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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Tim the Enchanter wrote:
My thoughts.

Quote:
Nothing is known about the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples
Why not? We know where Jared, Lehi, and Mulek came from and at what time and we know about the genetic makeup of people from that particular time and place. The Book of Mormon even identifies Lehi's ancestry.

Quote:
The Book of Mormon provides little direct information about cultural contact between the peoples it describes and others who may have lived nearby.
Little? It contains none. The text states that the land was purposely left empty by God so Lehi's family would have the land as their inheritance.

Quote:
The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied.
Bullcrap. 2 Nephi 1:8-9 contradict this statement.  "And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever."

Quote:
Finding and clearly identifying their DNA today may be asking more of the science of population genetics than it is capable of providing.
If the science isn't settled, why back track the introduction to state that the Lamanites are "among" the ancestors of the Native Americans?

Quote:
Genetic variations are introduced through what geneticists call random mutation.
I wish they would have said 'so called' random mutation. Hehe.

Quote:
Even if geneticists had a database of the DNA that now exists among all modern American Indian groups, it would be impossible to know exactly what to search for.
Why can't they search for the type of DNA that existed at the time and place that Jared, Lehi, and Mulek came from?

Quote:
It is possible that each member of the emigrating parties described in the Book of Mormon had DNA typical of the Near East, but it is likewise possible that some of them carried DNA more typical of other regions.
What is the possibility that Jared, Lehi, and Mulek had DNA that did not look like the DNA from the other people in time and place they came from? I think they use the word "possibility" here because they don't want to talk "probability."

Quote:
The effect of drift is especially pronounced in small, isolated populations or in cases where a small group carrying a distinct genetic profile intermingles with a much larger population of a different lineage.
So were the Jaredites, Lehites, and Mulekites supposed to have existed in small, isolated areas or are they supposed to have intermingled with the people that were already here (that the Book of Mormon says didn't exist). Also, earlier they said the distinct genetic profile was "possible." Now, the article acts like it's a given.

Quote:
Much as critics and defenders of the Book of Mormon would like to use DNA studies to support their views
I love how they act like they are taking to task defenders of the Book of Mormon too. The truth is, they don't want members getting into the DNA debate at all. They want the members to forget about the DNA issue. That's why they act like they are harping on Book of Mormon defenders too. This sends a signal to the members that studying the issue is a waste of their time and that they shouldn't bother looking into it further.

Quote:
Nothing is known about the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples.
I'm not a geneticist, but that's just wrong, right? If we know the DNA of the people from the time and place that Jared, Lehi, and Mulek came from, we know what their DNA should look like. Right?

Quote:
Their promise to all who study the book “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,” is that God “will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” For countless individuals who have applied this test of the book’s authenticity, the Book of Mormon stands as a volume of sacred scripture with the power to bring them closer to Jesus Christ.
Let's forget about all this science stuff, okay? It's enough that it makes you feel good, right? It brings you closer to Christ, right?

The most glaring omission to me is that the essay completely ignores the verses in the D&C that reference the Lamanites. If the Lamanites existed when and where the D&C said they did, the bottleneck theory is garbage.



Yeah but what about the pictures of the jars of marbles? Come on! If that doesn't explain it all then nothing will...

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:53 pm 
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Although it would probably be a complete waste of their time, I would like to see some population geneticists engage this essay.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:31 pm 
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Willy Law wrote:
Anyone keeping a running score card of the prophets, apostles and scriptures these essays have tossed under the bus?


Here are the inconvenient temple dedications by my count:

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We are grateful for these beautiful islands of Samoa, and for Thy faithful saints who dwell here. Jacob, son of Lehi, declared anciently: "Great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea." We have witnessed the fulfillment of Thy covenant, for Thou hast not forgotten them.

Apia Samoa Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1983


Quote:
In these islands of Samoa, Thou hast remembered Thine ancient promise "unto them who are upon the isles of the sea" (2 Nephi 10:21).

Apia Samoa Temple rededicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 2005


Quote:
Wilt Thou, our Father, continue to bless the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and likewise the descendants of Lehi and Nephi, that the promises contained in the Holy Bible and in the Book of Mormon may be brought to fulfillment and our homes and families blessed abundantly.

Buenos Aries Argentina Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1986


Quote:
We invoke on the people of this land the wonderful promises made by the Lord as recorded in the Book of Mormon for the righteous who are brought here by Thy Spirit. Heavenly Father, may we receive all the blessings promised to Thy faithful servants as we honor our covenants with Thee.

Buenos Aries Argentina Temple rededicatory prayer by by Henry B. Eyring in 2012


Quote:
We remember before Thee the sons and daughters of Father Lehi. Wilt Thou keep Thine ancient promises in their behalf. Lift from their shoulders the burdens of poverty and cause the shackles of darkness to fall from their eyes. May they rise to the glories of the past.

Cochabamba Bolivia Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 2000


Quote:
Bless Thy Saints that they may continue to live here without molestation. May they live in peace and security. May they be prospered as they cultivate their farms and pursue their vocations. May the sons and daughters of father Lehi grow in strength and in fulfillment of the ancient promises made concerning them.

Colonia Juárez Chihuahua México Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1999


Quote:
Thou kind and gracious Father, our hearts swell with gratitude for Thy remembrance of the sons and daughters of Lehi, the many generations of our fathers and mothers who suffered so greatly and who walked for so long in darkness. Thou hast heard their cries and seen their tears. Now there will be opened to them the gates of salvation and eternal life.

Guatemala City Guatemala Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1984


Quote:
We are particularly mindful this day of the sons and daughters of Lehi. They have known so much of suffering and sorrow in their many generations. They have walked in darkness and in servitude. Now Thou hast touched them by the light of the everlasting gospel. The shackles of darkness are falling from their eyes as they embrace the truths of Thy great work. Surely father Lehi has wept with sorrow over his posterity. Surely he weeps today with gladness, for in this holy house there will be exercised the fullness of the priesthood to the blessing, not only of those of this and future generations, but also to the blessing of those of previous generations.

Lima Perú Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1986


Quote:
We beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thou wilt stay the hand of the destroyer among the descendants of Lehi who reside in this land and give unto them increasing virility and more abundant health, that they may not perish as a people but that from this time forth they may increase in numbers and in strength and in influence, that all the great and glorious promises made concerning the descendants of Lehi may be fulfilled in them; that they may grow in vigor of body and of mind, and above all in love for Thee and Thy Son, and increase in diligence and in faithfulness in keeping the commandments which have come to them through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that many of them may have the privilege of entering this holy house and receiving ordinances for themselves and their departed ancestors.

Mesa Arizona Temple dedicatory prayer by by Heber J. Grant in 1927


Quote:
Thou didst acknowledge the role of the Lamanite, especially in this temple, and numerous of the sons and daughters of Lehi have found in these sacred precincts peace, knowledge and solace to their souls. ... We are grateful, our Father, that in these years have come to this temple numerous of Thy beloved Indian people of many tribes in their newly discovered way of life. Many children of Lehi have traveled long distances from other lands at great expense and sacrifice, especially in the borders of old Mexico, and numerous families have been welded together for eternity.

Mesa Arizona Temple rededicatory prayer by by Spencer W. Kimball in 1975


Quote:
Bless Thy saints in this great land and those from other lands who will use this temple. Most have in their veins the blood of Father Lehi. Thou hast kept Thine ancient promise. Many thousands "that walked in darkness have seen a great light."

Mexico City Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1983


Quote:
We thank Thee for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon with its record of the forebears of the people of Tonga.

Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1983


Quote:
We thank Thee that Thou didst bring Father Lehi and his family to this land of promise and Thou didst establish Thy people, the Nephites and the Lamanites and their Book of Mormon.

São Paulo Brazil Temple dedicatory prayer by by Spencer W. Kimball in 1978


Quote:
We are grateful that this Thy house will be available to the sons and daughters of Lehi who live nearby. Let the scales of darkness fall from their eyes and bring a fulfillment of the ancient promises made concerning them.

Snowflake Arizona Temple dedicatory prayer by by Gordon B. Hinckley in 2002


Quote:
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for Thy blessing of the sons and daughters of Lehi. Thou hast heard their cries and seen their tears. Thou hast accepted their righteous sacrifices.

Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple dedicatory prayer by by Deiter F. Uchtdorf in 2013


Quote:
We invoke Thy blessings upon this nation of Mexico where so many of the sons and daughters of Father Lehi dwell.

Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Temple dedicatory prayer by by James E. Faust in 2000


Quote:
May Thy eternal purposes concerning the sons and daughters of Lehi be realized in this sacred house. May every blessing of the eternal gospel be poured out upon them, and may the suffering of the centuries be softened through the beneficence of Thy loving care.

Villahermosa México Temple dedicatory prayer by by Thomas S. Monson in 2000

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Last edited by Tim the Enchanter on Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:34 pm 
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So the first presidency repeatedly demonstrates that they believe the indigenous population to be Lamanites.


:eek:

They need to get with the LGT program.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:49 pm 
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Fence Sitter wrote:
Actually we don't have to know anything about Lehite, Jaredite or Mulekite DNA to determine if there were foreign intrusions in the DNA of the indigenous populations at the time the immigrations were supposed to happen. If I understand Simon Southerton correctly, it is possible to ascertain if any foreign intrusions at all occurred. If none are present in the time frames claimed, it does not matter what Lehite DNA is supposed to look like anyways since no new DNA appeared in the local population at the correct time.


That's correct. The problem is not that we don't know what Lehite DNA looks like. The problem is that all Native American DNA is clearly derived from Asia.

If there was non-Asian DNA floating around then their point would be valid.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
Fence Sitter wrote:
Actually we don't have to know anything about Lehite, Jaredite or Mulekite DNA to determine if there were foreign intrusions in the DNA of the indigenous populations at the time the immigrations were supposed to happen. If I understand Simon Southerton correctly, it is possible to ascertain if any foreign intrusions at all occurred. If none are present in the time frames claimed, it does not matter what Lehite DNA is supposed to look like anyways since no new DNA appeared in the local population at the correct time.


That's correct. The problem is not that we don't know what Lehite DNA looks like. The problem is that all Native American DNA is clearly derived from Asia.

If there was non-Asian DNA floating around then their point would be valid.


Simon is being less than honest here. He knows that many Native Americans descendants are of mixed heritage with both Native American and European or African ancestry. For example, I'm part Native American but I otherwise appear to be of purely European descent. People like me (and my guess is we represent the vast majority of Native American descendants) have not been tested and don't fall into Simon's consideration because of our mixed heritage. If the Lehite descendants exist, they could very easily exist in this population.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Tobin wrote:
Simon is being less than honest here. He knows that many Native Americans descendants are of mixed heritage with both Native American and European or African ancestry. For example, I'm part Native American but I otherwise appear to be of purely European descent. People like me (and my guess is we represent the vast majority of Native American descendants) have not been tested and don't fall into Simon's consideration because of our mixed heritage. If the Lehite descendants exist, they could very easily exist in this population.



Tobin is once again proving himself a twit. Tobin's DNA (as an amalgam of DNA from a divergent heritage) is not very important (which is typical of Tobin in general). The DNA from a less mixed populous is what is conclusive here.

Tobin arguing with Southerton is like a child arguing with Einstein.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Tobin wrote:

Simon is being less than honest here. He knows that many Native Americans descendants are of mixed heritage with both Native American and European or African ancestry. For example, I'm part Native American but I otherwise appear to be of purely European descent. People like me (and my guess is we represent the vast majority of Native American descendants) have not been tested and don't fall into Simon's consideration because of our mixed heritage. If the Lehite descendants exist, they could very easily exist in this population.

Once again, you demonstrate you have absolutely no ____ clue what you are talking about. You are terminally stupid, completely incapable of learning. You have been told six ways from Sunday exactly why your criticism is irrelevant on multiple other DNA threads, which you always seek to derail with your inanities and idiocies.

You calling Simon Southerton dishonest is like Justin Bieber calling Bruce Springsteen untalented.

Read Fence Sitter's summary of Simon's explanation. Then read Simon's explanation. If you can comprehend either, you will see that your criticism is completely baseless. Your personal "mixed heritage" has nothing whatsoever do with whether the tools of modern genetic science would be able to detect the influx of DNA from the eastern hemisphere into the DNA of peoples who became the ancestors of modern native Americans. It's really not that hard a concept for people who don't belong to the ranks of the deluded.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:14 am 
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Equality wrote:
Tobin wrote:

Simon is being less than honest here. He knows that many Native Americans descendants are of mixed heritage with both Native American and European or African ancestry. For example, I'm part Native American but I otherwise appear to be of purely European descent. People like me (and my guess is we represent the vast majority of Native American descendants) have not been tested and don't fall into Simon's consideration because of our mixed heritage. If the Lehite descendants exist, they could very easily exist in this population.

Once again, you demonstrate you have absolutely no f*****g clue what you are talking about. You are terminally stupid, completely incapable of learning. You have been told six ways from Sunday exactly why your criticism is irrelevant on multiple other DNA threads, which you always seek to derail with your inanities and idiocies.

You calling Simon Southerton dishonest is like Justin Bieber calling Bruce Springsteen untalented.

Read Fence Sitter's summary of Simon's explanation. Then read Simon's explanation. If you can comprehend either, you will see that your criticism is completely baseless. Your personal "mixed heritage" has nothing whatsoever do with whether the tools of modern genetic science would be able to detect the influx of DNA from the eastern hemisphere into the DNA of peoples who became the ancestors of modern native Americans. It's really not that hard a concept for people who don't belong to the ranks of the deluded.


Welcome to ignore. When you can learn to control yourself Equality and can discuss things like a mature, civil human-being; you let me know.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:26 am 
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Tobin wrote:

Simon is being less than honest here. He knows that many Native Americans descendants are of mixed heritage with both Native American and European or African ancestry. For example, I'm part Native American but I otherwise appear to be of purely European descent. People like me (and my guess is we represent the vast majority of Native American descendants) have not been tested and don't fall into Simon's consideration because of our mixed heritage. If the Lehite descendants exist, they could very easily exist in this population.


While I and 95 % of the rest of the board are on tobin's ignore list as though we are the problem:), I am wondering why he thinks people who have mixed ancestry of European or African has any relevancy to the issue.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:11 am 
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Sammy Jankins wrote:
Although it would probably be a complete waste of their time, I would like to see some population geneticists engage this essay.

Don't you see Sammy? The population geneticists have simply lost their marbles.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:15 am 
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It seems the official response has adopted the idea that Book of Mormon civilizations co-existed with even intermarried with large pre-existing peoples already here.

From the article.

Quote:
The Book of Mormon provides little direct information about cultural contact between the peoples it describes and others who may have lived nearby. Consequently, most early Latter-day Saints assumed that Near Easterners or West Asians like Jared, Lehi, Mulek, and their companions were the first or the largest or even the only groups to settle the Americas. Building upon this assumption, critics insist that the Book of Mormon does not allow for the presence of other large populations in the Americas and that, therefore, Near Eastern DNA should be easily identifiable among modern native groups.


As has been noted above, there are scriptures that led them to this conclusion, not just bad "assumptions." Congrats to Mike Ash by the way, for getting this assumptions line into the official response.
So if the Book of Mormon people met and interacted with these Near Eastern cultures, why didn't they ever mention them? How about whether or not they were Christians? If not, did they try to convert them?

Quote:
The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied.


VS


4th Nephi Chapter 1:
2 And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

...

15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.


Please reconcile these scriptures with the above statement.

Quote:
In fact, cultural and demographic clues in its text hint at the presence of other groups.


The "hints" I've seen to date have been utterly unconvincing. More like someone who read the whole Book of Mormon straining at any language that suggests that maybe there was someone else. Just once in a 500 page book you'd expect some clear statement in the Book about these "others" considering how remarkable meeting and interacting with a new culture would have been. But nope, just 'hints.'

Quote:
At the April 1929 general conference, President Anthony W. Ivins of the First Presidency cautioned: “We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon … does not tell us that there was no one here before them [the peoples it describes]. It does not tell us that people did not come after.”

Joseph Smith appears to have been open to the idea of migrations other than those described in the Book of Mormon,8 and many Latter-day Saint leaders and scholars over the past century have found the Book of Mormon account to be fully consistent with the presence of other established populations.9 The 2006 update to the introduction of the Book of Mormon reflects this understanding by stating that Book of Mormon peoples were “among the ancestors of the American Indians.”10


I think I may have to re-read the Book of Mormon to document all the times it is inconsistent.

Quote:
Nothing is known about the extent of intermarriage and genetic mixing between Book of Mormon peoples or their descendants and other inhabitants of the Americas, though some mixing appears evident, even during the period covered by the book’s text.


They interacted with and even intermarried with them, and yet they don't mention it. Not even once.

Explain this verse if they interacted and intermarried with Asian DNA.

3 Nephi 2:15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

So if these people had intermarried and intermixed with Asian DNA, when God made them some of them white did God change their facial structure as well? Or did some of them become white skinned people with Asian features? What about their hair? Did he change that as well? So many weird questions to ask... God would have needed to change their DNA to change their skin color right? I mean so their kids wouldn't revert back to the "cursed" non-white state.

It's too bad the church didn't try to use the curse of dark skin to explain how the DNA might have gotten lost... I guess they knew that would go over like a lead ballon.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:16 am 
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A few responses on the essay. Unfortunately I don't have the resources of a PR company and an army of apologists at my disposal so its pretty rough.

LDS Newsroom
The conclusions of genetics, like those of any science, are tentative, and much work remains to be done to fully understand the origins of the native populations of the Americas.

SGS
The DNA science is not tentative or inconclusive. It is consistent with scientific conclusions about Native American origins from numerous other scientific disciplines.


LDS Newsroom
Scientists theorize that in an era that predated Book of Mormon accounts, a relatively small group of people migrated from northeast Asia to the Americas by way of a land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska. These people, scientists say, spread rapidly to fill North and South America and were likely the primary ancestors of modern American Indians.

SGS
The truth is that Native Americans have occupied the New World for at least 13,000 years. This is an indisputable fact that the LDS Newsroom overlooks. They widely colonised North and South America for TEN THOUSAND years before Lehi allegedly arrived. For over a century mainstream archaeologists, geneticists and anthropologists studying Native Americans have believed there ancestors migrated from Asia across dry land (Beringia) exposed during the last ice age. The DNA evidence suggests a slightly earlier arrival date of about 16,000 years ago. It hasn’t changed things much.


LDS Newsroom
The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied. In fact, cultural and demographic clues in its text hint at the presence of other groups.

SGS
The claim of the first sentence is demonstrably false.
2 Nephi 1:8-9 "And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever."
We are not told what the cultural and demographic clues are. But we are meant to accept the “clues” and overlook the scripture above.

LDS Newsroom
At the April 1929 general conference, President Anthony W. Ivins of the First Presidency cautioned: “We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon … does not tell us that there was no one here before them [the peoples it describes]. It does not tell us that people did not come after.”

SGS
I find it hard to pay attention to the words of a member of the First Presidency from 85 years ago because the words of many, more recent, prophets are RINGING IN MY EARS.

LDS Newsroom
At the present time, scientific consensus holds that the vast majority of Native Americans belong to sub-branches of the Y-chromosome haplogroups C and Q and the mitochondrial DNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X, all of which are predominantly East Asian. But the picture is not entirely clear. Continuing studies provide new insights, and some challenge previous conclusions. For example, a 2013 study states that as much as one-third of Native American DNA originated anciently in Europe or West Asia and was likely introduced into the gene pool before the earliest migration to the Americas. This study paints a more complex picture than is suggested by the prevailing opinion that all Native American DNA is essentially East Asian.

SGS
The 2013 study in question was on nuclear DNA (not mitochondrial or Y-chromosome) isolated from 24,000-year-old remains recovered in Siberia. It was observed that about one-third of the individuals DNA originated in Europe or West Asia. That is not very surprising for someone living 24,000 years ago in Siberia and it certainly does not challenge any of the conclusions derived from mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA.

I hate to be picky but Native American DNA is essentially Siberian, not East Asian.

LDS Newsroom
While Near Eastern DNA markers do exist in the DNA of modern native populations, it is difficult to determine whether they are the result of migrations that predated Columbus, such as those described in the Book of Mormon, or whether they stem from genetic mixing that occurred after the European conquest. This is due in part to the fact that the “molecular clock” used by scientists to date the appearance of genetic markers is not always accurate enough to pinpoint the timing of migrations that occurred as recently as a few hundred or even a few thousand years ago.

SGS
Clearly, this section of the essay was written (or at least approved) by Rodney Meldrum, who is making a small fortune on the back of misleading molecular clock claims. In the early years of dating using DNA there was considerable debate about which method was the most accurate. The debate has been resolved for 15 years but Rodney Meldrum insists on dragging out a paper from 1998, the peak of the debate, and using it as evidence that dating is unreliable. Meldrum doesn’t understand the science he writes about. He is a snake-oil salesman exploiting elderly Mormons.

The “Near Eastern DNA” being referred to here is the Native American mitochondrial X lineage. LDS scientist Ugo Perego, who has undoubtedly helped in the writing of the essay, has dated Native American X lineages using very robust modern methods, and it arrived in the New World about 15,000 years ago. I wonder how Perego felt about the essay undermining his own research?

LDS Newsroom
Scientists do not rule out the possibility of additional, small-scale migrations to the Americas. For example, a 2010 genetic analysis of a well-preserved 4,000-year-old Paleo-Eskimo in Greenland led scientists to hypothesize that a group of people besides those from East Asia had migrated to the Americas. Commenting on this study, population geneticist Marcus Feldman of Stanford University said: “Models that suggest a single one-time migration are generally regarded as idealized systems. … There may have been small amounts of migrations going on for millennia.”

SGS
Scientists are well aware that many small-scale migrations have occurred and may even still occur in sub-Arctic populations. The Bering Strait is not a complete barrier to migration (if you have a kayak or two) and Eskimo/Inuit groups have crossed in both directions over recent millenia. This is what the 2010 Paleo-Eskimo paper was about and that is the context of Marcus Feldman’s comments. He wasn’t talking about Amerindian migrations down south.

LDS Newsroom
One reason it is difficult to use DNA evidence to draw definite conclusions about Book of Mormon peoples is that nothing is known about the DNA that Lehi, Sariah, Ishmael, and others brought to the Americas.

SGS
No. The problem is all that Asian DNA (99.5%) which arrived in the Americas in excess of 15,000 years ago. The only non-Asian DNA (0.5%) is either European or African and derived from post Columbus admixture. We don’t see any orphan DNA lineages which may have come from somewhere else. It is also ridiculous to claim that we know nothing about the likely DNA lineages of the Book of Mormon founders. They came from the Middle East so they would have carried Middle Eastern DNA lineages, which are well characterised.

LDS Newsroom
In addition to the catastrophic war at the end of the Book of Mormon, the European conquest of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries touched off just such a cataclysmic chain of events. As a result of war and the spread of disease, many Native American groups experienced devastating population losses. One molecular anthropologist observed that the conquest “squeezed the entire Amerindian population through a genetic bottleneck.” He concluded, “This population reduction has forever altered the genetics of the surviving groups, thus complicating any attempts at reconstructing the pre-Columbian genetic structure of most New World groups.”

SGS
Yes, the genetic landscape was changed but are we to believe that Lamanites died out at a much higher rate than other Native Americans? Over a thousand DNA lineages have been determined from pre-Columbian ancient remains. All the lineages to date come from Asia.

LDS Newsroom
Moreover, the shuffling and recombination of autosomal DNA from generation to generation produces new combinations of markers in which the predominant genetic signal comes from the larger original population. This can make the combinations of markers characteristic of the smaller group so diluted that they cannot be reliably identified.

SGS
Twice in the last 3 years scientists have discovered hidden ancestors in our autosomal DNA. They discovered that people in non-African populations have a small percentage (1-4%) of Neanderthal DNA in their genome. Then more recently it was discovered that Melanesians and Australian Aboriginals carry a small proportion of DNA from Denisovans, a related hominid species that lived in Asia. These small proportions of “foreign” DNA entered our lineage 30-40 thousand years ago. If Middle Eastern DNA entered Native American populations in the last 3 thousand years there is no reason to believe that Middle Eastern markers would disappear completely.

LDS Newsroom
Genetic profiles may be entirely lost, and combinations that once existed may become so diluted that they are difficult to detect. Thus, portions of a population may in fact be related genealogically to an individual or group but not have DNA that can be identified as belonging to those ancestors. In other words, Native Americans whose ancestors include Book of Mormon peoples may not be able to confirm that relationship using their DNA.

SGS
This is complete nonsense. If people are genealogically related they MUST share genetic material, especially autosomal DNA.

LDS Newsroom
As Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles observed, “It is our position that secular evidence can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.”

SGS
Then why the essay?

The Book of Mormon makes scientifically testable claims that science has continuously shown to have no basis in fact. The DNA evidence has exposed the true ancestry of Native Americans with amazing clarity and also, unfortunately for the LDS Church, the dubious history of the Book of Mormon.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:19 am 
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From the Book of Mormon
2 Nephi 1:8 wrote:
And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.


From the essay "Book of Mormon And DNA Studies"
Quote:
The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied.


From the Gospel Principles Manual
Quote:
Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.

http://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-princi ... y?lang=eng

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:52 am 
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This essay on DNA seems to have been written to obfuscate, dodge and deflect attention from the clear scientific consensus on this issue. This scientific consensus has been formed from a distillation of thousands of data points from early mtDNA studies, later high resolution mtDNA analysis and, even more recently (as described on Simon Southerton's blog), from comprehensive (genome-wide) SNP analysis.

The facts are that A, B, C, D and X haplogroups were all represented in the pre-Columbian Amerindian founding lineages prior to their migrations through Beringia from Siberia to the New World.

Due to the period of reproductive isolation from the sister clades of this group, (an isolation of at least 10,000 years), by the time the New World Amerindians finally arrived in North America and started expanding south and east, they were genetically distinct from their Old World ancestors, regardless of haplogroup.

As has been pointed out, it simply does not matter what Lehite DNA (mtDNA) looked like. Any insertion of Old World mtDNA from trans-oceanic migration into the pre-Columbian New World genome would be detectable. No matter where in the Old World that DNA came from, if it did not enter the New World during the migration via Siberia across Beringia that started some 30,000 years ago (in other words if it did not enter with the founding lineages from Asia that were held up in Beringia) then it would be detectable against the background of these founding lineages that did.

With the exception of a small isolated pre-Columbian population from the Japanese islands found along the west coast of South America, there is no credible evidence that DNA from trans-oceanic migrations entered the pre-Columbian Amerindian genome.

As reported in National Geographic not long ago, even Ugo Peerego of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in Salt Lake City and the University of Pavia in Italy eventually agreed with the mainstream scientific consensus regarding the fact that the lineages described in this thread developed in Beringia during the migration delay or hold-up period.

It is significant that the Perego study was to be the BYU/LDS response to the Southerton devastating DNA book. In the end, results from this study supported Southerton and are also in agreement with the peer reviewed studies that I have cited earlier on this board, which were published since the Perego study appeared.

What is it that Mormon apologists and essay writers cannot understand about these straightforward and elegant results? They are consistent with, or directly supported by, every credible and relevant study done to date, including a large Mormon sponsored study that was initiated with the intent of disproving them.
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ETA: Had not seen Simon's post above when I started writing this (some of which was taken from an earlier cross post with cdowis on MDDB). Apologize for any redundancy.

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Last edited by DrW on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:16 am 
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Simon Southerton wrote:
A few responses on the essay. Unfortunately I don't have the resources of a PR company and an army of apologists at my disposal so its pretty rough.

Simon,

Thank you for taking the time to provide an authoritative, well written response.

Assume that you will post it on your blog so that Mormons who are not comfortable (or not allowed) to visit this board might have the opportunity to read the facts and learn the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:40 am 
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Since the science of DNA is so inconclusive regarding this subject, the church needs to henceforth cease and desist any and all work in relation to posthumous ordinances and reject any and all genealogical work in which DNA was used to correlate genealogical records.

Likewise the leadership should cease to be moral cowards and denounce all state sanctioned executions since the science of DNA is ultimately unreliable.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:14 am 
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There is a blatant and obvious contradiction between what the Book of Mormon claims about the land being uninhabited and what the essay wants people to believe, that there were perhaps other populations. Does that not make this essay anti-mormon literature?

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:00 am 
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Bazooka wrote:
There is a blatant and obvious contradiction between what the Book of Mormon claims about the land being uninhabited and what the essay wants people to believe, that there were perhaps other populations. Does that not make this essay anti-mormon literature?

The Book of Mormon is fiction. And as literature, Mark Twain it called chloroform in print.

The Book of Mormon is not truth, and not good literature. It is a prop for the Brethren to leverage control over the minions, more insidious than any other business corporation is.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:01 am 
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Fence Sitter wrote:
Actually we don't have to know anything about Lehite, Jaredite or Mulekite DNA to determine if there were foreign intrusions in the DNA of the indigenous populations at the time the immigrations were supposed to happen. If I understand Simon Southerton correctly, it is possible to ascertain if any foreign intrusions at all occurred. If none are present in the time frames claimed, it does not matter what Lehite DNA is supposed to look like anyways since no new DNA appeared in the local population at the correct time.


I don't have a dog in this race in terms of the alleged historcity of the Book of Mormon. As far as I'm concerned, the most serious "problems" with the Book of Mormon have nothing to do with DNA studies and population genetics. That said, I have been somewhat of a student of the scientific theories concerning the origins of the various populations of the Americas, and it is simply a fact that (especially in the most recent studies) the science is rapidly evolving. People who have no interest in "proving" the Book of Mormon are making arguments that contact between Europe, Asia, and the Americas was much more common in pre-Columbian times than was previously believed, and they are using DNA evidence to support their theories. Your statement that "no new DNA appeared in the local population at the correct time" is just not true. In fact, just the opposite is true: they are finding that there is evidence of extensive contact between Europe and the Americas, all throughout ancient times. The old theory about the Bering Straits being the only avenue of emigration into the Americas is being shown as entirely inadequate to explain the evidence. The Raghavan study published in Nature in November of last year is just the most recent study to underscore the increasing amount of evidence that the DNA picture of ancient America is not nearly as simple as most of the non-Mormon/ex-Mormon arguments would have one believe.

Bottom line: I think "President Newsroom's" latest entry in this essay series is actually quite balanced, and, on balance, very accurate in its claims that DNA studies don't have the ability to say much, if anything, about the historicity of the Book of Mormon.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:11 am 
Bishop
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aznative wrote:
Since the science of DNA is so inconclusive regarding this subject, the church needs to henceforth cease and desist any and all work in relation to posthumous ordinances and reject any and all genealogical work in which DNA was used to correlate genealogical records.

Likewise the leadership should cease to be moral cowards and denounce all state sanctioned executions since the science of DNA is ultimately unreliable.

This is silly. The point isn't that DNA evidence is entirely unreliable. It's that it can't tell us much about population dynamics over long periods of time. Sure, it is very valuable and very reliable when it comes to things that are known to have occurred recently (evidence of rape, parentage of children within a few generations, etc.) but because of the very reasons the church essay cites (bottleneck, founder effect, etc.) it isn't a reliable method of tracing populations over considerably longer periods of times (in the hundreds or thousands of years).

So argue against the Book of Mormon all you want. You have my blessing when it comes to demonstrating the numerous evidences that cast doubt on Joseph Smith's story of where the Book of Mormon came from, but using DNA evidence as a way to "prove" the Book of Mormon is not historical is, in my opinion, a really stupid way to go about things. It makes you look more "anti-science" than otherwise. The picture emerging from the latest studies is one that seems to suggest lots of contact between the "Old World" and the "New World" going clear back to Roman times and earlier.


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