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  #1  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:57 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Did Left-Handed People 'Absorb' Their Right-Handed Twins?

Is it true that most left-handed people were once part of a pair of mirror-image twins, and, while still in the womb, they somehow managed to absorb the proteins contained in their right-handed twin until there was nothing left of them?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:06 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Who the hell has been spreading that nonsense? Of course it's not true. I can't imagine how you would even prove that it isn't true, because no one would bother collecting data disproving it.
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:06 AM
Olentzero Olentzero is offline
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This is a new one.

Where in the world did you hear that?
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:07 AM
JerH JerH is offline
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I'm curious where you heard this. While I'm not an expert on fetal development, I can't imagine a connection between embryonic homicide and which hand you use to write with.
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:13 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Thanks.

I read about this somewhere on the web a while ago, but I haven't been able to find it.

The author said that in many pregnancies ultrasound finds twins, but only one child is born. The surviving child in left-handed 50% of the time.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:18 AM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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Very sinister.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2004, 11:19 AM
Sofis Sofis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
I read about this somewhere on the web a while ago, but I haven't been able to find it.

The author said that in many pregnancies ultrasound finds twins, but only one child is born. The surviving child in left-handed 50% of the time.
If this is the case, wouldn't identical twins have opposite handedness more often than one would expect from pure chance? (In fact, one might expect identical twins to have the same handeness, what with being identical - but that would depend one what it is that determines handedness, something of which I am completely ignorant.) Does anyone know if that is the case?
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:19 AM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
The surviving child in left-handed 50% of the time.
So do babies born right-handed absorb their left-handed twin as well?
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2004, 11:23 AM
Emilio Lizardo Emilio Lizardo is offline
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I can't find a cite right now but I recall that there is such a thing as a "merged twin" where two embryos combine to form a single individual. IIRC the phenomenon was discovered when a woman and her children were tested for organ-donor compatibility -- the test showed that she was not related to her own children! As a merged twin she had eggs from both embryos, so the ones that got fertilized were actually from the other twin.

A doc could give much more information.
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2004, 11:23 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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Surreal: The last I heard, the question of what causes handedness is still unresolved.
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  #11  
Old 04-12-2004, 12:05 PM
Padeye Padeye is offline
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Emilio Lizardo IIRC that kind of "merged" twin is called a chimera resulting in a peson with two different genetic profiles depending on where the sample is taken.
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  #12  
Old 04-12-2004, 12:08 PM
Surreal Surreal is offline
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I still can't find the page that talked about one twin absorbing the other twin's nutrients, but I did find this

http://www.cascobayweekly.com/cbw200...01.22.04-4.stm

"Anyone may have had an undetected twin in the womb. It is conjectured that since twins are more likely to be left-handed than the normal population, left-handed singletons may be surviving co-twins of a vanishing identical!"
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  #13  
Old 04-12-2004, 12:09 PM
asterion asterion is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
Very sinister.
*groan*
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2004, 12:42 PM
Jurph Jurph is offline
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I think Pauli said it best when he said:

"That's not right. That's not even wrong."
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  #15  
Old 04-12-2004, 03:36 PM
Bumbazine Bumbazine is offline
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* Burp *
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2004, 04:32 PM
Flander Flander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilio Lizardo
I can't find a cite right now but I recall that there is such a thing as a "merged twin" where two embryos combine to form a single individual.
I just had the most awesome image of a mini-biological Voltron!
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2004, 05:29 PM
Mathochist Mathochist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flander
I just had the most awesome image of a mini-biological Voltron!
And I'll form the head!
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:06 PM
Futile Gesture Futile Gesture is offline
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Just another day in Surreal's never ending mission to seek out knowledge where no-one even suspected it existed.

Also available in this series in GQ....

Why Is Earwax So Bitter?
Do Japanese Mothers Masturbate Their Sons To Put Them To Sleep?
Why Do Mentally Retarded People Have 'Bowl' Haircuts?
Do Aborigines 'Fillet' Their Penises?
Where Did The Belief That Asian Women Are 'Sideways' Originate?
Are A Lot Of Ladies' Fashion Models Actually Men?
What's It Like Being A (Promiscuous) Professional Athlete?
Are C-Section Babies' Heads More Bulbous?
Why Do People Drink Coke If They Prefer Pepsi?
Starvation- Is Eating Your Own Poop Advisable?
How Come You Never See Babies With Green Eyes?
Could A 185# Man Sit On A Xerox Machine Without Breaking The Glass?
If I Use The 'B' Word On The Internet, Will The FBI Tap My Phone?
Does Eating Soy Products Make You Effeminate?
Is Blood Pouring Out Of Your Gums When You Floss A Bad Sign?
Do People In Sweden Really All Eat The Same Meal On Thursdays?

My hat is off to you Surreal. I don't know where you get it all from, but your General Questions are never boring.
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:19 PM
racinchikki racinchikki is offline
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Quote:
... most left-handed people were once part of a pair of mirror-image twins...
Quote:
The author said that in many pregnancies ultrasound finds twins, but only one child is born. The surviving child in left-handed 50% of the time.
The first statement does not logically follow from the second! This is putting aside all claims as to the truth of the second statement - you cannot take the second statement and logically derive the first from it. I can't even figure out how to explain this clearly.

SOMETIMES they find twins, but only one child is born.
As a result of this particular type of pregnancy, HALF of the surviving children are left-handed.
This doesn't even mean that the surviving child "ate" the other one - it just means that, for whatever reason, the other wasn't born.


How does this possibly mean that MOST left-handed people (meaning MORE THAN HALF, and SIGNIFICANTLY more than half or it would just be "many") not only WERE part of that particular type of pregnancy, but moreover "ate" the other child - something that wasn't posited in the original statement?
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:37 PM
Dan Norder Dan Norder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilio Lizardo
I can't find a cite right now but I recall that there is such a thing as a "merged twin" where two embryos combine to form a single individual. IIRC the phenomenon was discovered when a woman and her children were tested for organ-donor compatibility -- the test showed that she was not related to her own children!
Sounds like you mean this case: "When two became one in the womb"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3264467.stm

The "see also" links on that page have other interesting related articles.
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  #21  
Old 04-12-2004, 07:53 PM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
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So, OP, what are you saying? That two rights make a left?

I always thought it was three. (You know, as in: "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.)
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  #22  
Old 04-12-2004, 08:49 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilio Lizardo
I can't find a cite right now but I recall that there is such a thing as a "merged twin" where two embryos combine to form a single individual. IIRC the phenomenon was discovered when a woman and her children were tested for organ-donor compatibility -- the test showed that she was not related to her own children! As a merged twin she had eggs from both embryos, so the ones that got fertilized were actually from the other twin.

A doc could give much more information.
This case was actually written up in a journal of medicine. And the thing about the twins being absorbed, I did run across that while doing some online research about chimeras. Being left-handed, that article stuck in my mind. Seems some scientists hold this theory, and I've heard that as many as 1 in 8 pregnancies actually starts out as twins.
There is a rather common idea that dermoid cysts are "absorbed twins" but this is not true. Regardless of the fact that the Catholic Church used to make the "mother" of a dermoid cyst have it baptized upon removal.
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2004, 09:21 PM
cheapbastardon38thstreet cheapbastardon38thstreet is offline
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My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy
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  #24  
Old 04-12-2004, 10:17 PM
xvxdarkknightxvx xvxdarkknightxvx is offline
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Obligatory Onion link.
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  #25  
Old 06-07-2011, 11:56 AM
OxfordStan OxfordStan is offline
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This is not a proven theory, nor is it possible to prove. The theory itself however is known as the 'vansihing twin theory'.

The idea being that there are either 2 distinct causes of left handedness or that left handers were once part of multiples that got absorbed or didn't survive for whatver reason. AN Austrialian scientist claimed to have debunked the Vanishing Twin theory some years ago:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/h...ish_505182.htm

however the reason that the he didn't is that a second zygote may disapear within hours of a women being pregnant. To monitor this process effecitvely would mean monitoring each women effectviely from the moment of conception. This, of course, is massively impractical and impossible to achieve under scientific conditions. So jry is likely to be forever out on this one but one of two things can be said. Either:-

1) There are 2 kinds of lefties; or
2) Lefties were once part of multiples

There is a good Time article explaining why these 2 should be the case:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...744966,00.html
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  #26  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:09 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerH View Post
I'm curious where you heard this. While I'm not an expert on fetal development, I can't imagine a connection between embryonic homicide and which hand you use to write with.
"Left-handedness" is not just about the hand one may use to write or throw a ball. It's merely an outward visual sign of someone who may be brain-wired very differently than the larger "right-handed" population.

It seems to me those who have issue with left-handedness and the larger brain hemisphere dominance issues are part of the inferior, right-handedness majority.

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  #27  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:16 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilio Lizardo View Post
the test showed that she was not related to her own children! As a merged twin she had eggs from both embryos, so the ones that got fertilized were actually from the other twin.
Nitpick, She'd be related like an aunt rather than a mother (or at least a "half" aunt if, to compound the improbable, the merged twins she was just happened to have been fathered by different men.)
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  #28  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:27 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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The "absorbed twin" thing happens a lot more frequently than anyone would think. I don't recall the %, but it's non-trivial.

As for the OP, I've never heard of this. Are mirror image twins always different handed?, though?
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  #29  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:39 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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It's a zombie twin, people! A Zombie twin!!

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 06-07-2011 at 12:39 PM..
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  #30  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:39 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal View Post
Is it true that most left-handed people were once part of a pair of mirror-image twins, and, while still in the womb, they somehow managed to absorb the proteins contained in their right-handed twin until there was nothing left of them?

Thanks.
No. It is not true.
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  #31  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:40 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Originally Posted by OxfordStan View Post
This is not a proven theory, nor is it possible to prove. The theory itself however is known as the 'vansihing twin theory'.
That's the name I've heard this theory go under too. I'm surprised so few of you have ever heard of it - the OP is not asking some off-the-wall question. I think I might have originally read about in New Scientist, but any internet links to that article seem to have ... vanished.
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  #32  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:45 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
That's the name I've heard this theory go under too. I'm surprised so few of you have ever heard of it - the OP is not asking some off-the-wall question. I think I might have originally read about in New Scientist, but any internet links to that article seem to have ... vanished.
Vanishing twin theory I've heard of. As an explanation for most left-handed twins- that is off the wall.

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 06-07-2011 at 12:46 PM..
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  #33  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:55 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
Vanishing twin theory I've heard of. As an explanation for most left-handed twins- that is off the wall.
But it's part of vanishing twin theory, and it does have a lot of logic behind it.
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  #34  
Old 06-07-2011, 01:43 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Originally Posted by Bumbazine View Post
* Burp *
You're left-handed, aren't you!

Darn cannibals!
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  #35  
Old 06-07-2011, 07:28 PM
Toucanna Toucanna is offline
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I don't know if lefties are surviving twin-eaters, but I do know left-handed zombies eat right-handers' brainzzzzzzz.
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  #36  
Old 06-07-2011, 07:44 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
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All right, this has gone on long enough. I just can't live with the lie anymore. Yes, I absorbed my right-handed twin. And he was delicious.
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  #37  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:00 PM
Scubaqueen Scubaqueen is offline
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left hander here. can i just say.....
EW!!!!!!!!!
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  #38  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:21 PM
BubbaDog BubbaDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
It's a zombie twin, people! A Zombie twin!!
So..... I'm the evil twin....I killed my twin.....AND I'm a Zombie?



Cool
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  #39  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:30 PM
JillGat JillGat is offline
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I don't expect that that is true, though I love the idea.
There is such a thing as mirror image identical twins though, and they are generally opposite handed.
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  #40  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:32 PM
Jenaroph Jenaroph is offline
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
That's the name I've heard this theory go under too. I'm surprised so few of you have ever heard of it - the OP is not asking some off-the-wall question.
It's possible that the theory has become more widely known in the seven years since the question was asked.
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