The Chicken or the Egg Causality Dilemma Is Commonly Essay

1897 WordsFeb 27, 20138 Pages
The chicken or the egg causality dilemma is commonly stated as "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" To ancient philosophers, the question about the first chicken or egg also evoked the questions of how life and the universe in general began.[1] Cultural references to the Chicken and Egg intend to point out the futility of identifying the first case of a [circular cause and consequence]. It could be considered that in this approach lies the most fundamental nature of the question. A literal answer is somewhat obvious, as egg-laying species pre-date the existence of chickens. However, the metaphorical view sets a metaphysical ground to the dilemma. To better understand its metaphorical meaning, the question could be reformulated as: "Which came first, X that can't come without Y, or Y that can't come without X?" An equivalent situation arises in engineering and science known as circular reference, in which a parameter is required to calculate that parameter itself. Examples are Van der Waals equation and the famous Colebrook equation. Contents [hide] * 1 History of the dilemma * 2 Responses to the dilemma * 2.1 Proteins * 2.2 Science * 2.3 Theology * 2.4 Cyclical view of time * 3 Chicken-and-egg problem * 4 References in popular culture * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links | [edit] History of the dilemma A chicken hatching from an egg Ancient references to the dilemma are found in the writings of classical philosophers. Their writings indicate that the proposed problem was perplexing to them and was commonly discussed by others of their time as well. Aristotle (384–322 BC) was 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: If there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother – which is repugnant to

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