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Are Fingerprints really unique?

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posted on Apr, 30 2008 @ 10:44 PM
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We have all grown up ‘knowing’ that our fingerprints are unique but is this really so? I have been pondering this for some time now and would like to see what other people think about the matter.
The way I see it, is that there are so many people in the world right now, not to mention how many have gone before us and are yet to come. With the randomness of our finger print patterns, what is to say they cannot be replicated?
The chances of more than one living person having the same print would be a phenomenal number but not impossible.




posted on Apr, 30 2008 @ 11:30 PM
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I have been trying to find some info to support this but nearly everything I can find supports the ‘unique’ concept except for the occasional general statement along the lines of ‘The uniqueness of fingerprints cannot 100% be verified’ and ‘cannot be scientifically proven’.
I know his is not enough to base an argument on but is enough for a theory to be born.



posted on May, 1 2008 @ 04:09 AM
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Well, statistically speaking fingerprints are unique enough for a small country. In a big country, things will be different.

One in one hundred million people have identical fingerprints. Identical in the sense that differences are small enough to not be recognizable with current methods of taking those prints into some database. In courts, identical fingerprint it all it takes.

So, in USA with 300 million people.. If every one of them gives fingerprints into a database, you usually encounter three people that evidently committed some crime, and it stands in court. This is not a problem because authorities propably don't have a hundred million fingerprints in their database.

Whenever we get a global database with 7 billion fingerprints, we will get about 70 matches for each crime where fingerprints are used as evidence. Then, in today's global world, there will be problems and fingerprints will no longer be accepted as solid evidence.

However, when you combine travel data, working times and several other things, you can rule out 69 of those 70 with identical fingerprints and have your committer of crime convicted.



posted on May, 1 2008 @ 04:22 AM
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Thats pretty cool. Do you have a source for that? I am ot doubting you, I would just like to see it. I have never heard those stats before.
For the sake of solving crime you are right. The process of elimination would be pretty easy.
I was only referring to the general statment that 'all fingerprints are unique' and the idea we have all been fed that they can and will never be replicated.
Good info. Thanks



posted on May, 1 2008 @ 01:49 PM
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I cannot find those articles anymore. I did find this article with google, though, but apparently I cannot find the one from new scientist.

Wikipedia has some info as well, although there isn't much criticism. Some is mentioned.

It has been shown many times that there has only been one single study ever committed about uniqueness of human fingerprints, and that study is flawed in several ways.

Reason for not doing anything about it is propably because a lot of criminals have been sentenced because of fingerprints, and after fingerprints could no longer be used as evidence, most of them would have to be let free. That cannot possibly be allowed to happen, so nobody ever does anything to this problem and never will.



posted on May, 1 2008 @ 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the links.

a lot of criminals have been sentenced because of fingerprints, and after fingerprints could no longer be used as evidence, most of them would have to be let free. That cannot possibly be allowed to happen, so nobody ever does anything to this problem and never will.


I never thought about it that way. A very good point. It seems there could be more of a conspiracy to this than I had imagined. It does make you wonder where else the authorities have decided to ‘leave well enough alone’ for the sake of simplicity.



posted on May, 9 2008 @ 02:11 PM
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Not when you have a blurry print to go on.

A print at the Madrid bombing showed up 20 possibles.

They took in a man in with a middle eastern wife and
now it seems they found the real middle eastern man.

There is no brains behind the use of police powers.

Lady cop could not get desk duty because the procedure was not
written yet.

Jerk water town had to write it up and town board had to approve.



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