©2018 C. Henry Martens
Of course, “the” egg came first, but that’s not really what we’re discussing is it?
We’re really asking, “Which came first, the chicken or the *chicken* egg,” right?
The whole conundrum revolves around whether it takes a chicken to lay a chicken egg… or whether a chicken egg can be laid by something other than a chicken.
So of course, the answer is… (drum roll, please)… the egg came first.
In order to BE a chicken egg, the egg has to carry a chicken embryo. Without the chicken embryo, the egg is something else. In order to grow into a chicken, the embryo has to BE a chicken embryo.
But a NOT chicken, can lay a chicken egg. That pre-chicken was carrying DNA that was mutating. The mutations were happening inside the pre-chicken, in its ovaries. And there were mutations occurring in the male pre-chicken as well.
Did the mutations happen in the egg? Nope. The combining of mutations happened inside the pre-chicken as the egg was fertilized, but the mutations were already extant.
We see wide variations in physical form with very limited difference in DNA. Some animals share over 99.9% of their DNA yet vary enough that they are visually distinct.
A pre-chicken may have resembled the present-day chicken so closely that we could not tell the difference. But it could have resembled something easily distinguished as not a chicken.
The chicken egg came first.
Now you know…
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