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What came first: the chicken or the egg?

  1. Mar 26, 2004 #1
    There is no point of reference for us to find the answer to this problem. Without any point of reference, everything is "so" and also "as well as". This means that the chicken and the egg must have been created at the same time (there is a chicken in the egg), because the missing point of reference demands duality.

    The duality of the chicken and the egg:
    inside - outside (the chicken is on the inside, the egg is on the outside)
    visible - invisible (the egg is visible, the chicken is invisible)
    hard - soft (the soft chicken is inside the hard eggshell)
    large - small (inside a large egg is a small chicken)
    life - death (the chicken will live when the egg dies)​

    Who created these answers?
    The missing point of reference (the Creator)

    The pattern of infinity (The omnipresent structure)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2004 #2
    who cares??? we have chickens and eggs.

    enjoy them!

  4. Mar 27, 2004 #3
    VISIBLE to the HUMAN eye. I'm sure its possible to detect the presence of a chicken inside the egg without physically going inside.

    Rather, the egg should have come first for obvious reasons. For one thing, the egg existed before the chicken became alive (that is, conscious in some level). The egg is the first stage in the growth from a zygote to a chicken. So the egg came first, not the chicken. You may argue that the zygote had to result from another pair of chickens. True, but that over looks the scientific theory of how life began in the first place. Chemicals mixing -> DNA etc. Therefore, in the case of a chicken, the first chicken to come into existence would have had to come from an egg.
  5. Mar 27, 2004 #4
    no chickens no eggs

    Maybe there is no chicken or egg, it only appears that there is. When they are broken down to fundamental parts, there is no parts.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2004
  6. Mar 27, 2004 #5


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    Every chicken has an egg in its background. But not every egg has a chicken in its background. Even dinosaurs laid eggs, long before chickens evolved!
  7. Mar 27, 2004 #6
    The first bonafide chicken came from an egg laid by some not-quite-chicken fowl.
  8. Mar 27, 2004 #7
    Yes, the key here is evolution. Something obviously laid an egg and out of it came a chicken ... or something which bridges the gap between a modern day chicken and whatever it was the chicken evolved from.
  9. Mar 27, 2004 #8
    This is the least I could find concerning what the chicken evolved from.

    Oh, and by the way, can anyone do the honors of explaining this in ENGLISH??
    good luck:

    Hope you understood that genetic specification, Glynos. (Makes me dizzy)
  10. Apr 3, 2004 #9
    I've always assumed the question was about chicken eggs, not any old egg. Thanks, quartodeciman, for the best answer I've ever heard!
  11. Apr 7, 2004 #10
    we have chicken first, so then we could have chiken eggs

    if we have chicken eggs first they must be a chicken laid it.
  12. Apr 8, 2004 #11
    This old drunk :wink: told me we shouldn't care about these things.

    Anyway: Wouldn't it be impossible for there to be an egg first, because the shell comes from the chicken? I'll just say what I always say when I don't know: "It all started with a cell, then the whole spaghetti just sorta evolved from there."
  13. Apr 10, 2004 #12
    Or maybe God was tired when he made the chicken.
  14. Apr 22, 2004 #13
    I agree they evolved together, but in a way one could say that much much further back it started with a very simple chicken that came first or basically something like an amino acid chain spontaneously forming due to infinite time and motion, and by accident it learned how to replicate itself and become a virus and so started laying eggs, but then what came before that? God is a chicken!
  15. Apr 23, 2004 #14
    Sorites paradox.
  16. Apr 23, 2004 #15

    I don't know if you are the author of the ideas on the website, or if you just borrowed the guy's name, but in any case it was one of the best things I ever read on the internet. Absolutely fantastic!

    I liked this thing about the chicken and egg problem:

    The hen and egg problem exhibits the same problem as the question: what came first, left or right? The answer: Both, as one brings about the other.

    I had long suspected the answer was "both", but I couldn't understand why. It's become very clear now. Thanks a lot!

    But I found this bit even more interesting, as it answered a question I thought I would never be able to answer, about the origin of time:

    Infinity is dual and has a beginning and an end. There is no question regarding what was before the beginning and what comes after the end, because first comes the end and then the beginning.

    The end of unconscious infinity (infinity has always existed, but it did not know about it, because there was no point of reference) is at the same time the beginning of conscious infinity.

    Not only I understand it now, I can also see what was so difficult to understand before. I thought time had to begun at some point, which obviously doesn't make any sense, but I also couldn't make sense of the idea of time stretching forever into the past. It never occurred to me to apply the concept of duality to time itself, which is kind of a major oversight since everything real is dual. That particular comment was an eye-opener!
  17. Apr 25, 2004 #16

    umm interesting Or maybe egg it is easier to made

    so first to come?
  18. Apr 26, 2004 #17
    the egg came first.

    now let me hand-wave together an argument using some fuzzy logic and pseudo-evolutionary theory.

    assumption 1: chickens evolved from some other creature.

    let's call that other creature pre-chickens.

    assumption 2: the evolution from pre-chickens to chickens was gradual to some degree.

    here's where the fuzzy logic comes in though i don't really need to mention it explicitly. let x(n) be the n-th generation of pre-chickens. x(n) is a function from the natural numbers to the interval [0,1]. when x(n)=0 that is to be interpreted as the pre-chicken has no chicken traits and x(n)=1 means the "pre-chickens" are now all totally chicken. x(n) is the degree to which the pre-chicken population is chicken. assumption 2 translates into "x(n)=1 implies n>1."

    assumption 3: for some c, if x(n) >= c, then a human would call a pre-chicken in question a chicken.

    c may be 0.99999999999999999999999 or some such.

    assumption 4: x(n) increases which in lay terms means that the pre-chickens are evolving but mathematically can translate into the following: for all n in N, x(n+1)>x(n).

    assumption 5: [main assumption] pre-chickens lay eggs as well.

    maybe someone more knowledgeable in biology can back this up or tell me i'm full of it.

    conclusion: for some n, x(n)<c and x(n+1)>=c. the egg laid by the nth generation of pre-chickens gave birth to what would be considered a chicken. the egg came first.
  19. Apr 27, 2004 #18
    I think your reasoning is correct from a biology perspective, but the chicken-and-egg question is not a problem of biology, it's a problem of philosophy. It's really not about chickens, but about things that seem to originate from themselves. It's a fact of biology that all known living organisms were created by other living organisms, but since life didn't always existed then we have the problem of explaining how the first living organism was created. That's the real chicken-and-egg problem, and biology does not yet have an answer to it.

    The link offered in the first post contains some very interesting ideas. For instance, at one point the guy says that every rule must have an exception. That sounds like a trivial fact, but I haven't seen anyone apply it to solve philosophical problems, yet it yields some quite interesting perspectives. For instance, death is the rule in the physical universe, life is the exception. Life appeared out of logical necessity - it's the exception that is required for the existence of the rule. Also, life must have appeared by chance, because there is no point of reference for us to explain why it appeared at a particular place at a particular time. But once it appears, life becomes the point of reference that was missing before.
  20. Apr 28, 2004 #19
    That is the most realistic and logically probable answer I've ever read Phoenixthoth, so much so it is irritating, on second thought it seems all I've done is reductionalized the definition of chicken and egg to the point it is the answer of which it can still be argued that reproduction came before existence since replication is an acceptable requirment for existence, or they came into being simultaneously but hardly anyone is going to agree that something under a microscope is a chicken or an egg. The one exception I can think of is if the last genetic flip of the switch had to do with a pre-chicken that births soft shelled pre-eggs which by chance external luck one one would grow up to be the chicken giving birth to the finishing touches on a hard shell, but the odds of the last mutation having to do with incubation or mother's genetic nurturing tendecies that might relate to producing just the right shell or round shell or unbroken shell are ridiculously slim. Basically I agree the most realistic and logical answer is almost always the right answer, the egg almost certainly came before the chicken.
  21. Apr 28, 2004 #20


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    phoenixthoth, I think your argument relies on a further assumption that we can be very dubious of: that we can assign a number to 'degree of chickenhood.' The numbers we assign are meaningless if we don't define what it means to be a chicken, and even then we must come up with some system for mapping numbers to degrees of similarity to chickenhood.

    A less serious objection is to your assumption #4. Assuming we have created our numerical system of chickenhood, it could easily be the case that x(n) > x(n+1). Perhaps in the actual evolutionary chain of chickenhood, some generation bore a greater resemblence to chickens than its offspring, even if the end result was a full-blown chicken.

    The real question, I think, is what is meant by 'egg,' specifically chicken egg. If a chicken egg is an egg that gives birth to a chicken, then as people have been saying, obviously the egg must have come first via some creature that was not quite a chicken itself. However, if a chicken egg is an egg laid by a chicken, then obviously the chicken must have come first.
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