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Author Topic: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?  (Read 35536 times)

Offline Dr. Junix

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« on: 29/06/2011 08:25:55 »
Can the sperm or the egg be defined as a living organism? Or they become an organism only after they fuse? [B)]


 

Offline Mr. Data

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #1 on: 02/07/2011 17:04:02 »
Yes, it is a mobile carbon-based lifeform. It is a living organism itself, speaking of the sperm of course. The egg, or Ovum is basically part of the female reproductive system, and is not so much a living entity, but part of a living entity.
 

Offline Mr. Data

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #2 on: 02/07/2011 17:06:02 »
You can think of the lifeform of the sperm as generated within the complex chemical and molecular tranferral of energy (in the form of various gases and foodlike properties) to the inside of the Ovum by the female body.
 

Offline Dr. Junix

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/2011 08:53:43 »
is there a scientific study that makes it official?
 

Offline promocode75

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #4 on: 17/07/2011 05:24:28 »
pro-abortionist will say it is not a living organism.
pro-life people will say, it is a living organism.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #5 on: 17/07/2011 06:34:37 »
pro-abortionist will say it is not a living organism.
pro-life people will say, it is a living organism.


I doubt you would find a scientific study that could unequivocally determine whether a sperm or egg is truly alive. 

They fulfill most of the most of the definition for life including having genes that can be transcribed to make proteins.  Energy conversion, etc...  Yet, as a haploid organism, they are unable to undergo cellular division.   Hmmm...  if a neuron can not divide, is it alive?

Prokaryotes, are haploid, so you couldn't say that an organism must be diploid to be alive.

Anyway, undoubtedly you could come up with a definition of life that would include them as being alive, or a definition that would exclude them.  Overall, the difference is minimal and purely academic.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #6 on: 17/07/2011 08:54:53 »
Every sperm is sacred every sperm is great, if a sperm gets wasted then God gets quite irate!  :o

Monty Python.....  ;D
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #7 on: 17/07/2011 18:24:52 »
sperms swim upstream without a motor
 

Offline Russell Crawford

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #8 on: 01/03/2015 13:56:48 »
It would seem to me to be a requirement that any answer would only apply to a specific -and hypothetical-egg or sperm. It should be made clear that it is impossible to know if any sperm or egg is living or capable of life. For example the sperm and egg are comprised of materials that must be created through numerous biological processes. One of those processes is the replication of DNA. So in order to give a valid answer, one would have to understand the process of DNA replication and the odds of that process being successful with regard to the production of an egg or sperm. All DNA in the process of replication makes errors in nucleotide replication. Those errors number in the range of 100 thousand per replication of correctable replication errors and hundreds of non correctable errors. There is no proof the corrections are true to the original DNA on an atomic scale. Over numerous replications in a series of tens of generations based upon a starting DNA strand, that would amount to millions of DNA errors. So in order to answer the question, one would first have to determine if the DNA errors impact the ability of the sperm or egg to live or regenerate.
Data that is readily available indicates that most sperm and egg combinations do not produce living human life. So in most cases, no, the egg and sperm are not "functionally" alive even though they may be able to live through or too, fusion.
It would seem that because one cannot know if the DNA is capable of supporting life, one cannot simply make a statement that the sperm and egg are alive or will  create life at fusion. To me the inference that should be drawn is that there is the possibility that the egg and sperm are comprised of living materials, but it is unknowable as to whether those materials exist in any one sample.

It would seem to be that any statement that claims that a sperm or egg is alive should be preceded by the statement that most do not produce human life and may not contain DNA compatible with human life. Any other statement would seem to be excessive conjecture.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #9 on: 03/03/2015 08:35:03 »
It would seem to be that any statement that claims that a sperm or egg is alive should be preceded by the statement that most do not produce human life and may not contain DNA compatible with human life. Any other statement would seem to be excessive conjecture.
1. Why are you focusing on human life? The OP just speaks about sperms and eggs. Most sperms and eggs have nothing to do with humans.

2. To properly answer the OP requires that we first define life and organism. Otherwise we are just making noises, making assumptions, or pushing agendas.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #10 on: 03/03/2015 08:47:39 »
Let's start with an agreed definition of "living". Any offers?
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #11 on: 03/03/2015 09:59:00 »
Let's start with an agreed definition of "living". Any offers?

That's easy, 'life' begins at the successful delivery of the offspring....... or at 24 weeks after conception....... or at conception.... or at the production of the individual sperm & ovum...... or at the successful maturity of the testicles & ovary.... or at the successful formation of the parents reproductive organs while in the womb..... or at the successful delivery of the new born parents....

Did I say "that's easy"?

I take it back. Can't you ask something a little more simple, such as "How long should I boil an egg?"
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #12 on: 06/03/2015 07:39:13 »
Almost any definition of life is acceptable, since definitions are artificial and exist to simplify discussion. When definitions derived in one context are used to make an argument in another context we may suspect the individual making the argument is either dumb or devious.

Alternative summary: the OP question is as meaningful as counting angels on a pinhead.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #13 on: 06/03/2015 08:40:15 »
They are cells, so they are living. But I wouldn't call them organisms, since they cannot divide or reproduce (by themselves.) Plus sperm don't really have a means of maintaining their metabolism. Most of their energy source comes from nutrients (sugars, enzymes, amino acids) in seminal or prostate fluid and a store of fatty acids in the tail, but after those supplies are exhausted they are out of luck.
 

Offline Airthumbs

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #14 on: 27/05/2015 00:02:35 »
Would male pro life people have to submit themselves to arrest for genocide ever time they ejaculate outside of the correct receptacle.  [:0]
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #15 on: 02/06/2015 08:06:40 »
Would male pro life people have to submit themselves to arrest for genocide ever time they ejaculate outside of the correct receptacle.  [:0]

Don't put your head over the parapet now, you've really upset the 'politically correct' lobby, calling females 'receptacles'.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is the sperm or an egg a living organism?
« Reply #15 on: 02/06/2015 08:06:40 »

 

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