What is The Scientific Method, and How is The Theory Applied to Fingerprint Analysis?

Essay by pimpgirl28University, Bachelor'sA+, January 2005

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What is the scientific method ,and how is the theory applied to fingerprint analysis?

The complete friction ridge identification process involves using the "identification philosophy and scientific methodology" in determining whether or not an "unknown friction ridge impression"(herein, called latent) came from the same source as a "known inked print (herein called print)to the exclusion of all others.

(1) David Ashbaugh refers to this identification process as, "a guide of how friction ridge quantative-qualititive analysis is transformed into an opinion of individuality. It describes the friction ridge formations used during analysis while establishing parameters as to how much knowledge one must have to perform such a task."

Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation and Verification, referred to as A.C.E.-V., is described by David Ashbaugh as the scientific methodology portion of the entire friction ridge identification process . Noting that some do not consider verification as part of the identification process.

(2) The actual identification process involves analysis, comparison and evaluation (A.C.E.)

of the latent and the known prints by the Latent Print Examiner.

Another identification process is proposed by Pat A Wertheim , C.L.P.E, which is a five step formula. The conclusion found by the examiner would be the same, and verification is still required. Alot of examiners find this five-step formula easier to understand ,follow ,and apply. These steps include:

1) Examination of the latent.

2) Developement of Hypotheses to be addressed.

3) Experimentation.

4) Formation of Tentative Conclusion.

5) Testing the Conclusion.

1)When examinaning a latent, it is important to follow the same order each and every time. If one or more steps is overlooked ,it could result in an inaccurate assessment which will impact the remaining identifying steps in this process. The more experience derived from analyzing latents ,the more adapt one will become when recognizing important factors that...