Page **1** of **39**

### The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 5:20 pm**

by **Philo Sofee**

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/josep ... -the-maya/We have now been shown that Bayes Theorem demonstrates so many positive correlations to the Book of Mormon peoples and the Mayans, that the Book of Mormon is real history. Checkmate critics!!! Peterson wins. Mesoamerican scholars such as Michael Coe have inadvertantly demonstrated that the Book of Mormon is real ancient history. Science wins for the Book of Mormon. Read all about it right here! Oh......be forewarned.......this lil baby is one of the looooooooooooongest articles Interpreter has ever put out there. So the info must be true, but of course.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 5:31 pm**

by **Res Ipsa**

Sic ‘em, Lemmie.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 5:53 pm**

by **Philo Sofee**

Res Ipsa wrote:Sic ‘'em, Lemmie.

EXACTLY who I posted this for!.........come on Lemmie........

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 5:56 pm**

by **Res Ipsa**

Aw, it’s a Saturday. (And a beautiful one in the Pacific NorthHeaven). Lemmie gets a day off.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:02 pm**

by **Philo Sofee**

Res Ipsa wrote:Aw, it’s a Saturday. (And a beautiful one in the Pacific NorthHeaven). Lemmie gets a day off.

Lemmie is so sharp with this kind of stuff. One suspicion I have, a real suspicion, is that Coe's information is definitely being miscontexted. It HAS to be in order for the Bayes stuff to work so well for the Book of Mormon in this article by apologist Mormons. It will be interesting to see what Lemie comes up with.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:16 pm**

by **Res Ipsa**

Philo Sofee wrote:Res Ipsa wrote:Aw, it’s a Saturday. (And a beautiful one in the Pacific NorthHeaven). Lemmie gets a day off.

Lemmie is so sharp with this kind of stuff. One suspicion I have, a real suspicion, is that Coe's information is definitely being miscontexted. It HAS to be in order for the Bayes stuff to work so well for the Book of Mormon in this article by apologist Mormons. It will be interesting to see what Lemie comes up with.

Agreed. I could try to hack through it, but she’d have to clean up my mess...

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:22 pm**

by **Lemmie**

philo wrote:Res Ipsa wrote:

Sic ‘'em, Lemmie.

EXACTLY who I posted this for!.........come on Lemmie........

I had the Interpreter site open before I even got to your second post.

Res Ipsa wrote:Aw, it’s a Saturday. (And a beautiful one in the Pacific NorthHeaven). Lemmie gets a day off.

Here too! And we just returned from a lovely hike, but the Warriors-Rockets game starts in 15 minutes, and I made guacamole. I am TORN.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:27 pm**

by **Lemmie**

Philo Sofee wrote:Res Ipsa wrote:Aw, it’s a Saturday. (And a beautiful one in the Pacific NorthHeaven). Lemmie gets a day off.

Lemmie is so sharp with this kind of stuff. One suspicion I have, a real suspicion, is that Coe's information is definitely being miscontexted. It HAS to be in order for the Bayes stuff to work so well for the Book of Mormon in this article by apologist Mormons. It will be interesting to see what Lemie comes up with.

RI wrote:Agreed. I could try to hack through it, but she’d have to clean up my mess...

You guys are too kind! I'm looking forward to taking a look, but it might have to share the time tonight with my basketball stats hobby and my guacamole consumption.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:49 pm**

by **MrStakhanovite**

Philo Sofee wrote: Checkmate critics!!! Peterson wins.

By Daniel's own admission he cannot approve of any Bayesian arguments on principle alone.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:50 pm**

by **Lemmie**

I couldn't resist. First point:

The plural of anecdote is not data, and when those anecdotes are parallelisms and coincidences, they are not even anecdotal.

Second point, just based on the single paragraph abstract:

A control group is a group where certain behaviors are held constant, in comparison to the experimental group. Two other fictional books being compared to a non-fiction book do not constitute a "control group" when used in comparison with an "experimental group" composed of another fictional book,

being compared to the same non-fiction book. Those are BOTH experimental groups. It is a meaningless set-up.

Now back to basketball.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 6:56 pm**

by **Res Ipsa**

I read through the introductory parts. It’s not worth missing two seconds of basketball. It’s rubbish.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 7:19 pm**

by **DrW**

Surely Lemmie will eventually arrive to handle the pure mathematical and probability assignment nonsense in this Interpreter tome.

In the meantime, it should be pointed out that one of the (many) fatal arguments against Book of Mormon historicity has to do with genetics. There is simply no middle eastern DNA to be found in any native American population that could have entered the genome prior to the arrival of Europeans in the Americas.

The authors raise the issue in Appendix B, Item 12. They dismiss the genetics problem by claiming that Ugo Perego has successfully explained it away. Perego may have done so to the satisfaction of those who rely on spiritual intelligence to make decisions. His explanation (apologetic) is not convincing to the mainstream scientific community. Please refer to pretty much any MormonDiscussions.com post on the subject by Dr. Simon Southerton.

I have cited in the past a number of mainstream scientific publications reporting that every population of native Americans tested showed the presence of a genetic marker that originated during the migratory "hold up" in Siberia or in Beringia prior to the first wave of Asiatic migration into the Americas some 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. Every single one of many thousands.

Several groups who have published on the issue have stated, unequivocally, that there is no evidence whatsoever for a transoceanic migration to the Americas prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 15th century CE. Simon Southerton agrees.

In the Book of Ether, the Book of Mormon states very clearly that the western hemisphere had been washed clean of human habitation during the great flood and prior to the first Book of Mormon transoceanic migrations.

Book of Mormon apologists seem to have forgotten this fact when they reluctantly recognize that there were extensive populations in the Americas when the first Book of Mormon migrations were supposed to have taken place. These populations are now needed to help explain away (by "dilution") the fact that there is no middle eastern DNA in the Native American genome.

(Neanderthal genetic material was incorporated into my ancestor's genome over 30,000 years ago. There are no Neanderthals around today, but I still carry their DNA signal, loud and clear).

Bottom line: the Interpreter paper is a straw man at best. It makes cherry picked comparisons between the works of a single individual, Dr. Coe, and the Book of Mormon, as if Dr. Coe's work were the only data set out there that shows the Book of Mormon to be a work of fiction.

The Interpreter paper ignores or dismisses, with faulty data and bad assumptions, several facts that are fatal to the claim of Book of Mormon historicity - only two of which are mentioned here.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 7:49 pm**

by **MrStakhanovite**

Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:For a good introductory article to Bayesian statistics, see Wikipedia, s.v. “Bayes Theorem,” last edited October 26, 2018, 10:20,

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 8:01 pm**

by **MrStakhanovite**

Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:For the subject of this article — the factual nature of the Book of Mormon — we choose to start with extremely large “skeptical prior odds” against the book. We allow only a 1:1,000,000,000 (one in a billion) prior odds that the Book of Mormon is a historical document. Thus we start with odds of 1,000,000,000:1 (a billion to one) that the statements of fact in the Book of Mormon are just guesses made by whoever wrote the book.

I imagine this sounds impressive, until you realize the entire analysis totally relies on assigning values to posterior evidence and that it becomes relatively easy to overcome prior values. If you really wanted to factor in strong skepticism you'd do it elsewhere and not in the place where it makes the least difference.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 8:23 pm**

by **MrStakhanovite**

MrStakhanovite wrote:Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:For the subject of this article — the factual nature of the Book of Mormon — we choose to start with extremely large “skeptical prior odds” against the book. We allow only a 1:1,000,000,000 (one in a billion) prior odds that the Book of Mormon is a historical document. Thus we start with odds of 1,000,000,000:1 (a billion to one) that the statements of fact in the Book of Mormon are just guesses made by whoever wrote the book.

I imagine this sounds impressive, until you realize the entire analysis totally relies on assigning values to posterior evidence and that it becomes relatively easy to overcome prior values. If you really wanted to factor in strong skepticism you'd do it elsewhere and not in the place where it makes the least difference.

And how are they going to goose those posterior values?

Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:To perform our analysis, we assign one of three likelihood ratios to testable facts or “correspondences” between the Book of Mormon and Dr. Coe’s book. The facts, taken from Dr. Coe’s book, are compared with statements of fact in the Book of Mormon. Recall that the hypothesis we are testing is that the Book of Mormon is false, and we assume a billion to one prior odds in favor of the hypothesis that the Book of Mormon is indeed false.

Pieces of evidence in favor of the hypothesis, that is, that the Book of Mormon is false, are weighted by their “likelihood ratio,” which is a positive value greater than one (either 50, 10 or 2). This likelihood ratio is multiplied by the skeptical prior of a billion to one to increase the weight of the evidence against the Book of Mormon.

Points of evidence in favor of the essentially factual nature of the Book of Mormon (called the converse hypothesis) are weighted by their likelihood ratio, a positive decimal fraction (0.5, 0.1 or 0.02). These fractions are multiplied by the skeptical prior of a billion to one to decrease the weight of the evidence against the Book of Mormon, in other words, to provide evidence for the factual nature of the Book of Mormon.

By the arbitrary decision of limiting values to 50, 10, 2, .5, .1 and .02.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 8:56 pm**

by **MrStakhanovite**

If you pick a prior probability and then limit evidentiary values to just six options, it becomes a matter of simple factoring to determine how much posterior evidence you need to swing your final result the way you want:

Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:Thus the question is: “At this ratio of 1:2:2, how many total correspondences are required to shift our skeptical prior of a billion to one against the Book of Mormon to a billion to one in favor of the Book of Mormon?” The answer is about 17 total correspondences — only 17 out of 131 correspondences (13% or about one out of every eight) must be accepted at their assigned evidentiary strengths to shift the strong skeptical prior to a strong positive posterior.

Nice how it takes to page 91 to read this when we should have gotten it on page 78 or 79. The next paragraph is a bit of a doozey (bolding mine):

Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale wrote:Under all three sensitivity analyses, our strong skeptical prior hypothesis of a billion to one against the fact-based nature of the Book of Mormon still gives way to a much, much stronger posterior hypothesis in favor of the Book of Mormon. We conclude that the Book of Mormon is historical, and is based in fact, with odds of many, many billions to one that this statement is true.

Talk about red meat for your audience. They literally set up a method where they could arbitrarily limit values and then subjectively assign them to generate this absurd ratio and to what end? What is really gained here? I mean none of those "correspondences" are really new or original, it is simply recycled arguments from well established debates. The only thing the authors actually did was just give the appearance of rigor by trying to quantify the material with subjectively determined values and then manipulate those values with some algebra.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 9:06 pm**

by **SteelHead**

GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. Set up the study incorrectly and the results become meaningless. Write 90 pages on a flawed premise. Declare victory!

Now submit it to a real academic publication for peer review - never going to happen.

It is a complicated enough topic that the majority of the readers do not have the qualifications to critique the methodology. They can bewilder the TBMs with their complicated subject, and declare victory. Now what happens if we apply the same methodology to say the Strangeite writings?

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sat May 04, 2019 11:33 pm**

by **Simon Southerton**

Last Thursday I attended a seminar at the Australian National University given by Gabriel Wrobel, a professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University.

http://anthropology.msu.edu/author/wrobelg/It was refreshing and fascinating to listen to someone who is both humble and very well versed in the Maya. Gabriel has been studying the Maya for 30 years and he will be both fascinated and disgusted by the Dale’s Interpreter paper. The senior author, Bruce E. Dale is a Distinguished Professor at Gabriel’s university.

I am not a statistician’s mousepad, but the problems with this paper are SCREAMING at me. This work is the perverted lovechild of Sorenson parallelomania and dodgy statistics. The maths is a complete joke.

Feeding into their analysis they have 131 positive pieces of evidence in favour of the Book of Mormon and 18 negative pieces of evidence (and DNA isn't counted as negative!! - good catch DrW). They then give these evidences a weighting and multiply them together. If you multiply 131 numbers together OF COURSE you are going to get a FAR more significant value than if you only multiply 18 values together!! This is just mathematizing parallelomania. Garbage in, garbage out! The whole analysis should be thrown out on the basis of this gaping flaw alone.

Here is an example of what the Dale’s consider among the strongest evidence for the Book of Mormon.

“One example of Bayesian “strong” evidence is the remarkably detailed description of a volcanic eruption and associated earthquakes given in 3 Nephi 8. Mesoamerica is earthquake and volcano country, but upstate New York, where the Book of Mormon came forth, is not.”

Firstly, the Book of Mormon DOES NOT mention volcanoes. It only mentions earthquakes in 3 Nephi 8. Also, Joseph Smith clearly believed the Book of Mormon played out across the entire Western Hemisphere. There is a continuous backbone of earthquake prone land all the way down! It's complete nonsense to claim this as slam dunk positive evidence. If this is one of the strong positive evidences among the 131 then you can guess what lies ahead if you have the stomach to wade through 100 pages of junk science.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sun May 05, 2019 12:30 am**

by **Simon Southerton**

I posted this response at Interpreter. It was deleted within 20 min.

Let me see if I have this right. The level of overall support for the Book of Mormon is calculated by multiplying Bayesian values for each piece of evidence. The authors have 131 positive pieces of evidence (in favour of the Book of Mormon) and 18 negative pieces of evidence. If you multiply 131 numbers together OF COURSE you are going to get a FAR more significant value for support than you will get for negative evidence by multiply 18 values together! This is just mathematizing parallelomania. The whole analysis is flawed.

131 multiplied numbers vs 18 multiplied numbers. Of course 131 wins

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sun May 05, 2019 1:17 am**

by **Lemmie**

There is so much wrong with the math in this article it's difficult to know where to start. But before I post anything, I wanted to note this comment from Allen Wyatt on the interpreter site:

Allen Wyatt

on May 4, 2019 at 7:10 am said:

Shane,

If it is of any help, I can assure you that both Mesoamericanists and statisticians provided peer review on the article.

-Allen

Statisticians? I don't think so. "...people who are not hostile to the LDS truth claims"? Yes, that I'll believe.

one of the authors offered up this:

Bruce E. Dale

on May 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm said:

Shane,

One of the strengths of Bayesian statistics is that the individual performing the analysis decides for himself/herself the relative strength of each piece of evidence… no “experts” needed. Thus you are free to assign any strength you wish to the Lamanai correspondence, or none at all.

Bruce

From the same author:

Actually, the Bayesian statistics part is easy…just a lot of multiplication.

Um, no, Bruce. No.

### Re: The Interpreter; Bayes Theorem; Nephites and Mayans

Posted: **Sun May 05, 2019 2:44 am**

by **Gunnar**

Dr.W wrote:In the Book of Ether, the Book of Mormon states very clearly that the western hemisphere had been washed clean of human habitation during the great flood and prior to the first Book of Mormon transoceanic migrations.

The Book of Ether alone is absolutely fatal to the credibility of the Book of Mormon, with or without the damning, contrary DNA evidence. It is a slam dunk certainty that there could not ever have been a world wide flood that wiped out every single land species of fauna on earth, including humans, that were not on a single, large wooden boat, or that all mankind spoke a single language until the time the Tower of Babel was supposed to have occurred. The evidence against that myth is at least as strong as the DNA evidence.