Eli5: Would any of the 250 million sperm I outraced into existence, have been, in any meaningful way different different than I turned out?

225 viewsBiologyOther

We often hear the metaphor, “out of the millions of sperm, you won the race!” Or something along those lines. But since the sperm are caring copies of the same genetic material, wouldn’t any of them have turned out to be me?

(Excluding abiotic factors, of course)

In: Biology

14 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They don’t carry the same genetic material! Each of them contains half of your fathers DNA, but randomly selected basically.

You have 2 copies of each gene, one from your father and one from your mother. Among the genes from your father it’s random wether you have one from your grandfather or grandmother, and each sperm is different in that selection basically.

If that wasn’t the case then all siblings would have identical DNA, but they differ in wich genes of the parents get selected and sich get dropped.

Simple bloodtype example. If your father has AB then half of the sperms will carry A and half will carry B, and whatever you get is combined with the randomly selected gene of the mother 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Consider that families have many siblings and in some families the differences are very large between siblings who came from the same man’s sperm 

Anonymous 0 Comments

The thing is, they don’t carry the exact same genetic material. It’s mixed up when each sperm cell is created, which is what made sexual reproduction a success in the first place – diversity.

And even if they did carry the exact same genes, like real-world identical twins do, they all agree that they’re not the same person.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The diverse Genetics in sperm aside, you didn’t outrace anything. It is not the first sperm that fertilizes the egg, it needs a huge amount of sperm to “crack” the egg’s shell and once the most lucky sperm got through the shell instantly hardens with a chemical reaction to prevent more sperm from entering. It is pure chance, not a race, much more so it is a team effort, as one sperm alone could not fertilize an egg. That is why sperm count in a man’s ejaculation matters.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Look at it this way. In my family history blonde hair, brown hair, blue eyes, and brown eyes are all present. Each sperm i have is a random combination of these, one could result in a blonde haired brown eyed kid, or brown hair blue eyes etc. This applies for absolutely everything that is in my family gene pool, including facial features, height, weight, etc. Basically sperm are a random assortment of characteristics based on your family genetic makeup. Now, you have to consider that a woman has eggs that ALSO contain random combinations of different characteristics from her family genetics. When a sperm meets an egg, whatever random characteristics it contains mix with all the random characteristics the egg contains, and a human with specific characteristics contained in the sperm and egg is the result.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Technically you don’t outrace all the sperm. Scientist recently found out that the sperm that get their first break down the layer of the egg until eventually a sperm cell can break through. So really, you were more like middle place

Anonymous 0 Comments

Do you have siblings? They came from the same sperm factory you did. That said, if a different sperm won the race to your egg, it would’ve created something between you and a sibling. Basically, a person who couldn’t exist in this universe along with you, like a sibling can. But maybe in a parallel universe…

Anonymous 0 Comments

Half (give or take) of the sperm would have produced a child of the opposite gender, to begin with.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your father has 23 chromosomes that are half from your grandmother, half from your grandfather. when he made the sperm that made you each sperm got one half of each chromosome so there were 23 coin flips done to make the sperm that became you. So your dad is capable of making 8.4M different sperm. So in the total 250M 3% carried the same genetic information as you have now.

Anonymous 0 Comments

what makes you think your souls life is starting at sperm stage? you do know that your higher mind picks your body for you and you get into that body in about age 3 mostly.