chicken or the egg
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 2, 2024 ·  2 min read

It’s Settled! Scientists Give Answer to Whether Chicken or Egg Came First

It’s highly likely that you’ve heard the question before, and even more so when it comes to the possible meanings of each response.

Which came first, though—the egg or the chicken? Scientists have shared their knowledge on the subject, potentially leading to a definite solution to the age-old puzzle. Now, let’s examine the available data.

Around 10,000 years ago, domestic chickens as we know them now first appeared. Does this imply that the egg arrived soon before then? What’s an egg?

Numerous inquiries, but let’s go even further back and discover the opinions of Christian philosophers. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, considered this issue and ultimately based their response on Genesis, the first book of the Bible. This indicates that in their view, God created animals, with the chicken coming first.

Though the philosophers mentioned above lived thousands of years ago, we now live in the era of science and have advanced significantly. This is some science for you, then. BBC Science Focus claims that there is a conclusive response.

Now for the quote: “Chickens are much younger than eggs.”

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,” says Luis Villazon.

He continues by saying that the eggs were still eggs even though they weren’t chicken eggs. A valid issue, considering the question makes no mention of the kind of animal the egg has to originate from. After that, Villazon remarked, “So the egg definitely came first.” Issue resolved, but not before he went on to explain: “Unless you rephrase the query to, ‘Which came first, the chicken or the chicken’s egg?’Then, a lot relies on your definition of what constitutes a chicken’s egg.”

Cracking the Code: Chicken vs. Egg

The conversation then returns to philosophy, where he queries whether a chicken lays the egg or if the egg hatches from the fowl.

According to the explanation, chickens are the “same species as the red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia,” but due to domestication, they were ‘hybridised’ with grey jungle fowl around 10,000 years ago.

Villazon ultimately arrived at the following conclusion: “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.”

The egg came first, he continues, adding that it is up to you whether you want to refer to the egg as a chicken’s egg.

In the event that it did not, the chicken emerged first as its egg ‘had to wait until the first chicken deposited it.’

Make sense? Not at all? Still a mystery?

You will essentially receive your response based on how certain you are about the egg being a chicken’s egg.

This content has, in part, been generated with the aid of an artificial intelligence language model. While we strive for accuracy and quality, please note that the information provided may not be entirely error-free or up-to-date. We recommend independently verifying the content and consulting with professionals for specific advice or information. We do not assume any responsibility or liability for the use or interpretation of this content.