EE user Bob raised the 64K question of the DNA era: How do we evaluate DNA using those two basic research tools—the Genealogical Proof Standard and the Evidence Analysis Map?
Two postings ago, we posed this thought: “Past first-degree relationships, DNA testing does not supply quick and easy answers to ‘prove’ a relationship.” Yesterday, we posed a problem ...
Oh, joy! Testing Company XYZ has just posted a new match for me! It confirms just what I thought! He and I both descend from Will Whoozit and his wife Alice!
Hmhh. Confirms? How?
Why do we take DNA tests? Reasons vary. Many people hope it will “tell me who I am.” That’s a reasonable expectation for adoptees and others with questions about their own parents and siblings. Others swab or spit because they think it will tell them where their ancestors come from. Experienced family historians turn to DNA to help resolve questions for which paper-trail research has turned up no explicit answer.
Inquiring minds have asked, “About DNA and the GPS: How is DNA related as to source, information, and evidence with regard to the match and the most recent common ancestor?"
Yesterday, we tackled the first issue: separating two different tools that are often mentally merged:
In another forum, a researcher asks how the "GPS" and its breakdown of sources vs. information vs. evidence applies to DNA.It’s a spot-on question in today’s research world, but it can’t be answered without straightening out a bit of confusion:
“When documentation doesn’t exist, DNA tells us what’s what.” Or, at least, that’s the argument a genealogist posed in another forum.
Where do we begin with this?
For today, I’ll ignore the last five words of the quote and address the broader concept: Documentation always exists. Always. Even when we use DNA as “proof,” we still must have documentation ...
Of course, DNA is evidence. Prosecutors and defense attorneys use it daily to build cases for guilt or innocence. Forensic genealogists and police use it to build cases for the identity of human remains. Some historians and millions of genealogists use it to build cases for historical identity and kinship.