Chicken or Egg Dilemma: Which Came First? Scientists Provide Conclusive Answer to the Age-Old Question

The chicken or the egg, which came first? This is the age-old question that has baffled laymen, philosophers, and scientists for thousands of years as choosing either one of the two seems to contradict each other.

Under the analogy that chickens of today lay eggs but the said birds also came from eggs, comprehending this is probably a tongue twister for the brain.

However, scientists asserted that the answer to this mystery has always been right in front of us.

One of the central arguments surrounding the chicken or egg dilemma is that the latter has been around Earth longer than the chicken or its ancestor. Due to this evidence, scientists say that it is safe to bet that eggs came first. 

However, there are still some who contradict this seemingly conclusive answer. For instance, reports say that researchers found that egg shell formation is dependent on a protein that is only found in a chicken’s ovaries.

Chicken or Egg Causality Dilemma

Chicken or Egg Dilemma

(Photo : Image by Anja from Pixabay)

The chicken or egg dilemma, also referred to as the chicken or egg causality dilemma, has become a controversial topic even in recent years since the question assumes that all chickens emerged from eggs, while all eggs originated from chickens.

This logic of causality implies that both are a manifestation of each other, meaning a chicken cannot exist without the egg or vice-versa.

Intellectual contestation of this dilemma can be traced as far as the time of Ancient Greece; such as from the writings of Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plutarch. It can also be found in the works of Roman provincial Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius.

Based on his writing during the 4th century BCE, Aristotle concluded that the dilemma was an infinite sequence with no true origin.

Sources say Aristotle’s rationale did not answer or solve the question at all.

Also Read: Why did the Chicken Cross the Sea? To Save Our Poultry Farmers

Age-Old Question

Addressing the age-old question, scientists may finally have a conclusive answer to the chicken or egg causality dilemma. Based on multiple studies, evidence implies that the egg came first before the chicken or even its egg-laying ancestor.

In this context, scientists argued that eggs are found throughout the Animal Kingdom, even long before chickens appeared along the evolutionary ladder.

According to the Australian Academy of Science, amniotic eggs appeared as early as 340 million years ago and the first chickens evolved around 58,000 years ago, making it a safe bet that the egg came first before the chicken.

In evolution, scientists also went as far as 66 million years ago, when the avian dinosaur ancestors of the modern chicken also laid their eggs.

Regardless, evidence shows that ancient animal eggs developed first than the egg-laying chickens. In contrast, in a study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom found that the chicken’s earliest reptile ancestors (which preceded the dinosaurs that we know) might not have laid eggs.

Related Article: Israeli Archaeologists Accidentally Broke a 1,000-year-old Egg They Discovered!

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