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Time Lines of Dermatoglyphs

BC 3000 – India A Hindu Scripture ‘Samudra Shastra’, compiled by Samudra Rishi tells us a great deal about fingerprints. Samudra Shastra identifies three types of fingerprints. It says that two are common type viz Sankhas (Loops) and Chakras (Whorls), while the third type Seeps (Archs) are rare. Samudrika Shastra is a Sanskrit term that translates roughly as "knowledge of body features."

BC 200s – China Chinese records from the 221-206 BC Qin Dynasty include details about using handprints as evidence during burglary investigations.

Clay seals bearing friction ridge impressions were used during both the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC - 220 AD).

AD 1400s - Persia The 14th century Persian book "Jaamehol-Tawarikh" (Universal History), attributed to Khajeh Rashiduddin Fazlollah Hamadani (1247-1318), includes comments about the practice of identifying persons from their fingerprints.

1684: Dr. Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) presented Fingerprints, Palms and Soles in ‘An Introduction to Dermatoglyphics’ to the Royal Society.

1685: Dr. Guard Bidloo published an anatomical atlas – ‘Anatomia Human Corporis’, with illustrations showing the human figure both in living attitudes and as dissected cadavers.

1686: Dr Marcello Malphigi (1628-1694) described the ridges, spirals and loops of fingerprints in his treatise.

1788: J C Mayer was the first one to introduce basic characteristics of fingerprints analysis, also theorizing that fingerprints were unique.

1823: Dr. J E Purkinje classified the papillary lines on the fingerprints into nine types: 2 types of Archs, 2 types of Loops and 5 types of Whorls.

1823: Dr. J E Purkinje found that patterns and ridges of the fingerprints start formation at around the thirteenth week of gestation.

1832: Dr. Charles Bell (1774-1842) initiated scientific study to combine neuro-anatomy with clinical practice. He published ‘The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Designs.

1892: British Anthropologist from England; Sir Francis Galton published his book – ‘Fingerprints, establishing the individuality and permanence of fingerprints’. The book included first fingerprint classification system into Archs, Loops & Whorls.

1897: Harris Hawthorne Wilder was the first American to study Dermatoglyphs. He invented the Main Line Index, studied thenar hypothenar eminencies; zone II, III & IV.

1926: Dr. Harold Cummins, MD and Charles Mildo MD; studied all aspects of fingerprints analysis from anthropology, genetics and embryology perspective. They published the book – ‘Fingerprints, Palms & Soles’. Now, considered a bible in the field of Dermatoglyphics.

1936: Dr. Harold Cummins & Dr. Charles Mildo again researched the embryo-genesis of skin ridge pattern and concluded that the fingerprints patterns actually develop in the womb and are fully formed by the fourth month of the fetus development.

1944: Dr. Julius Spier published a book – ‘The Hands of Children’ thereby analyzing children’s psychological personality development with use of Dermatoglyphs methodology.

1950: Canadian Brain Surgeon and Professor, Banfill (Penfeild) published the book ‘Body of All Parts of The Brain Associated with the Cross-Section Map’, which shows the association of fingerprints with the Brain Lobes.

1968: Sarah Holt, whose own work ‘The Genetics of Dermal Ridges’ published in 1968, summarizes her research in of Dermatoglyphics patterns of both the fingers and the palm in various peoples, both normal and congenitally afflicted.

1969: John J. Mulvihill, MD and David W. Smith, MD published The Genesis of Dermatoglyphics that provides the most up to date version of how fingerprints form.

1970: USSR, Former Soviet Union. Using Dermatoglyphics in selecting the contestant for Olympics.

1980: China carry out researching work of human potential, intelligence and talents in Dermatoglyphics and human genome perspective.

1981: Professor Roger W. Sperry and his research partners were awarded the Nobel prize for Biology in their contribution towards the functions of the right brain and left brain as well as the dual brain theory. Research related to the brain enters its peak at this stage. At the same time, it is now widely used by scientists from various other fields

1985: Dr. Chen Yi Mou Phd. of Harvard University research Dermatoglyphics based on Multiple Intelligence theory of Dr. Howard Gardner. First apply Dermatoglyphics to educational fields and brain physiology.

2000: Dr Stowens, Chief of Pathology at St Luke’s hospital in New York, claims to be able to diagnose schizophrenia and leukemia with up to 90% accuracy. In Germany, Dr Alexander Rodewald reports he can pinpoint many congenital abnormalities with 90% accuracy.

2004: IBMBS- International Behavioral & Medical Biometrics Society. Over 7000 report and thesis published. Nowadays the U.S., Japan or China, Taiwan applied Dermatoglyphics to educational fields.

2010: IBMBS- International Behavioral & Medical Biometrics Society conducted statistical research of over 33000 students and professionals to launch its Ambitious Project to improve teaching qualities and raising learning efficiency by knowing various learning styles.

The Milestones of Fingerprint Analysis

Phase 1: In the year 1880, early century of 19, Dr. Henry Faulds stated the theory of finger RC(Ridge Count)As to the finger ridge counting towards the RC ability to distinguish the study method of inborn intelligence, but the element of the post analyzing was too simple.

Phase 2: In the year of 1943, the middle 20 century, Dr. Harold Cummins stated the theory PI(Pattern Intensity) rate measuring, counting on RC value, 3 delta areas value, forms the fingerprint added with potency value, then different finger pattern with its different position, also could produce different degree. The former using PI value is more accurate compared with the first method that only used RC measurement.

Phase 3: In 1986 Nobel Prize in physiology was awarded to Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini Dr. Stanley Cohen for discovering the correlation between NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor)

History of Dermatoglyphs

Friction ridge skin impressions (Dermatoglyphs) were used as proof of a person’s identity in China perhaps as early as 300 B.C., in Japan as early as A.D. 702, and in the United States since 1902. Reference to fingerprints and its impact on human personality is found in ancient Indian scriptures also.

Earthenware estimated to be 6000 years old was discov¬ered at an archaeological site in northwest China and found to bear clearly discernible friction ridge impressions. These prints are considered the oldest friction ridge skin im¬pressions found to date

Examples of ancient artifacts displaying what might be considered friction ridge designs include megalithic artworks in the tomb of Gavr’inis on an island just off the west coast of France and in the tomb at Newgrange on the coast of Ireland.

Study, research, and experimentation have led to and sup¬ported fingerprints as a means of individualization and an evaluative tool of incalculable value. The research and practical knowledge accumulated over the course of many centuries well supports the science.

As time moves forward and people continue to study any science, that science grows and becomes better under¬stood. No one has said it better than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “The history of a science is the science itself”


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