Chicken or the Egg: Which Came First?
There is a seemingly age-old question as to which came first: The Chicken or the egg. This query has been a wonderful tool in debates and even simple discussion in that it drives home the point of 2 aspects of human knowledge: the lack of knowledge that we sometimes hold in even the most mundane and common fields, and the issue of perception and perspective. This article will attempt to answer that age-old question as to which is the progenitor: Gallus domesticus, or the egg.
With regards to a lack of knowledge regarding the chicken-egg query, it is understandable that we humans don't have an immediate answer, given the great period of time in the past that either the chicken or the egg would have made its appearance on the scene. This naturally brings us to perspective -not merely of the fowl in question, or its ovum, but the time it first came about.
Everyone holds a slightly different perspective on basically any and every question in life, yet, as the late William L. Murphy once pointed out, the question of whether the chicken or the egg is older, can be answered correctly both ways -as ascertained only through one's religio-historic perspective, to wit, whether a person believes in Creationism or Evolution (previously known as Darwinism).
In Creationism, from the Judeo-Christian perspective, at least, God created the world in 6 mighty days. According to James Ussher, the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh in the mid-17th century, the world was created on the 21st of September, 4004 BCE (by way of the Gregorian Calendar). For many of the more fundamental types of Christians, this is the date set in stone in their minds. Thus, given that, according to the Bible, chickens manifested on the third day (or fifth, according to your perspective) from the instant dictum of God (or Goddess or even Gods, plural, again according to a given creed). That is to say, the chicken came forth and in time laid its first egg thereafter.
The second great perspective to the chicken-egg controversy lay with those who favor Evolution, a view that an even a greater number of Christians, Jews, and even Muslims are beginning to hold today (though certainly not all of them). Of course, with evolution, the period of time reflects the time that geological formations like the Grand Canyon would have taken to form, overall which would be in upwards of 4 Billion years.Under evolutionary theory, the egg came first. Under Evolution, land animals sprang from liminal creatures that lived on both land and in the sea, much like the African Lung Fish, Protopterus Aethiopicus, which is amodern air-breathing fish that lives in both the water and on land. From this came true land animals, that eventually formed legs and were able to achieve efficient locomotion, including flight via wings, as with the chicken.
However, given that the chicken had forbearers that were not chickens, that is, the creatures which they evolved from, possibly reptiles, but most likely other bird species, the egg would have had to come first.
Thus, this is the answer: the chicken came first. No, wait: it was the egg. No, the chicken. No, the egg. No, it was George W. Bush, afraid to go to Vietnam. No, it was....
This article is dedicated to the late William L. Murphy and to Stephen Jay Gould, R.I.P. Yes, it was definitely the egg.