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Scientists finally give answer to whether chicken or egg came first

Scientists finally give answer to whether chicken or egg came first

The age-old question has finally been answered

You've almost definitely heard the question before, and even more so about the potential explanations behind each answer.

But what did come first: the chicken or the egg?

The age-old riddle may finally have a definitive answer, as scientists have imparted their knowledge on the matter.

Which came first?
Getty Stock Photo

Well, let's look at the facts then.

Domestic chickens as we know them started appearing around 10,000 years ago.

So does this mean that the egg came shortly before that?

What is an egg?

Many questions, but let's go even further back and see what Christian philosophers think, the likes of Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas pondered the question and ended up basing their answer on Genesis, the first book in the Bible.

This means that according to them, the chicken came first, as God created animals.

But we are in the age of science, and have long moved on from the aforementioned philosophers, who were around thousands of years ago.

So, here's some science for you.

Science has the answer.
Getty Stock Photo

According to BBC Science Focus, there is a definitive answer.

Here we go: "Eggs are much older than chickens.

"Dinosaurs laid eggs, the fish that first crawled out of the sea laid eggs, and the weird articulated monsters that swam in the warm shallow seas of the Cambrian Period 500 million years ago also laid eggs," states Luis Villazon.

He goes on to say that despite the fact that they weren't chicken eggs, they were still eggs.

A fair point, given as the question doesn't specify which animal the egg had to come from.

Villazon then said: "So the egg definitely came first."

Problem solved - except he continued his explanation: "Unless you restate the question as ‘which came first, the chicken or the chicken’s egg?’ Then it very much depends on how you define a chicken’s egg."

We then go back to philosophy, where he asks if an egg is laid by a chicken, or if it is an egg that a chicken hatches from.

It is explained that chickens are the 'same species as the red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia', but they were later 'hybridised' with grey jungle fowl around 10,000 years ago, when they were domesticated.

An age-old riddle.
Getty Stock Photo

Villazon came to a conclusion in the end: "But it doesn’t matter; at some point in evolutionary history when there were no chickens, two birds that were almost-but-not-quite chickens mated and laid an egg that hatched into the first chicken."

He then says it is up to you if you wanted to call that egg a chicken's egg, in which case, the egg came first.

If not, the chicken came first as the first chicken's egg 'had to wait until the first chicken laid it.'

Make sense? No? Still lost?

Basically, it's dependant on how particular you are about the egg being a chicken's egg and from there, you will get your answer.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photos

Topics: Science, Animals, History, Weird