaks when they're at the hatching age, evolved to help them hatch from the shell. It's called selection pressure [wikipedia.org]

Re:Okay then. (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909266)

"Well it would have been soft eggs"

Seems to me that there is proof in today's world for that. Fish lay very soft eggs, or at least all of the fish that I'm aware of. Amphibians lay soft eggs. All the snake's eggs I've ever seen have tough, rubbery shells. Lizard eggs are harder than the snake's eggs that I've seen, but still don't have the brittle calcium egg shell that bird's eggs have.

Oh wait - let me back up a wee bit. I've found a few bird's eggs in the wild that were less hard and brittle than chicken's eggs. Apparently, not all birds produce the same type of egg shell. Duck's egg shells are more rubbery than chicken's eggs.

Nope - no citations for any of that - just personal experience. Go buy a jar of caviar, and examine those fish eggs.

Re:Okay then. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909454)

It sounds like you're suggesting something like evolution is actually plausible. I believe the correct answer is "whichever one the bible tells you". If it's not in the bible then you shouldn't ask, because if God wanted you to know he would have put it in the bible.

Re:Okay then. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909108)

Which came first, the egg or the eggshell.

Bird seed.

Re:Okay then. (1)

blackbeak (1227080) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909292)

Which came first, the egg or the eggshell.

The chicken's father.

Re:Okay then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909142)

It was actually the rooster that came first.

Me fail logic? That's purple! (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909002)

I can't help but feel that the reason why the "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" debate has continued to rage, outside Texas and the other retarded US states which deny Darwin, has a lot to do with arguments like this one. Maybe everyone who can tell the difference between a-protein-now-found-in-chickens and a chicken has long ago come to the conclusion that what came first was some animal different enough from a chicken that we wouldn't call it that, which laid an egg that contained an animal similar enough to a chicken that we would call it a chicken. And only the logic deficient and the religious crazies are left arguing the options.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909072)

If that wasn't enough, this case just tries to describe how an eggshell typical of chickens came to be. If one were to accept that the original "big question" is "philosophical" at the least, then it surely isn't just about chickens - what about eggs of fish or amphibians? Leathery shells?

It doesn't even have much to do with the "big question."

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909148)

What came first? The molecule or the cell? The prion or the virus?

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909434)

The bit. This is all a simulation.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909086)

Your statement has serious implications for the stork and his associates, as it discredits their business of bringing innocent babbys in eggs across the hemispheres. Due to your inflammatory and libelous allegations, Storks, LLC, will see you in court.

Storks Inc, is a family owned limited liability corporations, specializing in brining babbys to homes, and selling the new EggAborter Eggbeater. For $19.95 you can get this fabulous...oh wait, wrong reality.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (2, Funny)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909118)

specializing in brining [slashdot.org] babbys

Not a typo, they are hard boiled in salt water and cooked to perfection.

FTFM

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (4, Insightful)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909144)

Most people are really bad at dealing with ambiguities and shades of gray. To them the problem is a dichotomy Since the problem isn't really a dichotomy, it doesn't have a solution as a dichotomy, hence the endless arguing.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1, Redundant)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909268)

I agree, a lot of people see things on the extreams. Sure there are things in the world that are opposites. But most of what goes on usually is in a borderless state. You see it every where, political parties who debate the same crap for generations, both saying the other is wrong and assumes that one is right. While chances are is that they are both wrong.

It is also why I equally dislike the hard evangelical religions who figure most of the world will go to hell. And the far athiests who see's any one with the idea that God could exists as a product of iditocy.

As paridoxal this statement seems. Normally if you know that someone has a belief or phelosophy different then your own. And you see this person as sub human. Then you are probably a polerized person. No more enlighted then the rest of the public

And the stupid article doesn't even work then. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909166)

It's about a protein that modern chickens have that facilitates the development of the modern egg.

Therefore, at some time in the past that protein was NOT present in chickens (or proto-chickens).

Then, a non-protein-carrying proto-chicken laid an egg which hatched a mutant proto-chicken who DID have that protein.

So the answer, once again, is that the EGG was first.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909208)

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1719790&cid=32909122

You and he should continue to rage that debate.

Also, I just want to point out that while you're using reason, and reasoning out the problem, you aren't using logic since your argument does not follow any logical statements or conclusions in logical form.

That seems to be a commonly tossed around misconception, and people (especially here) like to proclaim themselves to be bastions of logic, even though they don't know how to use it and cannot apply it.

Logic is a very powerful form of argument, reasoning is not.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909222)

Hey look, you got a few people with mod points in your echo chamber to agree with you!! Congrats, you must be so proud. so. proud.

Isn't it simple? (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909232)

I never read anything on it, but I assume it goes something like this: some chicken-like animal ancestor is being killed while they are carrying their offspring. Therefore, the animals that randomly develop methods to allow earlier separation - in the case, hardened eggs - developed harder and harder eggs, that can earlier and earlier be left on their own for longer periods of time.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

grim-one (1312413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909244)

I always took the view that sea creatures and dinosaurs laid eggs, long before there was any semblance of chicken or bird-like animals. No one ever specified it had to be a chicken egg.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909282)

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

Well.. all truly educated people know the rooster came first.

And only the logic deficient and the religious crazies are left arguing the options.

You should give examples. The finest one is Roy Comfort talking about the banana. Search YouTube for it. Comedy Goldmine, I promise.

Ohhhhh, and Peanut Butter Is An Atheists Worst Nightmare.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909284)

Funny thing here is that if Texas is the only state that doesn't entirely fall for darwinism, 49 states are unaware of the fact that scientists have yet to find solid proof of one creature becoming another creature...ever! This brings up two points:

1- NOW it makes sense why the US has got it's current government. Only one state was smart enough to recognize when someone is taking them for a fool.
2- Micro evolution is STILL a reality even if MACRO-evolution isn't. Otherwise, everyone would look pretty much exactly the same...

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909520)

A donkey crossed with a horse gets you a mule. That's a different kind of creature.

Or caterpillars turn into butterflies, if you want to take that view.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909318)

Why you got to hate??? if you want to believe you came from monkies,,, that's fine.. I believe that I was designed... NEITHER has been proven.. so why you acting like that??

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (2, Insightful)

kcitren (72383) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909468)

Unless you believe in Lamarkian evolution, the egg had to come first.

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (2, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909512)

It doesn't help that the question is vague. Dinosaurs were laying eggs long before chickens were around. However if you make the question "which came first, the chicken or the chicken egg," you then need to define if a chicken egg is an egg laid by a chicken or an egg that would hatch a chicken (if it was fertilized.) After the question is properly defined the answer is easy. (Personally i think it makes more sense to define a chicken egg as an egg laid by a chicken, since you can make that determination before the egg hatches, so i think my answer differs from yours.)

Re:Me fail logic? That's purple! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909618)

Only a chicken could produce a chicken egg. Whatever egg hatched the first chicken was not a chicken egg (which is what the question implies), but a whatever-the-parent-was egg. I wouldn't throw around terms like "logic deficient" so quickly if I were you, because there's a perfectly logical argument against your position.

Daetrin also raised a valid point, that it depends on how you define the question (and the definition is arbitrary).

Fossil Record (5, Insightful)

bckspc (172870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909012)

I dunno... dinosaurs laid eggs long before chickens roamed the earth.

Re:Fossil Record (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909152)

Okay smartass so what did the dinosaurs eat for christmas lunch?

Re:Fossil Record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909376)

Your mom.

easy one (1)

heptapod (243146) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909020)

Nobody came until the rooster did.

Ignorant (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909028)

Perhaps I am not up to speed on semantics or molecular biology, but the summary did not convince me in a clear an concise manner, and the abstract, was well, pretty abstract.

This gives tremendous insight for developing methods of nano-scale self-assembly based on natural processes, as well as settling heated cocktail party arguments everywhere.

Could somebody of more intellectual firepower exactly how this insight reaches the papers conclusion, based on this statement, or the researches implications, for the rest of us less biologically inclined?

Eggasperatingly flawed study. (2, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909032)

All chickens come from eggs, the first chicken egg would have been laid by the ancestor to the chicken.

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909052)

And why do you assume the first chicken was born from an egg?

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909156)

Is a "chicken egg" an egg that a chicken hatches out of? Or an egg that a chicken lays?

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909178)

All chickens come from eggs, the first chicken egg would have been laid by the ancestor to the chicken.

Don't make me go recursive on your ass!

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (1)

yamfry (1533879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909184)

I think it's more like: failure of a science writer extrapolates results to make cute headline. I'm pretty sure the scientists who performed this study facepalmed pretty hard when they read that article. I know I did.

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909220)

All chickens come from eggs, the first chicken egg would have been laid by the ancestor to the chicken.

But is it a chicken egg if it is not laid by a chicken? There were plenty of eggs (dinosaur etc) that came before chicken but in this debate we are limiting ourselves to chickens and chicken eggs. So the entire debate hinges on whether or not to count an egg which was not laid by a chicken but which contained a chicken.

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (4, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909600)

This is mostly irrelevant. A "Chicken" is just a point in time of a particular leaf point in the tree of life. Whatever creatures that were part of that tree that laid the first "chicken" egg was still able to mate with the first "chicken". The point at which you call them "Chickens" is when they're no longer able to successfully mate (as a population) with other offshoots from the tree, or the original, larger, body.

There's no hard point at which one species changes into another (which will confound your average creationist, who are constantly asking for there to be a sharp division between ancestors and child species), it's a gradual process involving thousands of mutations over many generations. Whatever laid the first Chicken egg was still a chicken, and if you go back far enough, it wasn't a chicken, so much as it was the ancestral node in the tree of life's species.
See http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/chickens_eggs_this_is_no_way_t.php [scienceblogs.com]

Re:Eggasperatingly flawed study. (1)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909388)

The study wasn't about chicken-or-egg, it was about a protein involved in egg formation. The journalists threw in the rubbish about chicken-or-egg.

The egg came first. (1)

ekran (79740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909036)

The egg came first. It is the only natural answer because there had to be an egg before there could be a chicken. Now usually the smartasses at this points out that the egg couldn't be there because it must have been laid by a chicken. To that the answer is that it was of course laid by another hen (different, not by much, but yet different) this process continues today even as we try to breed new stocks based on different properties in hens and cocks, creating new breeds.

Re:The egg came first. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909122)

It's all moot anyway. Any egg "from" which there would be chicken...obviously already has a chicken inside; certainly as far as genetic code / set of characteristics goes. It's chickens all the way down.

Re:The egg came first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909242)

Sorry to break your insightful comment, but the egg was already a non-chicken egg before it became fecundated by a non-chicken sperm cell.

Moreover, the egg shell is provided by the hen thus if you take chicken to mean dinosaur and egg to mean strong shelled egg, then the first dinosaur came from a proto-dinosaur hen in a floppy egg and the article is actually correct.

Re:The egg came first. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909452)

Well, yeah, it had half of future genome...and who knows which way it would go. In such state it's a bit outside of the "problem" - sure, you have germ cells which aren't chicken...but once they come to be it, you get (at the same moment) both chicken egg and...chicken (embryo). Hence it's moot.

"Floppy" -> "strong" egg couldn't be a completelly rapid overhaul anyway, embryos would have to adapt, too; and not very defining feature.

Re:The egg came first. (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909380)

// Sorry everyone, this is a reply to sznupi regarding a question he asked me in a different discussion that is now closed to comments.

The book that starts off about cell phones falling from the sky is "Singularity Sky" by Charles Stross (Who actually hangs out here from time to time.) A very interesting book, I've re-read it a couple of times since I first got it.

// I still think the mutated egg came first.

"Chicken first"? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909038)

Am I missing something? It sounds like they're saying that the egg came first, but they explicitly state the exact opposite.

What a crock! (1)

Walter Wart (181556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909042)

The article talks about a protein which has been coopted into egg production in birds. It doesn't deal with the sensational headline at all. The first creature which we could call a chicken came from an egg. Its bird ancestors hatched from eggs. The reptiles from which they derived laid eggs long before the protein in question made its way into eggs.

Re:What a crock! (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909154)

This article made it onto digg with the same asinine headline, and even diggers complained about it. I had hoped Slashdot wouldn't even post the damn thing. The headline is the only aspect anyone finds interesting, and it has nothing to do with the actual story.

I've upped my standards for scientific reporting, Slashdot. Up yours.

Can we at least agree on one thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909046)

That the chicken omelette came last.

The definitive answer to the question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909048)

The rooster.

Dinosaur Eggs (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909054)

Dinosaurs laid eggs long before chickens existed. Done.

Re:Dinosaur Eggs (1)

Radres (776901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909162)

Which came first: the dinosaur or the egg? Saying that a different creature from the chicken laid the egg from which the chicken hatched just pushes the problem back one more level.

Re:Dinosaur Eggs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909218)

Reptiles laid eggs long before inosaurs existed. Done.

Re:Dinosaur Eggs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909226)

No, it is a logical answer to the question. It complicates nothing. The question is what came first, the chicken or the egg. The answer is and always will be "the egg".

Re:Dinosaur Eggs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909240)

Ok, how about this for an answer, Who Cares?

The next question they need to answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909058)

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Re:The next question they need to answer: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909158)

To escape from the dinosaur?

Interesting research. Dumb headline. (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909066)

What's interesting is that the mechanism by which eggshell is constructed is now better understood, perhaps well enough to lead to practical applications.

But to call it a solution to the "chicken or the egg" problem is just a really really lame attempt at humor, not to mention almost entirely misleading.

Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909084)

Typical non-reporting by todays news outlets. Nothing to see here, move along... the journal on which this tripe is based discusses the make-up of a chicken shell (how it allows a baby chick to peck its way out, but prevent other mature birds from pecking their way in), and has absolutely nothing to do with the age-old arguement toted here and elsewhere.

Pharyngula (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909120)

No, it didn't. [scienceblogs.com] The Mainstream Media sucks at reporting science :\

Evolution (1)

munky99999 (781012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909140)

Evolution occurs through mutations. The applicable mutation would have occurred during the egg stage. The first chicken with an appropriate amount of mutation would have happened at the egg stage. The applicable article would have been an evolution a stage ahead of the actual genetic level.

The egg came first (1)

picklepuss (749206) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909150)

I always thought this one was pretty simple. Dinosaurs laid eggs. Birds are directly descended from dinosaurs. The chicken is a bird. The egg came before the chicken.

Eggs came first. I've been saying that forever. (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909172)

Not all eggs have a hard shell In fact, most don't - so this is a stupid question.

Additionally, other animals laid eggs well before chickens ever appeared. Dinosaurs, for example.

And there were certainly dinosaur eggs before there were ever chickens.

And fish eggs. And insect eggs. So unless the chickens crossed the time barrier to get away from Colonel Sanders, eggs came before chickens.

The egg came first.. (3, Informative)

yossie (93792) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909188)

Chickens are by definition born of an egg. EVERY chicken ever lived did. So, the egg came first. What gave birth to that egg was not 100% chicken.. So Say I.

Article is flawed. Egg came first. (4, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909236)

Putting aside extremely rare mutations in DNA (usually only caused by nuclear anonmoly), whatever DNA you have when you are born, you have when you die.

Life forms do not mutate/evolve/ during their lifespan; the mutations occur at the DNA copying phase when they are creating the next generation.

As such - the egg (IE embryo) came first. It is totally fundamentally impossible for the chicken to come first, because the chicken came from an embryo.

Re:Article is flawed. Egg came first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909330)

"Putting aside extremely rare mutations in DNA"

While I agree with the rest of what you wrote- technically our DNA is degrading/changing all the time.. though its not going to change our species or give us a 4th eye (what, you don't have 3?)

Re:Article is flawed. Egg came first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909346)

Too bloody right! I agree whole heartedly! I have never considered there to ever be a question. The egg can from a predecessor of the chicken and the chicken came from the egg!!!!!

Case closed...... sorry for all the shouting.

Re:Article is flawed. Egg came first. (5, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909406)

You haven't got the memo about epigenetics and RNA yet, huh? Sorry, you're actually incorrect. Some of how you experience life does in fact get passed along to your offspring... well, it does if you're one of those few lucky Slashdotters to wean yourself off of here and WoW and escape Mom's basement and find a woman with low standards and all that.

Re:Article is flawed. Egg came first. (4, Informative)

gringer (252588) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909504)

Life forms do not mutate/evolve/ during their lifespan; the mutations occur at the DNA copying phase when they are creating the next generation.

VZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZLA

  • Cancer is an obvious mutation of DNA during the course of a person's lifetime.
  • Viral infection mutates DNA in order to replicate (e.g. warts, influenza).
  • Our immune system mutates DNA in order to generate antigens for foreign bodies.

Additionally, your body is fixing DNA problems (not always correctly) all the time due to sun damage, free radicals, heavy metals, oxygen, and other nasty everyday stuff. I would actually say that even at birth, it's unlikely that any two cells in your body are alike in terms of the DNA they contain (except red blood cells...). They differ by a [usually] small, insignificant amount, but they'll still be different.

Re:Article is flawed. Egg came first. (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909584)

As I understand the argument, what you're saying is completely irrelevant. Here's how it works (I think):

1. A proto-chicken lays a proto-egg which contains a chicken. Because the proto-chicken lacks the protein required for the proto-egg to become a chicken egg, it isn't a chicken egg.
2. Said chicken eventually lays a proto-egg which also contains a chicken.
3. Because the chicken has the protein required to turn a proto-egg into a chicken egg, our first chicken has laid the first chicken egg.

Of course, this still doesn't really solve "which came first," because there's no way to know that this hypothetical proto-chicken doesn't also have this chicken protein, and that whatever evolutionary traits we decide are required to separate the proto-chicken from a chicken evolved later.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909254)

Chicken vs. Egg always cracks me up.

Surely there were animals capable of laying eggs before there were Chickens.

Since it is possible for animals that aren't Chickens to lay eggs, but it isn't possible to get a Chicken from anything but an egg, the egg must logically have come before the Chicken.

So... the first chicken no doubt hatched from an egg laid by an animal that could almost (but not quite) be classified as a Chicken.

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909470)

Everyone but you understands that it is implied that the egg is a chicken egg.

Actually, here science and the Bible agree. (2, Interesting)

koelpien (639319) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909256)

Actually, if this theory is indeed true, science and the Bible agree on this one. Genesis says that God created the birds of the air, not eggs that later hatched into birds.

Specifically, the Bible states fish were created first, birds of the air second, and mammals third, which may roughly line up with evolution, if you're supposing birds evolved from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs came out of the seas, and mammals came along after the dinosaurs left the scene...

Kinda lines up; weird, huh?

It's just Creation v. Evolution (1)

Warwick Allison (209388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909288)

It's just Creation v. Evolution. There is no "debate". In Genesis, God created birds (not eggs); meanwhile, the fossil records clearly shows creatures all the way back to the oceanic ancestors of chickens laying eggs long before any birds, let alone specifically chickens. Any scientist who is still "pondering" this should go hang out with Paul Davies or some other Templeton Prize winning fool.

Easy to answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909302)

Actually, the Chicken came first, no matter which side of the religious argument you fall on.

It is really easy if you think about it. The key here is what is a chicken egg. I went to the store and purchased 1 dozen chicken eggs, and checked each and every one of them. There were no chickens in any of them (though enough egg parts to make a huge omelet). So, it is not called a chicken egg because it contains a chicken, therefore it must be called a chicken egg because it came out of a chicken.

Therefore, the chicken had to come first.

The real question is where did the chicken come from. Creationists would claim it was created (and thus the chicken came first), evolutionists would claim it came from an egg that came from a creature very similar to, but not quite a chicken. This egg did not come from a chicken, so was not a chicken egg, but the newly born chicken still came before it laid any of its own eggs (which would be the first chicken eggs).

Nothing to do with the classic question... (5, Insightful)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909314)

Oh god, I can't believe this drivel reached Slashdot. Let me explain what's happened here:

<Reporter> Hi, Scientist, thanks for meeting with me today. I'd like to write a story about your work. Could you please explain a little?
<Scientist> We've definitively proven and carefully described the role that protein ovocledidin-17 plays in eggshell formation
<Reporter> Wait, so let me get this straight, you found ... stuff ... inside the chicken that's ... necessary for producing eggs?
<Scientist> Er... yes.
<Reporter> So... that means the chicken came before the egg, right...?
[Scientist to self: Oh god, why couldn't Bob handled this damned interview]
<Scientist> Obviously, it's not really what we were trying to get out of our simulations, but it's an interesting question isn't it?
[The above is a direct quote from researcher Colin Freeman. You can see he is declining to answer by way of polite deflection.]
<Reporter> Excellent! Well, that's about all we need, it was great to meet you and we'll be in touch.
<Scientist> Er... nice... you too...
[Reporter goes back to HQ to write the article]
<Reporter> Okay, I've got this material about a chicken protein... um... ovocledidin-17... it's in chickens and it helps makes eggs and MAN is this stuff boring. Hey I know! What was it he said about the chicken and egg thing I asked him? [Looks at notes.] Well, alright! He didn't deny my proposition that the chicken came first! He must be agreeing with me! Alright! I'll just title my story "Scientists answer ages-old Chicken or Egg question." That oughta grab some eyes.

[Every news outlet in America proceeds to run story]

[Smart people everywhere cringe and sigh]

Real questions, answered, finally (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909320)

I am very pleased with the answer too. Not to gloat or anything, but I told you so

Now we can move on to the really hard questions: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a BP oil well spews millions of gallons of oil, but nobody's allowed close enough to see it, does it really sully the water?

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909340)

How does this prove anything? Do reptile eggs have this same protein? It seems to me that of course what came first was live birth fish, and that soft multi cellular eggs came next, and then amphibians with thicker surfaces that could survive changing water levels came next, and then land survivalble eggs, then leatherlike eggs like reptile eggs, that eventually give way to hard shell eggs. The literal chicken came far after the egg, simply because the egg as a reproductive device evolved far before birds of any kind.

Re:I don't get it (1)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909444)

How does this prove anything?

It doesn't prove anything. The headline is just sensationalistic journalism. In fact, it's bordering on misinformation. The study had nothing to do with answering the chicken/egg question. The study was about a particular protein and its roll in the formation of eggshells. The interviewed scientists clearly state that the purpose of their study wasn't to answer the chicken/egg question, and then fail to state any opinion about which answer they think might be right.

They also found that the egg can't be produced without the protein ovocledidin-17 in the chickens' ovaries, so that means that the chicken must have come first. Right?
"Obviously, it's not really what we were trying to get out of our simulations, but it's an interesting question isn't it?" Freeman said.
-- Scientists solve chicken and egg riddle [cnn.com]

In other words, Mr Freeman is saying: "that's a nice and cheeky question Mr Journalist, but go ahead and get bent anyway."

Reptiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909350)

The Reptiles and Fishes lay eggs even before the chicken even exist

I'm sorry... (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909382)

But I've never seen a chicken with a shell.

Sound of One Hand Facepalming (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909392)

The Chicken is the Egg, YOU FUCKING MORONS.

Re:Sound of One Hand Facepalming (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909592)

Why did the egg cross the road?

Nope. It just doesn't work.

Case closed (-1, Offtopic)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909404)

This proves the Anunnaki, aka the Watchers, aka The Shining Ones created all life on earth.

Personally, I was convinced by the incredibly rapid evolution of wheat from an inedible grass to a harvestable cereal grain. It's hard to come up with a way that happened 20,000 years ago without some serious fiddling with the DNA.

Tonight I sleep wrapped in the confidence that the 12th planet is a-comin' round again.

Damn, ice-cold vodka on an 88 degree evening really clarifies the thinking.

Darwin was right (1)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909458)

If one accepts the premise of natural selection based evolution, then the only possibility is that the egg came first.

The first chicken would have been laid in an egg, whose parent was something other than a chicken (perhaps a bit more dinosaur like, reflecting its earlier origins).

The paper as I understand it isn't showing whether the "chicken" or the egg came first, but rather, the original chicken-like organism (either a dinosaur or something earlier) or the egg it came in. These are actually two very different things.

Exactly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32909536)

Stephen J Gould: "A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg."

And...the point? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909540)

I'm curious, other than "tentatively" satisfying this rather pointless question/joke, was there any other point in wasting time and money on this? Perhaps they were actually looking for a cure for cancer and just stumbled on this? Oh, wait! I see that now we've figured out a way to create our own eggshells overnight. Phew, that's certainly a relief, I was worried about mankind not having that to put in our time capsule for future generations to gawk at...

Perhaps British scientists could now get back to working on the "little" problems, like figuring out a fucking way to actually fix this "small" oil leak they have over here...Just a thought...

total BS (0, Redundant)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909594)

This report is total BS and not worthy of mention. We know that reptiles lay eggs (not all but a good number), and we know that dinosaurs laid eggs (having found fossils). There is extremely strong evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs, and at some point in that evolution, the chicken appeared. Clearly the thing that the first chicken (wherever you care to draw the line) hatched from was an egg. So the egg came before the chicken.

Oh come on, there's 2 answers (0, Redundant)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#32909612)

There's answer A which is the egg came first because eggs evolved long ago and many other animals lay eggs. (Like dinosaurs and fish which existed long before chickens.) If you mean a chicken egg then they evolved together. (IE there's is no hard and fast delination between not chicken/chicken and like wise none for not chicken egg/chicken egg.)
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