Which Came First The Chicken Or The Egg Song?
- Philip Martin
Do you happen to have a query regarding the past? Send us your query at [email protected], and we just might include it in one of the upcoming installments of the “Now You Know” series. To begin, the question did, in fact, come from one of our audience members.
At first, we couldn’t help but let out a few chuckles; who wouldn’t? However, it appears that there is a good reason why this inquiry is considered a classic. It is a question that has been asked for thousands of years, and the answer to it has more than a little bit of history. Roy Sorensen, a philosopher at Washington University in St.
Louis who has written on the question, has stated that “it’s a charming problem because you want to dismiss it as a stupid question.” “But you can see on reflection that we’re impatient with it, but it’s not a stupid question,” he added. “It’s a charming problem because you want to dismiss it as a stupid question.” First things first, let’s get the answer to the scientific question out of the way.
- Eggs were around long before hens were domesticated, as a general rule.
- The dinosaur eggs and embryos that have been found in fossils date back around 190 million years.
- Since the fossils of Archaeopteryx, which are around 150 million years old and are usually considered to be the first examples of birds, have been found, this indicates that eggs arrived before birds in general.
When it comes to chickens and the particular eggs from which they hatch, that answer—that the egg comes first—is equally correct. The chicken hatches from the egg first. At some time in the past, an almost-chicken creature produced an egg that eventually hatched into a bird that, as a result of a single little genetic change, had a complete chicken’s make-up.
- Due to the fact that genetic changes occur in small steps, pinpointing the exact point at which chickens became domesticated and diverged from their wild ancestors is very impossible.
- However, the divergence from their wild ancestors occurred somewhere in the region of 7,000 years ago.
- This hypothesis has received support from Neil deGrasse Tyson and agreement from Bill Nye.
It proposes that a bird that is not exactly a chicken may deposit an egg that would hatch into a chicken. A group of researchers did publish an article a few years ago on the topic of how chicken ovaries are the sole place where a certain protein that is necessary for the production of chicken egg shells can be found.
That data was frequently cited as evidence that the chicken came first; however, even the scientists whose research it was weren’t entirely convinced by this conclusion; one of them described the question as “fun but worthless.” (When the Oxford English Dictionary attempted to determine which word had a longer history, the mechanism that was used to do so did not produce a conclusive result.) The genesis of the inquiry, as well as what the development of the response (no pun intended) says about the progression of human cognition, is perhaps the aspect that is most intriguing to consider.
Find all you need to know about history in one place: Register to get the recurring TIME History newsletter. The events of the tale begin in ancient Greece. According to Sorensen, it is obvious that Aristotle pondered questions of this nature; nonetheless, he sidestepped the need to provide a solution by claiming that both things had always existed and could be traced back an endless number of years.
An English translation of Francois Fénelon’s book on ancient philosophers that was published in 1825 provided the following explanation of Aristotle’s viewpoint: “There could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there would have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.” [T]here could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds because there could not have been a first egg to Plutarch is the one who gave the question its enduring form, “Whether the Hen or the Egg Came first,” noting of the “small inquiry” that it “shook the huge and weighty dilemma” of whether or not the universe had a beginning.
Macrobius, a Roman scholar, wrote in the fifth century that people “joke about what you suppose to be a triviality, in asking whether the hen came first from the egg or the egg came first from the hen, but the point should be regarded as one of importance.” He was referring to the question of whether the hen came from the egg or the egg came from the hen.
According to Sorensen, Christian thinkers such as Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas spent time wondering how to balance the wonder and sage thinking of Greek philosophers with the certainty of their theological worldview. If one were to interpret the issue in light of the book of Genesis, they would conclude that the chicken came first.
A few hundred years later, an Italian natural historian by the name of Ulysse Aldrovandi wrote a small piece on the subject. In it, he revealed that the topic was not only well-known but also resolved in the year 1600: “I’m going to sidestep the obvious and thus pointless debate about which came first, the chicken or the egg, and instead go on to something more intriguing.
It is written in the holy writings that the hen was the first animal to ever exist. These literature instruct that animals were produced at the beginning of the universe; hence, the hen did not originate from the egg but rather from nothing at all.” However, by the 18th century, things were starting to go in a different direction.
Sesame Street – Which Comes First (The Chicken or the Egg)?
Denis Diderot, a significant thinker of the Enlightenment who was also the editor of the Encyclopédie, did not consider the issue to be as straightforward as others did. “If the question of the priority of the egg over the chicken or of the chicken over the egg embarrasses you, it is because you suppose that animals were originally what they are at present,” he wrote in 1769.
- If you suppose that animals were originally what they are at present, then you are mistaken.” “What foolishness!” Diderot believed that the history of an animal was just as unknown as its future.
- According to Sorensen, the situation became more difficult after the publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin in 1859.
The theory of evolution made it abundantly clear that in some respects, Diderot was looking in the right direction; however, its emphasis on gradual change (and Gregor Mendel’s principles of genetic inheritance) produced the combination of certainty and mystery that persists to this day: the egg must have come first, but it can’t be said when.
Given that there is a significant amount of overlap across species as a result of gradual adaptation, it can be difficult to tell one species from from another. Even though the scientific questions surrounding the topic have been mostly answered, philosophers continue to discuss it. It is abundantly clear that the question continues to serve as a good jumping-off place for a wide variety of meditations, including this particular one.
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Which came first the egg or the bird?
If you’re asking about eggs in general, the answer is that the egg arrived first since the first creatures that lay eggs did not develop until millions of years before birds did. In the event that the inquiry is particularly focused on chicken eggs, the correct response is “The Chicken.”
Why do people ask “which came first the chicken or the egg?
Why do people continue to argue over which came first, the chicken or the egg, when it’s abundantly clear that the egg came first? If you want to know if someone believes in evolution or creationism, you may ask them whether they think the chicken or the egg came first.
When did the first chicken develop from an egg?
If we assume that there was a point in time when birds that were the ancestors of chickens diverged into chickens, then it stands to reason that the very first chicken went through all of the stages of development, beginning with the egg and ending with the adult chicken.
Which came first the egg or the EEG?
The dinosaurs were the ones that first laid eggs. Due to the fact that dinosaurs eventually gave rise to birds in general and chickens in particular, egg dinosaurs existed a very long time before chickens did. First things first: there were many species of creatures that laid eggs billions of years ago, but there were no chickens. You could be aware of it.