DNA: Following the Evidence

When genealogy research migrated from the cumbersome (often deteriorating) media of microfiche, county record ledger books and newspapers into the electronic age, it was welcome forward progress. (In yesterday’s post, I mentioned wrestling with microfiche.)

Accurately inputting hard copy records to digital files took time. For me, testing multiple software packages over a ten to fifteen year odyssey finally ended at the Ancestry Online platform. Why not? I can access my account from almost anywhere, any time.


The innovations of online resources like Ancestry, FamilySearch, Rootsweb, Cyndi’s List and a host of state and local databases continue apace and deliver high value for researchers from around the world.

Today, the emergence of a genomic age portends another forward leap on the horizon. Genetic data services are readily available (for an introductory price of $99) to assist in a variety of applications (among them, health, fertility and even curiosity).

For genealogy researchers, technology promises potential answers for baffling questions. Ancestry.com proffers: One simple DNA test. A world of discoveries. Multiple other vendors are capitalizing on this expanding market and offering similar testing.

Though science has never been my bailiwick, nascent technology captivates my imagination. My inquiring mind wants to delve into the microscopic world of DNA. I think it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise. What mysteries are hidden in the smallest of places? And, thanks most often to DNA, the detectives on these shows were always able to wrap things up in quick order!

A couple years ago, I watched a video that wasn’t just captivating; it was an elegant miniature display of such beauty and grace and order, words fail description. Before I share the video, a couple comments are helpful. This video is part of a series called Unlocking the Mystery of Life produced by Illustra Media. This (and all the videos from Illustra) present a scientific – but unapologetically Christian – point of view.

To me, this particular video reinforces (as few things might) evidence of a Designer. If that’s not your personal persuasion, don’t let my perspective (or the video’s) dissuade you from watching. About 30 seconds into the video, you’ll see an amazing computer animation of what goes on every second of every day within our bodies. Toward the end, Biophysicist Dean H. Kenyon says it’s “mind-boggling!” I totally agree!

Will I spend the $99 to test my DNA? I can’t deny I’ve considered it. More on that in future posts.

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