Pay attention y’all, because I’m only going to say this once. The egg* came first.
If you believe that evolution is a real process that explains the major biological weirdnesses (come on guys, let’s make this plural happen) of life on this planet**, then the only egg is the only possible answer. A long line of creatures — i.e., a bajillion iterations of the proto-chicken– each evolved one step closer to the chicken as we know it today, until one day the first real chicken hatched out of a goddamn egg.
Yes, I know this could be considered a semantical answer. But it’s a stupid rhetorical question. So please, fellow lovers of science, retire it once and for all. Or else I’m going to ask you which came first– your face or your mom’s face? Although who am I kidding, if you’re still having trouble figuring out the chicken and egg, you might have a problem with that one too.
*Bonus joke! (I think I might have gotten this from a popsicle stick back in the ’90s. Popsicles were classier back then.)
Q: Why do the French only eat one egg for breakfast?
A: Because one egg is an oeuf!
Still gets me, every time.
**On my first day of law school, the dean of admissions gave a brilliant speech at new student orientation. Rather than the obligatory “look to your left, look to your right” rigamarole, he compared the process of reviewing our applications, deciding to admit us, recruiting us, and then seeing us actually become law students to being a Darwin’s frog– the male of the species carries the fertilized frog eggs in his vocal sac until they hatch into tadpoles and metamorphasize, at which point he opens his mouth and the baby frogs make their exodus into the world. That metaphor was hands down the best moment of my legal career. Dean Tom, if you ever read this, I love you.