January 29, 2010

Causality Dilemma Solved

Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 11:48 am

In the “chicken or the egg” conundrum, the common argument is that since the question failed to specify the type of egg, and chickens have only been around since 7000 BC while dinosaurs had laid eggs over 65 millions years ago, the correct answer should be that the egg came first. This answer is way too convenient for my liking. Instead, I have discovered a way to definitively answer the question.

To do so, we must first examine the phrasing of the sentence. Common sense dictates that the egg in question should be related to the first noun, the chicken. For instance, “who ate the cake? The boy or the mother?” Again, common sense dictates that the mother in question should be related to the boy.

Then there’s the word “the”. “The”, when used before a singular or plural noun, marks that noun as being specific. In this case, “the” is used before a singular noun, “egg”, thus specifying it. Put them together, and the correct interpretation, therefore should be that the egg in question is related directly to the chicken.

Now that we’ve established the identity and origins of the egg, let’s move on to its definition. We tend to identify eggs directly related to the chickens as chicken eggs. Note that I’m being very cautious with my words. Chicken eggs are only called chicken eggs because they come from chickens. The term chicken egg is simply shortened from “chicken’s egg”, an egg laid by a chicken.

The egg in question, which we earlier on determined to be specific, cannot be labelled a chicken egg because in order for that to happen, the birds preceding chickens had to actually give birth to a chicken, which we understand is not the way birds reproduce. Said chicken could then go on to lay the  first chicken egg. Ergo, the egg in question is not a “chicken egg”, but an egg from which a chicken is hatched.

Finally, we move on to evolution. First, it must be understood that the emergence of a new species is the result of an accumulation of various changes in an organism’s genetic material. I liken it to the theory of displacement(except in this case, we’re not examining anybody’s volume). Imagine first, a stack of champagne saucers, much like the ones you see during wedding receptions. Now, imagine slowly pouring champagne into the very first saucer at the top. Every bit you add can be likened to a change in an organism’s genetic material. Now assume you’ve filled the first saucer to the brim. The next drop you add will surely mean spillage into the saucers below, i.e displacement. That spillage can be likened to the emergence of a new species.

Employing that analogy, right where the saucer was filled up to the brim, the birds preceding chicken mated. The sperm entered the ovum and formed a zygote cell. The formation of this zygote cell, when compared to the champagne saucer analogy, refers to the spillage. Contained within this zygote cell is the DNA of the first ever chicken. The zygote cell then proceeds to divide(called mitosis) until it forms the first chicken. And guess where all that magic happens. That’s right, inside the egg.

Therefore, since we’ve established that the egg in question is related to chickens, and that it is NOT defined as being laid by a chicken but instead, as an egg from which a chicken is hatched, and that the first chicken ever to exist was being formed inside said egg, it is safe to conclude definitively and unambiguously that in this age old duel, the egg claims victory.



  1. Linked under, ‘Perspective’. Thanks Inkhorn.

    Comment by Singazine — January 29, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  2. hello, question… But how is the ovum supposed to fertilise without the chicken to incubate the egg?

    Comment by Anonymous — February 13, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  3. As mentioned, the birds preceding chickens(possibly the red or grey jungle fowls) laid and fertilized the eggs before actual genetic mutation occurred within the egg ie. conception and fertiisation. No chickens were in existence at that particular point of time.

    Comment by theinkhorn — February 13, 2010 @ 6:13 pm

  4. so how many eggs were there really?
    male or female?

    Comment by just read — March 20, 2010 @ 6:20 am

  5. That’s a very good question. We understand that chickens typically lay one egg a day. However, all the eggs hatch at the same time because embryo growth pauses while the rest of the nest is being laid. Therefore, regardless of the amount of eggs laid by the jungle fowls, it is likely that all of them contained chickens and hatched at the same time. Egg still comes first.

    As for the gender, it is another very good question. A chicken is not a gender. A chicken is a species. ‘Gallus gallus domesticus’. A rooster is a male chicken, while a hen is a female chicken. Since the question is “chicken or the egg”, the gender in this context does not matter at all.

    Comment by theinkhorn — March 22, 2010 @ 11:33 am

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