A classic question. I’m willing to wager two things. First, that you’ve heard this question before. (As I said, it is a classic question.) Second, that you think this question doesn’t have an answer. That it’s just a cute question some moron cooked up.

What I want to do with this post is give you what I think can be an answer to this question. It does require a little reinterpretation of the question, but I don’t think the interpretation is unwarranted.

Basically, I think this question can be read as being the creationism vs. evolution question. And if you look at it like that, the answer becomes apparent.

So, what came first, the chicken or the egg?

A creationist would say it was the chicken. God created the chicken in its present form some time not too long ago. With magic.

If you believe in evolution, however, it has to be the egg. Whatever laid the egg that the first chicken hatched from was not a chicken. Well, it wasn’t a Gallus gallus domesticus, at least. Something incredibly similar to a modern-day chicken, with essentially the same (but not exactly the same) DNA laid the egg.

Of course, this is a somewhat simplistic view of evolution. And it probably wouldn’t be possible to say exactly where in the ancestry of chickens the birds weren’t chickens anymore. It’s a continuum of small changes. Even more than that, each chicken alive today has various mutations that make them different from one another.

So yeah, profound? Probably not. Will it settle this age-old question once and for all? I doubt it. But I thought it was an interesting way of looking at it 🙂

~peace, RR

I welcome comments and suggestions. Comments can go below, suggestions to radiantreason[at]gmail[dot]com

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