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Which came first?

by Petruchio (Vicar)
on May 02, 2008 at 10:05 UTC ( #684126=poll: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on Which came first?

Chicken
[bar] 165/49%
Egg
[bar] 173/51%
338 total votes
Comment on Which came first?
Re: Which came first?
by hawtin (Prior) on May 02, 2008 at 11:11 UTC

    OK, I'll bite: The ancestors of chickens also laid eggs (whatever they were). So the answer must be Egg.

Re: Which came first?
by Moriarty (Abbot) on May 02, 2008 at 11:40 UTC

    Being a creationist, I would have to say that the chicken came first, because God didn't start making babies until he had adults to look after them. :)

      The vast majority of animal parents provide absolutely no care of offspring. Indeed, many will quite cheerfully eat infants of their species.


      Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

Re: Which came first?
by Gavin (Canon) on May 02, 2008 at 12:45 UTC
    Not fussed really chicken or egg but quite happy to eat either In any order!
Re: Which came first?
by wolfger (Deacon) on May 02, 2008 at 13:19 UTC
Re: Which came first?
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on May 02, 2008 at 13:32 UTC
    Arunbear,
    Ok, assuming evolution and genetic mutation I answered egg. My 30 seconds of thinking produced the following argument:

    Some animal that could not be classified as a chicken was produced offspring via eggs. During sexual reproduction and random gene mutation, the animal that emerged from the egg is what we classify as a chicken.

    The above theory is more plausible to me then the idea that chickens produced offspring by live birth and then evolved egg producing. On the other hand, it just delays the question to: Which came first - the animal(s) that gave birth to the chicken or the egg that created that animal(s).

    For the record, I am a Christian with a non-traditional perspective.

    Cheers - L~R

      <moment of sanity>

      If I had to stake my life on it, I would agree with something like you said. My guess is that the predecessor of the chicken was some primitive ocean swimming creature that laid eggs to reproduce, like so many other sea creatures. One day, some of them crawled onto land, and their scales gradually modified into feathers( due to the incredible built-in metamorphorsizing abilities of the original gene that originated life (maybe fell in a comet? Maybe airborne O2 causes a different genetic reaction than water-bourne O2?). This became the chicken.

      I'm always fascinated by the gene's ability to do what is necessary.... like if we (humans)were forced back into the sea, would we naturally just start getting webbed fingers and toes( ala Waterworld), without mutation? Just by the genes activating the "waterborn" subroutines, instead of the airborn ones

      One of the basic tenets of Bhuddism, is that "conciousness is an intrinsic part of the cosmos". On a level we don't understand, I believe conciousness can control how our genes function.....turning things on/off as needed. This probably corresponds to the Christian "hidden-hand-of-God" branch of evolutionists.

      </moment of sanity>


      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
        My guess is that the predecessor of the chicken was some primitive ocean swimming creature that laid eggs to reproduce, like so many other sea creatures.
        According to the latest scientific knowledge, the direct ancestor of the chicken was more likely T-Rex!

        CountZero

        A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

        I'm always fascinated by the gene's ability to do what is necessary.... like if we (humans)were forced back into the sea, would we naturally just start getting webbed fingers and toes( ala Waterworld), without mutation? Just by the genes activating the "waterborn" subroutines, instead of the airborn ones
        A gene cannot alter its own behaviour. Rather, we humans (at least most of us!) just don't possess the gene which produces webbed feet. Or, they are inactive. So say we are forced back into the sea, many of us are going to die and thus our genes. The gene responsible for webbed feet will slowly rise in numbers in the gene population thus giving us webbed feet! What I'm hoping to say is that some percentage of humans would be possessing the inactive gene for webbed feet and their offspring will be the ones who survive.

        --
        Rohan
        One of the basic tenets of Bhuddism, is that "conciousness is an intrinsic part of the cosmos". On a level we don't understand, I believe conciousness can control how our genes function.....turning things on/off as needed.

        Trying to refrain from all the jokes about ....conciousness controlling...how our 'jeans' function....turning things on/off -from back in high school...

        I'd propose that when the Creator made "All the beasts of the field", then this would suggest that the chicken was created first, & the egg is meerly the means but which they can sustain the species.
        <harold_and_kumar character="President Bush">you just blew my f*cking mind.</harold_and_kumar>
        meh.
      Actually, that perspective is also quite traditional, though this is not a comfy factoid to those who are in the business of telling God how he should interpret Genesis 1.

      I thought about the same, but got confused when thinking about sexual reproduction (having been a teen male once, you can understand how sex might confuse me).

      A female ${animal that came before a chicken} produces a mutant egg which can be said to be a half-chicken. Did that egg count as a chicken egg? Where's the father who fertilizes that egg? Is the first chicken a half-breed and thus not a full chicken? What kind of eggs did that animal produce? After how much mixing did the half-breeds produce a mother with a chicken-egg and a father with his contribution also 100% chicken?

      Regardless, after about 30 sec, I came to the same conclusion. The chicken-eggs (and other stuff) were being produced long before the first chicken.


      #my sig used to say 'I humbly seek wisdom. '. Now it says:
      use strict;
      use warnings;
      I humbly seek wisdom.
        A female ${animal that came before a chicken} produces a mutant egg which can be said to be a half-chicken. Did that egg count as a chicken egg?
        This is a fairly interesting question by itself, but I would offer two objections with regard to the original question:

        1. Any egg that would produce something that would be considered a chicken is still an egg.

        2. The OP doesn't stipulate any kind of egg, and we can probably safely assume that any direct ancestor(s) to a chicken also reproduced by laying eggs.

Re: Which came first?
by zentara (Archbishop) on May 02, 2008 at 13:41 UTC
    It was morning when God created Eve from Adam's rib, so He created an egg so Eve could fry Adam some breakfast. Later in the day, Adam wanted dinner, so God created a chicken for Eve to fry up for him. Eventually God got tired of creating 2 things, so He just let the eggs turn into chickens. So.... it's obvious... the egg came first.

    I'm a well trained Catholic altar boy. :-)


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum

      As a Catholic, you should know that there was no death before the fall. Adam and Eve were vegetarians. Meat wasn't given as food until the time of Noah. So Biblically the chicken definitely came first.

      Of course, that's assuming we're talking about the first chicken ever versus the first (chicken) egg ever. The question doesn't actually say that, however, and there are other ways in which it might be reasonably interpreted. (Unless there is some additional information of which I am not aware in the context surrounding the original question. But if so, the poll did not supply that information.)

      If we're talking about any random chicken one might happen to encounter, and the corresponding egg out of which it hatched, then that complicates things. Then you have to look at things like whether the chicken is a chicken before the egg is fertilized, and what constitutes an "egg" anyway (does it have to have a hard shell yet, or will a couple of cells do), and so forth.

      -- 
      We're working on a six-year set of freely redistributable Vacation Bible School materials.
Re: Which came first?
by jdporter (Canon) on May 02, 2008 at 14:28 UTC

    The chicken or the egg. Hmmmm....

    Well, I suppose we're talking about the Platonic ideal of chicken and egg, since by "the chicken" and "the egg" we are presumably not referring to some specific chicken and egg. And the Platonic ideals of these things must both have existed at the beginning of time. Or, perhaps more accurately, they both exist outside of space-time, and hence the question of which came first is not relevant.

    A word spoken in Mind will reach its own level, in the objective world, by its own weight
      I was going to say something like that.... the chicken and egg are the same thing, just taking different form at different times.... so it was created....... and that is the end of discussion.

      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum

      I thought we were referring to some specific chicken and egg, actually. Specifically the first chicken and the first egg.

Re: Which came first?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 02, 2008 at 14:52 UTC

    After long and deep research, I can say definitively, the EGG has it:

    #! perl -slw use strict; use List::Util qw[ shuffle ]; my $string = join '', shuffle +('A' .. 'Z')x2;; while( $string = join'', shuffle split '', $string ) { printf( STDERR "\r$string" ); $string =~ s[(CHICKEN|EGG)][>>>$1<<<] and die "\n\n$1 came first\n$string\n\n(Selfish lover?)\n"; } __END__ C:\test>junk1 OEQOLHRDFUWDXPTZBYVLTNWKFBVJSRMAEGGNUQIAXCSZCKIHJPMY EGG came first OEQOLHRDFUWDXPTZBYVLTNWKFBVJSRMA>>>EGG<<<NUQIAXCSZCKIHJPMY (Selfish lover?) C:\test>junk1 MWZCSLUKEATQYTHOWEGGMVPQYVRRJXBUAKXNDDHFPZJISNOCFBLI EGG came first MWZCSLUKEATQYTHOW>>>EGG<<<MVPQYVRRJXBUAKXNDDHFPZJISNOCFBLI (Selfish lover?) C:\test>junk1 BZPUIEEGGONAQRWOJFKDHDYCXUFBLWZHYMMVXSISTTJAQKNPVRCL EGG came first BZPUIE>>>EGG<<<ONAQRWOJFKDHDYCXUFBLWZHYMMVXSISTTJAQKNPVRCL (Selfish lover?)

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      How about this proof?
      #!/usr/bin/perl use warnings; use strict; my @creations = sort ('egg','chicken'); print "@creations\n"; __END__
      Output: chicken egg

      The real question is where did the rooster come from? I mean an egg will not produce a chicken, unless there is a rooster to fertilize it. So the original poll should be "chicken, egg, or rooster" ?


      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
      Should it not be [scramble] rather than [shuffle]!
Re: Which came first?
by Zen (Deacon) on May 02, 2008 at 15:41 UTC
    An egg can exist without a chicken inside. Therefore, egg.
Re: Which came first?
by gam3 (Curate) on May 02, 2008 at 20:15 UTC
    I would like to point out that
    Which came first: The chicken or the egg?
    is very different than the simular question
    Which came first: The chicken or the chicken egg?
    This first is obvious the second is less obvious, but completely semantic.
    -- gam3
    A picture is worth a thousand words, but takes 200K.

      "This first is obvious the second is less obvious, but completely semantic."

      Care to elaborate on the obvious.

        There were dinosaur eggs long before there were chickens...
Re: Which came first?
by wade (Pilgrim) on May 02, 2008 at 20:53 UTC

    I can even give you a timeline. The chicken came first. Then, about 9 months later, ...

    Okay, so I know it's not 9 months for chickens but go with me, here...

    --
    Wade
Re: Which came first?
by swampyankee (Parson) on May 02, 2008 at 23:53 UTC

    As a good Catholic, I don't have to literally interpret Genesis1, nor do I have to honor Bishop Ussher's timeline. Fish and invertebrates lay eggs, and the evidence shows that they predate chickens. So, eggs first.


    1 Look here, here, or here.


    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

      As a good Catholic, I don't have to literally interpret Genesis

      One of the few things I like about catholicism*. Anyway, I want to thank you for showing that just because you're religious doesn't mean you're not allowed to think logically. I'm not being sarcastic either: for some reason that's something I don't see much on the internet these days. Though that may be because many of the sites I frequent have a high percentage of American visitors**.

      * For the record: I'm an atheist, and not particularly in favour of religions in general.

      ** And I'm Dutch. No disrespect meant to Americans, but the US seems to be one of the most fundamentally religious countries in the western world.

        In respect to the american comment above, there is rarely definitive secular behavior worthy of sensationalist news. It is sort of like thinking americans must be violent jerks because that's what makes the paper. Lastly, there is a geographical slant to this sort of thing, too.

        I'd say that America isn't as you see it, but our media only likes to report on extremes so that's what we look like.

Re: Which came first?
by YuckFoo (Abbot) on May 03, 2008 at 18:50 UTC
    It was a tie!

    YolkFoo

Re: Which came first?
by shmem (Canon) on May 03, 2008 at 22:48 UTC
    The question is wrong - there's no first in neither chicken nor egg. Chicken and egg are one: that's first.

    --shmem

    _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                  /\_¯/(q    /
    ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
    ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
        In the "chicken - egg" question, it is clear that the egg is a chicken egg; and you can apply that concept to any other egging creature, to wit: "which came first, the turtle or the egg?", etc - same question, same answer.

        --shmem

        _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                      /\_¯/(q    /
        ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
        ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
Re: Which came first?
by wrinkles (Pilgrim) on May 04, 2008 at 07:28 UTC
    Inductive reasoning: Every chicken ever observed was _first_ an egg. Deductive reasoning: All chickens are hatched from eggs. Any creature that was not hatched from an egg is not a chicken. Either way, egg wins.
      First prize is a Spermatozoon
Re: Which came first?
by carol (Beadle) on May 04, 2008 at 08:33 UTC
    "Chicken" came first: I checked the frames entering my network interface.
Re: Which came first?
by ambrus (Abbot) on May 04, 2008 at 09:31 UTC

    The chicken can eat, whereas the egg cannot. Thus, if a very small chicken (much smaller than what hatches from eggs normally) appears accidentally, it can survive and grow to a large chicken by eating food around it. Whereas, if a very small egg (much smaller than what chickens lay normally) appears accidentally, it just dies because it cannot eat and it doesn't have enough food in it. So I think the chicken was first and voted for it.

      An egg eats itself, all you get is a smaller chicken
Re: Which came first?
by Gavin (Canon) on May 04, 2008 at 13:47 UTC
Re: Which came first?
by bones (Acolyte) on May 04, 2008 at 14:28 UTC
    Charles Darwin would say that chicken came first, so i vote in chicken :D
Re: Which came first?
by ady (Deacon) on May 05, 2008 at 05:35 UTC
    ?->Big_Bang->Energy/Light/Gravity<->Elementary_Particles->Supernovae<->Stardust (carbon, iron, silicates etc)->Organic_Chemistry (amino acids etc)->DNA<->RNA->Protein (enzymes etc)<->Cell/Protista->Egg+Sperm<->Multicellular_Organisms (chicks et al.)

    There are feed back loops in this chain (web, actually) but from an evolutionary 'historic' perspective the 'egg' (and sperm) preceded the cellular aggregates that evolved as organisms to utilize the egg/sperm as their mechanism for sexual reproduction. Examples are plenty, for instance in planctonic algae.

    allan
      from an evolutionary 'historic' perspective the 'egg' (and sperm) preceded the cellular aggregates

      Really? 'egg' and 'sperm' are rather specialized cell types, thus part of a 'cellular aggregate'...

      So it seems to me that your exposition of evolution history is yet another shift of viewpoint (as dino/egg, turtle/egg, fish/egg, ...) containing the same problem:

      Egg+Sperm<->Multicellular_Organisms

      To solve the chicken/egg puzzle we first have to put both terms on the same level. "Chicken" is a specialized term, "Egg" is general, so establishing "firstness" of chicken and egg is like comparing apple and fruit.

      So, let's just talk about 'chicken' and 'chicken egg'. There's the reasoning that the first chicken egg was laid by a creature which itself was not a chicken. Later, a chicken hatched from that egg.

      But until the chicken hatched, the egg was not a chicken egg, but an ordinary non-chicken egg. The non-chicken egg became a chicken egg at the moment the chicken hatched from it, not before. If it already had been a chicken egg, because it contained a chicken, then the egg was formed as a container of the chicken, and the chicken was formed as content of it's chicken egg.

      They both came into existence at the moment the chickenness of the chicken-egg's chicken and the chicken-eggness of the chicken's chicken-egg could clearly be established beyond doubt.

      That's why chicken and egg are one, and there's no "first" in chicken nor egg...

      Name them, and they are. In principio erat verbum.

      --shmem

      _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                    /\_¯/(q    /
      ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
      ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
        update: sorry - double post (I must have doubleclicked the send btn. --- Post deleted.
        allan
Re: Which came first?
by sandboxed (Sexton) on May 05, 2008 at 11:51 UTC

    Life started at our universe in a simple way and evolved on...so it's normal to think that the egg should be before the chicken.

    Dinosaurs existed before the first chicken and they came from the egg too...

Re: Which came first?
by pileofrogs (Priest) on May 05, 2008 at 17:10 UTC

    Okay, I'll bite.

    (Let me just put on my helmet here...)

    Are there really creationists on perlmonks?

      Yes. I am a creationist. Still, believing in creation does not preclude the possibility that what was first created were more generic bird(s) and not the chicken as we know it today. If dogs, cats, horses, and squirrels can specialize to an environment, either naturally or through the intervention of humans, why could not birds specialize also, resulting in the variations of birds and chickens we currently have?

      But, even with specialization/mutation over time being a given, that does not answer the chicken vs (chicken) egg issue. However, that question is similar to this: which came first, the thoroughbred horse or the thoroughbred horse foal? I propose that until there is a sufficient quantity of the latter growing to maturity, the former cannot be categorized. So, applying this to the chicken/egg issue, until enough eggs hatched which grew to produce the combination of characteristics we now label as chicken (instead of junglefowl), there were more of the former than the latter.

      Summary points:

      • The egg with the specific set of genetic characteristics preceded the grown set of birds which received the (new) label for that specific set of genetic charactistics.
      • If only one of something is present, it is a mutation and not yet a species/genus variation.
      • Unless there are a sufficient number of the mutation and that mutation can reproduce, it is not yet a species/genus variation.
      • The specialized offspring exists first, though without the label for that specialization.

      Update: Added last bullet point for clarification.

Re: Which came first?
by the_hawk_1 (Scribe) on May 05, 2008 at 21:01 UTC
    Who came first? Obvious answer.

    If you say that you are logically thinking, and asumming that we are talking about a chicken egg, you should respond chicken.

    Many scientific proof demonstrate that creationism is true. Belivers or not, we are talking science now.

    Since then, decide if you belive in a god or not.

      Many scientific proof demonstrate that creationism is true.
      I'm curious about your definition of scientific.
      Since then, decide if you belive in a god or not.
      That statement is silly. Believing in god and taking a book written by humans (the bible) literally is NOT THE SAME.


      holli, /regexed monk/
      Many scientific proof demonstrate that creationism is true. Belivers or not, we are talking science now.
      Ummm..... No.

      Please feel free to post such a demonstration of proof, and I'll post the refutation.

      In any event, may you know the Noodley Goodness of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Re: Which came first?
by holli (Monsignor) on May 05, 2008 at 21:39 UTC
    c) The road.


    holli, /regexed monk/
Re: Which came first?
by BioNrd (Monk) on May 06, 2008 at 01:30 UTC
    Many of you are right in your posts on birds and dio's. However, I thought I would weigh in and put the whole thing to bed, b/c which came first chicken/egg is an irrelevant question in light of evolution.

    Birds and chickens can trace their evolutionary history back through dinosaurs.

    Therefore the answer is:
    C: The dinosaurs.

    If you don't believe me, then check out the journal science.

    Dino DNA

    To be fully correct here...The real answer is E: none of the above, b/c ultimately "something" came before the dino's and before them...and so on.

    Species are artificial constructs placed onto a continuous process that is evolution. A species is, and is not all at once, b/c it is constantly on one evolutionary trajectory or another. We as humans have placed these constructs onto our world, b/c we as scientists/botanists/gardeners/hunters/people need to see the world as structured.

    I apologize for making the creationists among us squeamish here; however, I have my beliefs as do you, and do not judge based on one view or another.

    -Bio.

    ---- Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
    Some people just have trouble with facts.
Re: Which came first?
by johngg (Abbot) on May 06, 2008 at 18:41 UTC
    This thread reminds me of the last scene in "Chicken Run." You have to keep paying attention until the end of the credits. Priceless!!

    Cheers,

    JohnGG

Re: Which came first?
by robsv (Curate) on May 08, 2008 at 16:55 UTC
    They both came at the same time (assuming you're using Quantum::Superpositions)

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