Chicken or egg?

  • Thread starter ShayanJ
  • Start date
  • #1
2,811
605
phd052215s.gif


What do you think?
 
  • Like
Likes Czcibor

Answers and Replies

  • #2
nuuskur
Science Advisor
796
667
With no Ph.D, there would be no need for a Ph.D advisor.
 
  • #3
2,811
605
With no Ph.D, there would be no need for a Ph.D advisor.
But the fact that a Ph.D. were awarded, means there was a Ph.D. student!:rolleyes:
 
  • #4
nuuskur
Science Advisor
796
667
..and at the time the PhD student was not a PhD, but a student.
 
  • #5
2,811
605
..and at the time the PhD student was not a PhD, but a student.
Yeah, but I meant there was a PhD student, so there was an advisor!
 
  • #6
nuuskur
Science Advisor
796
667
Mmm, prove it :)
 
  • #7
2,811
605
Mmm, prove it :)

Simple. We call the guy a PhD student. So there must have been someone to guide and teach otherwise we should have called him an independent researcher. Also a degree was awarded, which means someone acknowledged that he reached a certain point in his research career and that should have been someone who knows the field better. So there was an advisor.
The solution I can think of, is that before the first PhD were awarded, the recognition of a person as a researcher worked as a degree. So the advisor was a just a trusted scientist with nothing like a degree to prove he's actually one!
 
  • #8
nuuskur
Science Advisor
796
667
A tiny problem: who or what mentored the advisor? Were the advisor not competent enough to become a Ph.D themselves, even though, they supposedly had more experience in the field?
 
  • #9
2,811
605
A tiny problem: who or what mentored the advisor? Were the advisor not competent enough to become a Ph.D themselves, even though, they supposedly had more experience in the field?
The advisor wasn't mentored. Just study about the way people like Copernicus or Galilieo. They were educated either in universities to get more elementary degrees or by other scientists. So it seems to me there was only one degree and further experience was gained by their own efforts and thoughts.
Why the advisor himself didn't get the PhD? Simple, because he was already a respected scientist and probably an old man who didn't have much more to do with his life! So he didn't need it.
 
  • #10
newjerseyrunner
1,535
637
Same answer as the original chicken and egg problem: The egg came first, laid by something very similar to, yet not quite, a chicken. The first Ph.D was given by something with credentials very similar to, but not a Ph.D.
 
  • #11
DaveC426913
Gold Member
21,364
4,825
Same answer as the original chicken and egg problem: The egg came first, laid by something very similar to, yet not quite, a chicken. The first Ph.D was given by something with credentials very similar to, but not a Ph.D.

True, true. And yet...

An egg can come from something that is not a chicken, whereas (presumably) a Ph.D cannot come from something that is not a PhD advisor.
 
  • #12
2,811
605
Same answer as the original chicken and egg problem: The egg came first, laid by something very similar to, yet not quite, a chicken. The first Ph.D was given by something with credentials very similar to, but not a Ph.D.
That's not a proper answer. Because I can change chicken to egg-laying-animal. Which came first, egg or egg-laying-animal? Then we're back to the first place.
 
  • #13
newjerseyrunner
1,535
637
That's not a proper answer. Because I can change chicken to egg-laying-animal. Which came first, egg or egg-laying-animal? Then we're back to the first place.
The animal, it came to life as a bud that was almost like an egg but doesn't 100% fit the definition, but it had a random mutation which caused it's offspring to fit the definition of an egg 100%. We humans define categories over something as fuzzy as life so it makes it hard to fully categorize. But evolution required a lot of "almost eggs" before it produced the first "egg;" just like there were a lot of "almost chickens" before there was a chicken.
 
Last edited:
  • #14
DaveC426913
Gold Member
21,364
4,825
The animal,
Right, which contradicts the answer in post #10.

So Shyan has a point.
 
  • #15
2,811
605
The animal, it came to life as a bud that was almost like an egg but doesn't 100% fit the definition, but it had a random mutation which caused it's offspring to fit the definition of an egg 100%. We humans define categories over something as fuzzy as life so it makes it hard to fully categorize. But evolution required a lot of "almost eggs" before it produced the first "egg;" just like there were a lot of "almost chickens" before there was a chicken.
Actually you have a point. Having such sharp categories isn't the right way to go about life. So I guess the question itself isn't a good one.
 
  • #16
newjerseyrunner
1,535
637
Right, which contradicts the answer in post #10.

So Shyan has a point.
How does it contradict anything? These are two different questions.. A chicken must come from an egg, it can not have come from anything else. A chicken, however may lay an egg of something that's not a chicken. An egg must come from an animal but an animal doesn't have to come from an egg. Evolution has rules like anything else. But like Shyan said, the question doesn't work because there is no clear boundary between a chicken and a chicken ancestor. There is no clear boundary between an egg and an primitive egg-like structure.
 
  • #17
Intrastellar
Gold Member
123
42
Same answer as the original chicken and egg problem: The egg came first, laid by something very similar to, yet not quite, a chicken. The first Ph.D was given by something with credentials very similar to, but not a Ph.D.
But wait! The PhD advisor does not have to have a PhD himself, he just has to supervise a PhD to be a PhD advisor!
 
  • #18
skeptic2
1,772
59
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctorate

The right to grant a (licentia docendi) was originally reserved to the Catholic church, which required the applicant to pass a test, to take an oath of allegiance and pay a fee. The Third Council of the Lateran of 1179 guaranteed the access—at that time largely free of charge—of all able applicants. Applicants were tested for aptitude.[2] This right remained a bone of contention between the church authorities and universities that were slowly distancing themselves from the Church. The right was granted by the pope to the University of Paris in 1213 where it became a universal license to teach (licentia ubiquie docendi).[2] However, while the licentia continued to hold a higher prestige than the bachelor's degree(Baccalaureus), it was ultimately reduced to an intermediate step to the Magister and doctorate, both of which now became the exclusive teaching qualification.[2] According to Wellington, Bathmaker, Hung, MucCullough and Sikes (2005), the first Ph.D. was awarded in Paris in 1150; but not until the early nineteenth century did the term "Ph.D." acquire its modern meaning as the highest academic doctoral degree, following university practice in Germany.
 
  • Like
Likes ShayanJ

Suggested for: Chicken or egg?

Replies
3
Views
575
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
310
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
443
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
419
Replies
22
Views
542
Replies
80
Views
2K
Replies
11
Views
475
Replies
28
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
437
Top