Truth Is Out: Chicken Came First

By David L. Brown

Chickens Get the Last Laugh

Chickens Get the Last Laugh

A little over four years ago I posted a piece here responding to a report on the all-important scientific question of our age, the chicken-egg controversy. I wrote:

“Addressing the major scientific issue of which came first, the chicken or the egg, a panel of eggsperts have concluded that the egg had to come first. Star Phoenix Base doesn’t think this is egg-sactly right.”

Well, pardon me while I cackle. Now a news report from Mail Online, the web site of the British newspaper The Daily Mail, turns that question around and claims that it was indeed the chicken, not the egg that came first. Here’s a link to the Mail Online story.

Previous attempts to explain the egg-first scenario fell back on the idea that two unrelated species must have interbred to fertilize the egg from which the first chicken hatched, so that neither of the parents were themselves chickens. That seemed unlikely to me, since different species generally can’t interbreed, or if they do, the offspring are sterile (for example, the mule).

Well, thank goodness this deep scientific question is answered at last, thanks to researchers at Sheffield and Warwick Universities who used a super computer to hatch their solution The new chicken-first theory is based on the discovery that the ability to form eggshells in the special way chickens do “is only found in a chicken’s ovaries,” the Mail Online article explained. “Therefore, an egg can only exist if it has been inside a chicken — thereby proving chickens must have come first.”

If you’d enjoy more pun-ishing ventures into poultry-related word play, you may want to read my original post, “Egg-regious Errors in Chicken Logic,” May 29, 2006, here.

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