In your last comment, you said you want Google researchers to proove
that there is a test out there and that seems to clarify the question
nicely. While it is highly controversial, it is highly unlikely such
a test exists that would make a definitive case for or against being a
member of a particular race.
From the article "DNA Validity and Capability in Ethnic
Identification" - - "To date there is no test which can determine a
person's race or heritage. We can perform DNA testing to determine
parentage, but not whether someone is of a particular racial or ethnic
"The standard, familiar (and antiquated) categories of race utilize
definition by external traits such as skin, hair, or eye color, skull
size and more but account for only a minute portion of an individual's
100,000 genes. They are inherited individually, not passed on relative
The panel goes on to say, "While the frequency in genetic variation
may differ across classically defined racial groupings, race is
neither defined by any collection of genetic variations nor does an
individual's self identification according to race, predict genetic
characteristics of that individual."
So according to this, you can claim whatever race you want and there
is little chance of a DNA test countering that claim.
Later in the page it does mention there is a remote chance such
identification might take place but the key word is "remote" and deals
with groups of people rather than individuals.
The above information is from:
http://www.multiracial.com/abolitionist/word/yona-parttwo.html - "DNA
Validity and Capability in Ethnic Identification"
Now on the other hand, a company in Florida claims it has a testing
kit for sale which can determine race. However, - "But geneticists
independent of the company expressed reservations about the accuracy
of any such test, noting that there was still relatively little data
about genetic differences between ethnic groups."
Now while there are forensic specialists who claim race can be
determined by DNA testing, it is only a "probability" result. You
will find the words "guess" and "chance" to be used frequently in
their arguments for racial profiling by DNA. You can learn more about
http://dna-view.com/race.htm - "Probable Race of a Stain Donor" - It
is in reality a study in statistics rather than a study determining
whether DNA testing can be used as "proof" of a given racial identity.
It is this kind of study that so many use when they say DNA "can be
used" for racial identity - something geneticists claim is still in a
grey area. Such testing may help police by giving the "probability"
of a racial identification but can not state it for certain.
You may also find this article from the New York Times to be of
interest. - no registration needed to get it:
"Do Races Differ? Not Really, DNA Shows"
So your final comment boils it down to: "I want google answers to
prove that there is a test out there, or some court precedent has been
That makes what you want very clear. However, we cannot prove what
does not yet exist. We can demonstrate that there is very, very
little chance such a definitive test exists, at least at the present
time. And if it doesn't exist, there is an equally small chance of
court precedent based on such a test.
There is no test to "prove" you are black or any other race. There
are tests which may give a "probability" rating but nothing more.
As stated earlier, and by at least one of the comments, you can pretty
much claim what you wish.
Search - Google
Terms - dna racial testing, dna as proof of race, genetics and race,
genetic proof of race
Links are included in the answer
One other source you may find interesting and which gives support to
the above is: - "The Death of Scientific Racism"
If I may clarify anything before rating the answer, please ask.
Clarification of Answer by
28 Jun 2004 20:54 PDT
Changing your race on a birth certificate may be next to impossible
since there are no conclusive tests to determine that you are not the
race the certificate says you are.
Shortly after birth, most Americans have the ethnic/racial group
identity of their biological parents placed on their birth
certificates and from the nature and language of the question and
comments, I must presume you are American.
When changing a birth record you must 'prove' that the change you want
to make is accurate and justified - which takes us back to the testing
issue. There is no current test by which you can meet the criteria of
accuracy when it comes to 'proof of racial origin' when you claim a
difference in race from what is already recorded.
Even then, such a change could not be made without a court order.
That too may be next to impossible. While the court case I will
attach the link for deals with a change in racial identity relating to
Native Americans, the court's finding precludes any such change and
establishes that there is no precedent for such a change. - - "This
court can find no statutory or case law which sets forth the standard
for determining whether a person is of a particular race for the
purpose of amending a birth record." - - From the case: Teri Lee
Rhoades and Andrew Alan:Rhoades, Birth Correction Unit, Division
of:Vital Records, Department of Health, The Commonwealth Court of
http://www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/CWealth/out/1078CD00.pdf - A
PDF file, Acrobat Reader needed
Any other changes or claims you may make on other documents such as
employment applications, etc, are just that - claims. Perhaps they
may never be challenged. But for the purposes of official racial
identity, that which is listed on the birth certificate is your
official racial identity regardless of any other claims you make make.
I'm sorry. But the vast resources of the state of Pennsylvania can
find no court precedent for such a change and neither can I. If you
read through the case, you might be surprised at the amount of
evidence presented for such a change including attached to the
Petition were affidavits from appellants and their mother, copies of
birth certificates for relatives of appellants, a chart of the family
genealogy, a hearing transcript from the United States Department of
the Interior Commission To the Five Civilized Tribes, a letter from
the Department of the Interior dated December 4, 1903 and a copy of
the family Bible. The affidavits state that Appellants do, in fact,
have Native American Ancestry.
In spite of all this, the application for a change of race on the
birth certificate was denied. Once again, no precedent was set.
A simple desire to have one's official racial identity changed from
White to Black to "further advance yourself" would have a very
difficult time standing up to such demands as required by a court.