Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities

Have you ever wondered if you had an identical twin somewhere who not only looked like you but made uncannily similar life decisions, liked and disliked the same things, and had the same habits? Have I? Yes, and identical twinship has always fascinated me because of what it tends to indicate about Nature vs Nurture, including how intelligence and talents are genetic or environmental.

Better minds than mine have fought over this because it seems that going down a genetic road leads or could lead to very dark places, and there are forces which move to stop the studies that go in that direction. As for me, I have grown more respect for genes as a factor in how one lives one’s life, since studies of identicals who were split up at birth show that in spite of living in very different environments, they were very much alike.   ~5700

STORIES OF IDENTICAL TWINS

James Arthur Springer and his identical twin, James Edward Lewis

Click image to enlarge it / Jim Lewis and Jim Springer

Click image to enlarge it / Jim Lewis and Jim Springer

In the most widely publicized study of this type, launched in 1979, University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard and his colleagues have chronicled the fates of about 60 pairs of identical twins raised separately. Some of the pairs had scarcely met before Bouchard contacted them, and yet the behaviors and personalities and social attitudes they displayed in lengthy batteries of tests were often remarkably alike.

The first pair Bouchard met, James Arthur Springer and James Edward Lewis, had just been reunited at age 39 after being given up by their mother and separately adopted as 1-month-olds. Springer and Lewis, both Ohioans, found they had each married and divorced a woman named Linda and remarried a Betty. They shared interests in mechanical drawing and carpentry; their favorite school subject had been math, their least favorite, spelling. They smoked and drank the same amount and got headaches at the same time of day.

Another source says:

The twin boys were separated at birth, being adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both families named the boys Jim. And here the coincidences just begun. Both James grew up not even knowing of the other, yet both sought law-enforcement training, both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda. They both had sons whom one named James Alan and the other named James Allan. The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women – both named Betty. And they both owned dogs which they named Toy. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer finally met in February 9, 1979 after 39 years of being separated.


Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe (No photos available for these two.)

Equally astounding was another set of twins, Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe. At first, they appeared to be a textbook case of the primacy of culture in forming individuals — just the opposite of the Lewis-Springer pair. Separated from his twin six months after their birth in Trinidad, Oskar was brought up Catholic in Germany and joined the Hitler Youth. Jack stayed behind in the Caribbean, was raised a Jew and lived for a time in Israel. Yet despite the stark contrast of their lives, when the twins were reunited in their fifth decade they had similar speech and thought patterns, similar gaits, a taste for spicy foods and common peculiarities such as flushing the toilet before they used it.

Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert

Separated At Birth - CBS News-1Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert first met when they were 40. Debbie was raised Jewish and Sharon was raised Catholic.

They, too, have discovered remarkably similar life experiences. “We discovered we had a miscarriage the same year, followed by two boys and a girl in that order,” says Barbara.

They admit that they’ve also cooked the same meal from the same recipe book on the same day, without knowing it.

Segal called Daphne and Barbara the “giggle twins” because they laugh and fold their arms the same way.

Because they never had to compete with each other, these twins believe they were freer to express their genetic potential. “You are what you are,” says Barbara.

Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert first met when they were 40. Debbie was raised Jewish and Sharon was raised Catholic.

They, too, have discovered remarkably similar life experiences. “We discovered we had a miscarriage the same year, followed by two boys and a girl in that order,” says Barbara.

They admit that they’ve also cooked the same meal from the same recipe book on the same day, without knowing it.

Segal called Daphne and Barbara the “giggle twins” because they laugh and fold their arms the same way.

Because they never had to compete with each other, these twins believe they were freer to express their genetic potential. “You are what you are,” says Barbara.

Adriana and Tamara

Separated At Birth - CBS NewsTamara Rabi is a city girl raised Jewish. Adriana Scott is Catholic and raised in the suburbs. But they have many similarities in spite of growing up in different homes.

They’re both night people, they both love to dance, they both want to have a boy and a girl (in that order) and they both use Pantene shampoo.

They’re both “B” students, even though Tamara attended a top private school and Adriana went to public school. And the subject that gives them both the most trouble? Math.

They look remarkably alike, but they’re not exactly alike. Tamara has a birthmark over her right eyebrow. And Adriana had braces for five years.

Plus, Tamara says she’s a little more outgoing than Adriana, who admits she’s a very shy person.

Segal, however, says it’s a scientific phenomena that Adriana and Tamara act alike and even dance the way they do: “All of us are comfortable in certain ways because of the way our bodies are made. And if all of us had identical twins, they’d be sitting exactly as we are.”

Tom and Steve

Separated At Birth - CBS News-2Identical twins Tom Patterson and Steve Tazumi met four years ago.

Tom is from rural Kansas, he was raised Christian and his parents were janitors. Steve, raised as a Buddhist, lives in Philadelphia. His father was a pharmacist.

However, Tom and Steve chose the same careers. “It’s phenomenal,” says Steve. “He owned a body building gym and I owned a body building gym. We’re both 100 percent into fitness.”

But there are differences in these twins, too. Steve says he’s more party oriented while Tom is more family oriented.

Debbie and Sharon

Separated At Birth - CBS News-3Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset were brought up in different faiths and different traditions. But their habits are incredibly similar. When they get excited, they cross their eyes.

“Our dads would have said the same,” says Sharon. “Don’t roll your eyes at me, young lady.”

Segal noticed a lot of similarities when the twins danced to mambo music in an experiment tape.

“We wanna see how their bodies move,” says Segal. “And here, they can’t see each other, but they’re moving the same way.”

But there are differences, too. Debbie says she likes to work out — something her sister, Sharon, doesn’t do. “I don’t look that bad,” she says.

And other links that might interest you



Video: In the womb: Identical twins:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/in-the-womb/4048/Videos/06198_00

The Mystery of Twins: Washington Post

Why do identical twins have different fingerprints? Why do we have fingerprints to begin with?

Twin Kills Self After Brother Dies

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34 thoughts on “Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities

  1. Menso says:

    Fascinating! It’s amazing how important our genes our for our personalities. If you have not read it, I suggest “the Blank Slate” by Steven Pinker.

  2. Dave says:

    A powerful argument for the role genetics plays in all of our lives. A possible lesson? Respect your parents and observe their life experiences as you may be subject to the same trials and errors. Someone/something is working in mysterious ways.

  3. Dave says:

    Where is the citation for this

  4. Dave says:

    Dave your so werid

  5. grrrrr says:

    What about picking up someone randomly in the population and search for amaaaaazing similarities between your life and his. You will find exactly the same kind of insignificant similarities, that is a probabilistic certainty. If rather you would list the significant differences, the illusion of genetic determinism would disappear.

  6. dd says:

    “What about picking up someone randomly in the population and search for amaaaaazing similarities between your life and his. You will find exactly the same kind of insignificant similarities, that is a probabilistic certainty. ”

    Go ahead prove it and post a link.

    This article can also be taken as indicative of the truth of astrology. Many cirtics of astrology say that genetic twins separated at birth will not have identical lives.

  7. Joy J. Peediakal says:

    Thanks for the study. I hope, in due course these findings will lead to a rebirth of eugenics and save the future generations from the genetically associated disasters such as poverty, crime and diseases.

  8. [...] phrase, of course, refers to the phenomenon popularized by certain nature-vs-nurture studies revealing that sometimes, identical twins who were, indeed, separated at birth still remain very [...]

  9. Atheist says:

    Interesting study…shows how much our personalities are determined at birth

  10. Mae says:

    nasdkhdnasndka

  11. terminator555 says:

    what are you guys talking about?

  12. [...] Education is inherited, many have worked very hard to make sure education is not lost. Links- Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities NEVER SAY ALWAYS http://www.longwood.k12.ny.us/lhs/sc…/Jimtwins.html Nature vs. nurture: Identical Twins Raised [...]

  13. morrocks says:

    My twin brothers dated the same girl for two years

  14. joan says:

    My brother’s twin died at birth. He appeared to have been searching for years. Is it possible..that he can feel “lost” without his twin???

  15. [...] Biology and observed experimentation tell us that three things affect choices we make. The environment, random events and our genetics. The evidence for this is simple. Let’s first consider identical twins separated at birth. They have identical DNA and hence are genetically programmed to behave in the same way. Despite being raised in different environments in different families and sometimes in different countries they display similar interests and aptitudes for subjects at school, sports and other activities. The only thing the two have in common is their genetics so clearly it must be that that is influencing their decisions in such a way as to create these similarities. I would suggest you look at James Arthur Springer and his identical twin, James Edward Lewis as an example (http://lornareiko.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/identical-twins-who-were-separated-at-birth-what-are-they…). [...]

  16. antimitotic says:

    whoah this blog is excellent i like reading your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You know, a lot of persons are
    looking round for this information, you can help them greatly.

  17. KT says:

    I actually had an identical twin.She died before birth though. I think it is really neat to find someone exactly like you.

  18. Kaitlyn says:

    Our teacher was talking about this in class. We went deeper into seperation anxiety and personality vs. social vs. intellectual abilities and habits vs. where they were raised and who raises them. It was a very neat topic and so I enjoyed reading this post.

  19. [...] Reuniting identical twins- Rebecca Cummins [...]

  20. Whenever I hear my brother or my sons speak to me on the telephone, although I am not absolutely certain as to which one I am speaking until I say the name of whom I believe it to be, I recognize the voice because I hear my father’s voice in theirs – which, of course, is also my voice, as I’ve been told so often. I’m beginning to wonder if this similarity is some kind of inherited human acoustical DNA identification process, whereby, we “dogs” can smell our own, so to speak.

    No doubt, our inherited genes do determine the shape and structure of our phonic transmitter, i.e., trachea, larynx, esophagus, and whatever else is instrumental to our voice function – our sound signal, as it were. Is it not reasonable to conclude that we are also genetically equipped with an auditory receiver construct tuned to the exact frequency of the signal transmitted?

    Have you noticed this phenomenon in your own families? When you answer the phone, do people think you are someone else in your family? Whose voice have you inherited?

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  22. Baju bayi says:

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is excellent, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities | NEVER SAY ALWAYS .

  23. Reblogged this on The Journalist and commented:
    I thought that this article was extremely interesting. Amazing how people who never knew each other could be so alike.

  24. Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities | NEVER SAY ALWAYS .

  25. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities | NEVER SAY ALWAYS .

  26. Many Grenon says:

    Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities | NEVER SAY ALWAYS .

  27. […] phrase, of course, refers to the phenomenon popularized by certain nature-vs-nurture studies revealing that sometimes, identical twins who were, indeed, separated at birth still remain very […]

  28. […] despite the fact that they grew up in separate environments. This blog (with a lack of sources), http://lornareiko.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/identical-twins-who-were-separated-at-birth-what-are-they…, has many different situations in separated twins being very similar. This makes me question my […]

  29. amna says:

    help me I am stuck

  30. […] For example: If a person is genetically predisposed to anger, it does NOT mean that they have no choice. This has also been clearly demonstrated by genetic studies. One web site which offers a few exmaples of these predispositions can be found HERE. […]

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