The egg came first

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[Conor Friedersdorf]

Literally.

People are always using the chicken/egg question as shorthand for situations where it's impossible to determine what actually came first.

But if you believe in evolution, it's clear that once upon a time there were two animals that we wouldn't quite consider chickens, that those not-quite-chickens mated, that an egg was laid, and that out of that fertilized egg hatched the first animal that meets whatever our definition of chicken is.

In other words, the egg came first.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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