The odds of life

Discussion in 'Science and Nature' started by Balance, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. I have a question for those with a better understanding of biology and genetics.

    At the time of our conception, would we have never been born if a different sperm cell entered our mother's egg? Or would we still exist, only with genetic differences?
  2. If you believe in it somewhat, an answer will more than likely be spiritual, an answer we'll never know. Beause of that, the possibilities are endless.
  3. THere's only one YOU man. Any other combination of Sperm and Egg would have resulted in the creation of another entity, another being with a complete set of their own unique genetic structure, resulting in a completely unique individual. I've often pondered this question myself but believe this is how it must be.
  4. I think that we are really more a factor of our environment.

    Think about this:

    The question should be - if the sperm came from another man, not if it was another sperm (from the same carrier). Sure, there are slight genetic variations that could take place under your proposed question, but really out parents would still be the same and our environment.

    If it was another man's sperm, then the genetics would be different, the parenting would be different, and possibly the environment.

    This being said, I still think that parenting (nurture instead of nature) and our environment have a MUCH larger effect over our identity/life experiences than differences in genetics (apart from life-altering birth defects and other genetic mishaps...)

    Get what I'm saying?
  5. Twins come from 2 egg cells. So each of those sperm are different "persons"

    So yeah, you swam faster than thousands of other sperm and locked them out.

    edit: Or you were just at the front of the load your dad shot into the vag and ended up being the closest to the egg
  6. depends on what you would call who you are. physically the odds are you would look different, personality wise, prolly not but it depends on the parents.
  7. Correct me if i'm wrong, but theres something like 77 trillion different combinations from DNA alone. But if you're looking for a percentage of a successful conception well then the possibilites are endless. First consider the chances and the exact time and place of a male and a female meeting one another. Then consider the chances they are going to mate without contrapections. There are an unlimited number of variables to consider.

    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
  8. I get what your saying Colt, but it doesn't necessarily answer my question.

    Now, when I ask if whether we'd be different if another sperm cell entered our mother's egg, I'm not asking about differences in characteristics. I meant if we'd be completely different persons, literally. As in, I would not exist, but a completely different essence would be in my place.

    YungSteezy that's often what I've thought. But then again you have two different persons, so of course they're not going to be the same being. Uhh I don't know how to explain myself, thinking about this gets me a bit confused :smoke:
  9. me too i just lost myself in grasping the concept of each sperm being individuals. All the same genetic DNA make up right? If thats true, then how can twins be identical and not identical...:confused:
  10. Perhaps the answer is something in between. Current genetic research suggests that genes are only expressed under certain conditions. This is the classic nature vs nurture argument. While your genetic makeup would be vastly different if it was a different sperm, if your upbringing and experiences in life were similar, you might end up with a similar personality or "consciousness." So i guess my answer is yes and no. Our experiences and social climate play a large role in the expression of genes, its possible that you might look completely different, but still be the same "person".
  11. And what I'm saying is that what I believe our "essence" is made up of, or our 'identity' as we may call it, is probably like 70% environment and upbringing.

    This is just my opinion though, and it does seem to answer your question (unless I'm completely missing something) . . .
  12. no, you would not be the same person you are today because your genetics would be slightly different (as small of a difference as it could be, you still would not be 'you', you would be lets say U2)

    now as U2 is most likely growing up in the EXACT same environment as you, U2 has the POTENTIAL to grow up to be very similar to you as both factors environment and genetics would most likely be extremely similar

    BUT the bottom line is no it would not be you as each sperm is an individual slightly different than the next (eg genetic sequencing is different in each)
  13. Identical twins come from the fertilized egg and sperm combined forming an embryo that splits in two, with the genes of each new embryo being identical... so yes they are identical genetically and for the most part physically... however ones personality differs depending on ones experiences and because these twins are two people they will have different experiences hence become different people with the same genetic makeup

    EDIT: sorry for the double, just saw this question after i answered the last
  14. those would be non identical or fraternal twins as they come from two different zygotes thus having different dna... those twins are formed when 2 eggs are released instead of 1 for whatever reason. Identical twins come from the splitting of 1 zygote into 2.
  15. Well, you would have different genetics, which would alter your personality, development, and behavior, which in turn would mean that you would act slightly differently and would end up with different memories, experiences, and opinions.

    So if there was some parallel universe which was exactly the same as ours except for the sperm which fertilized the egg which became you, and you met the genetically-different parallel you, the two of you would not be identical in the same way everyone else in our universe would be identical to their parallel selves. The degree of difference would depend on how different the genes were in the two sperm cells.

    But that's like asking "if a person goes into a coma and wakes up with no memory of their former self, are they still the same person?". Materialistically, yes, you're the same, but most of constitutes your identity is in the form of memory, past experience, and learned responses. Hypothetically, changing anything from your past would result in a slightly different version of "you", so going back to your conception and changing your genome would definitely change you.

    I might just be talking out of my ass though.

    Interesting question, +rep.
  16. Let me rephrase my question. If it were another sperm cell that entered our mother's egg, would we exist? I'm not concerned with differences in genetics/characteristics, but whether or not we'd come into existence at all.
  17. no.... another essentially different being would exist.... it would not be you
  18. How do we know though? What if you were to be born at that time, no matter what? Like you were meant to, so you would. If a different sperm got in there first, you could still be you, just in a slightly (or even majorly) different.

    It's a question that's impossible to actually answer.
  19. Yes, it's rather impossible to test this, but I personally believe that a new being would be born.

    If that's the case, however, just think about the odds of being born!!!

    I mean, how many sperm cells are in the average ejaculation? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, correct? Not to mention all the previous circumstances that had to occur for you to be born: your parents meeting, your parents having sex that particular day, your parents deciding not to use protection, your grandparents meeting in order for both your parents to be born...

    I feel quite fortunate and blessed to be alive :smoke:

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