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  5. "De kip of het ei."

"De kip of het ei."

Translation:The chicken or the egg.

March 18, 2015



Which came first?


The egg of course, reptiles (and probably other birds as well) were around before the chicken appeared. I never get why this is a problem...


I think most people infer chicken egg from "egg". A non-chicken can't lay a chicken egg.


The first ever chicken would be a mutation of another bird; this mutation probably occured during the production of the egg, which means that a non-chicken layed a chicken egg. Therfore, the chicken egg came before the chicken.


One generation probably wouldn't be enough to see the difference between a chicken and a non-chicken. You wouldn't know from the egg that it had evolved. You would decide that that species had evolved into a chicken, and henceforth that chicken would lay chicken eggs. But it initially would have been called a non-chicken (whatever that species might have been) egg.


A simple explanation of why the egg came first was by Roy A. Sorensen in his article in 1992. He argued that although it is indeterminate which animal was the first chicken, the question has a determinate answer. Since an animal does not evolve into another species during its lifetime, and since organisms can fail to breed true, it is biologically necessary that the chicken egg came first. The modern domestic chicken was discovered to be a hybrid of two closely related species, the Red and Grey Jungefowl. A simple view is that at whatever point the threshold was crossed and the first chicken was hatched, it had to hatch from an egg. The type of bird that laid that egg was not a chicken; however, the egg was a chicken egg, as it hatched a chicken. In this light, the argument is settled and the 'egg' had to have come first. Sorry for the late reply!


The egg that I ate this morning didn't hatch anything, so does that mean that it wasn't a chicken egg?


Everyone in this discussion is talking about the English but what about the Dutch? I would like someone to confirm that Dutch actually uses this expression to mean a conundrum like the English.


Ja: "De kip of het ei."


Please explain further. By "Ja" do you mean that yes, it is also a common Dutch expression meaning a circular, undecidable conundrum? (By the comments here it seems that everyone has decided the answer one way or the other, but the original point of the expression is that it seemed unanswerable.)


Yes, in Dutch too this is a fairly common reference to the question what came first: The chicken or the egg. Note that this not about an unanswerable question in general, but specifically a two-valued one where both answers imply the other.

If we had a strong leadership, our club could grown much larger. If we had a larger club, we could easily attract strong leadership.


Why is it het ei instead of de ei?

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