I do not mean this as a metaphor or allegory. I mean it literally, because I have never understood why this paradox remains unsolved. Is not the answer is obvious?
Chickens have been around for about 12,000 years, and eggs predate their species by hundreds of millions of years. Eggs existed way before there was anything like a chicken.
That is not what we meant…
Perhaps you mean, “what came first, the chicken or the chicken-egg?”
In that case, I suppose it is slightly more confusing, but still easy to answer with a little insight from evolutionary biology:
We know a thing or two about how mutation occurs in species: during the early formation of the embryo, as chromosomes are copied from the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm, errors can occur resulting in genetic mutations, or evolutions. Although the transitional lineage of animals is perfectly smooth, for the sake of argument we can suppose there is a genetic definition of what constitutes “a chicken” as compared to a “pre-chicken.”
Clearly, then, it must be within the egg of a pre-chicken that the first chicken formed, the result of an accidental mutation in copying its pre-chicken parent genes. This first chicken emerges from its pre-chicken egg, and eventually comes to lay the very first chicken egg. Thus, the chicken came before the chicken egg.
Of course this whole rant is pointless, the paradox is not meant to be literally examined. It is a silly way of saying, “a circle as no beginning.” But still, for the pedantic nerds among us, the matter is settled. Boom: headshot.