The egg came before the chicken!
Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, said that the answer to the age-old question lay in genetics.india Updated: May 26, 2006 14:07 IST
The question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? is no longer open for debate, for a philosopher, a geneticist and a chicken farmer, claim to have found the answer. And, the trio say that the egg did indeed come before the chicken.
Professor John Brookfield, a specialist in evolutionary genetics at the University of Nottingham, said that the answer to the age-old question lay in genetics.
He points out that the living organism inside an eggshell would have had the same DNA as the chicken it turned into, and since genetic material does not change during an animal's life, it was safe to conclude that the first chicken that came into existence would have evolved from an embryo inside an egg, thus proving that it was first the egg and then the chicken.
"Therefore, the first living thing which we could say unequivocally was a member of the species would be this first egg. So, I would conclude that the egg came first," The Independent quoted him, as saying.
The same conclusion was also reached by philosophy of science Professor David Papineau, of King's College London, and Charles Bourns, a poultry farmer and the chairman of a trade body called Great British Chicken.
Charles Bourns said that the egg before the chicken theory was more plausible as eggs had been in existence even before the chicken had evolved.
"Eggs were around long before the first chicken arrived," he said.