Background : I was recently reminded of an abandoned project of mine that is related to railways and "green energy," so I started doing some Internet searches to see if there are any similar projects in the world. To my surprise, the project was already carried out by another institution. Even more surprising was that the project was done almost at the same time that I had the idea.

My question is:

Does having the same education/environment for a population make the same invention inevitable and predictable at some moment among that population?

If yes, no wonder why there is so much claims for the same invention at the same time that may come from different places across the world.

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    $\begingroup$ With 6 billion people it is hardly coincidence that two people sometimes think of the same concept. That's why intellectual property needs to be protected in a patenting system. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jan 13, 2015 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Stronks,OK but from a statistical point of view, 6 billion people means also that we have more probability for ideas collision ! $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2015 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ If you mean 'the same ideas' with 'collision' then yes, that's exactly my point. Statistically, people will likely get the same idea because we are living on the same planet with the same restrictions and demands (e.g. limited energy) $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jan 13, 2015 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Stronks,so it's no more "hardly coincidence" ? $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2015 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have scientific proof, but I dare to say - yes $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Jan 13, 2015 at 10:33