The popular new documentary “Three Identical Strangers” recounts the famous story of the New York triplets who were secretly separated as infants due to (spoiler alert) an arrogant Freudian experiment intended to prove the power of nurture over nature. But as 19-year-olds, they found one another during a few joyous days in 1980 when each first learned that he had two identical brothers.
The likable lads, brawny, extroverted Syracuse U. frat-boy types dressed in Saturday Night Fever fashions, became a brief media sensation as their similarities in mannerism, despite not having known of one another’s existence until a few weeks earlier, and obvious delight in each other’s company charmed talk-show audiences.
These days, we are lectured that diversity is our strength and that it is hateful to prefer to associate more with people genetically similar to us. But the documentary’s recounting of the triplets’ reunion suggests that it would be a blast to discover you have a genetically identical twin (or, in this case, two). …
This story impinges on the immigration debate, in a major way. If a person’s behavior and talents are heavily influenced by their genes — basic characteristics such as productivity, aggression, and trustworthiness — then the blank slate theory is wrong.
The blank slate theory has been a cornerstone of leftist and then globalist thinking for decades. It is the idea that a human is a product mainly of their environment.
Under this theory you can import a Syrian to Germany, safe in the knowledge that his children, raised in Germany, will be just like Germans have always been — productive, trustworthy, safe, German speaking and beer drinking. It’s the idea that culture alone determines everything really important about the person. (Let’s not go into the effect of Islam on cultural transmission here. Obviously Islam is very strong culturally and often prevents other cultural transmission.)
Or African refugees in Melbourne will raise kids who become just like other Aussie kids, statistically indistinguishable as a group. (Sure, like that’s happening — it’s getting harder and harder to deny for the leftist Victorian government, as experience plays out.)
Leftists love the blank slate theory because their conceit is that they can take raw human beings and, by perfecting the system (usually via big government), they can improve everyone and society. Paradise awaits, if only we’d put them in charge. They imagine they can eradicate or retrain our very natures. (Under socialism, everyone sticks to their diet because this time we really really mean it. Ha ha.)
The testament in this movie undermines the blank slate theory.
Identical twins or triplets have identical genes, but these three were brought up differently. Yet they ended up essentially the same.
The intriguing story is important politically.
According to a now-elderly research assistant interviewed in the film, the most obvious yet least expected fact that leaped out at the Jewish Board’s interviewers was that separated twins, despite their quite different family dynamics, behaved extraordinarily alike. …
Twins undermine not just the 20th-century orthodoxy of nurture over nature, but the 21st-century dogma of diversity. It turns out that splitting up identical twins is bad because identical twins, despite how much they may get on one another’s nerves at times, usually really like being together.