Riddle us this: ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ and three other mind-bending puzzles

Aug 8, 2016

Washington University philosophy professor Roy Sorensen knows your true philosophical quandary: ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ We asked him to answer this question and share some of his trickiest puzzles, riddles and audio mysteries for our listeners to sort through on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“I’m an egg man myself,” Sorensen said. Not all of you agreed, however.

Sorensen is the author of “A Cabinet of Philosophical Curiosities: A Collection of Puzzles, Oddities, Riddles and Dilemmas,” which was released earlier this year. Listen to him describe the puzzles and dilemmas that interest him most:

And here are three illusions that will make your brain hurt:

The Muller-Lyer illusion

These arrows aren’t the same length … or are they?

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Shepard Tone

The sound keeps escalating … or is it?

The Moses illusion

“How many animals of each sort did Moses take on the ark?”

Two, obviously.

Well, not so fast. Think about it: Was it Moses who created the ark and determined what would go on it? You would be wrong: It was Noah. So, in effect, Moses didn’t take any animals on the ark.

This is what is known as a semantic slip.  Read more about that here.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.