The Instigator
emil1
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

What came first: The Chicken or The Egg

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,584 times Debate No: 37435
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

emil1

Pro

The Chicken. The chicken came first because they were the evolved species from a flying bird dinosaur in the Cretaceous Era. The bird was an evolution species with then produced eggs and so on to have a multiple population around the world.
RoyLatham

Con

The first chicken-egg came from a non-chicken

The chicken evolved from a bird that was not a chicken, but very nearly a chicken. At some step in the evolutionary process, a non-chicken produced a slightly mutated offspring that became the first chicken. This is true however one wishes to define a "chicken." Whatever criteria one chooses, it could be defined by some DNA test that distinguishes non-chickens from chickens.

Mutations occur when the hen's ovum is fertilized by the rooster. The DNA is then established in the egg, and the egg grows to become the first chicken. "Since DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) can be modified only before birth, ... that a mutation must have taken place at conception or within an egg such that a creature similar to a chicken, but not a chicken, laid the first chicken eggs. These eggs then hatched into chickens that inbred to produce a living population." [1. http://en.wikipedia.org... additionally verified by 2. http://www.cnn.com... and 3. http://science.howstuffworks.com... ]

If our non-chicken/chicken DNA test (NCCDNAT) were applied to the hen, it could not show the hen was chicken, because the premise is that we are to explain the first chicken. The NCCDNAT also could not show the rooster to be a chicken, again by the premise that we must explain the first chicken. However, the egg can pass the NCCDNAT because it is formed from two DNA strings with a mutation possibly added as well. The DNA of the egg determines that what emerges will also be a chicken.

"Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg. ...Put simply, the reason is down to the fact that genetic material does not change during an animal's life." [2. op cit]

It's possible that the first chicken, coming from the first chicken-producing-egg, might mate with non-chicken to produce a non-chicken. there are no other chickens, so with certainty the mate will be a non-chicken. We don't know if the offspring of the first chicken and a non-chicken will pass the NCCDNAT or not. But we don't care, because the resolution for this debate only deals with the first chicken, not later chickens. It might be that generations pass before another NCCDAT-certified chicken occurs. Nonetheless, the egg preceded the first chicken.

We do not know with certainty if the modern chicken was produced by a mutation or if it was a simple hybrid. "The modern chicken was believed to have descended from another closely related species of birds, the red junglefowl, but recently discovered genetic evidence suggests that the modern domestic chicken is a hybrid descendant of both the red junglefowl and the grey junglefowl. [1, op cit] If the chicken is a hybrid, then many independent examples might have been produced. The ranges of the red and gray junglefowl are largely distinct, but overlap in a small region of India. [4. http://en.wikipedia.org...] Many may have been produced when something, perhaps climate, caused an overlap of the populations. The chicken population would then have to have been isolated to enable speciation. However, in each case the egg would have come first, as neither parent was a "chicken" under the modern definition.

Pro's Argument

Pro argues chickens evolved from flying dinosaurs. That only explains how bids evolved, not how chickens in particular originated as an identifiable species. Birds include penguins, ostriches, crows, parrots, chickens, and about 10,000 other species in class Aves of tetrapod vertebrates. [5. http://en.wikipedia.org...] Saying they came from dinosaurs doesn't tell us whether the egg or the chicken was the first example of the chicken. Because the DNA doesn't change in the egg, but does change in the non-chicken parent, the egg must have been first.


Debate Round No. 1
emil1

Pro

con is wrong. But he agrees to my idea of chickens came first by evolution. Chickens may not come form flying feathered dinosaurs but many be from prehistoric birds after the dinosaur era.
RoyLatham

Con

I agree that chickens are a result of evolution, but the chicken did not come before the egg. The DNA that determines the species does not change after the egg is formed. [1, 2, 3, op cit] Whether chickens evolved from flying dinosaurs or from other precursors, it remains true that an egg with chicken DNA preceded the first hatched chicken.

Pro has only reasserted that he believes the resolution true. He did not provide a rebuttal to my argument that the process of evolution requires the egg to be first. Pro provided no sources to support his claim. Therefore Pro should be judged to lose both arguments and sources.

Pro challenged me to this debate, and I accepted because the evolutionary process is interesting. Thanks to Pro for the opportunity. I hope the debate has been interesting to readers.
Debate Round No. 2
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
@TheEggCameFirst I think you misunderstand the debate. There is some date X at which the first bird classified as a chicken appeared. There is another date Y at which the first egg classified as a chicken egg occurred. The debate is about whether X is after Y, or X is before Y.
Posted by TheEggCameFirst 2 years ago
TheEggCameFirst
The creature before the egg to me sounds a bit like a butterfly before a caterpillar; i believe that the egg came first as a soft shell bubble similar to a fish egg constructed by a small creature which then changed into a hard-body creature and over time they evolved to simply skip the soft body stage while also developing a shell to protect itself while still being able to eventually escape when their prearranged food source runs out. Thus the chicken, or rather the chickens predecessor came after the egg... the real question for me is what soft body creature came before the egg AND the chicken.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution is whether a chicken egg preceded the chicken or a chicken preceded the chicken egg. The exact point at which the mutation occurred is not relevant so long as the result was the chicken egg preceding the egg, which it was. It might have been in the ovum. sperm, or zygote. All led to the egg.
Posted by neurotic1 3 years ago
neurotic1
Ah. Its just you wrote a mutation occurred in the ovum when a hen was fertilized by a rooster. Mutation doesn't occur that way, that is breeding; genetic change happens through meiosis in breeding and not the alteration of nucleotide base pairs. I think you are referring to hybridization which takes place when mechanisms of speciation break down between separate species.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
neurotic1, The dictionary definition of mutation is: "the changing of the structure of a gene, resulting in a variant form that may be transmitted to subsequent generations, caused by the alteration of single base units in DNA, or the deletion, insertion, or rearrangement of larger sections of genes or chromosomes." What you have described seems to me to be ordinary breeding, with no mutation. Mutation creates a new gene, distinct from genes in the preceding population. Mutations are caused by cosmic rays and interfering chemicals. As far as I know, mutation is required to produce a new species, although not every mutation does so.

The evolutionary ancestors of chickens were birds that were not chickens. Scientists believe that it was the red or the gray junglefowl. I think you may be confused about the nature of the debate. It's not about whether some egg of some type preceded chickens, it's about whether chicken eggs preceded chickens. The chicken-or-the-egg problem was posed more than 2000 years ago as a paradox. It seems you can't have chickens without chicken eggs, but you can't have chicken eggs without chickens -- so it seems neither could have been first. Modern understanding of genetics shows that a chicken egg could be produced by a bird that is nearly a chicken, but that a chicken could not be produced from anything other than a chicken egg. the paradox is thus resolved.
Posted by neurotic1 3 years ago
neurotic1
hi. Could you define mutation please? i view a mutation as an alteration of the biochemistry within DNA for instance the replacement of a Cytosine Gaunine pair with the alternative thus producing different protein. Isn't the creation of a new organism through breeding either natural or behavioural selection? For instance say there are a number of genes present in a population A B C. there would therefore be organisms with AA BB CC AB AC BC genes. Therefore, no matter what breeding event took place, in a stable population, the species would have A B C genes. now if a mutation was to take place to change a gene there would be A B and D not C as C was altered.

And surely reptiles produce eggs so the chicken and its avian ancestors had to hatch from an egg. Chickens are genetically programmed to develop an egg tooth (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Why would natural selection make this so if they didn't hatch from an egg?

I do agree however that chicken MAY have come first. if a genetic mutation did take place an organism could change in its own life-cycle. For example the chicken ancestor was exposed to radiation, this changed the nucleotide bonding in its DNA, and it started to produce chicken like proteins. The transformation in chicken then happened before the egg right?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
emil1RoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: I never really thought about this I guess but apparently the question has a clear answer. Solid argument from con. Conduct since pro did not even attempt to engage in a debate essentially forfeiting.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
emil1RoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: While it is true both agree that evolution was involved, the order of that evolution is where the disagreement... Either radiation mutated a living bird into a chicken, or a random change in genetic coding passed down to the next generation happened (growing inside an egg, until a full chicken). Pro gave a far superior argument, as merely claiming the other side is wrong is not a rebuttal. Sources from con were numerous, and unchallenged.
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
emil1RoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Pro gravely misinterpreted and misrepresented Con's argument. I question if he even read the argument. Spelling wasn't an issue. Sources weren't given. Arguments: Pro talked... Con argued with a well written case that absolutely convinced me from an evolutionary perspective.
Vote Placed by LevelWithMe 3 years ago
LevelWithMe
emil1RoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro simply made a restatement of his basic argument in the first round, for the second round, after conceding to Con's counter argument. Pro didn't address Con's standalone argument from the first round at all. Con used sources. Pro didn't.