The Chicken and the Egg

It is an age-old question: which came first – the chicken or the egg? Well, the answer depends on your flavor of belief: creationism versus evolution. Looking for an answer can take you from Divine intervention to scientific explanation, or some philosophical ground in between. Regardless whether you lean toward creationism or evolution, a widely accepted answer to the question seems unlikely.

Beginning with the scientific view, paleontologists have shown that eggs have been around for eons. Ancestral reptiles and dinosaurs reproduced in the form of an egg. The chicken slowly evolved from a reptile, into a flying reptile, into a bird and eventually into what we consider a chicken. During the evolutionary changes, a creature that was similar to, but not quite, a chicken laid an egg. Within that egg contained the next evolved generation of chickens.

The chicken, incidentally, is a descendent of the red jungle fowl, which can still be found in Southeast Asia. Domesticated chickens have been kept since 3200 B.C.E., and records show that Egyptians raised chickens for cockfighting in 1400 B.C.E.

Therefore, from an evolutionary point of view, it can be argued that the egg came first.

For those people who prefer creationism, the answer is a lot easier: The chicken was placed on earth first, along with all other animals (not to mention Adam and Eve). After mating, the first egg was produced and the chicken prospered.

The philosophers seem to have the most ingenious fun trying to solve this quandary. These theories are quite diverse and seem split between either the chicken or the egg being first.

The real reason we keep pondering this question may be to maintain the understanding that not everything in life is fully explained. This question continues to spark human curiosity and encourages us to investigate our world. For some, it has become a symbol of our undying desire to solve puzzles and pursue life's questions. It seems that the answer is an individual decision but the fun lies in trying to find the answer.