Originally posted by leestatic
Please someone settle this argument for me, is male sperm classed as a living organism?
The strict definition of organism is complex:-
1. a form of life composed of mutually interdependent parts that maintain various vital processes.
2. a form of life considered as an entity; an animal, plant, fungus, protistan, or moneran.
3. any organized body or system conceived of as analogous to a living being: the governmental organism.
4. any complex thing or system having properties and functions determined not only by the properties and relations of its individual parts, but by the character of the whole that they compose and by the relations of the parts to the whole.
Recognising that any fool can look the word up in a dictionary, the laymans summary is that whilst an organism CAN be a single cell (i.e. a moneran, or bacterium as we commonly know it), it can never be a gamete (a sex cell, of which a sperm is one variety). This is because a gamete only has half of the genetic material of the fully functioning cell it becomes on fertilisation.
So no, sperm is not an organism. I hope you won the argument