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Alana's Articles


?Harold Cummins M.D.

Doctor Cummins is universally acknowledged as the Father of Dermatoglyphics. Harold studied all aspects of fingerprint analysis, from anthropology to genetics, from embryology to the study of malformed hands with from two to seven fingers.(13) He pulled together the diverse work of his predecessors, added original research and set the standards of the field still in force to the present. His famous Down Syndrome(14) studies predicted a genetic link to the disease based upon the presence of the Simian Crease.

His willingness to stake his reputation on research that only became scientific "fact" two decades later cemented his place in history and brought national attention to dermatoglyphics.

Most medical studies utilize the following methodology: two populations are compared using some combination of the following list of common variables (see below), or less frequently, new variables are suggested. Hand prints are taken, measurements are done, mathematical formulas are created. The first population, the one under study, is found to be strikingly different, slightly different or about the same as the control group. A paper appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association (or similar scientific journal) that chronicles the findings.

For instance, Mitral Valve Prolapse, a form of heart disease, is associated with an abnormally high number of Arches(15); Breast Cancer, in recent studies, has been linked to a high number of Whorl patterns.(16) Genetic oriented diseases have received the most scrutiny (Trisomy, Tay Sachs, etc.), but correlation have been found to Alzheimers(17), tuberculosis(18), diabetes(19), cancer(20), heart disease(21) and many more medical conditions.

Psychological abnormalities have also been studied. Unusual ATD angles in combination with other statistical anomalies are common in various forms of retardation.(22) At least 34 research papers have been published on schizophrenia. Children with behavior weird enough to get them into a clinic have had their hand prints compared to control groups and were found to have significantly different patterns than normal children.(23)

Another use of dermatoglyphics has been in anthropology. Population studies reveal distinct variation according to type and sub-type and have been used to determine the origin of various groups (Thor Heyerdahl notwithstanding, the original inhabitants of the Pacific Islands emigrated from Asia, not South America).(24) Until recently (when DNA testing took over), the most scientifically acceptable test to determine whether twins came from the same egg or not was the dermatoglyphic test.