Team Chicken or Team Egg?
January 24, 2013 11:06 PM   Subscribe

Which came first: the chicken or the chicken egg? Nomenclature for the win!

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posted by amyms (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really like his handwriting for some reason, and that is exactly how I would have described it, only he said it much better.
posted by estuardo at 11:29 PM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, but which came first: the chicken or the chicken puppet?
posted by darksasami at 12:42 AM on January 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

All right, now what about that damn tree...?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 1:00 AM on January 25, 2013

Thanks! I may use this in a class on classification....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:13 AM on January 25, 2013

I keep telling people the answer to this riddle, but don't seem to get any recognition.

The video saying that "the first *true* chicken came from an egg" is meaningless, because as the debate about definitions suggests, someone can just as easily say "the first *true* chicken-egg, came from a chicken."

Obviously speciation is gradual process. In response to the video, we can just push back the riddle- what came first: the first egg laying creature, or the first creature that was born out of an egg?

There is only one resolution to this- which is that there was a time when egg and 'egg laying creature' were not distinct entities, and only gradually did the reproductive cycle take on these two distinct stages (in some ancestor species of the chicken).

You can then just work your way back to the beginning of life on Earth. The existence of the first living creature must presumably have proceeded the reproduction of that creature. But the process of reproduction is so fundamental to what makes something alive that only once the cycle itself gets going can we say with any confidence that there is life.
posted by leibniz at 2:13 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

In other words, the conceptual issue underlying all this is that 'being alive' is a concept that concerns overarching continuity rather than static distinctions between concrete particulars.
posted by leibniz at 2:20 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nice. I do think it is not so certain that we domesticated dogs, though.
posted by snofoam at 4:45 AM on January 25, 2013

I think of it like this:

A live animal that is nearly, but not quite a chicken, can't change into a chicken after it is hatched. That's not how evolution works.

But a near chicken with some mutations could lay a chicken egg.

So the egg comes first.

There are some problems with this explanation, but it seems pretty close to the video in 4 sentences.
posted by jclarkin at 6:29 AM on January 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yes, but which came first: the chicken or the chicken puppet?

Let's not bring wormholes into this.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:29 AM on January 25, 2013

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