Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Left-handedness and the death of a twin in utero

Left handedness, "mirror" identical twins and womb twin survivors  were being discussed many years ago - the ideas behind this womb twin project are not as novel as they may seem. An article published on 1933 is a case in point.

Here is the article in full

First of all, the classic identical twin prank:
Some 30 years ago left-handed Auguste Piccard, gangling, mischievous Munich student, had a barber-shop shave, bet the barber that "his whiskers grew faster than any others in the world." Shortly after "he" reappeared at the barber's with an eighth-inch beard. The flabbergasted barber shaved, learned later that "he" was Jean, Auguste's right-handed twin.
Auguste Piccard grew up to be a professor, and a stratosphere balloonist, and was quite a celebrity at the time, so anything he had to say was taken seriously.

On January 10th 1933 the Deseret News declared:

Jean Piccard (the right handed twin) said:
"It is a well-known fact that usually one of two identical twins is left-handed while the other one is righthanded. It is well known also that there are many more left-handed persons who never had any twin.
"We may, therefore, either assume that there are two entirely different kinds of left-handedness with two entirely different causes or that all the left-handed people are—originally—twins. The other twin may have died in infancy or may have been still born.
"In the latter case the mother will often not even have knowledge of the fact that she ought to have had twins. We have evidence, however, that in many more cases the twin has died during the earliest stages of his embryonic life. . . .

It is curious, bearing  in mind how often this has been discussed, that the plight of the sole survivors has not been  taken seriously.  Even the survivors themselves tend to avoid speaking of it,  for fear of being thought strange or weird or simply crazy.

As one highly sceptical doctor once said to me: "I can see how there may be some physical signs somewhere in the body of the sole survivor, but to imagine a psychological effect is stretching the imagination a bit too far."

The list of physical signs grows ever longer, and the psychological profile ever clearer. Here is  a distinct group of people in the population that has been hidden in plain sight - the womb twin survivors are a real subgroup. This project is identifying them with increasing accuracy.  It wont be long before the media get hold of this, and then the story will go viral!

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting again. In some ways my son seems textbook (if we had one!) left handed womb twin survivor and I know I lost his twin! I'm finding it fascinating learning more about why he may be the way he is. Thank you for sharing.