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No. 11: Summer 1980

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United By An Invisible Cord

The largest study of separately raised identical twins has discovered incredible similarities among twins who never set eyes on each other before. There are difference, too, but not as many as expected by psychologists who hold that we are shaped primarily by our environments. Only a few of the astounding (and strange) similarities can be recounted here.

Two 39-year-old twins, meeting for the first time, were both wearing seven rings each, two bracelets on one wrist, a watch and one bracelet on the other wrist.

Two men both had dogs named Toy, had married and divorced women named Linda, remarried women named Betty, and named their sons James Allan and James Alan.

Two other males had similar medical histories: hemorrhoids, same pulse rates and blood pressures, same sleep patterns. Both had put on 10 pounds at the same times in their lives.

(Holden, Constance; "Identical Twins Reared Apart," Science, 207:323, 1980.)

From Science Frontiers #11, Summer 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss