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Perspective: Hey, cousin!


Not long ago I read that the average American has 4,700 fifth cousins. And then a day or two later I read about something called "ancestral DNA," by which various ancestral DNA tracking systems are able to identify very very dangerous criminals from cold case files.

Now, I put these two things together and realized, well, maybe I have a civic duty to put my own DNA profile on one of these sites. That way, the whole system will be slightly enhanced. And perhaps one of my fifth cousins might be the starting link in tracking down a heinous and terrible criminal.

I've thought about this a lot and it seems to me that I'm fairly safe, because my nearest cousin who might have been a Napoleon of Crime died over 20 years ago.

This is Tom McBride; that's my Perspective.

Tom McBride is co-author of the annual Beloit College Mindset List. He is a specialist in Shakespeare. For 42 years he taught at Beloit, where he won an award for excellence in teaching. He also coordinated the Mackey Distinguished Writers' Program and the First Year Initiatives Program.