Old 26th May 2006, 21:53   #1
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Chicken and Egg Problem Solved

Saw this on /. today:

Quote:
Chicken and egg debate unscrambled
Egg came first, 'eggsperts' agree

LONDON, England -- It's a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was 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 egg.

Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, told the UK Press Association the pecking order was clear.

The living organism inside the eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken it would develop into, he said.

"Therefore, the first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg," he added. "So, I would conclude that the egg came first."

The same conclusion was reached by his fellow "eggsperts" Professor David Papineau, of King's College London, and poultry farmer Charles Bourns.

Mr Papineau, an expert in the philosophy of science, agreed that the first chicken came from an egg and that proves there were chicken eggs before chickens.

He told PA people were mistaken if they argued that the mutant egg belonged to the "non-chicken" bird parents.

"I would argue it is a chicken egg if it has a chicken in it," he said.

"If a kangaroo laid an egg from which an ostrich hatched, that would surely be an ostrich egg, not a kangaroo egg."

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."

The debate, which may come as a relief to those with argumentative relatives, was organized by Disney to promote the release of the film "Chicken Little" on DVD.

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Old 26th May 2006, 22:01   #2
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Simple logic I've espoused for a while now. In order for a chicken to exist as we know it, it must first hatch from an egg. Since you could theoretically mate two chicken-like creatures and get a chicken egg as a result, the egg doubtlessly came first--since you can't splice living animals together outside of a laboratory.
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Old 26th May 2006, 22:37   #3
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Yup, old.
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Old 27th May 2006, 02:13   #4
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my dreams are cruched. I thought the chicken was simply created. Just like man.

You damn hippy evolution believing people!
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Old 27th May 2006, 14:37   #5
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darn, that's another figure of speech down the swannee (figuratively speaking).

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Old 27th May 2006, 16:57   #6
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Welll.... There were eggs around long before there were chickens, so in the most technical and nitpicking sense, the egg was around first...


I'm sure they mean [chicken] egg, though.

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Old 27th May 2006, 17:05   #7
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I'm sure there were wussy animals around long before eggs.


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Old 30th May 2006, 16:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phyltre
Simple logic I've espoused for a while now. In order for a chicken to exist as we know it, it must first hatch from an egg. Since you could theoretically mate two chicken-like creatures and get a chicken egg as a result, the egg doubtlessly came first--since you can't splice living animals together outside of a laboratory.

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Old 30th May 2006, 17:33   #9
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A chicken could have been laid not in an egg but had a genetic mutation that meant that it laid eggs, therefore the Chicken came first, not the (chicken)egg. So the first egg laid by a chicken would be the "2nd generation". Thus the species separation occurd when the chicken was born that now laid eggs.

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Old 30th May 2006, 18:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phily Baby
A chicken could have been laid not in an egg but had a genetic mutation that meant that it laid eggs, therefore the Chicken came first, not the (chicken)egg. So the first egg laid by a chicken would be the "2nd generation". Thus the species separation occurd when the chicken was born that now laid eggs.
That much mutation would be exeedingly unlikely in a single generation.

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Old 30th May 2006, 19:20   #11
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So would "creating a chicken" from something we wouldn't call a chicken.

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Old 30th May 2006, 19:55   #12
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That's not true at all. Given the gradation which is inherent in evolution, at some point, there would be an animal which would be enough like a chicken that we would call it a chicken, which had parents that, while very similar to a chicken, were not a chicken.

That it would be very difficult to establish what exactly a chicken is is not relevant to the existence of said chicken.

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Old 30th May 2006, 20:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by fc*uk
my dreams are cruched. I thought the chicken was simply created. Just like man.

You damn hippy evolution believing people!
God did create chicken. Potato salad required evolution.
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Old 30th May 2006, 21:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
That's not true at all. Given the gradation which is inherent in evolution, at some point, there would be an animal which would be enough like a chicken that we would call it a chicken, which had parents that, while very similar to a chicken, were not a chicken.

That it would be very difficult to establish what exactly a chicken is is not relevant to the existence of said chicken.
The same can be said for the eggs themselves also. When does an egg not become an egg? Does it have to be a certain hard / thickness? Does it have to be a certain shape? etc. As you say, some cut off point is not going to happen in "a single generation".

There is no distinct cut off where we can cut with a knife the chicken / pre-chicken species. They will blend into one another, as is the way with evolution, and then it just becomes meaningless. It's a human definition. And at that point the whole discussion become irrlevant and meaningless. Which is what it is. There is no correct answer because the propsition is incorrect in that it does not make room for the actual process of evolution that created chickens and eggs.

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Old 30th May 2006, 23:06   #15
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I disagree.

True, we have an analog progression from non-chicken to chicken. But with a set of criteria that determine chickenicity, and individuals to apply them to, we would at one specific generation be able to certify the candidate as a chicken when its parents did not fit the definition completely. Because this candidate would have had to have hatched from an egg, this egg would then be the first true chicken egg.

The definition of the egg has nothing to do with it whatsoever. A chicken egg is defined as "what a chicken develops from", so I don't see the distinction you are trying to make. Are you insinuating that avians before the advent of chickens didn't lay eggs? This is patently false given our understanding of their descent from egg-laying dinosaurs.

I got a good laugh writing this--a news story about poultry farms came on in the middle of it.
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Old 30th May 2006, 23:31   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phily Baby
There is no distinct cut off where we can cut with a knife the chicken / pre-chicken species.
I think there would have to be. The first individual that is not able to successfully breed with it's cousins would be a member of a new species.

An example is horses and donkeys. Originally the same animal, but crossed now and you get a sterile mule.

So close, but different species.
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Old 31st May 2006, 02:34   #17
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well assuming that all animals are still evolving (including ourselves) does the criteria that makes a chicken today, identically match the criteria of your first (hypothetical) chicken.

the point is, were the two creatures that produced this archetypal chicken as close (or closer) to the genetic makeup of their offspring, as a contemporary chicken is today.

that's assuming chickens are in a continual state of evolutionary flux.

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Old 31st May 2006, 15:59   #18
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Start here!
what are we talking about here?
1. eggs,
2. chicken eggs?
if 1, goto A;
else goto B.
A
Reptiles,fish and anphibians (which by most accounts preceeded birds) all had eggs before the first chicken was around. the egg came first.

B
What makes a chicken egg a chicken egg?
1. a chicken lays the egg.
2. there is a chicken in the egg.
if 1, goto C
else, goto D

C
The chicken was first.

D
The egg was layed by an animal not quite a chicken.
so the egg was first.


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Old 31st May 2006, 17:31   #19
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oh the simplicity!

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Old 31st May 2006, 19:14   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrthchemp
well assuming that all animals are still evolving (including ourselves) does the criteria that makes a chicken today, identically match the criteria of your first (hypothetical) chicken.
The scientific criteria for distinguishing between a proto-chicken and a chicken is whether it can successfully breed because of genetic factors.

If you look at individuals, the line is cut and dried. It breeds or it doesn't. As a group, a semispecies happens for a while, because some of the animals or plants can breed with their counterparts, but not always, and not with all of the other individuals.
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Old 31st May 2006, 21:11   #21
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yes well ok, but the parents of your original chicken weren't appreciably different from the so-called chicken that they produced - so there is this apparent seamlessness. but i'll accede that in purely scientific terms, the egg came first. tho i have this strange feeling that it was meant to be something of a rhetorical question

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Old 1st June 2006, 07:32   #22
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It is traditionally a rhetorical question.
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Old 1st June 2006, 16:09   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockouthippie
It is traditionally a rhetorical question.
Sure. It's just a poor one.

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Old 4th June 2006, 05:30   #24
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You've convinced me.

Egg.

The explanation is understandable.

This might win me a beer at a bar some day.

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Old 29th June 2006, 16:32   #25
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chicken or egg

i just love this question. But when ask, I always reply "do you specifically mean a chicken agg, or eggs in general?"

If one is saying the egg came first and this egg is "a chicken egg" they would be incorrect. The egg would have been laid by a genetic ancestor of the chicken and therefore is not our chicken egg.

a "chicken egg" is the product of our new genetic output (ie chicken). the chicken is a genetic varient/mutant of its ancestor (its parent, which is not a chicken). And the success/production of the chicken egg is dependant on the survival of this new genetic mutation (chicken).

Therefore the chicken came before "its" egg (chicken specific) but not nessesarily before some form of incubation device (an egg).
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Old 29th June 2006, 19:20   #26
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Re: chicken or egg

Quote:
Originally posted by kir_bee
If one is saying the egg came first and this egg is "a chicken egg" they would be incorrect. The egg would have been laid by a genetic ancestor of the chicken and therefore is not our chicken egg.
That's wrong, if you consider a chicken egg to be an egg which contains a chicken.

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Old 29th June 2006, 21:35   #27
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Re: Re: chicken or egg

Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
That's wrong, if you consider a chicken egg to be an egg which contains a chicken.

read again......its said it is NOT a chicken egg,......if it was a "CHICKEN EGG" there would first have to be a chicken to lay it!!! Where did the chicken come from???

I presume it has some evolutionary ancestor (parent) which is not biologically classified as the exact same creature we call a chicken. A chicken is the consequence of some form of event to the original ancestors reproductive dna (sperm/ovum), resultiing in an inherited mutation that forms our chicken.

What I said is you need to specify the title of the egg HEHEHE ....for a chicken cannot hatch from a chicken egg if there was so chicken to lay a """""CHICKEN EGG"""""""""" its all a bit of play on words and most people automatically assume the egg IS that of a chickens and not its ancestory which may have been blue and rather larger....who knows.
its kinda like when people say we can from apes and think of the ones we see in the zoo, which of course we did not decend from but are associated through a common ancestor/primate.

1) ancestor lays egg or directly has mutant offspring (mutations is not bad).
this egg/birth divise is associated with the ancestor of the chicken and carries the genetic muation of this original animal......the resulting embryo is our chicken.
2)mutant offspring exhibits different genetic infomation from parent
3) mutant offspring carries new genetic information that forms A CHICKEN egg or carried original gene that forms eggs.
4) this animal survives because it is successful.


anyway its all a bit off fun.
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Old 29th June 2006, 21:36   #28
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did i post twice...sorrryyyyyyy!!
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Old 29th June 2006, 22:28   #29
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It's only a matter of what you consider a chicken egg to be. Personally, I think a chicken egg is an egg with a chicken in it &mdash; in other words, a chicken egg is what a chicken comes out of. You think it's an egg that's been laid by a chicken.

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Old 30th June 2006, 05:35   #30
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why was this dead thread revived?

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Old 30th June 2006, 09:31   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
It's only a matter of what you consider a chicken egg to be. Personally, I think a chicken egg is an egg with a chicken in it &mdash; in other words, a chicken egg is what a chicken comes out of. You think it's an egg that's been laid by a chicken.

heheh no matey I do not think its an egg laid by a chicken.

In short I said the egg was laid by another animal like a chicken but not......(ie, parent/ancestor) and therefore the egg is that of this animals. A chicken did not yet exist so the egg laid is that of its ancestor as the ancestor carried the gene to form its egg.......... the embryo has no effect on this process.

some how a chicken evolved out of some other quite similar animal, that animal had to produce this chicken somehow.....we presume it laid an egg and a chicken hatched to put it basically.

........to create our new chicken we need to have a genetic difference/varient from the ancestor....how we do that can be several ways, (see articles on punctuated equilibrium, chemical and radiation attack on repoductive dna) but generally this new creature is a mutant of its parent.....ie,it is carrying/exhibiting difference genetic expression/material as a result of DNA damage to its parents reproductive cells (sperm/ova).
The chicken is the resulting embryo (its a mutant) inside the ancestors egg........... the genetic instruction to form an egg belongs to its ancestor not our brand new, one and only chicken....... its pure simple mutation evolution and survival of a mutant line.

ahh evolution.....:O) hehehehe
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Old 30th June 2006, 15:13   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by kir_bee
heheh no matey I do not think its an egg laid by a chicken.
Yes, that's exactly what you think, you just repeated exactly that. You think a chicken egg, to be a chicken egg, must be laid by a chicken, making the chicken first. I think an egg containing a chicken is a chicken egg, therefore the egg came first.

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Old 30th June 2006, 18:37   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
Yes, that's exactly what you think, you just repeated exactly that. You think a chicken egg, to be a chicken egg, must be laid by a chicken, making the chicken first. I think an egg containing a chicken is a chicken egg, therefore the egg came first.
That's not what he thinks! Can't you see the difference between an egg coming from a chicken and a chicken laying said egg?!

No?

...Me either.
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Old 1st July 2006, 02:15   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
Yes, that's exactly what you think, you just repeated exactly that. You think a chicken egg, to be a chicken egg, must be laid by a chicken, making the chicken first. I think an egg containing a chicken is a chicken egg, therefore the egg came first.
The issue is whether species can evolve into other species within a generation (that is, whether one creature can evolve into a creature of another species). I think that the research showed this to not be the case, therefore species-changing evolution occurs between generations, therefore the egg came first.

This is not an obvious conclusion, though.

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Old 1st July 2006, 20:44   #35
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Old 2nd July 2006, 01:16   #36
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If you posted a picture there, they don't allow external linking.

If not, I'm confused.

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Old 3rd July 2006, 15:19   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by zootm
The issue is whether species can evolve into other species within a generation (that is, whether one creature can evolve into a creature of another species).
How often does an animal have a mutation which effects its entire genetic makeup? o_O

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Old 14th July 2010, 23:17   #38
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British scientists claim to have solved one of the great mysteries of life, the universe and everything in it: The chicken came before the egg


Scientists cracked the puzzle after discovering that the formation of eggs is possible only thanks to a protein found in chicken's ovaries. That means eggs have to be formed in chickens first.

The protein -- called ovocledidin-17 (OC-17) -- speeds up the development of the shell. Researchers from Sheffield and Warwick universities in England laid out their findings in the paper "Structural Control of Crystal Nuclei by an Eggshell Protein.



"http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6676542.shtml
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Old 14th July 2010, 23:34   #39
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The questions keep coming, now I have to decvide to eat some bacon and eggs, or a chicken sandwich.
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Old 16th August 2010, 03:55   #40
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That article didn't convince me. The precursor to the modern-day chicken could have been able to produce the same protein. Therefore I believe that the original post of this thread is likely more correct.

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