Chicken -egg

(The point here isn’t criticism but just to clarify how we are supposed to understand causality when we think we could have a chicken-egg problem)

-Is the egg fertilized?

If so, it’s already a chicken, if not, it’s a part of one.

-Unfertilized eggs are just another animal cell, just another gamete. So are we asking whether the animal or its cells came first?

-Gametes are instruments and parts, given they only have half a genetic code. Here we get into a part-whole problem. A half of a dollar can be either fifty cents or half of a bill, and half a genetic code is more like the second than the first. A machine part (like an engine) is more like fifty cents than the half a bill.

-If we’re asking whether primitive or rudimentary stages precede fully developed ones, is this even open to question?

-If we want to speak of cyclical causality we are comparing it to something like the water cycle. So which came first, rain or evaporating groundwater? Isn’t this the same as asking where do you have to start drawing the circle? You can’t exactly say “nowhere”, but there is no point in particular (so is there a point in general?) Where circles start is a Buridan’s Ass problem.

-If I give you a bag of five Oreos, then there has to be a fifth one, and something can’t be fifth if nothing is first. But it doesn’t matter which Oreo is the fifth or first, which is why I could hand them out one at a time by reaching in at random.

-Cyclical causality needs something to break the Buridans Ass problem of getting the process started, and so it would make sense that there is some intentional mechanism to induce randomness.

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