Musings on research, international development and other stuff

Chickens and eggs


I was listening to a radio debate the other day and the host attempted to sum up the trickiness of the argument by saying “ah well, it’s like the age-old question, what came first the chicken or the egg?”. Which kind of annoyed me cus I have always thought the answer to that question is pretty obvious. You see, at some point in history, our understanding of evolutionary biology* tells us that the sequence of events outlined below occurred:

As you can see, the very first member of the species ‘chicken’ (as defined by the standard criteria of ability to interbreed with other members of the species) was preceeded not only by the egg from which it emerged, but in fact by a whole lot of eggs which hatched to reveal creatures which over time became increasingly genetically similar to chickens. So you see? It’s simple. It’s the egg!

At this point you may be wondering how I am going to draw out some wise lessons from this story and link them to international development. Well, I’m not. It’s been a long day and I just fancied blogging about chickens. Having said that, now you don’t need to waste any more of your brain power pondering this question and so I trust that you will have much more time to grapple with the big questions of global poverty.

*If you want to learn more about evolution I thoroughly recommend this blog by @HollyDunsworth

**The species name for chickens is Gallus gallus. Which is, by the way, really funny if you come from Scotland. Probably not so much for the rest of you.


2 thoughts on “Chickens and eggs

  1. I love the fact, and never fail to be amazed that one can browse the internet for nothing in particular and can stumble upon entertaining little gems like this blog post and then be given another gem of a link. Thank you 🙂

  2. Now, that was an amusing and enjoyable read!. Thanks

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