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Saturday, August 14, 2010

DNA evidence: The gold standard?

In "Fallible DNA evidence can mean prison or freedom" (New Scientist , 11 August 2010), Linda Geddes discusses the limitations of DNA evidence:
If DNA analysis were totally objective, then all 17 analysts should reach the same conclusion. However, we found that just one agreed with the original judgement that Robinson "cannot be excluded". Four analysts said the evidence was inconclusive and 12 said he could be excluded.
It is nice to see New Scientist doing something useful*, in the best traditions of journalism. This is what journalism is supposed to be.

Essentially, there are practical limitations in all systems of accumulating evidence in the real world. There is also the risk of incompetence, and there could sometimes even be corruption.

*This is just so unlike the world of Darwinism because it is all about known events in real time, affecting real people. I am not nearly as interested in the inner life of baboons (?) as in the possibility that someone is stuck in the slam because the jury is convinced that DNA evidence is always the gold standard for truth - but the researchers overinterpreted flimsy evidence.

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