What came first the chicken or the egg?
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Side Score: 3
Problem:The solution to the age-old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" depends on whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist. The answer, however, is still the same if you assume that the egg in question is a chicken egg. "The chicken came first." If the egg in question is NOT a chicken egg, then the egg came first because there were dinosaur eggs before there were chickens.
The crux of the problem hinges on the definition of a chicken egg. Is a chicken egg an egg that comes from a chicken or an egg that contains a chicken? Many people think of a chicken egg as a chicken eggshell that contains a chicken fetus. In other words, the chicken and the egg problem exist because people typically think of a chicken egg as a single entity (chicken eggshell and chicken fetus together). I will attempt to show that this configuration (chicken eggshell and chicken fetus together) is not necessary in order to create a chicken and that an egg should thus be classified by the species that laid it rather than by what species it contains.
I think that it is safe to say that the chicken fetus is the most obvious part of a chicken egg. The eggshell, however, is trickier because if the eggshell contains any genetic material, then one could argue that the eggshell is part of the fetus and thus the chicken egg could be classified as a single entity. Since the eggshell is made of calcium, we can safely say that the chicken egg consists of two distinct parts (the chicken eggshell and chicken fetus).
A problem still exists, however. Who generates the eggshell? If the fetus generates the eggshell then one could argue that the eggshell is part of the fetus and thus a fertilized chicken egg could be classified as a single entity. But there exists unfertilized eggs. This means that a fetus is not necessary in order to generate the eggshell. Maybe all that is necessary to generate the eggshell is the unfertilized genetic material provided by the hen. Since the complexity of generating an eggshell is beyond the capability of unfertilized genetic material, and since the unfertilized genetic material belongs to (and is generated by) the hen, it is safe to say that the hen generates the eggshell.
This reduces the eggshell to the status of a container. If the eggshell is nothing more than a container, then almost any container with egg like properties should be sufficient to incubate a chicken fetus. If an eggshell/container is capable of carrying almost any fetus of a different species to term, then we cannot classify the eggshell/container by its content. Rather, we should classify the eggshell/container by the species that created the eggshell/container. For example, if scientists were successful in hatching a chicken from a plastic container, would you then call the plastic container and the chicken fetus (together) a chicken egg? Or would you say that the plastic container held a chicken fetus? As another example, if scientists were able to extract the fertilized genetic material from a chicken egg and insert it into a duck egg, would the duck egg be reclassified as a chicken egg? Or would you maintain the "duck egg" classification and state that the duck egg in question contains a chicken fetus? My belief is that (in both examples) most people would choose the later (maintain the "plastic container/duck egg" classification and add the "chicken fetus" qualifier). In other words, an egg should be classified by the species that laid it rather than by what species it contains.
Once we agree on the definition of a chicken egg (an eggshell generated by a hen regardless of content), the solution is trivial.
Creationist: God said, "Let there be a hen." Otherwise, who would sit on the egg? Alternatively, God could have said, "Let there be a rooster." and then decided that the rooster needed companionship and so He created the hen and they then begot the egg. NOTE: Since God is perfect, it is unlikely that he said, "Let there be a chicken egg. Oh, and I almost forgot, let there be a hen to sit on that chicken egg. Ooh, wait, and a rooster!"
Evolutionist: Some animal (not a chicken) laid an egg (not a chicken egg). The fetus inside the egg underwent some minor evolutionary change that resulted into a hen. This hen then laid the first chicken egg. Alternatively, the result was a rooster. The rooster then mated with some animal (not a chicken) that laid an egg (not a chicken egg, since the rooster's DNA could not have affected the egg). The result was (eventually) a hen who then laid the first chicken egg.
Chicken and the Egg, Alternate Solution
A chicken and an egg are lying in bed. The chicken is leaning against the headboard smoking a cigarette with a satisfied smile on its face. The egg, looking a bit ticked off, grabs the sheet, rolls over and says ... Well, I guess we finally answered "THAT question!"
In the case of the chicken, the egg came first- whether you believe in creatonism OR evolution.
The chicken as we know it is not a product of nature, it is the domesticated and selectively bred form of the Red Junglefowl.
So, the egg came first, and the hatched Junglefowl was domesticated to become what we now know as the chicken.