Twins: Nature, nurture, and epigenetics


11 Responses to “Twins: Nature, nurture, and epigenetics”

  1. Will_Tingle says:

    Missing the far more interesting point that one of the twins had a heart defect that the other did not…

  2. digi_owl says:

    Or perhaps how the piano strings are tuned?

  3. Jack Majewski says:

    One of the more surreal moments of my bar-going life was spending a night drinking with a pair of identical twins, one who was an extremely stereotypical homosexual male, and the other who was an extremely stereotypical heterosexual male.

  4. Henry Pootel says:

    Twice now I’ve met twin brothers who are developers (one games, one software).  In both cases, both are programmer/technical types, but each approaches it from a different brain side (right/left).  

    I’ve always known programmers can approach it from either brain side, but it’s been fascinating to see it twice now in otherwise seemingly identical twins.

  5. Jocelyn McAuley says:

    this Otto & Ewald photo is in one of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint books… Otto was a distance runner, Ewald a shot putter, field games trained guy.

  6. Kyle Mosley says:

    CBC’s Nature of Things recently focused on autism and linked it to the use of antibiotics on infants.  Subjecting John to ‘powerful drugs’ at an early age, no doubt worsened the affects of his autism.  You can watch the doc here:

  7. bnschlz says:

    Twins are never completely ‘identical’.

    “Although identical (monozygotic) twins are likely to contain identical chromosomal DNA sequences at the time the embryo splits into two, they are not truly identical. If they are females, one way in which they will certainly differ is through the random process of X chromosome inactivation. Of course, no matter the gender of identical twins, their cells will also undergo random somatic mutations throughout their lifetime. As they age, their cells are also subjected to epigenetic changes that will certainly differ between twins. Therefore, it is safe to say that no two people could possibly be exactly alike at the molecular level.”

    The key point is that these processes happen in all of us, not just twins.

  8. Wreckrob8 says:

    Twins are never identical. We all have problems with identity and individuality. The dominant majority or group (singletons) construct narratives which the minority are expected to conform to – this works for many groups – gays/women/blacks . When science proves that our prejudices are simply that why are we so surprised?  Scientists themselves do not help in their fascination with twin studies.

    • imag says:

      What is up with these comments?

      The “fascination” with twins comes from the fact that they offer an opportunity to parse out at least some of the arguments of nature versus nurture.  Those opportunities aren’t perfect, but they are the best we have.

      Understanding nature versus nurture is key to really understanding all kinds of things, like:

      1 What role does DNA really play in our development/thinking/life/body?
      2 What is the role of child-rearing in our development/thinking/life/body?
      3 Are there other factors beyond DNA and child-rearing that affect our development?

      The fact that we get a biological way to study some of these things instead of the unethical method of making 100 test tube babies is a gift.  Some scientists are choosing to pay attention to it.

      But I guess they should have just asked you, because you knew everything already.

      • Wreckrob8 says:

        Can you look at it from the twins’ point of view? I can. I was suggesting that perhaps the problem is as much psychological as genetic and concerns us all.

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