I believe the statements and terminology chosen in the help can be improved. The use of DNA Evidence in Wikitree seems different than how it is used outside Wikitree. I am basing what is used in Wikitree and outside of Wikitree on my experience so others may have a different experience or understanding.
DNA is treated elsewhere as additional corroborative evidence with significant weight. Wikitree seems to treat DNA more along the lines of independent Verification. The reason I and many other purchased additional kits for known relatives was to aid in finding connections of unknown relatives. We proceeded under the premise that a match was inevitable. For most, not me, this proved to be true.
Confirmation of something is a belief that something is true and will remain true. It is not proof. Confirmation of a Parent/Child relationship also has a confidence level associated with it. IMO, the Wikitree use of these levels has been the source of confusion. Generally speaking, there are many degrees of confidence any one individual may describe of a parent/child relationship in a tree. But when we acting as representatives, as on Wikitree, it is good to establish a limited set of defined choices.
Wikitree has three levels of Confidence associated with a parent/child relationship.
- Confirmed with DNA
For the purpose of this example, I will limit the choices outside of wikitree to only two comparable levels
And some indicator that DNA Evidence exists.
The main difference is that Wikitree guidelines do not provide a choice to indicate (1) (a)uncertain and (b) corroborative DNA Evidence exists, or Confident and corroborative DNA exists but the DNA Evidence does not meet requirements of “Confirmed with DNA”.
A typical scenario, outside Wikitree, involves two matches, Jack and Jill, who have been able to identify their Most Recent Common Ancestor(s) via parent/child relationships that are certain. A presumption is made that corroborative DNA evidence exists up to and including their Most Recent Common Ancestor(s).
A third person, Bill, matches both of them and does not have a completed tree but does share a triangulated segment with the two. In this example, let us add that all 3 participants are predicted to be 4th cousins. The evidence strongly suggests that Bill also shares those same Most Recent Common Ancestors.
The difference between Wikitree and NonWikitree users is the requirement of a 3rd tree and triangulation. It’s worth repeating, Confirmation of something is a belief that something is true and will remain true.
In this example, if I were to “Confirm with DNA” the parent up to and including the Most Recent Common Ancestors of Jack and Jill. I am stating that I am still confident the parent/child relationship and that no 3rd DNA test will refute this.
Why am I so confident? The reason is that NO Third autosomal test can refute it. The confidence level remains virtually the same in all cases.
When is a 3rd tree and triangulation required?
A third tree and triangulation is required for determining the parent-child relationship of a segment, not a person. In the example with Jack and Jill, we can trace these segments up to but not including the Most Recent Common Ancestors. Let’s change the relationship of Bill from another 4th cousin to a 5th cousin. The issue, in this case, is that Bill didn’t care where the segments came from, as long they came from the same MRCAs of Jack and Jill. The prediction enlarges the possibilities to the Parent or Parents of Jack or the Parent or Parents of Jill.
The third tree with another cousin of a more distant relationship would help to identify which side of Jack and Jill’s MRCA the relationship connects. A triangulated segment helps to identify the parent/child relationship of a particular segment.
In summary, an additional DNA test and documented tree cannot refute the results of the 1st match then why require it?
Edit: I edited the question to reflect topic