Basic fallacies in the formulation of the paternity index

C. C. Li, A. Chakravarti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some basic fallacies in the computation of the paternity index have been pointed out. The general finding that the true fathers' mean paternity index is greater than that of nonfathers is a necessary consequence of an algebraic identity, having nothing to do with paternity or nonpaternity. It has also been shown that the paternity index is not a likelihood ratio as claimed. The fact that a paternity index may frequently take values less than unity leads to absurd conclusions regarding the probability of paternity. A formula relating prior and posterior probabilities of paternity, based solely on genetic marker testing results (exclusion or nonexclusion), is reiterated as a substitute for the current paternity index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-818
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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