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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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closed as primarily opinion-based by user7759, Josh de Leeuw, Christian Hummeluhr, Krysta, Chuck Sherrington May 18 '15 at 2:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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 '15 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 ! $\endgroup$ – jihed gasmi Jan 13 '15 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 '15 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris Stronks,so it's no more "hardly coincidence" ? $\endgroup$ – jihed gasmi Jan 13 '15 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have scientific proof, but I dare to say - yes $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jan 13 '15 at 10:33