The Evidence Provided by Identical Twins
One stumbling-block that many of us face when we try to make sense of the afterlife evidence is the plain fact that when we die our brains die as well. How can your mind survive the death of your brain? There is a lot of evidence that in fact the brain is just a receiver and transmitter of an individual consciousness “signal” which is your eternal mind. And to me, the most compelling of this evidence might be the case of identical twins. Carrying identical genetic information and raised in the same environment, most pairs of identical twins should be very much alike in personalities and in likes and dislikes. (The only exceptions might be pairs of twins raised apart, and pairs of twins in which one of them has suffered a trauma – an accident or an illness – that the other was spared. But these cases are rare.)
Identical twins should be the close-to-identical product of their shared nature and nurture, and yet many pairs of identical twins are dramatically different from one another. Here are just two examples:
1) Identical twin boys – one believes he is a girl. I first heard about these twins yesterday. From when they were tiny, one of these boys was all-male while the other wanted only to live as a girl. Be sure to click the link! The picture of them together at the age of 14 is amazing.
2) The Hensel twins are 19 now, still in one body, and still two people. To my mind, the Hensel girls are the greatest challenge yet to the brain-creates-consciousness theory. They are just one person from the waist down, so not only are they genetically identical but they also unavoidably have had one sent of experiences. Yet they very different people in personality according to their family, and even according to themselves. And at the age of 19, only one of them is engaged to be married! If you have more time, here is a 45-minute clip that is well worth watching.
Mainstream science cannot explain how it is possible for two genetically identical people who live in the same home and have the same experiences to be very different from one another, even from birth. A little bit different is okay, especially if they inhabit two bodies; but extremely different people? How is that possible? Yet many sets of identical twins are as different from one another as are any two siblings. As with the two examples given above, often despite near-identical nature and nurture, identical twins are very different people indeed!
The only possible explanation is the one that likely leaps to your mind now. Each member of each pair of identical twins is a separate eternal being who has lived and will live many other lifetimes. Have at it, skeptically-minded folks! Can you think of any other explanation?
Last edited by Roberta Grimes; 12-26-2011 at 09:02 PM.
I think the converse is equally as interesting - identical twins raised apart who are still very similar. And I do think there several biological explanations for why identical twins may be different from one another, so I personally don't know how useful identical twins are as afterlife evidence (e.g., random X-chromosome inactivation means female identical twins's bodies are actually highly unlikely to be identical).
That said, I will say the issue of identical twins was one of the first things that had me questioning the religion I was raised with (Catholicism). I asked if "life" begins at conception (i.e., the soul enters the fertilized egg at conception) then what happens with identical twins who do not split into two individual embryos until possibly days later? Were there two souls in the fertilized egg? Or does the second soul enter when the embryo splits in two? If that happens then why can't it happen to single embryos? No one had any good answers for me. For the record, I now think that the soul enters and leaves the body throughout pregnancy and even in the newborn state or later. Anyway, the identical twin question I think really is one that started me on the path I am on now.
ETA: Here's a couple links showing that, biologically, identical twins are really not identical, even though they originated from the same fertilized egg:
Last edited by Birki; 12-27-2011 at 05:24 PM.
As I approach the situation from the perspective of a UK Modern Spiritualist, for me there is no uncertainty in the matter - of course each individual has an animating spirit which is an individual before coming here, remains an individual, and returns to the etheric as an individual.... Surely the most compelling cases are those of conjoined twins where the characters of each twin are sometimes as different as chalk and cheese!
What I struggle with, however, is whether certain identical twins might sometimes be animated by a single animating entity. I say that because their many similarities are so amazing that it seems a possibility - and I'm not one given to fantasy.
I'm in the 'not convinced' category, though, as there seems to be little logic for a 'split-spirit' situation other than perhaps simply to benefit from experiencing that particular situation.
A fairly uncommon situation.
I think the reason some twins are so similar is not because they are the same soul/entity, but rather because they were two people who had a lot in common who decided to incarnate on Earth as twins.
By the way, holy cow, can you imagine being these girls in the video Roberta posted...I have a feeling I would go insane. I'm watching a bit in awe right now.
All right, my wonderfully skeptical and blase friends, try this one! Not only are the Hensel twins - who share one body, after all - sharply different in personalities, but they have been demonstrated to have two separate nervous systems. One controls the right arm and leg, the other controls the left arm and leg, and their ability to even feel bodily sensations stops at the midline. So, dear friends, how is it possible that they can clap, walk, run, swim, play baseball, ride a bicycle, and drive a car? 'Splain that, if you can ;-)!
Mikey says they can do all that because they are coordinated individuals!!!! HA HA!
Anyway, Mikey also says these souls are very connected "spiritually" which makes them synonymous with each other, but individual in personality.
Carol and Mikey "in Spirit"
Roberta, Carol, and Mikey, I agree with you guys, haha especially Mikey....I was thinking to myself as I was watching, wow, that takes some coordination. Especially writing an email when one person controls one hand and the other controls the other hand.
off-topic for just a moment, please - what does carol and mikey "in spirit" imply?
Strike that - I've seen detail elsewhere and now understand.....
Last edited by mac; 12-28-2011 at 04:18 AM.
Which friends is this addressed to and what is the thrust of this new posting, please....?
Originally Posted by Roberta Grimes
"Mikey also says these souls are very connected "spiritually"...." Can you ask that he explains that more, please?
Originally Posted by Carol and Mikey