Saturday, September 26, 2009

48. The Chicken?...or The Egg?...

This infinite-loop question was brought once again to the surface by Bro during one of our casual chit-chatters.(Well…Umm…er…not a casual talk exactly –Bro was actually trying to ‘train’ me for GD(group discussion), which I’ll be inevitably facing in the very near future…as hopefully companies might soon start plying the campus).

That got me into thinking…(yea I do think at times)… and imagining…and googling…

I wonder if the chickens would be as interested in tracing their family trees as we humans are! :P

If you are a staunch believer of the Bible, then you can easily conclude that chickens came first –It was on the Fifth Day of Creation Week that He created every winged creature (Genesis 1:21) complete with the DNA to reproduce that kind. Then He blessed them, saying,” Be fruitful, and multiply" (using that DNA). For the chickens, this meant lay chicken eggs. Problem solved! :)

However big shots like Stephen Hawking and Christopher Langan along with Darwin argue that the egg came before the chicken.

While ol’ Aristotle seemed to be unable to come up with a definite solution and played it safe. He was quite puzzled by the idea that there could be a first bird or egg and concluded that both the bird and egg must have always existed.

Another popular theory holds that genetic material does not alter during an animal's life. It does however change in the egg. Therefore the first bird that evolved into what we would call a chicken, probably in the era when dinosaurs roamed around at large, must have first existed as an embryo inside an egg. Confused??? To put it in simple terms, two non-chickens mated, they may have been the same species of another bird, but some mutation happens. It mutates in the cells that created the egg. Thus, the egg hatches the first chicken.Voila! :D

In this light, both the egg and the chicken evolved simultaneously from birds who weren't chickens and didn't lay chicken eggs but gradually became more and more like chickens over time. Hmmm…..

But if the dinosaurs came first, who laid the dinosaur egg?... And again, it is no easy path from dinosaur to bird either, as legs must become wings, scales must become feathers, solid bones should turn hollow, cold-blooded should heat up to warm-blooded. :O

"The origin of birds is still up in the air.";)

So the question now becomes: Is a "chicken egg" an egg laid by chicken or an egg that will hatch into a chicken? Any "eggsperts" out there who can explain??

Wiki says, an equivalent situation arise in engineering and science known as circular reference, in which a parameter is required to calculate that parameter itself(van der Walls equation, Colebrook equation). To fella civil engineers, another example is calculation of thickness of roof of a tank or structure. To calculate the thickness requirement, we need to know the self weight of the roof, which is possible only by already knowing the thickness. This situation is solved by initailly assuming the parameter and by repeated iterations converging towards finer values…Alright that’s too much of tech!!!

I come up excitedly with all these facts and findings and blabber them to Bro, only to hear from him, “Whichever was ordered first, came first” .…(Argh! Talk about IIT level PJs! :)
Disclaimer: the post contains a lot of stuff from the web and a lot of my bullshitting too. So if anyone feels like suing me, go ahead :P