QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2007-12 > 1198212687
From: Mona Rainville <>
Subject: Re: [Q-R] DNA testing and question regarding belief not an exactscience
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 23:51:27 -0500
Yes, fathers have been making payments based on probabilities. It is a
characteristic of the American - and Canadian - legal systems that in
civil matters, proof is a matter of balance of probabilities.
However, DNA testing as it is presently being marketed to genealogists
is nothing more than hogwash pseudo-science. But, by all means, don't
take my word for it. Ask Dr. Spencer WELLS. He is the geneticist in
charge of the Genographic Project for National Geographic. In a recent
interview for an investigative journalism show on Canadian television,
he plain came out and said as much.
He explained that the human body is made up of cell each of which
contains between 30,000 to 40,000 genes.
That most of these genes can also be found in other animals, only a few
thousand are exclusively found in humans.
All humans possess 46 chromosomes organized in 23 pairs, on which
thousands of genes are arranged in long strands like little beads on a
necklace, which carry the hereditary, genetic coding of each individual
human. Any one of these strands of genetic material, if they were
unwound, would stretch for over six feet in length.
That, because one side of every pair is inherited either from mom or
from dad, there is a lot of genetic shuffling going on from one
generation to the next.
Only part of this genetic material is passed down "unshuffled" from
parent to child. And that even then, mutations can and do occur so that
it is sometimes impossible to "prove" a blood link between two
individuals even though one truly exists.
Typically, the DNA-testing companies advertising their wares to
consumers only examine a very small fraction of the relevant DNA you
supply, around 9 to 20 DNA markers. They then make assumptions based on
whatever material they have in their database, which is mostly made up
of DNA sample from still living individuals. Not only is the sequencing
inadequate, the interpretation of the results also tends to rely on
assumptions rather than deductions.
Hardly exact science, that. But, hey, it's your money...
> I am wondering what qualifications the author has who states it is not an exact science but rather probabilities. So have all these fathers been making child support payments based on probabilities and the courts accepted it. That would be huge. I am not looking for an argument, but facts. I thought that was a huge sweeping statement, but if it can be backed up then I would have to requestion my trust in the fact that DNA is accepted at all if based on probabilities as this writer states. Debra
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|Re: [Q-R] DNA testing and question regarding belief not an exactscience by Mona Rainville <>|