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The Doppelganger EffectPosted Friday, September 4, 2009, at 10:05 AM
Soon after writing about how common is the name David Lewis an e-mail arrived from one Dave Lewis, state Senator of the great State of Montana. He relayed his own "horror story" of being confused with another individual sharing our common moniker who was a "rounder" (Senator Dave's word).
One may have to be from out west to appreciate the use of the word rounder (or just old like me). Suffice it to say it is better to be confused with the president of Boeing (as I once was) than to be mistaken for a rounder in any state of the Union.
After replying to Dave with one of my admittedly milder horror stories of about being mistaken myself for some unknown nefarious individual, got to thinking about something called the Doppelganger Effect.
Doppelganger comes from a German word and is used to describe the supposed phenomena of two people who look exactly alike (or at least close enough so to cause reasonable confusion). The urban legend being that everybody has a double somewhere.
Simply put, the name thing aside, how many times have you been mistaken for someone else?
Personally, over the years there have been multiple times when I had trouble convincing some stranger I was not who they thought I was.
"But, you look just like him. Your mannerism, voice, even the way you speak, is just like his. Are you SURE you're not so-and-so, or his twin?"
Not that I know of. Certainly if I'd had a twin my mother would have told me.
The Doppelganger Effect is why I'd never do well on a jury.
I simply do not believe in DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid).
It's become almost an axiom in criminal justice that modern science demonstrates DNA evidence is the "Gold Standard." If the DNA fits you can't acquit -- or something like that.
Me, I simply don't believe it is impossible that two people can Not have matching DNA profiles. "They" say the odds are 100 million to 1. Who counted? And, by the way, aren't there 300 million people in this country alone?
Enter modern, modern science.
According to a recently published article
"The scientists fabricated blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor of the blood and saliva. They also showed that if they had access to a DNA profile in a database, they could construct a sample of DNA to match that profile without obtaining any tissue from that person.
"'You can just engineer a crime scene,'" said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. "'Any biology undergraduate could perform this.'"
So, thanks to modern, modern science I can now be convicted of murder based on evidence manufactured by a freshman at ISU!
It gets better. According to a report out of Israel someone has already found some modern, modern, modern science to refute false DNA
Who you going to believe, me or that guy some stranger is sure I am -- whom I'm not? Or maybe we should take the word of that ISU freshman?
The Doppelganger Effect has affected me too often; I'll take DE over DNA anytime. Just don't confuse me with any other David Lewis.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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