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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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    $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 5, 2013 at 4:08
  • $\begingroup$ I, as in being an entity that can perceive the world. Let's Ignore the extra features like hair, eye color, etc. $\endgroup$
    – GelatinFox
    Commented Oct 5, 2013 at 4:22
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    $\begingroup$ 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? $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Commented Oct 5, 2013 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ I was hoping someone would have an answer to that. $\endgroup$
    – GelatinFox
    Commented Oct 5, 2013 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ consciousness and awareness and in fact a brain develops long after fertilization.. i hope that clears your doubt $\endgroup$
    – WYSIWYG
    Commented Oct 5, 2013 at 7:11

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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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