Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This naive and seemly innocent question has been around for quite a while. It was once a philosophical question that according to Wikipedia: "[is] identified [as] the first case of a circular cause and consequence." But, for those that even have a common understanding of evolution the question is nothing more than a game of words and a bluff. Fortunately, at least for the sake of atheists' amusement, theist are taking this question literallyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mORD8x8MYk8&feature=related In their opinion this question is "Atheist's worst nightmare." Of course, for them the question implies that the chicken or the egg just pop out out of the bloom (silly theists). In your opinion what should be the best answer to the question within the discussed context. Should one just facepalm and walked out? or should one really take the time to explain? 

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Well, is it called a chicken egg because a chicken laid it, or because there is a chicken in it?

What came first, the fruit orange or the colour orange?

That's a good one!

Chances are that a star or something was putting out light in the orange part of the spectrum well before evolution and breeding  produced the fruit.

I remember Ricky Gervais answering this a couple of years ago. In his own inimitable and quickfire style he rattled off something along the lines of: 'Well the egg came first, the creature that laid the egg was 99.9% chicken and the creature that came out of the egg was the first 100% chicken. There that's that one sorted.' It was pretty funny at the time and I'm sure Ricky, being the outspoken atheist that he is, thought he was being deeply Darwinian. Unfortunately his explanation of the old chicken and egg conundrum was based on almost the exact opposite of evolutionary theory: Platonic essentialism. A creature does not become a new species in one generation, it's a gradual process of incremental change due to non-random genetic mutations. Cladism will draw arbitrary lines separating speciation events, and these are useful for scientists, but they are arbitrary, and each line would necessarily be broad enough to encompass many generations of the species in question. It's well to remember Dawkins's: 'Beware the tyranny of discontinuous thinking.' As for the answer to the question, 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?' Facepalm. Every time.

non-random genetic mutations.

Are you sure about that? That's not my understanding of how evolution works...

It's random mutation and [non random] natural selection. A lot of theists say that evolution was supposed to have happened 'by chance', so it's understandable to get mixed up when you're trying to explain that evolution doesn't happen by chance.

Good point. But I reckon the question's specific to the chicken's egg. Still think: facepalm.

The question is about a chicken egg :)


It depends on the person asking. If it's a belligerent prick, I generally mock them until I get bored. If it's an honest question by someone with a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution, then I will take however much time I need and they will allow.

I agree with this method of answering...no point making my own post when it is already said here :)


I would also like to add that theists have also said that bananas and peanut butter were both atheist nightmares too... maybe they should actually ask us what our nightmares are instead of just guessing like this.

I like it!


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