Notices
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: What came first: the chicken or the egg?

  1. #1 What came first: the chicken or the egg? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Davis, CA
    Posts
    28
    This is an interesting, yet frustrating article. It's a bit cliche, but nonetheless, still worth thinking about.
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science...egg/index.html
    What are your thoughts?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,169
    It is an amusing little article. The question itself arises, in my view, because of the faulty understanding of classification systems used by humans.
    Say 'egg' and most people probably imagine a chicken egg. The difference between that and a 'not egg' is huge, but there are all kinds of eggs. If we went back in time we would find these looking less and less like our ideal egg, until they merged into something we should consider non-egg. That dividing line is arbitrary, and so the question itself, though amusing, is meaningless.

    By the way, welcome to The Science Forum.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    3,812
    What critter laid the egg? And I hope they laid more than one.

    Perhaps somebody can help me out here. The eventual chicken that emerged from that shell must have been a little different than the parents who combined to make it. Now I've been taught or at least the feeling I get is that evolutionary change requires a long period of time to work its magic, amongst other factors. How do we know if change is not abrupt?. Perhaps some steps are virually overnight(in a geological sense of time), so to speak. Maybe there's some cosmic event that is cyclical or there's some kind of force or band of radiation we pass thru every millenia or so that causes instant changes to occur.

    If all of a sudden people were being born with 4 arms all over the world then I guess we'd have to figure that something we don't know about is going on. We know of mass extinctions so why not mass mutations?

    I think there is a vast difference between an animal species changing form and a species that simply adapts without changing form. The Galapagos iquana is still an iquana even though it adapted to foraging underwater. It didn't sprout gills or fins or turn into a fish species. Is it on the way there? I don't think so.

    Just use your imagination and think if we all of a sudden entered one of those so-called mass mutation eras. Perhaps the Galapagos iquana abruptly changes into some full time aquatic creature complete with fishlike appendages, who knows? I'm just having fun with this and I'm certain there are some that may be studying this probability in earnest.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Captain_Anubis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    What critter laid the egg? And I hope they laid more than one.

    Perhaps somebody can help me out here. The eventual chicken that emerged from that shell must have been a little different than the parents who combined to make it. Now I've been taught or at least the feeling I get is that evolutionary change requires a long period of time to work its magic, amongst other factors. How do we know if change is not abrupt?. Perhaps some steps are virually overnight(in a geological sense of time), so to speak. Maybe there's some cosmic event that is cyclical or there's some kind of force or band of radiation we pass thru every millenia or so that causes instant changes to occur.

    If all of a sudden people were being born with 4 arms all over the world then I guess we'd have to figure that something we don't know about is going on. We know of mass extinctions so why not mass mutations?

    I think there is a vast difference between an animal species changing form and a species that simply adapts without changing form. The Galapagos iquana is still an iquana even though it adapted to foraging underwater. It didn't sprout gills or fins or turn into a fish species. Is it on the way there? I don't think so.

    Just use your imagination and think if we all of a sudden entered one of those so-called mass mutation eras. Perhaps the Galapagos iquana abruptly changes into some full time aquatic creature complete with fishlike appendages, who knows? I'm just having fun with this and I'm certain there are some that may be studying this probability in earnest.
    As cool as that sounds to suddenly wake up with 4 arms I'm very sure that if that is not impossible, it is so close that it'd never happen in a bagillion years. In order for someone to say have 4 arms at least all of the arm area cells (maybe all the cells in the body, I don't know) would have to be mutated in a certyain specific way that allows the individual to have 4 arms. So what do you think the odds are of dome radiation hitting someone and changing the DNA in a couple hundred billion cells all in the exact same way?? Other than that is sounds like a really cool idea and if you ever find a way to get humans to grow 4 arms give me a shout ^^
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    3,812
    I didn't want to say it, but other than radiation or some mysterious force of nature that we haven't discovered yet, there could be an alien race out there that drops by every hundred million years or so and just tweaks the dna a little. We could be existing in a giant petri dish for all we know, an experiment of unbelievable proportions that no one could ever dream possible.

    Anyway, the 4 arm thing may be a little to sudden a leap but you have to figure at one time or another a family of monkey people gave us siblings that were the ancestors of us all. I think you could take the first homo sapien ever born and probably teach him what we know today. I don't think modern man's brain has changed that much if at all since the first of us was born.

    I've heard us called homo sapiens and homo sapiens sapiens....which is correct?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8
    Personally, I'd just ascribe it to a freak mutation in the molecular switches and homeobox genes controlling body patterning - wouldn't have to grow whole new sets of 'arm' genes, just need a duplication and alteration of the genes that define the body co-ordinates at which arms develop.

    Look to two headed sheep etc. for a similar example; though presumably there's less chance of the several mutations probably necessary for four arms all occuring at once, as to my knowledge that one's never been seen. Wouldn't require all that massive an amount of mutations though.

    Tweaking of homeobox genes and switches does already allow the development of limbs in abnormal positions though e.g. antennapedia mutants in Drosophila.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Maastricht, Netherlands
    Posts
    861
    In my opinion, there is no one egg or one chicken, and deciding the point where a non-chicken becomes a chicken is an existential problem that can not be solved, which makes the whole question unanswerable :P


    I've heard us called homo sapiens and homo sapiens sapiens....which is correct?
    In light of Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis, we are Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

    Well, I'm Homo Universalis, but that's a different discussion :P

    Mr U
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •