The Usage Of Human Fingerprints Essay

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The usage of human fingerprints for identification has a long history, tracing back to the Chinese usage of fingerprints 200 BCE (International Association for Identification, et al., 1). The Qin Dynasty had records of handprint identification being used as evidence for investigations about burglary. It is not clear to what degree these methods were effective or accurate but this is the oldest known example of the usage of handprints for identification purposes. From this point, there are some sporadic instances of fingerprint usage. However, fingerprinting began to be seriously evaluated in the 19th century (ibid).
Sir Francis Galton, a 19th Century anthropologist and biologist, began studying fingerprints in the late 1800s (Gega, 1). Galton was a pioneer in fingerprint identification. He established “the individuality and permanence of fingerprints” (International Association for Identification, et al., 1). This is important for two reasons. The individual nature of fingerprints is key for the purposes of identification. Galton estimated that the odds of the same two individual fingerprints occurring was 1 in 64 billion (ibid). This percentage is so low that fingerprints can successfully be relied on as accurate and consistent identification tools. The second part is also equally important. Many biological identification factors, like height, weight, hair color, dental records, or foot size, will change over the course of a human lifetime. These methods had been used by
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