Monday, November 16, 2020

Which Goes Last, the Chicken or the Egg?

"Nature Is Cruel, But We Don't Have To Be" -- Temple Grandin

For generations people have bandied about the philosophical query, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" This colloquial question at its heart looks at infinite regression by assuming chickens as we know them have existed forever, notwithstanding the silly magical idea that they were created out of dust or some such. 

Science, of course, over the past two hundred years has definitively shown the egg came first way back in the ancestral evolutionary tree prior to todays factory-farm chicken species emerged. Thank you, Charles Darwin. 

Nevertheless, the conundrum of infinite regression in a wider sense remains, challenging us to imagine when we and the Universe we are part of came into being. Current astrophysics hypothesizes that we literally came from nothing. The Big Bang event 14 billion years ago currently prevents us from observing beyond that point, still evidence and theory to date show spontaneous energetic events can, albeit very very rarely, occur in the vacuum of space to initiate such a "beginning" point.

Chicken and egg paradox, in all forms more or less solved. Well, except infinite regression implies infinite progression, which is just as interesting to consider.

Which will go last, the chicken or the egg?

In the future, the undoubted extinction of the chicken along with all life in the universe shall come to pass eventually. Entropy has that covered. More interesting is the progress we as humans will make in the short term as to preserving the rich biodiversity of our planet as part of an ethic of civilization. 

The battle of rational ethics and irrational pleasure is at the heart of this contemplation. Take for one, the ongoing abuse that billions of chickens suffer each year due to the inhumane choice to raise and kill them for profit.  Our species thrives on the mass production of their flesh and eggs for no real reason. Plant based foods that mimic chicken flesh and egg are currently on the market and can lead us down a more ethical path.

Part of lifting civilization up to higher ethical standards is taking a step back and recognizing better choices exist.  Reducing and eliminating chicken slaughter is one step into that future. Good tasting, nutritional, environmental friendly animal meat alternatives available. Science informed policy needs to step in, not only to eliminate cruelty, but also to reduce the threat to our society. Importantly, animal husbandry has been integral to the inadvertent breeding super pathogens, like the Corona virus. This is a problem we need to solve for chicken and human well being alike.

Too often humans obsess over the absolute morals that our ancestors concocted from zany spiritual fantasies. What we need as a society is a concerted effort to look forward with positive and rational wherewithal. It won't be easy, but eliminating the nonsense we have be taught for generations as tradition needs to occur. All traditions should be evaluated and eliminated or at least refined. Global stability and the betterment of humanity depend on it!

 And so the chicken and the egg problem, looking forward, continues to be relevant to encourage us to overturn old ways for better new ones. We have some good solutions underway, but don't count those chickens before they hatch. LOL.

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