The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The Chicken Came Before The Egg

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,185 times Debate No: 16854
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)




Hello All!

It's time to tackle one of life's most interesting challenges... The Chicken or The Egg?

Before we begin lets lay down The Rules of Engagement


1. Round one is solely for the purpose of accepting the challenge. DO NOT POST YOUR ARGUMENT HERE YET.

2. This debate is going to be purely philosophical thus no outside sources should be cited. What I mean is that you should post in the purest philosophical sense and not try to sight scientific facts.

3. Having said that, the judges should base decisions regarding 'Who had more qualified evidence?' on logic meaning who to you sounded more feasible.

4. If you don't want to follow the rules don't accept the challenge

5. I will treat the breaking of the rules as a forfeit from you and the judges should follow accordingly.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to debating you!


I accept the rules laid down by my opponent. As per the rules, this round will solely be for acceptance. Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chicken came before the egg.

Before I post the logical reasoning for my line of thinking let me introduce you to the line of thinking that creates the burden of proof on the debaters for proving which came first. My argument in a nutshell is that the conditions for life to exist, in any thought process, whether religious or scientific, denotes the idea that life has to preclude the reproduction of life. My point is to begin you, as the judges on the right footing for grounding yourselves in the question of, "How can it exist?" and in the case of a stalemate realize the tie breaker that the existence of a chicken is more likely than the random existence of an egg.

Here is the evidence:

#1 - Embryonic Development:

In the purest logical line of thinking the egg is an embryo. This is true because the egg is literally the reproductive cell of the female chicken that is incepted by the male. In this instance then the development of an egg can only be linked to have been existing in the ovaries of the chicken and thus can never have existed before the existence of the chicken that transferred its DNA. Similarly if this debate goes beyond the literal, in an abstract sense, the egg as the new life can only exist where it replaces the old life (AKA its parents or the male and female chicken the incepted it).

#2 - Evolutionary Thought

This argument goes to compliment the previous statement as here I will appeal to those that believe in the evolutionary cycle of life. As we are taught and understand, the idea of evolution at its purest sense explains that there is life that is always evolving. Meaning, for the purpose of this debate that the chicken at one point had to come first as it was the evolutionary offshoot of another species. This being said, that means that the chicken (Lets assume a mutation of another animal) then had to reproduce with another of its kind to make more of this new species. In the purest logical sense then it is more logical to assume that the chicken had to have been some sort of being to exist to reproduce with another.

#3 - All Lines of Thinking Conclude Pro

As I have appealed to above, whether you are religious, scientific in thinking or some mix of in between, the logic that all beliefs follow (Creation or evolution) hint to the idea that there has to first exist the animal before it creates more. Let us start with religion, if some higher being had created the Earth, then by religious standards the animals and all that this God created came before the animals reproduced. Simplified, I mean that the "God" would not have simply created an egg but instead the chicken to reproduce. The evolutionary line of thinking is explained above but to reiterate, the evolutionary cycle can only be explained if the chicken came before hand and then reproduced its own kind.

#4 The Chicken as a Metaphor

From an abstract sense the chicken itself has to come before the egg as well. To think metaphorically the egg is the beginning of new life, but this new life is confined in this argument to the idea that it is the reproduction of life in the image of the parents or "inceptors" of life. This then is the only explanation for how then life can be reproduced as it has to be modeled off of the pre-existing.

Lastly allow me here to pre-empt answer some of my opponents most common choices for argument.

"But the chicken cannot simply exist" - You are right if make this argument but let me say that this statement is precluded by my distinctions in religion and in evolution that explain the origins of "Chicken" mean that it had to come first (whether by evolution/mutation or by creation of a higher being).

"You said egg means life so life had to start at egg" - True again I did claim that life starts at the level of the egg but I also challenge the con to meet the burden of this debate by justifying the true definition of the egg which is reproduction of life of the chicken. Thus then I win the argument that the first chicken exists out of the confides of the egg and could have come about as I have said before through mutation or simply creation.

Thanks for listening y'all and I look forward to an awesome debate!


Merda forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, I'm kinda new as to what to do in these types of situations. So I will assume then that Pro wins by default...

Thank you to anyone who was following this debate and to my opponent. I will likely post this topic again for anyone else who wants to take a crack at it.



I apologize to my opponent and the readers of this debate for my forfeit. I was catching up on my sleep for the last week and I didn't realize I only had a day to respond. The way it usually works when there has been no specified rule laid out pertaining to forfeits is that the forfeiter loses the conduct vote, but other than that the debate proceeds as normal. As such I will refute my opponent's arguments below and lay out my own.

#1 - Embryonic Development

Here my opponent argues that because a chicken can only come from an egg, and an egg can only come from a chicken, the chicken must have been first. However this line of reasoning is easily refuted in that it takes us into an infinite regress. The egg came from a chicken, who came from another chicken, who came from another chicken, ad infinitum. The argument from embryonic development implodes in on itself.

#2 - Evolutionary Thought

I would provide sources to back my argument up but sources have been banned by my opponent. So I will attempt to refute this argument logically. He argues that according to evolutionary thought, the first chicken probably was an offshoot of another species and so had to come first before it began reproducing(producing eggs). However this argument actually works in my favor in that the first chicken(like all chickens) hatched from an egg. This is a distinction within birds. That they hatch from eggs. So the first chicken, using my opponent's A1, came form an egg.

#3 - All Lines of Thinking Conclude Pro

As to my opponent's argument from Creation by a divine being, I do not accept this nor am I arguing it. If my opponent is to argue it than he should support it with evidence. As to the argument from evolution, I responded to it above and showed that it works in my favor.

#4 The Chicken as a Metaphor

I will answer this argument later in my own case but I will briefly summarize it here. We are not speaking metaphorically. We are speaking in terms of reality. If my opponent argues that the chicken came first because a purple elephant told him, we are allowed to ask for more proof. So any "proof" that the chicken came before the egg must be substantiated with evidence.

As to my opponent's pre-emptive answers to my own arguments, I will not respond to them because they do not follow the line of reasoning I will. Now on to the building of my case. I will only use one argument because I believe it is all that is needed to sufficiently prove my side in this debate. I do love syllogisms.

Argument from an evolutionary bi-product

P1: According to evolutionary theory, new species arise out of the gradual evolution of other pre-existing species as dictated by a combination of their environment and their specific genetic dispositions.

I don't think my opponent will challenge this premise as it is simply an explanation of evolutionary theorie's explanation for the arising of new species.

P2: Every living organism came from some other living organism, save the first living organism which most theorists believe to have arisen through "primordial soup" theory.

This means that certain atmospheric and environmental conditions spontaneously generated a very primitive form of life, the conditions of which were used changing over the course of Earth's history so as to not allow new spontaneous generation of life.

P3: Chicken's were not the living organism to arise through "primordial soup" theory.

Chickens are a domesticated bird, meaning that they have not been around for more than a few million years. "Primordial soup" theory theorizes that the first primitive form of life formed a few billion years ago. Simply math shows that the first living organism could not have been a chicken.

C1: The first chicken(in the sense of the first of the domesticated species) must have arisen from some other form of life, most likely from a slightly older bird similar in species to the modern chicken.--- From P1, P2, and P3.

This means that the first chicken must have come from an egg. The egg does not necessarily need to come from another chicken, meaning that it was not the first chicken. And so it must have logically come from another similar species to the chicken, though distinct nonetheless.

My opponent's arguments have been refuted and I have provided an argument of my own, showing that the egg did in fact come before the chicken. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


Before I delve back into our cases I would like to point out that my opponent decided to drop/concede the pre-emption arguments I made. From my understanding this was done out of the idea that these arguments do not sufficiently define his line of thinking. However, my opponent has failed to answer then the burden of proof argument that I had laid into one of my counter arguments. The argument goes like this "I also challenge the con to meet the burden of this debate by justifying the true definition of the egg which is reproduction of life of the chicken. Thus then I win the argument that the first chicken exists out of the confides of the egg", the burden of proof was simple in that he had to prove how the chicken came first within the confides of how I had defined the egg as the REPRODUCITON of the chicken. Thus his argument about the chicken (even if it was a mutation or genetic variation) being in the egg of another similar animal does not meet the burden of proof. Thus the pro will win because the true "egg" in this debate is limited to the definition that a chicken lays the egg and another chicken is born, NOT that there was an egg for another bird and a chicken popped out of it. This means you have to vote pro right now, but if you don't like that argument allow me to go on to the rest of the case.

The only argument my opponent makes is the evolutionary one. He assumes I will not challenge the evolutionary premise and that is true but I will challenge where he uses the theory incorrectly. Lets take a look at P3 where my opponent said this "Chickens are a domesticated bird" and lets break down what it means to have a domesticated bird. To domesticate a bird Humans had to train a chicken (AKA Domesticate it) and thus then breed it to start a line of domesticated chickens. By my opponents very definition of the modern chicken he concedes that there first had to be a chicken that was domesticated before it could be bred meaning Pro wins in the instance of this evidence.

On to the actual "meat" of his argument, my opponent claims that the only reason he wins is because the chicken surely came from the egg of another species through mutation. However there are instances where this argument is logically wrong. For one, the mutation does not have to start in the form of egg reproduction, there are instances where mutation has created a live birthing animal that lays eggs. Secondly the entire justification for this argument goes against the BURDEN OF PROOF that my opponent blatantly ignored.

Now for the rebuilding of my case:

There are only two of my arguments that I wish to extend here because they are in fact damning to my opponents case.

#1: Embryonic Development:

The only response my opponent makes to the this argument is that it is infinitely regressive. However I would like to point out that what my opponent labels as infinite regression is actually, wait for it... BREEDING. The chickens lay more eggs which make more chickens. This is also my justification for the burden of proof argument because it defends the premise that the CHICKEN'S EGG creates the chicken not the egg coming first. Likewise recent research has proved that the development of an egg can only come from inside the embryo of a chicken and thus only chicken eggs come from chickens. This is the most important argument because it defines that actual premise for argumentation; that the chicken had to have originated to make the egg not as my opponent wishes to argue that the chicken had to be born from another species to make more chickens.

#2 Evolution:

Lets get something straight here, because we are not going to post evidence and simply explain our logical arguments then we can safely assume that we do not know for sure where the chicken originated and thus logically assuming that it simply came like all other birds is a flawed line of thinking with no reason, other than trust, to support it. So then you have to assume to believe my logic that explains from within the burden of proof in this debate that the chicken had to exist before it created more chickens. All of my opponents justifications concede Pro they do not assume the purpose of the debate. Thus, you as the judge must then assume to vote that the chicken in some sense came before the egg of the chicken was ever produced.

In conclusion, this round is clearly pro because the con has not met the burden of proof outlined in my first speech and this cannot prove without a doubt that the first chicken came from the chicken's egg and in fact, by my line of logic, mutated from other form and came to be to then be able breed and have more chickens. To sum up the purpose, the debate was to prove whether the chicken or the chicken's egg came first and clearly arguing that the chicken came from some sort of egg is not to prove that the chicken definitively came from the egg and also does not meet the burden of proof. Thus you must vote pro!


My opponent begins by trying to win the vote on a purely semantical argument. He has defined "egg" a certain way and believes that this alone wins him the debate. However his definition of "egg" does not fit in with his own arguments at all. Note his argument from embryonic development falls into an infinite regress because a chicken as he has defined it must come from the egg of another chicken. Thus his argument is not even in line with his own abusive definition. Thus if my opponent makes us stick with his own flawed definition of an egg, voters must vote Con in that Pro is logically unable to fulfill his burden of proof. But moving on to my opponent's refutation of my case, he tries to find fault specifically with P3. He writes:

"To domesticate a bird Humans had to train a chicken (AKA Domesticate it) and thus then breed it to start a line of domesticated chickens. By my opponents very definition of the modern chicken he concedes that there first had to be a chicken that was domesticated before it could be bred meaning Pro wins in the instance of this evidence."

Here my opponent does not seem to understand the domestication process. To fully domesticate an animal, humans condition that animal over at least a few generations. So the first bird ,that would later produce offspring that would become the modern domesticated chicken, was not actually the first chicken, but the 'ancestor' who's descendants would become the first chickens. Humans did not take a bird and all of a sudden domesticate it. No, they conditioned it and it's descendants over many generations until the final product was what we would call a chicken. A bird did not hatch, and then was domesticated into a chicken. A bird hatched, and it and it's descendants were conditioned where a chicken was the final bi-product. My opponent's refutation fails in that he does not properly understand the domestication process.

My opponent then extends only two of his arguments. I will refute his points thusly.

#1: Embryonic Development

Here, in order for my opponent to further his own case, he completely drops his evolutionary argument. He argues that a chicken egg can only come from a chicken and thus, the chicken must have come from the egg. I would ask that he bring actual evidence to support this claim, but my opponent has banned sources from this debate. So I will extend my refutation, that my opponent's argument leads to infinite regress and thus a chicken egg need not come from a chicken in that it leads to illogical conclusions. If a chicken egg can only come from a chicken, then whence come the original chicken? Note that my opponent has thrown out evolution as a source by arguing that chickens can only come form chickens and so he rejects the speciation theory or evolution. Now on to my opponent's final point.

#2 Evolution

My opponent in this point argues that because we are not allowed to use evidence, my entire argument from an evolutionary bi-product simply relies on "trust" and thus we must accept his own illogical line of thinking. However when we look at my own argument from evolution, we can see that because evolution explains almost every species origins as coming from another, and because there is no logical line of thinking to suggest that chickens are any different, my own explanation is the most logical and does not rely on mere "trust". We can also see that my opponent has completely dropped his evolutionary argument here.

In conclusion, the arguments vote should clearly go to Con in that my opponent's only arguments rest on either an illogical line of infinite regress or a misguided attempt to shift the burden of proof even as I have met it. My opponent has completely dropped his own evolutionary line of thinking to argue that a chicken egg can only come from a chicken. I showed logically that this line of thinking is fallacious in that one would logically get strung up in an infinite regress because my opponent has not shown where the first chicken came from. I however have shown that through speciation, a breed of bird came about that was later domesticated over several generations, and would become the modern chicken. I have clearly upheld the burden of proof that my opponent has failed to and thus I urge a Con vote. Thank you to my opponent for an interesting debate and I wish him the best of luck in the voting period.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
had to be the egg
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
extending from my RFD.

Mutations can physically happen at any time, so we can't be certain that from the evolutionary standpoint, that the egg did come first, as a non-chicken, could have laid a non-chicken egg, and that non-chicken egg formed into a non-chicken which mutated later in life into a chicken (natural radiation or various other DNA altering methods). While not likely, it is possible, and thus puts more focus on other non-evolutionary philosophies, of which Pro was doing better with.
Posted by ThePixeledWarrior 7 years ago
Thanks Kinesis, I appreciate you looking into my other debate!
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Some of you guys should vote on the instigator's other debate - it hasn't got any attention yet, and I'm pretty sure his opponent plagiarised some of his rounds.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
"I just wanted a debate that wasn't post a ton of links"

tbf, the answer to this question doesn't require more than one (maybe two) links to
Posted by Merda 7 years ago
Good luick on your second debate.
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Sorry didn't see. It has to be 72 hours for arguments, not 24. I'm not on during weekends, so I have to have this longer time frame.
Posted by ThePixeledWarrior 7 years ago
Sorry, to clarify, I just wanted a debate that wasn't post a ton of links and instead just reason. OreEle I'm down if you you wanna reason.
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
He is Chicken came first.

If I can use scientific reasoning (but no sources), I'll take it.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Wait, which one are you?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: None of Pro`s arguments match reality though Con could have refuted them a little more clearly he easily removed the BoP, 3:2 Con
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Normally, using the abusive definitions to try to win on semantics woulc cause Pro to lose the conduct vote, however, the forfeit by Con trumps that, so Con loses the conduct vote by default. Pro did not have any strong arguments against the evolutionary argument that mutations that turned the non-chicken into a chicken occured in the egg (thus the egg was first). What would have been better to trt to shoot that down was to suggest that mutations can happen at any time.