Experts agree: the egg came first!
A panel of experts has unanimously agreed on a question that has
baffled us through the ages: which came first, the chicken or the
Their answer? 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
Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics
at the University of Nottingham, said the living organism inside the egg shell
would have had the same DNA as the chicken it would develop
"Therefore, the first living thing which we could say
unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg," he said.
"So, I would conclude that the egg came first."
The same conclusion
was reached by his fellow panel members, philosopher of science David Papineau
at King's College Lonon, and poultry farmer Charles Bourns.
chicken eggs preceded chickens hinges on the nature of chicken eggs," Papineau
"I would argue it's a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it. If
a kangaroo laid an egg from which an ostrich hatched, that would surely be an
ostrich egg, not a kangaroo egg. By this reasoning, the first chicken did indeed
come from a chicken egg, even though that egg didn't come from
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."
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