For centuries man has puzzled over the simple question, “which came first the chicken or the egg”? Having had a few science classes as I matriculated through school I knew that there were eggs of some sort before chickens were present on the earth and I believe that the egg did come before the chicken.
Aristotle pondered the query and wrote, ‘If there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother — which is repugnant to nature. For there could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.”
Plato conceded that “everything before it appeared on earth had first its being in spirit.” Roman philosopher, Macrobius, found the problem to be interesting, “You jest about what you suppose to be a triviality, in asking whether the hen came first from an egg or the egg from a hen, but the point should be regarded as one of importance, one worthy of discussion, and careful discussion at that.” (The Romans were not known for their sense of humor.)
NOW, WE CAN take enormous amounts of time discussing Darwin’s Origin of Species, but that has already created a stir in the last century, and Darwin suggested that the domesticated chicken evolved from red jungle fowl and he was later proven wrong. Evolution and DNA mutations can take place before any birth, but I am far from being qualified to venture too deeply into that extensive research, so let me try to simplify matters with one very important truth and that is that the egg did come first.
The egg came first, because other animals, such as dinosaurs, had been laying eggs long before chickens existed, and we have proof of their existence and there is no greater truth than the experiments in the 1993 film, Jurassic Park.
OK, the dinosaur eggs are a plot device for the film, but Doctor Henry Wu did create eggs, which hatched and those dinosaurs laid eggs and so on, but it all started with the egg.
I have recently come across British study linking the origin of domesticated chickens to 14th century South America and another study linking them to 16th century Polynesia, but in either case that is hundred of centuries after dinosaurs, and even though the previously mentioned film was fiction, the Jurassic Era was 144 million years ago when there were no chickens, but there was an egg that came first.
LET ME LEAVE you with another question: the one about the chicken crossing the road. But the question is not why, but how did the chicken cross the road? You may find that the discussion that you start will be egg-zilarating.
Former Roman Don Briscar, a Rome radio personality and former director of The Forum, now is manager of the Holly Springs, N.C. Cultural Center.