Flawed forensics: DNA analysis is NOT The Truth, as in endless cop show reruns

File:DNA simple.svg And much harm follows from believing so. From Shawna Williams at The Scientist:

Cutting-edge DNA identification techniques used by the office of New York City’s chief medical examiner were less reliable than claimed, some experts say. …

“I’m 100 percent convinced that there are many people who are incarcerated who were convicted with DNA evidence who are innocent,” Bicka Barlow, a lawyer with a background in genetics and molecular biology, tells the Times.

At issue in the letter are techniques called “high-sensitivity testing,” or low copy number analysis, which detects trace amounts of DNA, and the Forensic Statistical Tool (FST), a software program to calculate whether a given person’s genetic material is likely present in a sample of mixed DNA. More.

Science promotes superstition as readily as does any other intellectual exercise because the key driver of superstition is the attempt to use knowledge as a form of control rather than understanding. That leads inevitably to slackness and corruption, which means that what is exalted as the Truth falls short of ordinary truths and ends up becoming discredited.

See also: Forensics files: What? We can’t trust forensic science?

Forensic DNA evidence in doubt? (low copy analysis)

and

Is forensics really a science.? Yes, and it suffers from the same problems as any other.

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