A character of mine (let’s call them A) is basically a ghost possessing someone else’s (B’s) body, but neither of them like sharing with each other. As they live in a world where magic is a thing, they’ve decided to pull a Fullmetal Alchemist and transmute a body for A to move into like the characters in Arakawa’s story tried (and failed) to do for their mother. Would it make sense for A’s new body to be exactly the same as B’s, or would it be similar but not exact due to it being put together based on B’s genome but not having the experiences that B had (like how much B ate or slept or got sick as a kid)?

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    $\begingroup$ I think there is information missing - what can magic do? How does it work? What's reasonable or not relies heavily on that. The question seems to suggest that magic can create a fully grown human body. Maybe not instantly but less than the time it would take for a clone to be born and age naturally to the same state. So, given that, it doesn't seem implausible that the cloned body would take the same shape as the original, regardless that it didn't have the same experience. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ I know of transmuting lead to gold regular alchemist style, and transmogrification of children into monsters Calvin & Hobbes style but I am less sure about transmutation of bodies. For those us unfamiliar with transmutation as pertains to bodies, maybe you could unpack what that means in your world. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ I mentioned Fullmetal Alchemist specifically as the alchemy in that series is pretty close to the kind of magic that I’m planning on using: anyone can use it so long as they learn the theory behind it and have materials to transmute. I’m not planning on there being a “gate” like in FMA, but rather the magician being limited based on the amount of energy they can use. $\endgroup$ Mar 29, 2021 at 12:06
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    $\begingroup$ Not everybody knows what Fullmetal Alchemist implies. Thus, better explain it $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ Been a while since I saw FMA - I recall transmuting biological things was very seldom done. It was a thing but just not shown as much. Still, given how it worked in the anime, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to make a perfect 1:1 copy of another person. Well, maybe around 98% to account for imperfect skill but transmutation could achieve basically anything, as long as it involved change. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


Different bodies

You can get some of the way to answering your question by looking at identical twins. Check out "Why Are Identical Twins Different?" and "Why Identical Twins Don't Always Look the Same" for more detail.

In reality, you'd see more differences than identical twins because the new body will not have been raised in the same environment as the first body. Environment has a huge impact on our bodies. For example, genetics only accounts for 80% of height and between 25% and 80% of proclivity for overweight. And that's to say nothing of wear and tear, injuries, etc.


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