TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What came first: the chicken or the egg?

I'm not being facetious with this post.

When asked this question, most people shrug and say "I don't know." But now I'm posing this question to the enlightened minds of TED.com.

So what came first? The chicken that laid the egg or the egg that hatched the chicken?

To me, the issue is philosphical and scientific at the same time. There has to be an answer, but couldn't one argue either position?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 16 2012: The egg came first, and it's really not much of a debate.
    • Apr 16 2012: I don't understand how you can say that with such certainty. Surely something had to lay the egg, did it not?
      • thumb
        Apr 16 2012: I agree entirely that something had to lay the egg. This 'something' was an egg-laying species distinct from chickens.
    • thumb
      Apr 17 2012: Truth is : sometimes the egg came first, sometimes the chicken did.
      Sometimes it's genetic variation causing non-chickens to lay chicken eggs.
      But sometimes a non-chicken egg in a specific environment might produce a chicken. There is a lot of interaction going on between the egg and its environment, with certain genes only active under certain conditions and coding for a different animal in the end.

      gene mutation and sexual selection are not enough to explain alone the origin of our biosphere.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.