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Chicken and Egg Problem Solved

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the science-wins dept.

449

Java Pimp writes "It seems scientists and philosophers now agree which came first. The Egg. From the CNN article: 'Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life. Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in prehistoric times, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg. Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, told the UK Press Association the pecking order was clear.' So, does this mean we can now show P=NP?"

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449 comments

Old News (3, Funny)

databyss (586137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411841)

I solved that question in a paper for a philosophy class years ago...

Re:Old News (1)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412080)

No he's not a troll, this really isn't news, it was, to quote TFA
organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD.

Next news.... (4, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411842)

Complete details of why the chicken crossed the road... ba dum bum

Re:Next news.... (0, Offtopic)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411936)

I was listening to Paul Harvey the other morning. He said a nine-foot alligator came out of a canal in Florida, stopped at the roadway, looked in both directions, and then crossed the road when it was clear of traffic. Go figure.

Re:Next news.... (1)

Xichekolas (908635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412100)

Your sig would rock harder if it ended with a roundhouse kick to the face!

Alright, now answer me this: (1, Interesting)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411844)

Which came first, the Scientist or the Philosopher?

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (2, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411899)

Neither. It was the twit who said, "Why, God?! Why me?!"

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412006)

good job

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (1)

Roody Blashes (975889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411938)

Prior to the modern version of the scientist, there were still scientists. Those "scientists" were tasked primarily with explaining Creation. E.g. "why did God do this, how does God's Creation work".

Then, one day, they got smarter than a ball of wax and we got modern science in the sense that we know it today, diseases started disappearing at a nice clip, lifespans shot up, we went to the moon, and spam was invented.

So, I guess it depends on how you define "scientist": a fearful, ignorant welp with little to contribute to the world, or somebody who actually tries to answer real questions.

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411978)

Given that they orginially were the same thing, it's hard to say. But 'modern' philosphy traces it's roots back to anchient Greece and beyond, whereas 'modern' science started around the time of the Rennisannce...

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412052)

Sure, you can say modern science came after philosophy, but think back to when they found out about fire. They learned it and disemminated its knowledge to others. They didn't think why the fire was made, but how and what to do with it. I'm only just trying to argue, not quite serious.

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411991)

Philosopher.

Back in the day, science was considered to be a subset of philosophy. If you asked Newton what he did, he's have said "Natural Philosophy".

Re:Alright, now answer me this: (1)

Hsien (864759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412096)

Philosophy, science is a very new (18-19th centuary?) approach. Prior to that it was all considered "natural philosophy"

So, does this mean we can now show P=NP? (3, Funny)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411846)

Only for P = 0 or N = 1.

Re:So, does this mean we can now show P=NP? (3, Funny)

varmittang (849469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411872)

Reading the above post, I could have swarn it said PORN.

Re:So, does this mean we can now show P=NP? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412038)

It's a false dichotomy. It's also poorly written above, which is why the parent is correct. It should be:

"P == !P" or "P!=P" or "P == ~P" or "P equals not P"

Whatever syntax you'd prefer. Anyway, a contradiction that turns out not to be a contradiction doesn't invalidate the law of contraditions.

Re:So, does this mean we can now show P=NP? (1)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412058)

Actually, in more general terms, that would be:

        P=1
Z = | { F(x)P = NP }
        N=0

The function F(x) could have been anything from cosmic rays,
environmental out-of-boundary conditions, to the "hand of God"
that disrupted the embryronic DNA replication that became a
chicken.

But it did take man, over thousands of years of selective breeding,
to bring us "buffalo wings" and "chicken fingers".

Now that this one's solved... (2, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411849)

So when did the nuggets and fingers come into play?

I thought this was obvious to everybody (4, Insightful)

paul42w (693767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411850)

Something that was almost a chicken laid an egg that hatched into a chicken. So, the egg had to have been first.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411856)

If it was obvious, then why is it on Slashdot?

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411885)

Slashdot:
News for the ignorant. Stuff that's obvious.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (5, Funny)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412053)

If it was obvious, then why is it on Slashdot?

That's exactly why it's on Slashdot. :-)

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

snoopyjd (665929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411892)

That depends on how you define egg. If "Egg" is a chicken egg, and "Chicken Egg" is an egg that is laid by a chicken (as opposed to an egg that contains a chicken), then there had to be a chicken first to lay the egg.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411948)

But the question does not specify 'chicken egg', just egg. Not to mention that we can argue about your definition of chicken egg as you correctly suggest yourself.. but well.. nice but irrelevant argument :)

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (2, Insightful)

non0score (890022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411954)

That's where your logic fails. A "chicken egg" doesn't have to be laid by a chicken. Assuming that there is a hard speciation boundary, then the genetic differentiation can only happen between generations. I.e. during the production of genetic materials for the offspring, which in this case is the egg. Your argument is vaguely analogous to "God created human, so God must be human."

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

non0score (890022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412004)

Nevermind, I should read your post more carefully. =)

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412099)

Assuming that there is a hard speciation boundary
And that's where things fall apart. In fact, I don't think "species" has any clear-cut definition, nor have I heard one that would be reasonable. It's like trying to group every song written into genres - generally it's useful and easy to do, but it breaks down in boundary cases.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (3, Funny)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411909)

Something that was almost a chicken laid an egg that hatched into a chicken. So, the egg had to have been first.

But what if the almost-chicken converted?

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411917)

Something that was almost a chicken laid an egg that hatched into a chicken. So, the egg had to have been first.

Dinosaurs laid eggs long before chickens were a twinkle in the eye of that "almost chicken".

Much like the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, you have to know the right question first. "Which came first, the chicken or the chicken egg?". And to answer that, you have to define what a chicken egg is, is it an egg that hatches into a chicken, or is it an egg laid by a chicken? While its generally the same thing, as usual the intresting stuff happens at the boundry, between "almost chicken" and "chicken".

Because you'll never get anywhere if you don't define your terms :)

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411963)

And to answer that, you have to define what a chicken egg is, is it an egg that hatches into a chicken, or is it an egg laid by a chicken?

Because you'll never get anywhere if you don't define your terms :)

Please define "chicken."

KFG

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

statusbar (314703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412047)

Betcha that the 'almost-chicken' would taste JUST LIKE CHICKEN.

--jeffk++

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1, Interesting)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411922)

Something that was almost a chicken laid an egg that hatched into a chicken. So, the egg had to have been first.

one could also say...

Something that was almost a chicken gave (eggless) birth to the original chicken. So, the chicken had to have been first.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411977)

Eggless birth? what the hell?

Something that laid eggs laid an egg one day that hatched into something that was more like a chicken than it's parent. This happened a bunch of times. These continous changes happened over many generations to the point where humans can point and say "That's a chicken."

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412003)

Ahh, but an egg is always present in sexual reproduction, in your case it would simply be contained within the proto-chicken for it's entire existance.

If a proto-chicken divided asexually, it would not make a chicken, just two proto-chickens.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (2, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412025)

Something that was almost a chicken gave (eggless) birth to the original chicken.

The rate of evolution being as slow as it is, it's about 0% likely that a mammal (live birth) could give birth to a bird (egg laying) like that.

Maybe in Spore, though...

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412094)

The rate of evolution being as slow as it is, it's about 0% likely that a mammal (live birth) could give birth to a bird (egg laying) like that.

Wouldn't Punctuated Equilibruim take care of this problem?

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412103)

Except for the fact that chickens are birds, and birds evolved from dinosaurs, and dinosaurs layed eggs.

Of course this is a literal interpretation of the phrase, and doesn't take into account the larger problem that it points to, that is "chicken and egg problems". The general question is more like "which came first, the egg, or the egg producer"? Ultimately I think the answer to this lies in the distinction we make between egg and not egg. When do you start calling something an egg? Does it have to have a hard outer shell like a chicken egg? Is a single cell that exchanges genetic information with another cell, then divides into a multi-celluar thing an egg?

In reality the hard distinctions we make between things is a helpfull abstraction, but it's not exactly "real". Definitions are used to convey meaning, but the only thing that's real is the physical world, not our words for it.

Yeah that was my thought (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411971)

Did anyone honestly think the chicken came first?

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

Zerathdune (912589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411975)

THANK YOU!

the chicken and the egg problem has actually always gotten on my nerves, because it's held up as this unanswerable question, and I, as well as many other people I know, have long since figured out the answer. 3 seconds or so of thought from first being asked this question, once the brain is mostly developed, will give you the answer.

I imagine much of the difficulty people have answering this question is just because they are first introduced to it long before they have learned about evolution, and so the thought that something that isn't quite a chicken could give birth to something that is a chicken doesn't occur to them then, and then don't really give it a second look once they have learned what they need to know to figure it out. I'm just surprised it took this long for someone to say something loud enough for everyone who hadn't caught on to realize the truth.

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412030)

"the thought that something that isn't quite a chicken could give birth to something that is a chicken doesn't occur to them"

Wow, and people say having faith in God is hard. Seems that believing in evolution takes a much larger leap of faith....

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1, Insightful)

paul42w (693767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412079)

NOT believing in evolution takes a leap of faith believing in evolution only requires simple observation

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411989)

Indeed. I remember hearing this reasoning several years ago now. Slow news day, anyone?

Re:I thought this was obvious to everybody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412056)

unless an animal gave birth to a chicken and that chicken reproduced by ejecting an egg-like object which contained the embryo of another chicken.

Omelettes... (1)

sarlos (903082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411852)

So what it comes down to is prehistoric man decided not to make an omelette out of the first egg, and now we have chickens?

Obligatory Chicken & Egg Joke #928 (5, Funny)

shiafu (220820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411854)

So the chicken and the egg are laying in bed together. The egg's smoking a cigarette. The chicken says, "Well, I guess we know the answer to THAT question!"

Re:Obligatory Chicken & Egg Joke #929 (1)

AtomicBomb (173897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411956)

Q: Chicken or egg comes first?
A: On the same plate please. May I have some tea as well?

Re:Obligatory Chicken & Egg Joke #928 (2, Insightful)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412060)

Lying. They are lying in bed together. Unless the chicken is laying the egg, while it is smoking, or they are both laying...something. Dunno what an egg can lay, though...

Re:Obligatory Chicken & Egg Joke #930 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412071)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The rooster.

The chicken comes second, or not at all.

I don't get it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412083)

What do you mean?

Flawed assumption (3, Insightful)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411863)

They are basing their argument on a flawed assumption. They assume that the first chicken would have had to come from an egg because its genetic material says that it grows from an egg. It is entirely possible that the first chicken was born of a non-egg and of course without changing its genetic makeup, laid the first egg. There are examples of animals with multiple reproductive paths to the same result. Think of hydras, jellyfish, yeasts, fungi, aphids, slime molds and sea anemones to name a few.

I still believe that the first chicken was actually born of the very last chicken egg in existence, transported back in time by his noodly appendage [venganza.org] .

So, what does a mobius chicken taste like?

obvious answer (1)

rodentia (102779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411918)

Like frog's legs.

Re:Flawed assumption (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411945)

I sort of agree but don't. I think what happened was there was a chicken like bird, that someone got it's DNA raped by say radiation, and it of course laid eggs to begin with, but it's DNA was changed so much that it then became a chicken.

Re:Flawed assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412105)

"They assume that the first chicken would have had to come from an egg"

mammals come from "eggs" too. all animals do, dont they? Maybe not the type of egg you are thinking about but we all come from eggs

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411871)

I came to that realization when I was about 9.

Settled, almost (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411876)

Like any good theory we need evidence. So who is the unlucky sod going back in time to check the info? ;)

Re:Settled, almost (1)

syzler (748241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412029)

Like any good theory we need evidence.

Actually it IS a theory because there is no evedience to support it. By definition a theory is simply a conjecture. A good theory logically explains a phenomenon.

Some unlucky sod would have to go back in time to prove the theory. However if the theory was proved to be correct, it would be fact.

Now can we move on to more important issues??? (0, Offtopic)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411879)

Which is better, fried or scrambled?

Doh! (0)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411881)

Everyone knows the egg comes first... you can't make scrambled eggs without breaking the egg. You would think an egghead philosopher would think of something better to think about.

ahem...disney (1)

42Penguins (861511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411888)

"The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD."

I smell a conflict of interest. Since this study was obviously tainted, the chicken MUST have come first.

Re:ahem...disney (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411960)

Yeah, I really hope /. is raking in some good cash for my eyeballs on this one.

They messed up the punchline... (2, Funny)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411889)

Q: Which came first; the chicken or the egg?

A: The Rooster.

Evolutionarily speaking... (1)

sidfaiwu (901221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411890)

...don't fish eggs predate chickens by a few million years?

Re:Evolutionarily speaking... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412031)

A few million. Just a few. More like four hundred bloody million.

Re:Evolutionarily speaking... (1)

l5rfanboy (977086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412091)

Thank you. This is the stupidest waste of scientific funding I've seen in a long while, almost beating out the 'which toothpaste flows down a wooden plank' experiment they did back in '91.

Thanks! (1)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411891)

Thanks for ruining my dissertation, you jerks!

Pteradactachickendyl (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411896)

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Why the pteradactachickendyl of course.

If you're small enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411897)

then you'll realize that reasoning was always obvious, however, you can't answer the question THAT certainly, since what one calls "chicken egg" also includes the actual egg, not only the contents.

Maybe the first chicken was born from a pink egg, who knows.

obvious (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411898)

but really; how can they ever know, because evolution is so slow that you couldn't say that one generation was not a chicken and the next generation was... there will have been millions of years of blur...

Re:obvious (2, Insightful)

TheNumberless (650099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412005)

For this solution to work, you don't need to identify the first individual in the history of bird ancestry that can be rightly called a chicken, you just have to assume that it exists. No matter what reasonable criteria you use to distinguish between "chickens" and "not chickens" (and there's no denying that there's lots of room for argument here), such an individual exists that was the first to meet those criteria. And it hatched from an egg.

Is it? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412009)

I had an argument with my friends the other day, mainly about how species differentiate. If a person becomes a different species, they can't mate with the other persons in the population, since that's the definition of a different species.

My question is, do generations become new species (or lose their reproductive ability with members of the previous species) at once, or gradually over long periods of time? Because at some point that has to happen, and I can't imagine it happening gradually, they either can mate or they can't.

That Explains it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411905)

"The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD"

Some mothers do have 'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411913)

Hmmmmm. Betty. The cat did a whoopsee on the philosophy question.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411915)

Wow, no shit. It took them this long to figure it out?

I thought that this was Science Vs. Religion (4, Insightful)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411916)

I always thought this was a question of science vs. religion... If the egg came first, then clearly the chicken came from evolution (an animal like a chicken laid an egg that then became a chicken). However, if the chicken came first (scientifically impossible) then it was because made the chicken suddenly appear on the planet. So just wait for the ID people to refute this claim...

Re:I thought that this was Science Vs. Religion (0)

bob65 (590395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412027)

However, if the chicken came first (scientifically impossible)

What if, due to some mutation, some animal gave birth to a chicken (not via egg)? Then that chicken gave birth to an egg, etc....

Re:I thought that this was Science Vs. Religion (0, Flamebait)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412059)

It's easily a little more complex than that. The first chicken could have been birthed in a different form than an egg, and then laid the first egg as its offspring. Conversely, God could have made eggs first and had chickens hatch from them.

Nice try though.

Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411924)

This is the answer I've been giving to the logic exercise since I was a wee 'lil tot... please tell me they're joking about just figuring it out now.

Heathens! (1)

spikexyz (403776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411927)

The chicken was created on the fifth day you heathens!

eggs or chicken eggs? (1)

orb_fan (677056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411935)

This is true, but only if you assume that the egg refers to any egg - if it's a chicken egg, then the chicken must have come first as only chickens can lay chicken eggs.

Re:eggs or chicken eggs? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412097)

If a chicken comes out of an egg, it must have been a chicken egg. It couldn't very well come out of any other kind of egg could it?

Crap came first (4, Insightful)

SLOGEN (165834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411939)

Apparently, crap came first, the argument is plain stupid.

The egg clearly came first since chickens evolved from species already laying eggs.

If you ask if a specific chicken came before a specific chicken-egg, then probably yes, depending on the time of the laying/conception/[your preferred existance-deciding moment].

If you ask if a specific chicken came before it's own egg, then obvously, no, which is well-established by the laws of causality.

But, that those aside, in the more transcendal (and usual) interpretation the question doesn't make sense since development of a species is continuous and the whole concept of species is trying to break that continuous development into discrete steps. That process is bound to have boundary problems and the system of species should not be applied in those conditions.

sh1t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15411942)

FreeBSD core team continues to lose and pErsonal Juliet Are together

Actually it was the Egg (1)

arghileh (320728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411979)

See the Egg was on its back panting and next to the egg there was a chicken looking pissed. The Chicken rolls onto its side muttering "well that answers that question".

Way to feed the Corporate Machine (5, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411983)

Did anyone happen to notice the last sentence of the article?

The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD.

So CNN and Slashdot are happily giving free advertising to The Mouse these days?

But... (1)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411985)

That was a chicken in a pre-chicken's egg. The first chicken egg was laid by a chicken, so the chicken came before the chicken egg.

Of course the easy answer to the question is that the egg came before the chicken, because sea animals were laying eggs before anybody had legs.

In today's other news (1)

Blue6 (975702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15411994)

Scientists confirm nails can be driven into place by hammers, Philosophers still unsure if nails feel pain.

Speculation (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412007)

I recently finished reading the Ancestor's Tale, which I found to be an awesome book, minus the occasional Sagan-esque polictical ramblings. Just thinking in terms of how he presented evolution through incremental change and subsequent survival, I wonder if its possible that maybe the first "chickens" did not hatch in "eggs" at all. Maybe (sorry for lack of technical terms here), the material in which the animal was born (live, not incubated in an egg), over time, developed into a harder material. As time moved forward, the placental material merged into this area as well. One thing leads to another and basically it became an independant birthing(?) unit. Similar to the who created God paradox, the egg did not just magically exist, it was created through circumstantial events that luckily enough managed to survive to become the defacto method of chick delivery.

Re:Speculation (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412082)

Such a thing would be possible, but chickens would then have to be placental mammals. They're dinosaurs, so no cheese. Dinosaurs come from a long line of oviparous animals.

So, yes, possible, but it didn't happen.

Who came first? The chicken or the egg? (1)

Chemkook (915402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412018)

The chicken is smoking a cigarette.

It's just semantics (1)

loggia (309962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412019)

If a chicken that wasn't born out of an egg is considered a chicken, then the chicken came first. One of those chickens eventually hatched an egg.

If a chicken that wasn't born out of an egg is not considered a chicken... then only the first egg it produces is a chicken. Then the egg came first.

It's just semantics...

Ah creationism vs evolution debate again (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412032)

The underlining assumption implicit to their arguement is evolution is an actual phenomenon responsible for the creation of new species. But, a creationist would still argue that the "Creator" wave his (her?) hand and created the chicken. The chicken then laid the egg. I am more convince by the former but for many the question is still in dispute.

Wow (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412034)

Wow, man...this must be a -really- slow news day.

Re:Wow (1)

JoshDM (741866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412090)

Memorial Day Weekend, dude.

Which came first: (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412046)

the source code or the editor?

Uh huh... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412055)

"Chicken and Egg Problem Solved: It seems scientists and philosophers now agree which came first. The Egg."

Slow news day, huh? :)

That's what I said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412070)

... fifteen years ago - when I was eight!

Obviously I didn't use fancy words like genetic material, but I had the basic idea!

Re:How did they measure it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412074)

his hypothesis, if correct, is still backwards. since the genetic material can't change after birth, then the first chicken was born that was going to lay the first egg. it possessed the genes to lay the egg at birth, then layed it.

Re: Chicken and Egg Problem Solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15412077)

egg first? no way! eggs only contain half the chromosomes require for life. males must provide the other half. I'd argue this guy just proved Evolution false!

ob geb... (1)

DocLandolt (920512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412084)

75 comments and no references to GEB and self-referentiality? What gives?

the question is wrong (3, Interesting)

hansreiser (6963) | more than 8 years ago | (#15412086)

The question presupposes that at a certain point there existed something that was suddenly entirely a chicken. We know this to be false. One feature at a time, one generation at a time, lizards gradually became more and more chicken. Both Taoism and evolution contribute to better understanding this question. From Taoism, understand that categories and names are arbitrary and inherently inaccurate. From evolution understand that chickens have gradually shaded into being over millions of years. From this, understand that within the span of one generation, there was no single change that gave the label chicken sudden meaning. The name chicken does not have meaning when distinguishing between two adjacent generations of things with chicken characteristics. It is like using a magnifying glass to look at an atom. The name "chicken" is inappropriate for single generation distinctions, and lacks usable meaning. Similarly, it is likely that eggs came into existence in a single generation, and so egg lacks meaning. Since both egg and chicken lack the semantic power to distinguish generations, the question is wrong as it is intended.

Of course, if you want to interpret the question not as it was meant, then you can say that lizards and their eggs came before chickens and their eggs, therefor eggs came millions of years before chickens.
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