Monday, January 31, 2011

Poll of the Week - Chicken vs. Egg

This has always been a fascinating question to me:

(In regards to evolution)
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Now I have several thoughts on this but I will introduce the poll first and comment on what I think it is and why next week. Please make comments and discussion below.

5 comments:

  1. The egg contained the mutation to make a chicken, therefore the egg.

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  2. Eggs long predate chickens -- the ancestors of chickens laid eggs, and the ancestors of those ancestors laid eggs, etc., etc. ad infinitum. Evolution renders this question completely moot.

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  3. But if you go back far enough those ancestors did not lay eggs. So I don't know if that can be a valid argument.

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  4. But if you go back far enough those ancestors did not lay eggs. So I don't know if that can be a valid argument.

    True, but one doesn't have to go back that far -- the immediate ancestors of chickens laid eggs: basal neornithians (e.g., ratites) do, as did more basal ornithuromorphs, ornithothoracians, paravians, etc. Egg-laying is plesiomorphic for birds, and synapomorphic at a recent-enough phylogenetic level that it's quite safe to say that the odds that the most immediate ancestors of chickens did not lay eggs are infinitesimal.

    The question is like: "Which came first: the human or the uterus?"

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  5. Alright, I concede. I usually have problems differentiating the egg from the chicken. To produce a chicken the non-chicken parent must give birth to a chicken (theoretically speaking, I know that is not 100% correcty). And although I view it as a chicken within the egg, it probably is viewed as just an egg. Hence the egg coming first and not the chicken. That is where I am coming from.

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