The Egg came First or the Chicken? Here's what Science has to say!

1,562 Views Updated: 07 Jul 2017
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The Egg came First or the Chicken? Here's what Science has to say!

What came first, the chicken or the egg? The question that may sound absurd to many has been doing rounds for centuries now, with no conclusive answer to the query. For years now, scientists have been formulating theories to resolve the greatest mystery question that is yet to be answered.

With every new study that explores this subject, a new theory came into existence dismissing the past ones by posting as a new challenge the existing ones and complicating the entire puzzle.

Theories Around The Egg And The Chicken Puzzle

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Although it took a long time to unravel the mystery behind the question, researchers and renowned scientists did not shy away from sharing their attempt at finding the answer.

#1. Aristotle’s Theory

The first theory surfaced back in the days of Aristotle. He was thinking about this type of question and tried to seek an answer. However, his failure at doing so was reflected as he suggested that both went infinitely backward and had always existed.

#2. Plutarch’s Theory

While Aristotle may be one of the first few to try to unravel the mystery, it was Plutarch who actually formulated the question and gave it an enduring form. He formed the question about the uncertainty and raised the brows of many who looked for an answer.

  #3. Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas Theory 

Christian Philosophers, like Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, spent a significant amount of time to explore the answer to the world’s greatest puzzle. After conducting an intensive research, they came to a conclusion based on their understanding of Genesis and said, chicken would have come first.

#4. Ulysse Aldrovandi Theory

Hundred years later, Italian historian Ulysse Alldrovandi tested his knowledge by attempting to resolve the query. According to him, the Sacred books mentioned that the hen existed first. The book stated that the hen came into existence at the birth of Earth and hence the eggs are a product of the hen, answering the puzzle.

#5. Denis Diderot Theory

By the 18th century, Denis Diderot, an important enlightenment thinker and editor of Encyclopedia tried to dismiss the entire theory by saying that the hen and egg evolved to take the form that they have today. None existed from the beginning, but are a result of evolution. The findings were impressive but they lacked research as his inference stated that the change was gradual which added a level of mystery and certainty to the question.

#6. Charles Darwin Theory

Renowned naturalist, Charles Darwin’ ‘On the Origin of Species’ was a hit in the nail following Diderot's findings that spoke about evolution. His findings provided the back-up that Diderot's findings lacked, signaling that evolution could be the answer to the question.

#7. Dr. Colin Freeman, Sheffield University 

Years later, Dr. Colin Freeman along with other British researchers concluded the research that with an inference that chicken must have come first. he reasoned his belief with the fact that the formation of eggs is possible only after the proteins are found in the chicken’s ovaries. Hence, the chicken had to originate first.

The Latest Theory To Dismiss Them All


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While scientists have been continuously juggling between the egg and the chicken with some voting for the egg while other proving that it was indeed the chicken that came first, NPR’s Robert Krulwich recent development has brought an end to all speculations and theories.

His theory states that many centuries ago, there was a proto-chicken, a chicken-like bird that existed. It genetically resembled the chicken but was not a full blown chicken. It's female version, the Proto-hen laid an egg, and the Proto-rooster fertilized it. When the genes of the Proto hen and Proto-rooster fused together, it gave birth to a new set of mutation that accidentally made the baby different from the parents.

Since it would take decades to notice the change, it was assumed that the egg produced by the prototypes was the official progenitor of a new species, which was later addressed as the chicken. With this revelation, all theories regarding the chicken and the egg were put to rest with an answer stating that the egg came first, which hatched into a chicken and henceforth it multiplied.

But What About The Proto-Chicken And the Proto-Egg?

While scientists are relieved that the ancient old mystery around the chicken and the egg is finally resolved, they are now perturbed about the Proto–chicken and the Proto-egg. With this, the new question that has begun to cause sleepless nights to many scientists is ‘What came first – the Proto-chicken or the Proto-egg?’


So, which came first- the chicken or the egg? We would love to hear from you. Cast your votes and leave your opinions below in the comment box!

(Feature Image Courtesy: YouTube)

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