The twin connection

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author, explains the results of a number of studies between identical twins and why they are so similar to each other even if separated at birth
Parenting Multiples | The Connection Between Twins
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The twin connection

A number of studies have found really eerie similarities between identical twins. Even if they are separated at birth, kids who have never met one another end up with the same careers, who like to vacation in the same places, who drink the same brand of beer. There was even one that found two separated at birth who, not only liked to write in the same journals, but also tended to do it on the same day of the month. We'd like to see that there is something mystical in what is happening here, but science explains it away. Kids who are identical twins are born genetically identical. That means, to the degree that our temperaments, behaviors, and inclinations are prebaked at birth. These kids have identical orientations, in terms of, what their broad temperamental outlines are going to be. That means, if you were born with an adventurous temperament, you and your identical twin are both likely to become soldiers or policemen or firefighters, then you would if you were born with a more timid temperament. If you were born with a rebellious streak or an iconoclastic streak, you are more likely to drink an obscure brand or micro-brewery brand of beer than a regular beer, like Budweiser. If you were born with a thoughtful or reflective temperament, you are likely to journal, then you would be if you were born with a much less reflective or extroverted temperament. And the fact that the sisters in that earlier study wrote on the same day of the month, may have nothing more to do than with the general temperamental monthly flows we all go through. While it seems somewhat magical, it's grounded in genetics with an overlay of environment.

Jeffrey Kluger, Science Journalist & Author, explains the results of a number of studies between identical twins and why they are so similar to each other even if separated at birth


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Jeffrey Kluger

Science Journalist & Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

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