One of the great things about having children is it reacquaints you with things you have not thought about for a long time. The old Chicken or the Egg paradox is one of those classic brain teasers that children of a certain age love and it is a good one since the answer depends on how you parse the question. I thought I would list all the different answers we came up with.
Evolution 1 – Chicken
The first Chicken had to have hatched from an egg laid by a proto-chicken (i.e. a bird that was very similar to a chicken, but not actually a chicken). This means that the Chicken came before the first chicken Egg since only a chicken can lay an chicken egg.
Evolution 2 – Egg
If we consider that a chicken egg is a egg that a Chicken hatches from then the Egg must comes first.
Evolution 3 – Egg
The Egg is a much older than Chickens. What we now recognise as Eggs first appeared at least 300 million years ago. This is long before the first Chicken which only arose a a domesticated version of the Indian Red Jungle Fowl sometime in the last 10,000 years.
Biblical – Chicken
According to Genesis 1 God created all the animals on Day 5 therefore the Chicken was created before the first chicken Egg.
Word Order – Chicken
In the question “Which came first the Chicken or the Egg?”, the word Chicken precedes the word Egg.
Word Origin – Egg
English Language – Chicken
The original word for Egg in Old English was Ey and only in the development of Middle English did the Norse word egg become the common term. The word Chicken is from Old English and so it appeared first in the English language.
Dictionary – Chicken
In the English Dictionary the letter C comes before the letter E hence Chicken is first. The same applies to Encyclopaedias, although of course no child of today knows what an Encyclopaedia is.
Wikipedia – Chicken
Finish Line – Chicken
In a race a Chicken will always beat an Egg to finish line.
Drop Test – Egg
Chickens can fly so if you drop an Chicken and Egg off a barn roof together the Egg will hit the ground first.
There must be more!