Subject: 477 Mesoamericans and their DNA lineages
Date: Jan 14, 2010 (update June 2010)  (update August 2010) updates in green
Author: Simon in Oz
Note: This author has a doctorate in genetics unlike Mormon apologists

This is the most comprehensive mitochondrial DNA study of Mesoamericans published to date.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762527/?tool=pmcentrez

The 477 individuals DNA tested "were native speakers with two generation-local unrelated ancestors". The DNA lineage frequencies are in table 2.

A single individual out of 477 (0.2%) did not have a DNA lineage derived from Asia.

The failing Limited Geography Theory gets another kick in the rear.

Go Rodney! [Rodney Meldum]

 

Subject: Zero Point Two Percent?
Date: Jan 14 08:25
Author: SL Cabbie

Shoot, that's big enough for the Rodster to pilot a Jaredite submarine through . . .

Or one of those magical Nephite sailing vessels that was capable of sailing around Africa, across the Atlantic, and then up the Mississippi to help found the Hopewell culture...

I loved that claim of "parsimony" on the blog entry you reproduced; maybe we should encourage FIRM to underwrite some archaeological digs in Louisiana . . . Perhaps they'll find some early Nephite steamboat construction sites . . .

Okay, on the serious side; I'm not deeply troubled by the absence of the X-haplogroup in MesoAmerica and points south (did you or someone say somewhere X had been found recently in Brazil?). In the pdf file I sent you that identified the "M" haplogroup in some Holocene remains (Don't get all hot and bothered if you read this Rodney; this was in some 5,0000 year old skeletons--oh wait, that's right, that stuff doesn't fit the "Young Earth" timetable, does it. Shouldn't give him ideas, then), we see that it's probably reasonable to suggest a population bottleneck may have resulted in "M" becoming extinct in the New World (I'm comfortable citing that one since Dillehay does). I suggest a similar occurence may have caused "X" to be absent in the lands southward . . .

 

Subject: Agree with all that...
Date: Jan 15 14:49
Author: Simon in Oz

especially the bit about Jaredite submarines and Nephite steamboats.

 

Subject: Direct hit on FAIR/FARMS
Date: Jan 15 14:32
Author: Simon in Oz

The Limited Geography apologists have narrowed the search for Lamanite DNA to a small number of Mesoamerican populations. The paper cited shows conclusively that even in those populations the amount of their DNA not derived from Asia is virtually ZERO. Bring on the VGT (Vapourised Geography Theory)

This will certainly bring a smile to Meldrum's face. His entire argument depends on the X lineage coming from Israel in the last 3000 years. His entire argument is flawed. The X lineage has been in the Americas for at least as long as the other 4 major lineages because:-

1. It has been found in ancient remains over 7000 years old

2. It has just as much variation within American Indian populations as the other 4 lineages.

Meldrum rejects the coalescence dating evidence (a well established approach) for no other reason than it gives results that conflict with his LDS beliefs.


 

Subject: What's the "other" (1% of Pima)? They'll say there's still a 0.2% chance Cummorah is in Mesoamerica.


 

Subject: Re: What's the "other" (1% of Pima)? They'll say there's still a 0.2% chance Cummorah is in Mesoamer
Date: Jan 15 14:46
Author: Simon in Oz

My guess is that it could easily be the X lineage or a European or African lineage. No matter how hard they screen out post-Columbus admixture by interviewing people, if the admixture occurred 400 years ago, it could be long forgotten in the family.

FARMS will continue the hasty retreat to the lineage extinction argument because they know the safety of making absolutely no claims.

Subject: Finding Lamanites is getting easier.
Date: Jun 16, 2010 Update
Author: Simon in Oz

For those following the DNA debate there are some interesting developments discussed on the Signature Books website (which has several useful hyperlinks.

http://signaturebooks.com/?p=2784


New Science Impacts Book of Mormon DNA Studies


Ten years ago, population geneticists could only study relatively simple genetic configurations from the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA. Since then, there has been a revolution in the methodology available to this kind of study so that now scientists examine the most complex areas of an individual’s complete nuclear DNA. Using what is called “admixture mapping,” researchers observe thousands of variant SNPs (pronounced “snips” for single nucleotide polymorphisms) revealing the subtlest influences on an individual’s genetic makeup.

As examples of the fruits of this new technology, researchers have announced ground-breaking discoveries over the past few months. We now know that humans and Neanderthals bred with each other 30,000 years ago. We also now know that European and African Jews (Ashkenazi and Sephardic) have a common origin in the Middle East and migrated together to northern Italy before separating. It also appears that Native Americans are genetically so closely matched that there was probably only one migration to the Americas from Siberia some 15,000 years ago.

What about the question of later migration to the Americas? That issue has received less press but is being illuminated as well. For instance, a study by Chao Tian and others, entitled “A Genomewide SNP Panel for Mexican American Admixture Mapping,” in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, looked at 400,000 SNPs for “ancestry-informative markers.” They wanted to determine ethnic origins of indigenous diseases, but their conclusions have implications for Book of Mormon studies.

“The beauty of SNPs is that they don’t just show us what someone’s dominant heritage is,” Simon Southerton said from his office in Canberra, Australia. Southerton is a molecular geneticist who has written about the Book of Mormon. “They tell us what ancestors came from other ethnic backgrounds, who may have been hiding somewhere in our family trees.”

Those who believe that the Book of Mormon is a literal history of ancient America assert that seafaring Israelites landed in America and intermixed with local natives. Some concede that since there were so few Israelites among millions of Siberians in the Americas, their genetic legacy would be insignificant and probably died out, while nevertheless remaining among the ancestors of Native Americans.

“It’s no longer possible to say that the genetic evidence is unavailable because it became extinct,” Southerton explains. “If there were Lamanites in the Americas, they will be found. If there weren’t, we’re going to learn that as well. The recent technological advances have changed everything.”

Southerton says that “the cost of genotyping (detecting SNPs) has fallen off dramatically, so scientists now can do what was formerly unthinkable, which is to identify millions of points of difference in nuclear DNA among thousands of humans. The results are impressive. I would have to say to anyone interested in the Mormon angle, hold onto you seats because you’re in for a ride. The results are going to start pouring in.”

It will take time for scientists to sort out which SNPs are indigenous to which regions, but a comprehensive database is emerging. Tien’s study identified 8,144 SNPs common to Pimas and Mayas that distinguish them from Europeans. These SNPs can be used to determine when “other DNA” (European or Book of Mormon) entered the gene pools of American Indians. In all, of 24 Mexican Americans studied by Tien, the foreign DNA in their pedigrees “originated within the last 10-25 generations. If any of these individuals had pre-Columbian DNA from elsewhere in the world, it would have been virtually impossible to miss,” says Southerton.

Two Mormon-oriented groups contend that previous assumptions, based on a limited amount of genetic evidence, that one would not expect to find Israelite DNA in the Americas is in fact consistent with a literal reading of the Book of Mormon. The Foundation for Indigenous Research and Mormonism (FIRM), led by Rod Meldrum, has argued that the mitochondrial X haplotype that is concentrated in New England Indians shows there was a pre-Columbian arrival of Israelites there, for instance.

In response to FIRM, Southerton says that “the consensus is that the mitochondrial X haplotype came to the Americas by way of Siberia, and there’s not any real controversy over this among scientists. It most likely originated in Central Asia and left a trace as it spread to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and then into the Americas about 15,000 years ago. Rod may think the jury is out on this question, but there is no evidence to support his case.”

The other group, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Research at BYU, which argues a Central American setting for the Book of Mormon, contends that the absence of genetic evidence, which they say is what one would expect from a small group of thirty or so people leaving little genetic impact on millions of Siberians in the Americas, is actually positive evidence for the Book of Mormon account. “The people at the Maxwell House are going to strain this to the last drop,” said Southerton. “But what they didn’t count on was the explosion in additional genetic information, which puts the lie to their apologetic.”

“The genetic tests are now so sensitive,” Southerton says, “that it is possible through admixture mapping to detect a tiny fraction of a percent of the mixed ancestry in a person’s DNA. If a small family of Jews mixed with American Indians 3,000 years ago, the Jewish nuclear DNA would spread throughout the adjacent populations like a drop of ink in a bucket. It would be virtually impossible for it to go extinct. If it is there, we can now find it.”

A 2010 study by Katarzyna Bryc and others, “Genome-wide Patterns of Population Structure and Admixture among Hispanic/Latino Populations,” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in the USA, gives an admixture map for over 200 American Indians, showing European chromosome segments in red, African in green and Native American in blue (figure 3, middle portion). To the untrained eye, it would not be apparent that the lengths of the European, African or American Indian chromosome segments are significant. The earlier the introduction of foreign DNA in a Native American’s ancestry the more the genetic material is fragmented: it tells a genealogical story. “If there were a lot of very short segments of foreign DNA on the admixture map it would suggest a pre-Columbian entry of that DNA,” says Dr. Southerton. “It would stand out like a sore thumb and be trumpeted around the scholarly world as an amazing discovery.” There is also, according to the article, “a disproportionate contribution of European male and Native American female ancestry,” as well as confirmation that the European genes came primarily “from the Iberian peninsula.” The goal of the study was to try to isolate genetic heritage associated with certain diseases.

Southerton notes that most information currently coming to the fore has this as its primary task: “to identify SNPs that cause genetic disease and thereby improve the health of indigenous people.” What we learn about their ancestry “is a windfall,” he says. In any case, for those who are interested in the debate about the Book of Mormon, Southerton has this advice: “Stay tuned.”
 


 

Subject: Nice. You're being quoted too. :-) How long before LDS Inc will claim some divine intervention
Date: Jun 16 03:55
Author: OzPoof

- changing the DNA trace when they were made dark and icky? That or they will say it's a test to weed out the faithful from the people that think.

 

Subject: When the dust finally settles on all this, I think PBS needs to do a program on it.
Date: Jun 16 04:48
Author: Heathjh

"DNA and the Book of Mormon- fascinating new discoveries"

I think PBS does a great job on the shows they do. I think this story needs to be told later on when it all clears up.

 

Subject: Results so far
Date: Jun 16 06:13
Author: Simon in Oz

To date, about 250 American Indians have been examined in admixture studies looking at thousands of SNPs. Not one of those people had any European or African admixture that looked like it may have occurred prior to Columbus. It all looked recent. I think that in the next 2-3 years enough American Indians will have been tested to be pretty much certain that there was no pre-Columbian admixture with Europeans or Israelites.

The technology is so sensitive it could easily detect even 0.00001% of European DNA, so a totally negative result for 250 American Indians is already compelling evidence that any early European admixture was vanishingly small at most and most likely zero. When a few thousand individuals have been examined then I think the case is closed.

The apologists will have to resort to the old pathetic lie that "God changed the DNA".
 

 

Subject: Pathetic Outcome
Date: Jun 16 08:55
Author: Watcher

If “God changed the DNA”, why did he change it so that it perfectly matched the OPPOSITE story? Is God that devious?

Mormonism is in BIG TROUBLE!

 

Subject: How did such a “small group” become such a large group, and then totally disappear?
Date: Jun 16 08:42
Author: Watcher

The Book of Mormon claims that there were nearly 250,000 dead Nephites in their "Last Battle" with the Lamanites! And these warriors were the remaining survivors AFTER 25 YEARS of war! So, how many Hebrew-based people were around when that war started? Remember, the Lamanites were also Hebrew descendants as well.

If in this “Last Battle”, the kill ratio was around one-to-one (but the Lamanites won because there was simply so many more of them), then the total dead on BOTH sides would have been close to HALF A MILLION! And that’s NOT counting all the previous dead over 25 years of fighting!

America’s Civil War dead numbered approximately 600,000.

If you count all the dead, the Book of Mormon War was nearly the size of the American Civil War, so the combined Lamanite and Nephite nations – all Hebrew descendants – must have been enormous! Probably close to the size of America’s population in the 1860's!

So, the question is: How did so FEW people become so MANY people and then have their remnant DNA totally disappear?

 

Subject: Thanks for posting that.
Date: Jun 16 08:46
Author: Makurosu

That has some exciting implications for genealogy as well. I'd love to learn more about my genetic heritage someday, if that's possible with admixture mapping.

BTW, I had a giggle at your reference to the Maxwell Institute as the "Maxwell House." Nice touch. lol

 

Subject: Science is not Mormonism's friend. n/t


 

Subject: The LDS church is already addressing this problem
Date: Jun 16 09:28
Author: Odell Campbell

I think the LDS church leaders knew nearly a decade ago at least that genetic studies using DNA would demonstrably prove that there was never any Jewish immigration to the American hemispheres.

The LDS church stopped referring to Native American peoples as Lamanites. My own informal word study of LDS church publications show that the only reference to Lamanites now is to refer to the particular people in the Book of Mormon.

I think the LDS church is hoping to hang on to a neutral policy where it stops advocating that native peoples in the Americas are the Lamanite people. In a generation or two, the prior knowledge once held dear to current Mormons will have evaporated.

People will begin to look at the Book of Mormon as non-historical and the LDS church will have no official "doctrine" as to the book's historical foundations. Some LDS members, unaware of science, may continue to believe that the book is historical just as some Mormons continue to believe in a literal Adam and Eve, global flood and other mythical tales despite such events having been completely invalidated by modern scientific learning.

Other LDS members will value the Book of Mormon for its occasional teachings. I personally still appreciate King Benjamin's address and Christ's ministry to the Nephite children, yet I believe the Book of Mormon to be a product of Sidney Rigdon and others.

So, although this new admixture approach will completely invalidate the Book of Mormon as a pre-Columbian historical document, the LDS church may survive by a long proven method of denying past doctrines, by calling them policies, refusing to address the controversy specifically, and surviving for a generation or two until it doesn't matter.

For examples, most LDS members today believe the Word of Wisdom was practiced by Joseph Smith and don't realize that it became a mainstay of Mormonism in the 1930's. LDS members today care little for polygamy and regularly denounce it although their ancestors in the 1880's couldn't ever have imagined Mormonism WITHOUT polygamy. The LDS church's temple changes occur so frequently that even current temple endowed members today don't believe that the ceremony included bizarre death penalties as recent as 1990.
 

 

Subject: Bingo. I agree 100% with your take on this one.
Date: Jun 16 10:14
Author: Uncle Mo

In terms of perpetuating their false religion, it would be a fool's errand to make any official pronouncement regarding the BoM. It could only cause some slumbering members to finally wake up and do little to retain members that already have one foot out the door.

 

Subject: Sounds like the "Native Americans are the Lamanite people" is going to become like Adam/ God theory
Date: Jun 16 10:14
Author: Heathjh

So people will deny it was ever taught. They will change the church magazine so they can take the Ensign off the suggested reading list. It will be said that these prophets were only speaking as men, they were jumping to conclusions. Only what the current prophet says is valid.... Blah, blah, blah.

 

Subject: As one of the other RfM posters so often aptly puts it ..
Date: Jun 16 09:39
Author: Skunk Puppet

"Ouch for the Morg!"

Thanks for the fascinating post, Simon.

 

Subject: The Mormon Church already has a proven method of denial,
Date: Jun 16 10:05
Author: Lost

they simply remain silent and if super pressed, say that they have direct revelation from God that it was so.

This is why a few years back all missionary efforts were streamlined to be ultimately very simple:

1. We tell a story.
2. It really doesn't matter what the details of that story are as far as whether they are scientifically possible or not, etc. The MESSAGE and OBEDIENCE are what is important.
3. If you have any doubts, they bare their testimony that they believe and have a personal witness from god that it is true.
4. They challenge you to pray to find out if it is true.

Number 4 puts the entire burden as to validity on you. Its a wonderful sale tactic. If you say you don't believe, then you need to pray until your answer matches theirs. If you get yes, then you have to join them. It's a 50-50 proposition this way, which is better than what their chance is that things are true if you follow science.

So the church wins. The problem is that over time as people figure things out and leave, the church loses.

So here's to providing accurate information so that people are educated about the facts, wise up & leave the cult!


 

Subject: Re: Finding Lamanites is getting easier.
Date: Jun 16 10:18
Author: Cumom & Cudad

Do the people at the Maxwell Institute really claim that lack of evidence is ... well ... evidence? Does anyone have a citation on this?

 

Subject: Yes. They do.
Date: Jun 16 12:11
Author: elee

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Or so the saying goes.

Here's a link to an article by Michael Ash about New World Archaeology:

http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/Archaeological_Evidence_and_the_Book_of_Mormon.html#en2

The above phrase is quoted here and footnoted with the following reference:

2 William J. Hamblin (posting under the screen-name, "MorgbotX"), posted 29 January 2004 in thread, "What Would Be Proof of the Book of Mormon," on Zion's Lighthouse Bulletin Board (ZLMB) at http://p080.ezboard.com/fpacumenispagesfrm67.showMessage?topicID=213.topic (accessed 10 April 2005).

I, personally, have encountered this phrase numerous times on various pro-mo boards over the years. It is a very popular excuse as to why no one can identify Lamanite DNA or find these massive Lamanite battle sites and cities.

 

Subject: The Mormon Church isn’t completely stupid - to survive it must adapt.
Date: Jun 16 10:35
Author: My Take



When the cards have turned down on them, the Mormon Church has always become pragmatic. In the end, survival always rules. There may well be a Risk Assessment movement, or group, on the inside that’s addressing the following scenario:

“How will the church survive IF science should completely disprove the church’s Book of Mormon claim -- and thus the validity of the entire organization? What if we lose a significant portion of the membership’s support, especially financial support? This worst case scenario HAS to be considered, especially with DNA evidence being as powerful as it is, and especially considering that DNA has been constantly returning poor results for us."

"Privately even some of our best minds are diplomatically telling us that we may lose this game within a decade or so. We need to protect the future of the church. We may not be winning this war”

“Therefore, we need to amass our financial resources as soon, and as greatly, as possible against this negative prospect. Once we lose a “critical mass” of member support, it will be too late. Like Joseph in Egypt we need to hoard our resources. We need to collect as much money as we can while we still have the strong member support that we now enjoy; then we need to protect our financial viability in strong investment bases such as: retail malls, land and agriculture, water rights, media, energy, resorts etc."

"A time may come when we must be largly independent of tithes and offerings should the worst materialize. We need to get as much from the members as possible NOW, while they are still with us in significant numbers. This DNA evidence looks ugly; We can’t admit it publicly, but neither can we ignore it.”

 

Subject: Okay, Lovely About Those Lamanites . . . But About Those Geico Cavemen . . .
Date: Jun 16 11:34
Author: SL Cabbie

I've had several years of trying to wrap my noodle around ten or so years of claims about that we and Neanderthals were "separate species," and then in early May the Max Planck Institute suddenly announces we have Neanderthal sequences in our DNA if we don't have pure African ancestry.

And everyone falls all over themselves to publish that one . . .

And since the mtDNA already showed no close relationship with Neanderthals, are we to infer that women fell for cave men, but the H. sapiens dudes were perhaps nervous about hooking up with a lady who could break their neck as easily as we break wishbones at Thanksgiving?

Sorry for the "ad hominem," and that's unfair teasing (call it a cabdriver philosophical comment on female psychology and a questioning of their "romantic tendencies"), but questions of contamination from modern DNA were raised, and from what I see, they haven't been addressed. I'm aware that if the sequence amplifications are replicated in another laboratory, then that will answer that one, but I haven't seen that it has been done.

Too, the African samples were apparently small in the original summary I read; wouldn't a population of Africans (where the greatest genetic variability already exists) possessing the sequences in question (and thus having ancestors common to both Neanderthals and H. sapiens) offer a more parsimonious explanation rather than the crossbreeding claim?

Finally, IIRC, the "explanation" Pääbo put forth identified "two instances" where H. neanderthalis (or H. s. neanderthalis, your choice) crossbred with H. s. sapiens, in different areas and at different times.

And the descendants of those matings were able to leave descendants all the way from Europe to New Guinea and Oz?

Okay, 'nuff (but watch your e-mail this weekend; that 15,000 year timeline on North American stuff is gonna prick some delusions, like from the Meadowbrook and Topper Crowd as well as the Solutrean Salesman, and I've got more).

And a Cabbie note to the rest of the board: These ideas occurred as original thoughts to me, hence I'm not parroting others. There were others far more versed and qualified on the subject than I, who've also voiced the same concerns and doubtless were thinking along the same lines. I probably wouldn't have the courage to bring these matters up if that weren't the case (a Cabbie confession).

 

Subject: We can find Neanderthal DNA from 30K yrs ago, but not MILLIONS OF New World Jews from 3K yrs ago??
Date: Jun 16 14:08
Author: Nor Cal Law Student

This issue is so glaring. And so denied. The Mormons are the Kings and Queens of denial. So sad. Very very sad to devote your entire life to a lie. Such a curious human phenomenon.

 

Subject: Re: Finding Lamanites is getting easier.

 

Subject: Oops. lol
Date: Jan 15 14:50
Author: Tiphanie

Yet more PROOF that the BM is BS.

Next they'll try claiming that first everyone sailed from Mesoamerica to Jerusalem and THEN from Jerusalem to Mesoamerica.

 

Subject: ahh ahh ahhhh.... there was one who was not from Asia!!!
Date: Jan 15 15:05
Author: Bignevermo

the BoM is twooO!!!!! :)

 

Subject: How does Rod handle the Noachian Flood?
Date: Jan 15 15:22
Author: Grendel

Has Meldrum ever addressed the catastrophic flood that according to the OT killed every living thing on the earth around 2300 B.C.? Does he dismiss it as a local occurence in the old world? Does he address the Morg view that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri and hence the flood occured in North America? Either way the BOM or the OT loses a fair amount of credibility to a rational person.

 

Subject: We can now find Lehi's DNA!!
Date: Jan 14 08:13
Author: Simon in Oz

About 0.4% of American Indians have a mitochondrial DNA that came from Europe post-Columbus. Apologists would like us to believe that some of this DNA came with the Lehites.

Admixture mapping is a new technique that can be used to tell how long ago European DNA entered an American Indian’s pedigree. This is not something to warm the apologist’s heart.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1867091/?tool=pmcentrez

This is the abstract of the above paper.

For admixture mapping studies in Mexican Americans (MAM), we define a genomewide single-nucleotide–polymorphism (SNP) panel that can distinguish between chromosomal segments of Amerindian (AMI) or European (EUR) ancestry. These studies used genotypes for >400,000 SNPs, defined in EUR and both Pima and Mayan AMI, to define a set of ancestry-informative markers (AIMs). Blah, blah, blah, blah…

A … set of 5,287 SNP AIMs captured almost the same admixture mapping information, …. The results will enable studies of type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases among which epidemiological studies suggest differences in the distribution of ancestry-associated susceptibility.

The authors go on to show in the paper how these markers can be used to estimate how many generations ago the European DNA entered the Mexican's pedigree. The SNPs will be particularly useful for searching for Lehi’s elusive DNA.
 

 

Subject: admixture studies
Date: Jan 14 08:52
Author: Jesus Smith

Thanks, Simon. I've been waiting for the promised admixture studies to start. Can't wait for results (like this one in Mesoamerica and future ones in N. Amerinds.

Just some random thoughts on the 0.4% of mtDNA assigned to Euro ancestry...

Estimates of Amerindian populations at the time of Euro conquests vary wildly, but it is easily bounded between 8 million and 100 million. (I would say that 8 million is probably closer to the truth given population growth rates of ~0.3-0.4 in pre-modern times.) (See population arguments in 'Henige, David. Numbers from Nowhere: The American Indian Contact Population Debate. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. ISBN 0-8061-3044-X' p. 182 in particular.)

8 million being the case, 0.4% of that means ~32,000. 100M means ~400,000 Lehite descendents would have to exist at the arrival of conquistadors. Then it's been estimated that 80-90% of the population was decimated from various causes. Currently, Mayan population is at ~6M, and N. Amerinds at a couple to few million only (at highest, according to Tribal census in 2000 at census.gov). That still leaves several thousand with the right mtDNA.

I suppose that means it should still be easy to find some significant evidence, even with only 0.4% inheriting the proper DNA. I mean, 10,000 surviving, come on!

(An interesting summary of BoM population is found at http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/book/chapter7.htm#Population )

 

Subject: A non-DNA question
Date: Jan 14 09:02
Author: Odell Campbell

Being raised LDS I was always taught that ALL of the Native American peoples were literal descendants of Lehi. I was also taught that the entire Americas had been preserved and protected for the EXCLUSIVE use of the Lehite/Native Americans until the time of Columbus.

Then later some LDS church members began speculating that the Lehites were just one group of people in the Americas despite the text found in the Book of Mormon.

I also recall that when European explorers and conquerors came, they brought diseases that the native people did not have any developed immunity resulting in wide spread death.

My question is, if there were other people in the Americas at the time of Lehi's arrival, why wasn't there the same type of widespread disease kiiling the natives, or killing the Lehites?

Of course, I realize that there was no Lehi, but I am curious as to whether this question has ever been addressed by Book of Mormon apologists.

 

Subject: Re: A non-DNA question
Date: Jan 14 09:39
Author: Jesus Smith

Odell, you're right, we were raised believing the exclusivity of Lehites/righteous godly land-of-promisers, because it is the most logical way to interpret the BoM scriptures that say just that. (See a summary of the scriptures here:
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/discussions/viewthread/18379/ )


Then population studies were done in the mid to late 20th century that determined there is no way to account for the BoM claimed populations without serious twists of logic or pre-Lehites already living in America.
See
Tables 2 & 3 in particular of http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/book/chapter7.htm#Population

The problem was, how do you explain the scriptures stating that there was a Flood, and only those led to the promise land and the righteous would live there?

That same link to the population modeling of BoM growth rates also has some hypothesis and arguments of what might explain the larger populations, etc. Though the authors don't seem convinced themselves (closet exmos in my opinion)

And then....FAIR tries to show that the BoM supports other populations, by interpreting potential vague and implied references to "others"
See
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/discussions/viewthread/18380/

for a summary and rebuttal of this tact.

 

Subject: the NEW official FARMS/FAIR/ BYU (BS) explanation
Date: Jan 14 15:38
Author: anon

there were dark skin natives
( flys against all the previous LDS BS blather you so accurately noted)
laman & lemuel descendents became dark skin by breeding with the dark skin natives

this really is the current line of caca from LDS (not so) "intellectuals.

need more crap? Just ask a MORmON !

 

Subject: JAcob says they were changed to dark skin because of their wickedness. What about SW Kimball who
Date: Jan 15 08:39
Author: OzPoof

fully expected the "Lamanites" to revert to white and delightsome? How could they 'un-breed'. Kimball expected a supernatural 'remedy' for their loathsomeness....

 

Subject: Why didn't Lehi cough on American Indians?
Date: Jan 15 15:01
Author: Simon in Oz

It would not be surprising for a small group not to pass on a contagion. They simply may not have had the bug in the group. They were also sailing on the high seas for an entire year all cooped up in a single boat. Any infections on board would have done the rounds and any susceptible folk karked it, essentially killing off the bug in the process.

Gee, I've almost convinced myself that the whole thing is true!

 

Subject: And all this time I thought imaginary people didn't have DNA

 

Subject: Thanks!
Date: Jan 14 16:23
Author: Truth B Told

Just wanted to drop a line and thank you Simon for your on-going efforts to explain these advances in mtDNA population tracking with links to the actual studies here on the board.

I find this information to be the most damning evidence against the church. It was what started my journey out.

If there were people, there must be evidence - period.

Also thanks to all of the other input from the rest of you. Your words are appreciated!

Thanks!!

 

Subject: How does this error in Morg dogma manifest in Patriarchal Blessings? Are Asians a different tribe to
Date: Jan 15 08:37
Author: OzPoof

Native Americans? Anyone know any info on what people the Morg assigns to which tribe?

 

Subject: To FAIR and Kimball, actual lineage doesn't matter--we're all Lamanites now!
Date: Jan 15 08:54
Author: Jesus Smith

From an older version of:
http://en.fairmormon.org/Amerindians_as_Lamanites

"But then why does being a 'Lamanite' matter at all?"..."since much or all of the world's population might also be able to claim Lehi as an ancestor?"

"Lamanite is an inclusive, not exclusive, term in the Church. President Kimball even extends the label of “Lamanites” beyond “the Indian people,” "

(Note the FAIR article was revised in the past month and no longer contains these statements. Interestingly, it occurred right after I quoted them in this:
http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/discussions/viewthread/18379/ )


And also see Kimball's "Royal Blood" racist speech

http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1971.htm/ensign%20july%201971.htm/of%20royal%20blood.htm
 

 

Subject: Just pulled out of thin air.
Date: Jan 15 15:12
Author: Simon in Oz

I have heard apologists claim that Mongolians have a higher frequency of Manasseh (Lehi's lineage) than expected but this is almost certainly a load of rubbish. How could that sort of information be gathered given that folk are encouraged to keep quiet about their own blessings.

I there was a grain of truth in the rumor, it is likely to be due to them looking so much like American Indians that it inspired the patriarch to give them the commonly accepted Manasseh (Lamanite) lineage.

 

Subject: Re: We can now find Lehi's DNA!!
Date: Jan 15 09:53
Author: samuellflyinghorse

is it in the latrine stalls here on base!? cos that's where you'll usually find mine!!

uhm... and one night after walking in darkness to said latrines to go p, i met this female, It's now in her too!!

d:oP

really, go easy on father lehi, he didn't leave any dna of his at a crimescene in theCity!! like nephi did.

lovs, theSam!!
kirkuk, iraq
us army
(now online n w/newNick!!)

 

Subject: It's The Sam!! Really, It Am!!
Date: Jan 15 12:23
Author: SL Cabbie

TLC on another thread and now a note from you . . .

The RFM conspiracy is growing, and not just between Denial C. Peterson's ears . . .

My heart soars with the eagles with news like this . . .

 

Subject: Re: We can now find Lehi's DNA!!
Date: Jan 15 12:38
Author: STu

Lehi's band never really became large. God does that sometimes. He said to Adam in the day that you will eat, you will die; he meant in that Kolob day. Same thing in the inventing of the earth; I think it's a thousand years for every day. Same thing with the Nephites and Lamanites. Those 2000 strippling warriers - you guessed it it was 2 guys; Jed and Fred.

 

Subject: Testing Book of Mormon Historicity
Date: Jan 23 05:51
Author: Simon in Oz

Book of Mormon apologists, who truly believe Middle Eastern people migrated to the Americas thousands of years ago, should be eagerly anticipating admixture mapping research on American Indian populations. But I suspect they won't.

Apologists have loudly proclaimed the limitations of mtDNA and YDNA studies. If the Lamanites had been unlucky it is possible that their mtDNA and YDNA lineages could be hard to find, or even extinct (if extremely unlucky). But thankfully, DNA on all the other chromosomes is almost immune to the extinction problem. If Lamanite DNA was present in the New World, it would be almost impossible to miss it using admixture mapping. Admixture mapping also makes it possible to distinguish recent post Columbus European admixture from ancient Lamanite admixture.

The power of admixture mapping to distinguish recent from ancient admixture has been beautifully demonstrated in two different African populations which have admixed with Europeans. These include:-

1. African Americans, who begun mixing with Europeans from the early 1600s and

2. Mozabites, a North African group known to have mixed with Europeans over the last few thousand years.

You can see the original research at this link http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pgen.1000519#pgen-1000519-g005
but the key results are as follows:-

African Americans
Using DNA alone, the authors estimated the number of generations since admixture for each one of 935 African Americans. The estimates ranged from 1 to 16 generations since first admixture, which fits very well with the known history of the group.

Mozabites
They tested the DNA of 26 Mozabites and found that they have been continuously mixing with European populations for over 100 generations or at least 2800 years.

Now picture a similar study done on 1000 American Indians from Mesoamerica. Any ancient Lamanite admixture (essentially European) with Mesoamericans will stand out (like a shag on a rock) from recent European admixture.

The molecular apologists ought to be eagerly anticipating the admixture mapping research on American Indians because if they believe the Book of Mormon is real history, we should be seeing plenty of shags.

Good luck.
 


 

Subject: I'm Up to My Eyeballs in Researching This Stuff . . .
Date: Jan 23 07:40
Author: SL Cabbie

And I hope to have a reasonably coherent summary at some point; here's a powerful article by someone far more versed on these matters than I am.

http://www.unl.edu/rhames/courses/current/readings/waguespack-americas.pdf

The title is "Why Were Still Arguing About the Pleistocene Occupation of the Americas."

What you won't find in here is any mention of Hebrews in the New World prior to 1492 (or any other Old World contacts, either). It's overwhelmingly apparent that the ancestors of today's Native Americans left Siberia and migrated here, probably across a land bridge (Beringia) that connected Siberia with Alaska.

Lord knows I shouldn't try to wrap my noodle around this stuff in the early hours after several days of mostly driving, but I was particularly troubled by the Wiki map in the link "Toss Doubt" provided. Compare it with the one in this link, and I think it will become obvious why I'm no fan of a "coastal migration model" (I'd even be more accepting of an early occupation, say 30,000 years ago, where the ancestral population migrated across Northern Canada and into the Eastern United States). The issue is the timing . . .

Note that the Wiki map shows an almost "lateral" migration to present the coastal hypothesis, whereas this one--which I believe is more accurate, points to a strong north-south orientation, which appears to me to be in keeping with actual geography. As a result I find it doubtful that coastal migrants could've accomplished such a journey in the Ice Age North Pacific.

http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/feb04/feature_Revisited.html

Here is Toss Doubt's Wiki link for comparison . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Models_of_migration_to_the_New_World

 

Subject: I think it was a bit of both
Date: Jan 23 17:50
Author: Simon in Oz

I'm siding with the Mormons (Perego and Woodward) on this one.

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0960982208016187

I reckon that the first habitable land after the Ice Age would have been on the coast because it would have been big changes in ocean currents that played an important role in its end. There was only a single direction of migration so they could have moved very rapidly down the coast to South America (i.e. Monte Verde). Soon afterwards (maybe a thousand or two years later) the interior route would have opened up and the Clovis culture could have emerged.

Good to see that Mormons are shedding light on the real history of American Indians.

 

Subject: The Crux of This One . . .
Date: Jan 24 07:05
Author: SL Cabbie

Rests on the legitimacy of Monte Verde, something I'm not willing to acknowledge at this point, even though it has gained widespread acceptance among archaeologists.

However . . .

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_6_109/ai_63291064/

This is from Anna C. Roosevelt's evaluation of the MV fidings . . .

>Even Dillehay's Chilean site of Monte Verde--which he, Dixon, and many others believe to be about 12,500 years old--can be challenged. (After these two books went to press, the magazine Discovering Archaeology carried an acerbic article by Stuart Fiedel criticizing the quality of the data.) As Fiedel, Dena Dincauze, Tom Lynch, and I have pointed out, this site presents many problems. Located in boggy terrain along a stream, Monte Verde has discontinuous stratigraphy, suggesting a mixing of strata. Few of the objects unearthed are indisputably tools, and there are no flakes from the manufacture of such tools. Three narrow points found at Monte Verde are tapered at both ends, a "bipoint" form common in established sites in Chile and Peru that have more recent dates--Holocene rather than Pleistocene.

>The tools at Monte Verde cannot be firmly connected with the dates, which were obtained on the basis of bog material, not from incontrovertible artifacts or food plants. And the dates are too widely spaced--from about 14,000 to 12,000 years ago--to fit the brief occupation that Dillehay believes the site represents. Furthermore, the site contains possible carbon contaminants, such as bitumen, which are known to make materials dated by the carbon 14 method appear older than they are (two very early dates of more than 33,000 years ago are typical of those recorded for petroleum material such as bitumen).

Dillehay's latest report from Monte Verde, the seaweed dated to 12,500 years B.C.E., doesn't make mention of the possibiity of "old carbon contamination" (from seawater), an issue I find surprising in that it hasn't been raised at all.

Flattop graciously sent me a book by a journalist investigating Native American origins as well as the routes and timelines (The title is "Bones" by Elaine Dewar); I've waded through it and I'm still processing how she came to accept the possibility of N/A's with origins from other than in Asia (blame that one on the physical anthropologists and Dennis Stanford for keeping the "Solutrean hypothesis" on people's minds) as well as dates in excess of 30,000 years B.C.E.

Here's a link to a usenet discussion group I've been following; right now there's considerable grumbling that many of the major science journals are being extremely conservative on the subject of pre-Clovis sites . . . But most of these guys are downright reactionary on the subject . . .

http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.archaeology/2008-05/msg00357.html

The claims on the suitability of coastal areas rest largely on findings that Siberian brown bears were able to migrate to live in such areas; there's nothing beyond that except the claim that an environment suitable for supporting bears would also be okay for humans . . .

Finally, the archaeological evidence does not show that "inland sites" were occupied at dates comensurate with coastal migration (the opposite appears to be the case, in fact), and I find this persuasive; certainly we should've expected some to have migrated inland (particularly given that fresh water often isn't readily available in many coastal areas).

I couldn't download the article you linked; I may have it already, but it also seems to me that the rare mtDNA haplogroups could've suffered the same fate as the "M" haplogroup in that it may have become extinct at some point.

Anyway, the more I read on this stuff, the more I realize that right now there's little consensus (beyond the Asian origins of N/A's); in the book "Bones," Anna Roosevelt charges the author with that one, suggesting she'll need to make up her own mind on the data . . .

 

Subject: Perego double speak
Date: Jan 25 09:17
Author: Jesus Smith

I have not yet thoroughly read Perego's D4h3/X2a halpogroup paper, but a cursory glance leads me to comment this much:

1) The geographical clustering they found (assuming the methodology was sound) does not necessarily equal the interpretation that they migrated down different pathways and at different times. Perhaps, but that is probably speculation. The only thing they should conclude is that there are different clusterings and they possibly go back to different migration time points. Maybe.


2) Perego has a bit of double speak. On the one hand, he points out in this paper (published in early 2009):
>(Regarding X2a) The exception was one of the Ojibwa sequences ... which did not cluster either with X2a or any of the known Old World X2 branches... This novel X2 branch has been named X2g, and its presence in Native Americans most probably indicates an additional and very rare Native American founder.


That same year, Perego is also quoted as saying:
>"Try to ask this question to a population geneticist: 'Is it possible that a small family from Israel could have arrived in America, to a largely populated continent, and that no genetic evidence would survive after 2,600 years?'" Perego says. "Why don't they ask that question? That is exactly the question they need to ask." (http://www.mormontimes.com/studies_doctrine/research_discoveries/?id=10756 )

His question seems to me to be worded to give doubt that one can find single point halpogroup introductions into a large population after 2,600 years. That's to give mopologists and LDS cover from lacking DNA evidences supporting BoM claims. Yet in his academic paper he postulates that the X2g group is from 10+kya and a unique founder. Okay, which is it? Can't or can?

 

Subject: I Had Trouble With the Conclusion . . .
Date: Jan 25 15:13
Author: SL Cabbie

>"X2G . . . most probably indicates an additional and very rare Native American founder."

Certainly this is likely if X2G is also found in Siberia, but otherwise I don't see such speculation warranted . . .

And maybe it's just my educated layman's perception, but it seems to me that one "side" of the "geographic boundaries" for both the D4h3 and the X2a haplogroups consists of the good ol' Rocky Mountains, the western edge of which I'm looking at as I type this . . .

An early division of a small single population (starting out in Northern Alberta) would account for that one, and we've already seen that the "M Haplogroup" may have gone extinct in archaic times (it was found in some 5,000 year old remains in Canada).

I'm becoming less and less of a fan of a proposed coastal route. After a night's sleep, my big question now is "What were those guys wearing?" Yeah, the Ice Age had ended, but the bears brought along their own fur coats (and getting a bear to give up his fur coat is a dicey proposition); what was there available at the post-Glacial fauna furrier to keep the missus warm in what were still mighty cold winters?

The "they followed Ice Age mammoths, bison, etc." crowd doesn't have to answer that one.


 

Subject: Forget DNA
Date: Jan 28 10:01
Author: NyNeverMo

If the hebrew people did indeed come here, there should be a tremendous amount of culture residual in the Native American population. Judaic Customs are distinct and unique and there would be vestiges of Jewish culture (especially after only a few hundred years) that would be traceable... As far as I know, no Navajo keeps kosher...

 

Subject: I doubt most Mormon's even know about the DNA stuff
Date: Jan 23 08:42
Author: Taddlywog

I have never encountered one who can speak to it. When I mention Indians are asian decent they don't even bat an eye or make the connection that might eliminate a the book of mormon. They have no interest in learning or considering more.

 

Subject: You may be right, but there is a growing segment who
Date: Jan 23 12:48
Author: Heresy

are on the internet more now trying out apologetics, and throwing these excellent examples of real science at them can really flummox them.

 

Subject: They also probably don't read
Date: Jan 23 17:41
Author: Simon in Oz

Over 95% of Mormons will probably never question the church on intellectual grounds because they rarely read beyond the Ensign or Mormon Times. I write for the 5% who at some stage in their lives will find the head space to think for themselves.

 

Subject: Re: They also probably don't read
Date: Jan 28 10:30
Author: MichaelM

Thank you Simon for your work.

 

Subject: DNA evidence was critical in my deconversion
Date: Jan 25 13:31
Author: Jesus Smith

Yes, I was already questioning it, but the lacking DNA was pivotal in my decision to completely deconvert.

Then again, I work my day job in science.

What I wonder is how long will it be before TSCC stops encouraging its members to pursue degrees in science and technology. Learning science is a good way to get disillusioned from the morg.


 

Subject: You make the same mistake the FAIRies and the FARMers do
Date: Jan 23 13:41
Author: Steve
Mail Address:  

"If the Lamanites had been unlucky it is possible that their mtDNA and YDNA lineages could be hard to find, or even extinct (if extremely unlucky)."

According to the text, as well as mormon prophets and other scripture, as well as Jesus hisowndamnself, this is just not possible.

There was no one for the Lamanites to mix their DNA with.

There was a global flood that destroyed every living thing in the americas, including any possible bering strait migrants. Then the Jaredites killed themselves off.
 


 

Subject: Re: You make the same mistake the FAIRies and the FARMers do
Date: Jan 23 17:36
Author: Simon in Oz

My intention with that sentence was to summarize the current FAIR/FARMS argument, not to agree with them. Everyone knows what the Book of Mormons says....except the apologists who are so seriously studying it to miss the obvious.

 

Subject: Yes I know you don't personally agree with that,
Date: Jan 23 18:31
Author: Steve

I'm fairly familiar with your views not just from this post, but because I have read your book. It just seems that the elephant in the room (that there are, according to mormon doctrine no native americans for the lamanites to have mixed there DNA with) gets left on the table too often. Even when you make short shrift of their psuedo-scientific nonsense, its seems from my layman's viewpoint that your scientific slap-down of the apologists would be stronger by mentioning the fact that their argument is not only scientifically bogus, but a heretical revision of mormon doctrine.

IOW even if their pseudo-science was right, it proves the mormon church false just like reality does.

 

Subject: Agreed
Date: Jan 23 20:10
Author: Simon in Oz

Steve wrote:
Even when you make short shrift of their psuedo-scientific nonsense, its seems from my layman's viewpoint that your scientific slap-down of the apologists would be stronger by mentioning the fact that their argument is not only scientifically bogus, but a heretical revision of mormon doctrine.

I agree. Apologetic reinterpretations of scripture are a much bigger threat to the Book of Mormon than the DNA apologetics. I'm happy to keep hammering away at their pathetic DNA apologetics because I think it is a major driver of the desperate heretical revisions of Book of Mormon doctrine that we are seeing.

Like a bull with a ring in its nose, the direction of LDS apologetics seems governed by the knowledge that evidence of Lamanite DNA will never be found. I'm convinced that an influential character (or characters) among them knows where the truth lies but is far more concerned about saving Mormonism than telling the truth. Mormon apologetics in a nutshell.

 

Subject: Nibley-esque answer to dead Jaredites
Date: Jan 23 14:32
Author: Mårv Fråndsen

No, they didn't all die off.

The Jaredites were 'destroyed' as a group entity and people, but that doesn't mean every single person was actually killed. Lots ran off and avoided the war.

That left Jaredites for Lamanites to mix with and quickly increase their 'numbers' since even Nibley recognized the problem with BoM population increases.

Of course there are a few minor issues with this approach, not the least the real history of the Americas, but an apologist can find room to re-interpret virtually any BoM statement including the so called destruction of the Jaredites.

 

Subject: Long before my "testimony" of Nibley's intellect
Date: Jan 23 18:37
Author: Steve

was shattered by reading his nonsensical and dishonest drivel attacking no man knows my history, and also before his series of books (Nibley on the timely and the timeless??) started me to be almost certain this guy was an emperor with no logical clothes on, I heard his Jaredite argument. It was the very first crack in my realizing that the mormon worship of Nibley's inetllectual prowess was unfounded. I was like, wait, this guy is supposed to be a genius and he said something that dumb?

;-)

 

Subject: As Nibley was the Maxwell Institute is now. As the Maxwell Insitute is now, Jeff Linsday may become
Date: Jan 24 10:42
Author: Ex aedibus

The Maxwell Institute uses the same methodology that Nibley did. Basically, use all sorts of obtuse scholarly language and bring up all sorts of irrelevant points to leave your readers as confused as before. Maybe if you confuse them good, they'll just go away and stop asking questions.

 

Subject: Bob Bennet hangs his hat on The "Extinct Lamanite DNA Theory" too
Date: Jan 23 18:06
Author: mootman

He writes in his latest book: "It is inevitable that the DNA of the members of the family that sailed here on Lehi's boat would be only a 'mixture' in the DNA of any American Indian tribe living here 25 hundred years later... For the Book of Mormon to survive the attack from the DNA studies, all that is necessary is that Lehi's descendents' DNA be present as a 'mixture' in the bloodlines of modern American Indians to qualify them as Lamanites, as Joseph Smith always said they were."

That's about all he says about the subject. Nice little hand-waving routine. it's cute

 

Subject: All that is necessary is to discount what "the most correct of any book" says...n/t

 

Subject: Bering Straits descendants hiding in the Rockies/Andes caves during the Flood
Date: Jan 24 08:17
Author: alex71va

I just thought of a possible apologetic argument to defend the BoM from the onslaught of science.

During the great flood some of the Bering Strait descendants decided to hide in some water-tight caves in the Rockies/Andes. They used Jaredite "tight unto a dish" technology and hiding in caves like Ether ;) Then after the flood and tower of Babel they kept away from the Jaredites but eventually did some mixing with the Lamanites.

Some loopholes: I still haven't explained how Adam/Eve got out of the Garden in Jackson County, Missouri -> descendants populate the world -> Asian descendants cross Bering Straits. In addition, I haven't explained how God covered up all the evidence of the great worldwide flood.

OK this is all so silly. But what's sad is how many families get torn apart because some people choose to ignore the honest facts. And that's why Mormonism is a dangerous cult.

 

Subject: Re: Bering Straits descendants hiding in the Rockies/Andes caves during the Flood
Date: Jan 28 09:30
Author: MichaelM

Thanks for bringing this up. It is silly, but very, very dangerous, because it brings into the LDS world the theory of pre and co adamites. This horrendous concept has been the source of murder, massacre, and bloodshed by providing a religious basis to dehumanize entire races of people.

Apologetics who use the argument you mention should be strongly exposed for promoting the most disastrous idea of racism.

 

Subject: The DNA evidence is sort of like the last piece of a puzzle.
Date: Jan 24 10:37
Author: Ex aedibus

I think that when the sophisticated tools of historical-critical methodology are applied to the Book of Mormon, it is clear that it is very much a 19th century document. I guess the utter lack of archaeological evidence together with the lack of DNA evidence is the final piece to the puzzle of Mormon origins.

They will never give up on it, though.


 

Subject: Religious people forget that not all of religion is based on faith.
Date: Jan 25 01:09
Author: Emma'sFlamingSword

All religions make claims about the world. They often pierce the unknowable vaporous realm and make specific real world claims. When these claims were originally postulated there was no way of testing their accuracy. The notion that Thor made thunder was as compelling as God making the earth in 7 days. However, now we can actually test and verify these claims. So, it is no longer a matter of faith.

Honestly, I can not think of one “real world claim” that early Mormons made that has been shown to be accurate; the location of the Garden of Eden, Native Americans being descendants from a Hebrew named Lehi, the sun getting its power from Kolob, no death in the world before the Fall of Adam, etc… These are not unknowable premises. These are verifiable claims.

So when science and reason have proven these ideas false is faith supposed to ameliorate the contradiction? This hardly seems like virtuous behavior, believing in something despite cold hard evidence to the contrary. If I believe that there is a Coke machine on Pluto despite finding no supporting evidence is this laudable behavior? It is just as ridiculous as believing that Lehi is the patriarch of a Jewish civilization that flourished in the Americas for over a thousand years.

I find it hard to believe that if there were a God that he would find faith to be such a virtue.

 

Subject: Re: Religious people forget that not all of religion is based on faith.
Date: Jan 25 02:00
Author: Baura

Emma'sFlamingSword wrote:
> If I believe that there is a Coke machine on Pluto despite finding no supporting evidence is this laudable behavior?


Hey the Coke machine on Pluto is my idea!

Seriously, however, there is a big difference between "faith" and "denial." There are questions that scholarship and empiricism can't answer. Is there a purpose to life? Should be be "moral" and if so what "morality" should we follow?

For such questions faith is a suitable response. However there are also questions that can be settled by scholarship and science. Was there a great, Judeo-Christian civilization in the Americas between 600 B.C. and 400 A.D. which used horses, smelted metal, spoke and wrote a variant of Hebrew/Egyptian and originated in Jerusalem?

Scholarship and science answers this with a resounding "no." Mormons don't exercise faith to believe the historicity of the Book of Mormon as much as they exercise denial.

 

Subject: I love the Coke machine on Pluto analogy!
Date: Jan 25 11:41
Author: Emma'sFlamingSword

I didn’t know that it was a Baura original. I thought it was from Christopher Hitchens.

And the observation that Mormons are not using faith but denial is truly brilliant. This really cuts through the obnoxious crap of feelings and burning bosoms and exposes their beliefs. They are simply in denial. Claiming they are using faith is just a euphemism for their denial or their refusal to accept the truth.

 

Subject: That originated with orbiting teapots, Bertrand Russell
Date: Jan 25 13:27
Author: Jesus Smith

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot

 

Subject: Well put! Therefore, the role of the "MOPOLOGISTS" is to ...
Date: Jan 25 13:49
Author: Fetal Deity

1. Find creative ways to deny that these teachings/claims were ever made in such a way that they were ever binding on the Mormon church--and if nothing else, you must give them credit for their creative imaginations!

2. Where #1. is impossible even for them, shoehorn their (often highly skewed) versions of Mormon teachings/claims into (carefully selected and filtered) existing scientific and historical bodies of evidence.

 

Subject: Shag on a Rock
Date: Jan 25 13:56
Author: Cr@ig P@xton

For those not familiar with Aussie slang... a shag is a large australian sea bird...so a shag on a rock...would REALLY stand out...

 

Subject: Re: Shag on a Rock
Date: Jan 26 02:23
Author: Simon in Oz

I was going to say they would stand out like dogs balls. Now thats some Aussie slang that hardly needs any translation.

 

Subject: We can't forget the magical thinking aspect of Mormonism
Date: Jan 25 14:04
Author: Puli

We have already seen the argument presented - eve if not from scholarly sources - that God had "magically" changed Lamanite DNA as an explanation as to why the current mtDNA and YDNA studies have not exonerated the BOM from critics.

There is no reason to think the God couldn't or wouldn't have done the same with all other genes and chromosomes. They accept that God will be intentionally deceptive in order to promote faith over reason. To the True TBM, faith (and magic) trump reason every time. The BOM is true not because it is proven true by independent evidence, but it is true because the Mormon prophets have declared it true and they claim that God proclaims it to be true. That is all that is needed for a True TBM.

Others of us will welcome the research and the conclusions regardless of what any True TBM thinks (or even if he doesn't think).

 

Subject: BRILLIANT! Thus destroys another mopologist piece of garbage! Scramble for another one.. nt

 

Subject: Re: Testing Book of Mormon Historicity (swearing)
Date: Jan 28 09:05
Author: MichaelM

“The massive amount of useless knowledge produced by anthropologists attempting to capture real Indians in a network of theories has contributed substantially to the invisibility of Indian people today.” - Vine Deloria Jr.

They are alive right now. My wife of twenty six years is not invisible to me. The LDS Lamanite bullsh*t and all these arguments about origin and such detract from a real, living people. ... damn the LDS.
 

Subject: Ugo Perego being fair
Date: Aug 15, 2010
Author: Simon in Oz
Note: Ugo Perego is a Mormon apologist

Finally, an objective, intelligent, and honest appraisal of DNA research on American Indians by a believing Mormon. Well done Ugo Perego for a good review of the science.
http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/Book_of_Mormon_and_DNA.html#enloc72

There are only a few things Ugo said that I feel like commenting on.

1.
“The fact that the DNA of Lehi and his party has not been detected in modern Native American populations does not demonstrate that this group of people never existed, nor that the Book of Mormon cannot be historical in nature.”

A very refreshing admission that Lehite DNA has not been found. Bravo!


2.
“The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Further, the very idea of locating the genetic signature of Lehi's family in modern populations constitutes a truly un-testable hypothesis, as it is not possible to know the nature of their genetic profiles."

Having just admitted the fact that the DNA of Lehi and his party has not been detected, these comments are puzzling. We don't need to know the genetic profiles of the Lehites to find them. We need to see genetic profiles in American Indians that are not Asian. We need to get to first base.

3.
"An additional caveat is the lack of professional training in population genetics by those promoting a supposed discrepancy between the genetic evidence and the Book of Mormon account."

Having written such a good article it is a shame to see Ugo stoop to this. No evidence of Lehite DNA has been found (Ugo’s article shows that) and you don't need to know population genetics to get your head around that. However, Ugo is correct. I don't have formal training in population genetics. I also don't have "formal training" in forest genetics but I lead a forest genetics group of about a dozen scientists. I am also leading a Eucalyptus population genetics project and have several population genetics-like publications in press or submitted to journals.
 


 

Subject: Re: Ugo Perego being fair
Date: Aug 15 09:02
Author: MichaelM

Ugo Perego's professional research fascinates me. DNA studies in early migrations seems to be very accurate. Thank you Simon for holding to reality and not being one who tries to continue a lie through apologetics. Your honesty is refreshing.

 

Subject: Did anyone, (other than you) challenge his assertions?
Date: Aug 15 10:19
Author: Dane

Perhaps he put it out there in a way that peer review and/or other comments could not be made on it. It would be interesting to know if he is honest enough to face the concrete evidence.

 

Subject: Simon's fallout never ends
Date: Aug 15 10:19
Author: Just Thinking

I find it rather amusing how, after all this time, Mormon apologists are still dancing around on the head of their pin trying to explain away Simon's findings. Month after month they feel the need to trundle out one lame, self-serving, desperate response after another to plug their leaky boat.

Problem is the plugs don't hold, and they have to keep returning to the same leaky problem. The creaky old boat of Mormonism keeps taking on water and they can't bail fast enough to save it. Simon's torpedo amidship caused damage they can't get past.
 


 

Subject: Whew! For a Minute There You Were Going Pretty Easy on Ugo...
Date: Aug 15 10:21
Author: SL Cabbie

He's engaging in what I've come to see as a "talking points" defense, particulary with that "population geneticist" nonsense. It reduces to a meaningless "buzz phrase," and adherents cling to it and wave it the way a Hollywood movie priest uses a crucifix to ward off bloodthirsty vampires.

It also amounts to a subtle and dishonest ad hominem attack, a trademark of apologists and others whose factual and theoretical bases are so weak and indefensible as to be unable to withstand scrutiny. We see the same tactics in the anti-evolutionist "ID Crowd" (and I trust any legitimate scientist will recognize the intended insult in this statement); there are claims of "macro versus micro-evolution" and "no transitional species" that are bandied about freely as though they possess supernatural qualities capable of shackling the demons that challenge established superstitions.

Another favorite ploy of the FAIR crowd is adopting a "boys club exclusiveness" element about how non-Mormons who don't have a testimony of the BOM are absolutely unqualified to comment on or evaluate it merit.

Finally, there are also some obvious elements of dichotomous thinking that play well to the cult mentality. Once it's established--via one bit of prevarication or another--that something might be amiss, then heaps of scorn are added to distract attention from the original issue.

Turnabout should be fair play, however. I propose somebody haul Perego, Woodward, and company to the woodshed for speaking about issues of geography, pre-Columbian history, and maritime technology.

If we adopted their tactics, we could insist their ignorance or willful denial of those matters renders them similarly unqualified.

Subject: "Absence of evidence is not evidence of..."??
Date: Aug 15, 2010
Author: Richard Packham

Perego trots out this favorite argument of religious apologists: "Absense of evidence is not evidence of absence."

It's a nice little line, as we say "more of a couplet than anything else." But it is not a valid rule of logic.

Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence if one could reasonably expect there to be evidence where there is none.

Example: X claims he has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. There are no records of his ever having attended there. The records are accurate and complete. Is the absence of evidence evidence that he does not have a Ph.D. from the U. of C.? Of course it is.

Example: Dr. Y suspects I have cancer. He finds no symptoms, tests are all negative. Is absence of evidence of cancer evidence that I do not have cancer? Of course.

It is not just Mormon apologists like Perego who use this faulty argument. Christian apologists also do. There is no evidence of a world-wide flood. There is no evidence of the Exodus and Conquest. But they trot out this little couplet all the time.
 


 

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