The Chicken or the Egg Problem Revisited: A New Answer to the Age-Old Question

10 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2015

See all articles by Anand Manikutty

Anand Manikutty

Stanford University

Devi Mahendran

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Date Written: February 9, 2015

Abstract

Evolutionary Theory holds much sway today. In light of the Theory of Evolutiuon, the question of whether the chicken came first or the egg must be examined anew. The question of whether the chicken came first or the egg has been argued by philosophers and thinkers for centuries, and is a long running question in the Philosophy of Science. This paper makes a novel contribution to the field. It argues that, in the sense that the question is usually understood, the answer is unknowable. In this paper, we treat the matter in a novel fashion. We show that the question can have five different interpretations, and each interpretation interprets the original question quite differently. We further show that the answer to the question is unknowable in the sense that people often interpret it ("Which came first -the chicken or an egg containing a chicken?"). The methodology of the answer to this question – from the purview of the Theory of Evolution – is fundamentally different from arguments from Creationism as well as arguments by philosophers such as Aristotle and Plutarch.

Keywords: Evolution, chicken or egg, Philosophy of Science

Suggested Citation

Manikutty, Anand and Mahendran, Devi, The Chicken or the Egg Problem Revisited: A New Answer to the Age-Old Question (February 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562550 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2562550

Anand Manikutty (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

473 Via Ortega
Stanford, CA 94305-9025
United States

Devi Mahendran

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula ( email )

Monterey, CA
United States

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