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I've been wondering for some time, but say that my mother's egg chose another sperm cell, and a baby was eventually produced. Would I still be born, but end up with different characteristics/features?

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closed as unclear what you're asking by terdon, Memming, Satwik Pasani, WYSIWYG, jonsca Oct 5 '13 at 7:27

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Sorry but this is not a real question. What makes you you? If you have different characteristics how can you be you? Also, the egg does not choose sperm, where did you get that idea? – terdon Oct 5 '13 at 4:08
I, as in being an entity that can perceive the world. Let's Ignore the extra features like hair, eye color, etc. – GelatinFox Oct 5 '13 at 4:22
Well, yes, just about any sperm with any egg would produce a human being that could perceive the world. How would we decide if that's 'you' or not? – terdon Oct 5 '13 at 4:24
I was hoping someone would have an answer to that. – GelatinFox Oct 5 '13 at 4:39
consciousness and awareness and in fact a brain develops long after fertilization.. i hope that clears your doubt – WYSIWYG Oct 5 '13 at 7:11
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For every sperm that fertilises an egg there are millions/billions/"a sh**load" that don't make it. Within that pool of unused sperm there is considerable genetic variation. If we assume that DNA is the only factor which makes "you you" then the chance of picking one of those sperm and it having the exact same DNA is small. Of course environment also has a large effect so even two identical sperm and egg combinations would produce two people with different physical and mental attributes.

If this does not answer your question then this is not really a biological question though and should really be on the philosophy SE.

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