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Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? It's Just Too Simple

Categories: AnimalsWisdom

By Jonas Maxwell / December 4, 2013

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

This, amazingly, is one of the often asked philosophical questions that even the experts get wrong, as this FoxNews article, Ask a science teacher: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?, shows.

Despite the arguments of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking; Christopher Langan, "the smartest man in America"; the book of Genesis; Hindus and Buddhists; or supercomputer-using British scientists, the answer is so simple, you won't believe it.

Still, to give you the answer with some credibility - after all, what do I know? - I'll quote someone with some authority:

"The first amniote egg appeared, by definition, at the same time as the reptiles some 200 million years ago."

— Karl F. Hirsch, Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 53, No. 5 (Sep., 1979), p. 1068

Chickens, on the other hand, were believed to have been domesticated in Asia from the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) at the earliest 6000 BC.

Even if you prefer to compare the egg to the predecessors of the domestic chicken, you could only go back as far as the Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago, when birds emerged within the theropod dinosaurs.

So no matter how you slice it, the answer to the question is clear and simple: the egg existed for millions of years before the chicken, or any other bird, for that matter.

User Comments:
Brenda-Jo - Dec 4, 2013 04:55:26 — Good to know... But doesn't the egg have to be sat on and warmed by a chicken in order to hatch?
Becca  - Apr 13, 2018 05:21:32 — Yes there was a chicken that sat on the egg but the bird that hatched the egg was a slightly different "chicken" that we are used to now. Because of evolution that bird had an egg that had a mutation of what we know as chickens today.
what a terrible argument  - Jul 9, 2020 04:11:36 — The chicken and egg problem isnt asking whether eggs existed before chickens..its asking did the chicken egg come before chickens

"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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