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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: August 18, 2012 06:10PM

A full transcript of his presentation is not available yet but he has posted some of his words on the FAIR blog.

One of things I read in his blog concerned me. He said "I personally find it a very complex task to identify and clearly discern any non-Asian-like genetic signals in the New World that would have resulted from migrations that took place in the last couple thousands of years."

How does he square this statement with the fact that his Italian mentor Dr. Antonio Torroni and colleagues were able to determine a Near Eastern origin of the Etruscans?

"The origin of the Etruscan people has been a source of major controversy for the past 2,500 years, and several hypotheses have been proposed to explain their language and sophisticated culture, including an Aegean/Anatolian origin."

"These findings support a direct and rather recent genetic input from the Near East—a scenario in agreement with the Lydian origin of Etruscans. Such a genetic contribution has been extensively diluted by admixture, but it appears that there are still locations in Tuscany, such as Murlo, where traces of its arrival are easily detectable."

Dr. Perego would do well to explain why science works in Italy but not in America.

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: August 18, 2012 07:14PM

He seems to be saying he is acknowledging his own incompetence.

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Posted by: top ( )
Date: August 19, 2012 05:16AM

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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: August 20, 2012 11:24AM

Well folks, here is proof that Mormons read this board. Dr. Perego responded to this post!

I hope he will look at this one and realize how his idea of Paleoindians being animals without souls is sickening.,543556,543634#msg-543634

What makes this most disturbing to me is how it can be applied to America. We know that the DNA studies done by Dr. Perego and others find the ancestors of American Indians from Asia, long before Adam of 6,000 years ago. But Native Americans don't have a religious idea of 6,000 years ago. To the Indians, ancestors older than that are sacred humans.

The LDS Church has conceded that there were migrations from Asia and changed the Book of Mormon introduction. So what are we to think of those in America before the Book of Mormon times? Were they similar to but not quite human? They did not have spirits that were children of God according to Dr. Perego. He suggests that they only became human sometime 6,000 years ago. Or did it happen only after Book of Mormon people began to arrive? Did descendants of Adam mate with the animal creatures that looked like people? Then were those offspring human with souls? I am very troubled by these words from a scientist that I have appreciated until now.

There are many difficulties for scientists in being able to study ancient humans in America. The NAGPRA dispute with Kennewick Man is the most well known example.

But there are opposite cases where studies were able to be done with friendship. Scientists respected the American Indian beliefs and built partnerships and cooperation in studying a person that died 10,300 years ago.

What impact might words like Dr. Perego's have on future cooperation with research scientists and American Indians? The Book of Mormon is harmful because it condemns the spiritual beliefs and practices of America's first people (Alma 17:15). Teachings of Mormonism contributed to an LDS scientist carrying his own views even further, to dehumanize the sacred ancestors of the living American Indians.

Here is a video with an American Indian perspective on DNA and life, including the idea that God will not bring the world to an end with a Savior and glory in the next life. There is sobering reality in indigenous ideas, from people that worship their ancestors while an LDS scientist speculates if those in the past were even human.

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Posted by: Outcast ( )
Date: August 20, 2012 11:35AM

I can't take them seriously. They remind me of toddlers playing dress-up trying to behave like grownups.

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Posted by: top ( )
Date: August 20, 2012 04:56PM

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Posted by: Reed Smith ( )
Date: August 20, 2012 08:56PM

Dr. Perego stated:

“I still think that the primary reason why DNA cannot be used to test for the presence of Book of Mormon migrants arriving to the Americas in 600BC lays in the fact that it quickly disappeared due to genetic drift and the small size of the migrant group (and this is also the reason why it has not been detected in the few ancient DNA samples recovered and analyzed to date), as well as the obvious reason that we don't have the genetic profile of those arriving with Lehi to the Americas.”

First, the premises stated, i.e. that DNA cannot be used to test for the presence of BM migrants because of genetic drift coupled with (a) small size of migrant group, and (b) lack of genetic profile, are themselves based upon assumptions that are inconsistent with either the BM itself, or well-established BM teachings. Genetic drift is only a potential explanation for lack of Middle East DNA in America, when a small migrant group is assumed, AS WELL AS THE FURTHER REQUIREMENT OF (c) A PREDOMINENT EXISTING POPULATION THAT ASSIMILATED THE LEHI GROUP. This further premise, from which the genetic drift argument also relies, is expressly opposite to statements made in the BM regarding the isolation of the Nephites and Jaredites, as has been noted many times. So, what is the basis for rewriting BM history on this point, other than for the convenience of invoking genetic drift as an apologetic fallback?

“We know something about their genealogy and we assume that their DNA would be the most representative DNA from the Middle East.”

The question is whether this is a reasonable assumption based upon the geneology, and other statements, made in the book itself. Again, why abandon this logical assumption, except when needed to bootstrap a theory that one is already religiously committed to.

“But this is another straw man assumption. No one would accept the "assumption" of a genetic lineage as evidence in any modern-day legal, paternity, and forensic case. So, why is the fact that we don't know Lehi's genetic profile "proof" that the Book of Mormon people never existed?”

Wrong! If presented with the “facts” of the Book of Mormon claims, including the genetic lineages stated in the BM itself, and collateral facts as also stated in the book, expert testimony from population geneticists would be relevant, and admissible in a hypothetical court case addressing the authenticity of the BM.

Population genetics is a well-established scientific discipline, that is capable of providing scientific facts that are relevant to this issue, even if perhaps not deductively conclusive. That is all that would be needed in a court of law. Once admitted as evidence, I am confident that any jury would conclude, by a rather high preponderance of evidence, that the BM's historical claims were false.

“If anyone wants to embrace genetic evidence for population migrations, he/she must also be willing to consider all the research that is available and the limitations proposed by the different authors, and not pick only what best suit their preconceived notions.”

Yes. But the scientific conclusions that one finally draws must be based upon how he or she views the preponderance of the evidence—without self-imposed religious convictions that allow you to conveniently dismiss such preponderance in favor of a more personally appealing view.

The problem is NOT that BM critics refuse to see that low probability religious theories are nontheless possible. It is in the apologists insistence that small probabilities are sufficient to reject scientific consensus for the simple expedience of hope and faith.

“Of course, when it comes to the Book of Mormon and anything that is considered "secular evidence," it is nearly impossible to be completely unbiased and that is why the final test is what the book call for itself (Moroni 10:3-5).”

Being unbiased is a scientific virtue. The fact that it occasionally falls short to some degree, does not create a license to dogmatically embrace a small probability loophole. It does not mean that in the face of a small degree of scientific uncertainty the “final test” must shift to revelation. For a true scientist, even a religious one, revelation should be allowable as a determiner of truth, if at all, only when the probability factor of legitimate scientific theories is somewhat equal and controversial. When a scientist bucks his colleagues, not for purely scientific reasons, or from a consideration of the evidence, but rather for pure faith, he ceases to be a scientist, and should stay out of the debate.

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 05:56AM

thanks for the rundown, Reed. ")

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 06:33AM

First off, thanks to Anon (OP) for pointing this out and for grabbing Perego's attention.

Second, thanks Reed for your thought out response. I would just like to add a couple more.

Perego's defense seems to be: we can't find Israel DNA because 1. we don't know if Lehi & kin had it, 2. they would have mixed so thoroughly with the indigenous crowd it would be a drop in the ocean and impossible to detect.

Reed demolished it by showing that his arguments are based on unfounded assumptions. To that, let me give these:

Alma 10:3
"Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren."
1 Nephi 13:30-31
" wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren. Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren."

Seed is a term about DNA. The BoM promises directly that the two DNA lines--Nephi's and Laman's--will be directly preserved, even if mixed together (from the same father/mother, of course). This smashes the dilution argument, at least for Y-DNA.

Helaman 6:10
"the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north"
Mosiah 25:2, 13
"Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek...And now all the people of Zarahemla were numbered with the Nephites."
Mormon 1:6
" [Moroni] was carried by my father into the land southward, even to the land of Zarahemla."

(The BoM author's confusion about what lay north or south notwithstanding...)
Zarahemla, which lasted the entire time of the Nephite America possession, was a larger population than the Nephites then numbered with them (being larger) and thus preserved with the Nephites to not be destroyed in the end by the gentiles. Finally Zarahemla was comprised mostly of descendants of Mulek who was of Jewish royalty.

This is DNA that we would not be in doubt about. Test for it. It is prophesied to be preserved, not diluted, not destroyed.

Come on Perego. Does the spirit not tell you where to find it? Is there a DNA liahona?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2012 06:42AM by Jesus Smith.

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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: August 27, 2012 07:57AM

No Near Eastern DNA from Biblical times has ever been found in pre-Columbian human remains in the Americas.

This Etruscan study involved human remains dating to the time period. Near Eastern clues were found in Italy.
"we obtained from museums and public collections fragments of 80 well preserved skeletons from 10 Etruscan necropoleis (fig.1), covering much of Etruria in terms of both chronology (7th to 2nd centuries B.C.) and geography."

Perego argues that it was such a small group of people in Lehi's migration that it was very rapidly diluted and cannot be found.

Perhaps science does work in both Italy and America, showing that Etruscans came to Italy and showing that nobody from the Near East came to America.

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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: August 27, 2012 08:24AM

The possiblity of Vikings taking an American Indian woman from Newfoundland's L'Anse aux Meadows back to Iceland 1000 years ago is shown in living DNA.

A new subclade of mtDNA haplogroup C1 found in icelanders: Evidence of pre-columbian contact?

One woman and the markers are found after 1000 years. But Perego claims that DNA from the small group of Lehi's party would not be found in America.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: August 20, 2012 11:44PM

And this Dr. Perego has been the only one conducting an "extensive" search for the offspring of Joseph Smith, Jr.

I think we should reconduct these DNA tests with a real scientist.


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Posted by: ? ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 02:07AM

Oh di sedere in Roma, nel conforto e la terra di suoi propri antenati, dando delle risposte sugli etruschi antichi che è venuto in Italia, verificato con DNA e con l'archeologia.

Ma sedere in Roma e specula su une persone immaginarie che entra qualcuno atterra altro, e fornisce a risposte la scienza, il corraborating con il mentore ed i colleghi su perché il DNA non può essere trovato, mentre tutto il tempo non ci è archeologia di sostenere la fantasia, ciò è qualcosa altro interamente diverso.

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 10:16AM

Oh to sit in Rome, in the comfort and the land of his ancestors, giving the answers on the ancient Etruscans came to Italy, checked with DNA and archeology.

But to sit in Rome and speculates on a people imagined that someone comes in other lands, and provides answers to science, corraborating with the mentor and colleagues about why DNA can not be found, while all the time there is no archaeological support fantasy, this is something else entirely different.

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Posted by: rhgc ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 02:35AM

I noted in reading what was written the claim is that there were tens of millions of amerindians and only about 15 in the Lehi party and, hence, the DNA would not show up! The BoM not only claims huge populations descending from Lehi but that except for the Jaredites - who died off - no others were discussed as being in the Americas. From JS on, the native Americans - were called Lamanites by TSCC.
Linguistics also proves the native americans were not semitic.

BTW, the "tens of millions" is an exaggeration as well.

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Posted by: Tango-1 ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 03:00AM

Hey Dr. Perego, the point blank bottom line; From Joseph Smith to the current, so called prophet have claimed that the Americian Indians are the direct decendents of the so called Lamanites i.e. Lehi was an Israelite of the Tribe of Manasseh, Today we know without ANY doubt this is FALSE. Case closed- Everything from Joseph Smith has, is, and always will be a FRAUD-

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Posted by: Geoff Staines ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 05:02AM

A couple of years ago you were saying we would soon know whether josephine was joseph smith's offspring.

The rumour mill said that you went very quiet on the subject and then moved to Italy.

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Posted by: Anonymous User ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 07:02AM

Dr Perego seems to be taking a lot of words to say:

"No, there is still no evidence of Book of Mormon people."

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 08:33AM

Stumbling Wrote:
> Dr Perego seems to be taking a lot of words to
> say:
> "No, there is still no evidence of Book of Mormon
> people."

In fairness, he is saying just a little more than there's "still no evidence". He's saying that there won't likely ever be any evidence because of dilution and no known founder DNA.

The problem is, as Reed, myself and others pointed out, his assumptions and understanding of the BoM are faulty.

Most apologist must crawl under, over, or around the book of mormon in order to fit science into the basic premise that it's twoo.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2012 08:35AM by Jesus Smith.

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Posted by: yours_truly ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 07:20AM

"Dr. Perego would do well to explain why science works in Italy but not in America."

A test of faith, for the holier than thou kinds of mind - in that realm dreamers may win by enduring in the company of their kin.

For the human species, speed and strength are not the elements that keep us above other animals - endurance is. But, it is also human to improve our environments to find peace and harmony balanced on an increasingly higher level of right and fair. Religion gets the credits far too often...

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Posted by: anon for this ( )
Date: August 21, 2012 08:52AM

There is also the most likely explanation, but the one he is least likely to give. And the winning answer is that science does work in both Italy and in America.

In Italy there is both archaeological and DNA evidence of the Etruscans. In America there is no archaeological or DNA evidence for Jaradites or Lehi's and Mulekites people. It is quite reasonable to conclude that the most likely explanation is that the Book of Mormon is fiction. Perego makes the final test with Moroni 10:3-5 because science works but not in his favor.

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