Friday, July 16, 2010

Which came first the Chicken or the dumbass?

There's news coverage and then there's the horrible terrible idiotic beast that is science news coverage.

The latest and greatest of these is the "Chickens came before eggs scientists say!" Wow. That's stupid. And with all things stupid P.Z. Myers gives the smart view of them but when I heard my aunt say this the other day I was taken aback, beyond the fact that it's an idiotic thing to say the question really was solved by science a long time ago. Eggs predate G. Gallus by a few hundred million years, if you reframe the question to be "Chicken or Chicken Egg" then if you draw a line at any point between proto-chicken and chicken going back in generational time, you shall at some arbitrary point have a proto-chicken laying a chicken egg (even though they are both rightly the same species).

The article in question concerns that protein that binds calcium was found in chicken DNA and expressed in eggs. So a chicken lay an egg that was slightly harder than the egg it was hatched from? If the claim is therefore the chicken came first what did it hatch from? A proto-egg? And we are talking about proteins which predate chickens rather significantly. So some dinosaurs started laying harder eggs rather softer more reptilian eggs during the move to full time land use and therefore this very early dinosaur is the first chicken? Really? So chickens predate birds by a hundred million years or so?

Because we can't report on actual science without God particles or Missing Links being found, or overturning previously established science. No, we only get fed BS by morons about things they don't understand. Worse yet, the actual study in question is really cool, but to get any play the university released a press report that read like an idiot wrote it just to get some press coverage because press = money. It's a cycle that asks for the stupidest shit and gratefully provides it.

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