|Posted on Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 09:10 am: ||
Mr. Balboni's answer below is exactly correct for the general population in his area (Florida?). However, the pattern frequency of loops, arches and whorls is not the same in population groups throughout the world. I have not conducted research into pattern frequency in various population groups, but have seen considerable variance during my nomadic government postings as a Latent Print Examiner in Asia (six years in the Army laboratory serving the Pacfic region of the world), Europe and America (in five different states).
I hesitate to comment about pattern frequency variance associated with race, lest someone jump to the erroneous conclusion that fingerprint experts can determine the race of a person from their fingerprints (which we cannot to any degree of scientific certainty). Any person of any race may have any combination of loops, arches and whorls. In all races there are instances of all loops, all arches, all whorls and the 59,046 other combinations of three basic patterns on ten fingers. If considering only the presence and absence of whorls as used in the Henry system primary classification, there are 1,022 combinations other than all whorls and all non-whorls.
At least one law professor in the past year has hinted that early fingerprint science pioneers were racists in that they wrote of the observed pattern frequency variance in Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid populations. One common definition of science is:
Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws; knowledge classified and made available in work, life, or the search for truth; comprehensive, profound, or philosophical knowledge.Thus, it follows appropriately that statistical pattern classification variances observed would be commented upon and researched.
In Dr. Henry Fauld’s first published article on fingerprints in the October 28, 1880 issue of Nature, he commented about the varied frequency of patterns on Japanese versus English fingers. Later researchers went to great lengths to collect fingerprint pattern samples from small population groups throughout the world. They documented that fingerprint pattern frequencies vary by race and also by geographic region (heredity of the local gene pool). For over eighty years (and still today) medical researchers have looked into various fingerprint pattern (and hand shape, etc.) potential relationships to medical anomalies (certain diseases or conditions).
For fingerprint experts concerned with forensic identification, the body of knowledge concerning fingerprint pattern frequency has little value. Pattern is associated with level one detail which cannot be used to identify (individualize), but is used (when present) to exclude insofar as dissimilarity to any compared fingerprint.
Overall in America, the fingerprint pattern frequencies I hear most often are 60% to 65% loops, 30 to 35% whorls and 5% arches. In any given subset of the overall American population (or world population) the percentages will vary.
|Posted on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 02:59 pm: ||
Al, loops appear approx. 72%, Whorls apprx. 15% and Arches approx. 13% in the general population
|Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 08:00 am: ||
Please see the answer here.
|Posted on Monday, February 26, 2001 - 11:11 am: ||
I was wondering if there was a higher frequency of loops compared to archs and whirls? Or is the distribution totally random?