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The chicken comes before the egg.

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Empiricist-Bruno
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The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » February 10th, 2019, 1:12 pm

Whether the chicken comes before or after the egg is a philosophical question which apparently has never been asked before here on this forum, according to my research. So, let's ask it now.

But if it hasn't been asked by now, we may first want to wonder why. I suspect that the reason is that it has no apparent implications and is therefore a non-issue. But I think it does matter when you think about the issue of abortion: If you kill the egg, you also kill the chicken that comes after the egg. But if you kill the chicken, are the eggs that the chicken would have had also murdered?

If the chicken comes before the egg, then you can kill the chicken without killing the eggs. If the egg comes first, then you can't kill the chicken by killing the egg.

Anti-abortionists feel that we come from eggs and therefore the egg comes first but I am starting to think that the fact that we are made by eggs does not imply that we come from an egg. Who we are may be made by our dreams and thinking and this is where we are really from. And so, I believe the chicken comes first and that it comes down from the land of chalk drawing.

Holding this belief will make you feel that the right of the chicken to have an abortion is more important than the right of the egg to become a chicken because the chicken comes first.

Once more, what do you think? The chicken or the egg comes first, and does this issue has any implication in the abortion debate?
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by cavacava » February 11th, 2019, 9:28 am

Well eggs were around way before chickens existed. A kind of a evolutionary regressive argument.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Burning ghost » February 11th, 2019, 9:53 am

Bruno -
The chicken or the egg comes first, and does this issue has any implication in the abortion debate?
The question is easy enough to answer in evolutionary terms and secondly, no? What makes you think this has anything to do with any abortion debate? It is like saying the famed idiom of “too cooks spoils the broth” has relevance in deciding the best tasting dish in a culinary contest. It’s irrelevant.

A lot of the actual important debate orbits issues about the legal cutoff point and the question of how far along the pregnancy is. A lot of this debate gets sidetracked unscientific biblical nonsense and ignore basic human morality and the numerous difficult issues involved surrounding how we define “human life” and at what cost we are willing to alter laws to suit religious/social views in regards right or wrong along side positive ans negatives.

Miscarriage and abortion are pretty much the same thing. We don’t (at least sensible people) go around arresting women for “mistreating” their unborn child by eating this or that item or not eating this or that item.

Leave the fringe views to those interested in hollering with their fingers in their ears and once they calm down maybe then they can add more substance to this sensitive legal topic (and it is a LEGAL topic). Laws should be constantly questioned, or at least open to lines of questioning, but that doesn’t mean they should be annulled completely to satisfy the scream and cries of some plainly archaic ideas.

It will be a topic that will hopefully remains one of contention because it’s important to respect human lives. If it was never an issue brought up by anyone I’d be deeply disturbed.
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Mark1955 » February 11th, 2019, 10:58 am

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 1:12 pm
The chicken or the egg comes first,
As observed there were eggs long before there were chickens. If we were to be more specific and say the chicken egg before the chicken then it depends on what you mean by the chicken egg. Obviously if you mean an egg laid by a chicken the answer is obvious; if however you mean an egg with a chicken in it then the answer is the egg because the first chicken was a mutation laid by a species that was not quite a chicken.
Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 1:12 pm
and does this issue has any implication in the abortion debate?
I don't see why it should, the mother clearly comes before the fertilised egg, but the analogy is very poor even at this stage.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Alias » February 12th, 2019, 11:38 am

Philosophically and conceptually, eggs must come first.
Once you see a chicken, you can name, define, describe, quantify and evaluate it.
As long as the egg is intact, you can't know what's in it: a live chicken, a dead platypus or a potential dinosaur.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Eduk » February 12th, 2019, 1:59 pm

Surely everyone knows this is about whether a chicken egg comes before a chicken? Not does any egg come before a chicken, otherwise it's a stupid question.
Also this question is unanswerable. Which is the point. It depends how you define the word chicken and chicken egg. Which is arbitrary. It demonstrates the difficulty of lines of demarcation which humans are so happy to deal with.
Interestingly it does have something to say about abortion, although that seems to have been randomly stumbled upon.
Namely when does life begin. We see a baby and all agree that is life. We see individual sperm and mostly agree this is not a life. When does one become the other exactly? Not easy to answer.
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Alias » February 12th, 2019, 4:40 pm

A sperm is a life, just as an egg is a life, just as a bacterium is a life, just as a man is a life. It begins at whatever moment is arbitrarily designated as birth and ends at the very specific moment of death. Birth is arbitrarily designated, because everything that's alive is part of the continuum of all life on Earth since the primordial soup. Each individual organism is a mere offshoot of the fungus-web of life. When it dies, it's cut off.
There is no first for us to identify: we're all aspects of indeterminate duration. There will probably not be a last one to die, either, but a mass extinction.
So, if you want to assign seniority to a rooster's sperm, or a hen's egg, or one of the fowl, you can do so arbitrarily.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Karpel Tunnel » February 13th, 2019, 8:15 am

If you are a creationist, the chicken came first.
If you believe in Darwinian theory, then the specific egg of a specific bird came first, since it would have been the product of mutation or changes via natural selection in other ways. IOW the genes of that egg differed from the parents.
And if you are looking at eggs in general, when they came before chickens, as has been pointed out.
Wherever we draw the line since the inception of eggs and say, that bird is a chicken, well, that bird came from an egg that fit it, and the bird is not quite like its parents in some way that makes us say, here is the first chicken.
But that line may be rather arbritrary.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Eduk » February 13th, 2019, 10:17 am

If you believe in Darwinian theory, then the specific egg of a specific bird came first, since it would have been the product of mutation or changes via natural selection in other ways. IOW the genes of that egg differed from the parents.
Deciding on what is not a chicken and what is a chicken between parent and child seems like a non trivial thing to me. Unless you know of a way?
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Karpel Tunnel » February 15th, 2019, 11:51 am

If you believe in Darwinian theory, then the specific egg of a specific bird came first, since it would have been the product of mutation or changes via natural selection in other ways. IOW the genes of that egg differed from the parents.
Deciding on what is not a chicken and what is a chicken between parent and child seems like a non trivial thing to me. Unless you know of a way?
Unless there is cladogenesis rather than phyletic gradualism then it's a pretty arbritrary point, so I think I agree. But what I mean is that the egg is genetically the same as the chick it hatches. It is not the same as the hen who laid it. Mutations take place in the gametes of the parents - at least back when I learned most of my biology that was what they thought - so the egg and the chick it hatches are a unit, the change coming between the parents and the egg. So if you decide that chickens started in year X, day X, then it was with the laying of a particular egg. With chickens, even if punctuated equilibria is the case, I think we are dealing with a gradual change, no clear delineation between the pre-chicken bird and what we call a chicken, cause we were breeding them. This is all a bit above my pay grade, so you can ask someone who took evolutionary bio more recently, but it was a good exercise for my mind pulling it back out of the past.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Eduk » February 15th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Unless there is cladogenesis rather than phyletic gradualism then it's a pretty arbritrary point, so I think I agree. But what I mean is that the egg is genetically the same as the chick it hatches. It is not the same as the hen who laid it. Mutations take place in the gametes of the parents - at least back when I learned most of my biology that was what they thought - so the egg and the chick it hatches are a unit, the change coming between the parents and the egg. So if you decide that chickens started in year X, day X, then it was with the laying of a particular egg. With chickens, even if punctuated equilibria is the case, I think we are dealing with a gradual change, no clear delineation between the pre-chicken bird and what we call a chicken, cause we were breeding them. This is all a bit above my pay grade, so you can ask someone who took evolutionary bio more recently, but it was a good exercise for my mind pulling it back out of the past.
Cool so we can agree that the exact point a non chicken became a chicken is basically impossible to pinpoint, so the question of which came first 'the chicken or the egg' is also impossible to answer. Fortunately the answer doesn't actually matter.
I would make another point though because you go on to talk about word definitions. This is also non trivial to resolve. You have decided that a chicken must come from a chicken egg but you could just as easily decide that only a chicken can have a chicken egg. I see no reason particular reason to favour one definition over the other?
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Alias » February 15th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Of course the question, as a question is unanswerable! It's a snake eating its tail, a single hand clapping in the forest with nobody to hear the sound it doesn't make. But you can elaborate it. That's why I likened it to Schrodinger's box.
It is not at all a given that an egg found in verbal juxtaposition to a chicken has any connection to that chicken.
All you have as givens are "The chicken" and "The egg" - no specific or temporal relationship can be presumed.
However, a chicken has been defined to the satisfaction of all who eat it - is finite, mundane; done.
An egg represents unknown possibilities - infinite potential - even a big bang.



(So, a woman is already defined, classified and assigned some value in her society. Her fertilized egg is not. Aborting it may prevent a small localized tragedy, the Second Coming, a small localized benefit, or global catastrophe. Since you cannot know which, your decision regarding the foetus has the exact same chance of being ultimately good or bad. The result of your decision regarding the woman is immediately measurable.)

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Eduk » February 15th, 2019, 1:00 pm

It is interesting how we come to different conclusions @Alias. As I understand it the original question is concerning the apparent paradox of how can you have a bird without an egg and how can you have an egg without a bird. Of course evolution answers this rather neatly thus rendering the original intent of the question irrelevant as there is no paradox.
Personally I find the surety of answers interesting. You say of course it is unanswerable but there is no shortage of people who seem to believe they do have an answer.
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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Alias » February 15th, 2019, 1:18 pm

Isn't that the point of unanswerable questions? To inspire a variety of unverifiable answers - a discussion of ideas.

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Re: The chicken comes before the egg.

Post by Eduk » February 15th, 2019, 2:28 pm

Is it?
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