Chicken and egg debate unscrambled
Egg came first, ‘eggsperts’ agree
May 26, 2006

LONDON, England — It’s a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg.

Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal’s life.

Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in prehistoric times, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg.

Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, told the UK Press Association the pecking order was clear.

The living organism inside the eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken it would develop into, he said.

“Therefore, the first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg,” he added. “So, I would conclude that the egg came first.”

The same conclusion was reached by his fellow “eggsperts” Professor David Papineau, of King’s College London, and poultry farmer Charles Bourns.

Mr Papineau, an expert in the philosophy of science, agreed that the first chicken came from an egg and that proves there were chicken eggs before chickens.

He told PA people were mistaken if they argued that the mutant egg belonged to the “non-chicken” bird parents.

“I would argue it is a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it,” he said.

“If a kangaroo laid an egg from which an ostrich hatched, that would surely be an ostrich egg, not a kangaroo egg.”

Bourns, chairman of trade body Great British Chicken, said he was also firmly in the pro-egg camp.

He said: “Eggs were around long before the first chicken arrived. Of course, they may not have been chicken eggs as we see them today, but they were eggs.”

The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film “Chicken Little” on DVD.

Magic Bean Wishes – “Within each hot stamped velour pouch is a collection of agricultural and heirloom beans that have been marked with thoughtful words using a patent pending process.”
Patently Silly – home of Alcoholic beverages derived from animal extract, and methods for the production thereof and the Gas combustion type hair drier

2 thoughts on “515”

  1. Thank you very much for solving that chicken/egg dilemma for me. I shall add it to my arsenal to keep my record clean as the “biggest crashing bore at the party”. 🙂


  2. I’m normally not squeamish with regards to the foodstuffs I consume; indeed, I’m the sort of person that maintains that if one is going to eat meat in the first place it makes absolutely no sense to be squeamish about what part of the animal is consumed. However, the idea of drinking booze made from meat makes me kind of nauseous.
    That said, Mr. Okada is following in the footsteps of Sir Kenelm Digby; note that the recipe implies that a second fermentation will take place after the chicken is added…

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