Barnabas Truman wrote:
Y'know those round white things that come in cartons of twelve at the grocery store? They won't become chickens. But they were laid by chickens. Everyone I know calls 'em chicken eggs.
You seem to claim intervention doesn't count. I can't stuff a partridge egg in a chicken and call it a chicken egg.
I thought I had covered this earlier, but I now realize I only mentioned the case in which a chicken egg is stuffed into a non-chicken. Okay, so change "laid by a chicken" to "grown from a chicken... from a chicken... er..." okay, so I don't know much about the generative organs of a chicken. You get the idea.
By the same token, you can't say chickens we kill and eat aren't chickens, regardless of when we kill them.
Yeah. Chickens is chickens. What does that have to do with it?
Okay, so at what point in time do you draw the line between the paramecium and some other species descended from the paramecium? D'ye have some point at which a paramecium undergoes mitosis and produces not two paramecia, but a paramecium and something else?
The technical description is that a seperate species branches off when it is seperated by ability to reproduce with the other branch, either by geography or biology.
Except that definition only makes sense for animals that reproduce sexually. Paramecia are protists that reproduce asexually.
We could go as small as subspecies distinctions, however, as we do for dogs. If you killed off all dogs of any size between, say, a great dane and a pug, the result would be two seperate species, yet canus domesticus (I think) is still just one species.
But then you already know that.
The current method of animal species distinction? Yes. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.
(Note: I'm not a moron with no understanding of evolution; I'm just playing devil's advocate with semantics.)
Semantics are merely the product of our language's inevitable imprecision. They are evil.
That's as may be, but they're still fun to play with.
Internally, yes, that's a fine and consistent way of going about defining things--but it doesn't match up with common usage. When people say "chicken egg," they mean "an egg laid by a chicken."
And when people say "I could care less" they mean "I couldn't care less." People will always be imprecise. I wouldn't found my argument on it, however.
Regardless of what anyone else means by "egg," the philosopher who first posed the question
was talking about the round white-shelled objects that come out of the cloacae of female chickens which live on farms not frequented by perverted philosophers with too much time on their hands and no qualms about sticking foreign objects up the cloaca of a poor innocent chicken, so that's the only definition we need to consider here.
Whether or not a chicken will hatch out of said egg--indeed, whether or not the egg is even fertile--does not matter.
On the contrary, it is always assumed that a chicken will always hatch out of an egg laid by a chicken, assuming it ever hatches. It does matter... people just take the conclusion for granted.
I don't know about you, but the only thing that hatches out of the chicken eggs in my
refrigerator is omelettes. Damn fine omelettes, too.
Eggs laid by roosters, on the other hand, hatch into cockatrices.
The previous statement is both mythically and logically true.