Friday, July 26, 2013

Strange Coincidences: The Amazing Jim Twins

I've only known one set of identical twins in my lifetime. They were two gorgeous ladies who were my classmates in college. A little shy, they still had fabulous personalities. It is with regret that I now look back and realize I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to study the various ways they were similar and how they differed. So much for lost opportunities.
Because coincidences and synchronicities are a favorite study of mine in recent years, I stand almost slack-jawed when looking at the eerie similarities between identical twins Jim Springer and Jim Lewis, who were raised apart from each other by adoptive parents. 
They were studied by psychologist Thomas J. Bouchard Jr. who, according to this story in People magazine, thought he would find many differences that would "surprise even the twins." Instead, as People reports, "what was immediately apparent were eerie similarities that left even Bouchard 'flabbergasted.'"
The scientific response to this, I suppose, is that genes may play a larger part in our lives than what at first might seem reasonable to think. The Jims, among many similarities, both married women named Linda. Then later, after divorces, they both married women named Betty. Then if that isn't weird enough, they both had sons which they named James Alan (although the middle name was spelled slightly differently). They both had dogs that they had named Toy.
But surely their genes don't explain the fact that the adoptive parents chose to name their children Jim. And I'm not sure if it can explain why they both smoked Salem cigarettes, drove blue Chevrolets. and vacationed at the same beach in Florida.
Twins provide a fascinating opportunity to study coincidence. Even my twin friends told me about their "psychic" connection. I just didn't take the opportunity to probe the matter. But, fortunately, others have collected stories of twins and their connections. Guy Lyon Playfair wrote a book about twin connections, Twin Telepathy: The Psychic Connection, that has long been on my list of books to read. I just haven't gotten around to finding a used copy at a good price. Now that I'm thinking about, I believe I will start looking.


  1. I'm not familiar with their story but I know I'd be interested in their differences because as identical twins their similarities seem quite probable or likely, given that it could be said they are "of the same mind" genetically. (Does that make sense. I haven't been awake for long.) :-)

  2. Just thought I would mention this source for obtaining your book at a reasonable price:

  3. @ Zoe,

    You make sense, as always. I can see them both being genetically pulled into the tobacco habit. I have a little more problem seeing how that might extend to the exact brand of cigarettes. Likewise with the names of their wives and dog. But maybe so, there is much we still don't know. Still, the connections between these brothers is very peculiar.

    1. I agree with you . . . "peculiar" and fascinating.

  4. @ exrelayman,

    Thanks for that suggestion. My "splurge budget" for July has been exhausted (I bought the complete Andy Griffith show on dvd because I caught it on sale at over sixty percent off). But come August, watch out! Thanks again.

  5. I'm for learning all we can about such "coincidences".

  6. @ Zoe,

    There are a number of articles about these twins online. Just Google their names.

  7. @ Don,

    I can't help but be fascinated by coincidences and Jung's theory of Synchronicity.