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WSJ: Demanding membership based on DNA tests

"What criteria should we use to determine a person's race? Some Americans are trying to use DNA testing to win success or riches in the diversity sweepstakes. A New York Times article Wednesday opened with the story of adopted twins, born of white parents. Since DNA tests purport to show that the boys have a bit of Native American and African blood, their father hopes the newfound ethnicity will help them qualify for college financial aid. Is this the new "one-drop rule"?

Then there is the 98% "European" woman who applied to college as an Asian after a DNA test found a 2% "Asian" strain. And with all that casino money out there, it's no wonder that some Indian tribes face people demanding a share of it based on only DNA "evidence."

Evidence is in quotation marks because DNA testing for genealogy involves as much supposition as science at this point. Human beings have so many genes in common that assigning slight variations to countries of origin or specific ethnic groups is often just guesswork. Even so, it is not that difficult to imagine a flood of Americans trying to milk the preference cow this way. Now picture officialdom struggling to respond. In a world where everybody is a rainbow, where does the sorting begin?"

Get the Story:
Taste: We Are All Rainbows Now (The Wall Street Journal 4/14)

Related Stories:
DNA tests used to seek money, benefits, membership (4/12)
DNA tests being used to bolster Indian heritage claims (08/30)
Blood samples from indigenous people sought for study (04/13)