What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Posted on January 4, 2013 by Jay F

The question of whether the chicken came before the egg, or the egg before the chicken is both familiar and seemingly unsolvable. It has even become something of an epitome for an unanswerable question, something that no one would be expected to answer. It’s the type of question that freelancers and those providing ghostwriter services don’t have time to think about, something that one may ponder during childhood or some introductory philosophy course. Unlike the question of how many grains of sand need to be piled on top of one another for the pile to be a mound, the chicken-egg problem is not subjective. Unlike the case of Russell’s barber, it is not a paradox.

In fact, the chicken-egg problem does have a very obvious solution. This is due to the way in which he question is set up.

The question asks which came first, the chicken or the egg. One assumes that the question is not concerned with any old chicken or any old egg, but rather the first chicken or the first chicken egg. This assumption, however, is misguided. Due to the vagueness of the question, it could also mean the first chicken or the first egg.

Many organisms lay eggs. This list includes fish, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and, in rare instances, mammals. This means that the question of when the first egg was created does not need to focus upon chickens, but, rather, any organism in the above list.

Evolution has taught us that small, one-celled organisms evolved into multi-celled organisms, and that these organisms then evolved into myriad species. Evolutionary scientists believe that fish appeared on the Earth roughly 500 million years ago. Birds appeared around 150 million years ago. This means that eggs have existed on the Earth for at least 350 million years longer than anything resembling a chicken, and, consequently, that the egg came before the chicken.

Creationism is the theory that God created the Earth and all of its inhabitants without the aid of evolution. He is said to have created both fish and birds on the fifth day. However, he first creates the fish, and then creates the birds. This implies that he created the fish first, and that the female fish would have been created with eggs already inside of them. Again, this leads us to the conclusion that an egg appeared on the Earth prior to any kind of bird. Hence, the egg came before the chicken.

Whether you rely on the teachings of scientists or the teachings of the Bible, it is clear that eggs have been in existence for longer than chickens. Because “the egg” did not clearly denote a specific egg, it must be assumed that it is referring to the first egg, not the first chicken egg. This is why I believe it is obvious that the egg came before the chicken.

Jay F is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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