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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:44 am 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
Analytics wrote:
I’ve grown an distaste to pointing out logical fallacies, but it’s hard to imagine a more blatant appeal to authority.

You shouldn't rely on your imagination when considering logical questions.

Had I said that beastie's position on horses was wrong because she is an amateur, you would be correct; I would be committing a gross logical fallacy.

But I've made no such assertion. I was simply following up on Will Schryver's comment (which I had already endorsed) about why some of us don't find interminable conversations with beastie altogether tempting. It wasn't about any particular issue.

And, of course, this is a typical case.

The overwhelming majority of threads with our dear beastlie quickly devolve into her repeatedly pounding her drum for a point she is certain she has won, but which is irrelevant to the debate or was never really the focus of debate in the first place--at least as far we could ever tell. She is a master at this kind of two-dimensional hyper-focused thinking. She gets herself fixated on a certain minor aspect of a much larger discussion; convinces herself that everything hinges on that particular point, and then incessantly pulverizes the poor dead horse into the dust from which it was created.

I confess I, for one, don't have her stamina for that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:46 am 
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What was interesting about Hashbaz’s drive-through was that he clearly hadn’t carefully read my posts on the thread. He accused me of arguing against diffusionism on the thread. I had not argued against diffusionism on that thread or any other thread. The first book I read about ancient Mesoamerica was Coe’s The Maya, and he clearly accepts at least the possibility transoceanic contact in that text. So when Hashbaz jumped into the thread, he was creating an obvious strawman. In addition, his first response was a direct response to a quotation I shared from The Forest of Kings about Holy Lords, in which he simply asserted that the text was outdated. However, the citation I shared was not outdated, and is still accepted by all the scholars I’ve read. So the fact that the text was outdated in certain elements was irrelevant to the point I was making. Hashbaz’s next tactic was to attempt to discredit the scholars I was citing – scholars like Arthur Demarest. I have absolutely zero doubt that there are plenty of doctoral candidates who think they know more about ancient Mesoamerica than folks with decades of experience, like Coe and Demarest. That’s just human nature, and part of the generational competition often seen in various professions. But I am quite content to rely on Coe and Demarest, and thought that the attempt to discredit them was quite extraordinary.

The unfortunate side effect of Hashbaz’s comments was that uninformed readers could easily conclude that I was making erroneous statements about ancient Mesoamerica. In fact, Hashbaz was not making that case at all. He actually wasn’t contesting the statements I made about ancient Mesoamerica, as far as I recall.

Much along the same line, when Brant and I in the past, had long discussions on this, our points of disagreement were very rarely about my assertions about ancient Mesoamerica. Our disagreements were about how to interpret the Book of Mormon. Examples of this sort of disagreement are whether or not Zarahemla exercised political control – not religious control – over Ammonihah, via the position of chief judge. Brant insists that there was no political control. I believe the text clearly states there was. Another example is over warfare. I believe the Book of Mormon clearly describes the type of warfare in which one polity – the Lamanites – would completely conquer a Nephite polity and “take it over” – actually move in to the vanquished Nephite polity and live there, controlling it – sometimes even pushing Nephites out. Brant insists that the text doesn’t say that at all.

So unless and until someone can prove that I’ve made erroneous statements about ancient Mesoamerica, all this focus on whether or not I’m an “expert”, or whether or not my sources should be trusted is absolutely irrelevant and a diversion. Personally, I believe diversion is the entire point of the exercise.

BTW, my email to Dr. Miller did go through yesterday. I have not yet received a response, and will let you all know if I do.

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Last edited by beastie on Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:49 am 
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BTW, DCP, since you're so enthusiastic about the idea of emailing people, how about emailing your colleague, Dr. Jones, about those horse bones? We've been hearing about them for a very long time, like in this 2001 article:

Quote:
Meanwhile, Dr. Steven E. Jones of the BYU physics department has for several years been tracking down horse bones in North America considered to predate the European conquest. Professor Jones's purpose for this search is to submit the bones to tests by the radiocarbon method (some of that work has taken advantage of assistance from FARMS). So far, one or more finds appear to be possibly of pre-Spanish Conquest date, although definitive results will take more work. Further work is being done by Yuri Kuchinsky, a researcher in Canada who has been pursuing a variety of other evidence, based mainly on Native American lore, about possible pre-Conquest horses in North America.


http://mi.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vo ... cat_id=474

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
Analytics wrote:
I’ve grown an distaste to pointing out logical fallacies, but it’s hard to imagine a more blatant appeal to authority.

You shouldn't rely on your imagination when considering logical questions.

Had I said that beastie's position on horses was wrong because she is an amateur, you would be correct; I would be committing a gross logical fallacy.

But I've made no such assertion. I was simply following up on Will Schryver's comment (which I had already endorsed) about why some of us don't find interminable conversations with beastie altogether tempting. It wasn't about any particular issue.

And yet the implication is still there. Are horses a hit for the Book of Mormon? Reading dozens of books on the history Mesoamerica is of no use because even after doing so, it would still be impossible to “know what scholarly arguments are up to date, and which books have failed to gain traction.” When she shares the results of what she read, her ignorance on the matter “would soon show”.

So where does that leave her? She’s “reliant on Mesoamerican specialists,” and in this particular case, “on Mesoamericanists who have a particular interest in the Book of Mormon.”

You aren’t saying beastie's position on horses was wrong because she is an amateur, but you are saying that even after reading a few dozen books on the subject she is still incapable of knowing what arguments are up to date and what books gained transaction, and thus we shouldn’t trust her or the experts she quotes, but rather rely solely on “Mesoamericanists who have a particular interest in the Book of Mormon.”

You are essentially dismissing her arguments because she isn't qualified to accept or reject what she reads in books.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:56 pm 
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Analytics wrote:
And yet the implication is still there.

No it isn't.

Analytics wrote:
You are essentially dismissing her arguments because she isn't qualified to accept or reject what she reads in books.

No. As I said, and as I said that I said, I'm partially explaining why I have no interest in interminable conversations with her.

I said what I meant, I meant what I said, I've explained what I meant, and I've now explained what I meant a second time.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:01 pm 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
Analytics wrote:
And yet the implication is still there.

No it isn't.

Analytics wrote:
You are essentially dismissing her arguments because she isn't qualified to accept or reject what she reads in books.

No. As I said, and as I said that I said, I'm partially explaining why I have no interest in interminable conversations with her.

I said what I meant, I meant what I said, I've explained what I meant, and I've now explained what I meant a second time.

So you aren’t saying beastie is wrong because she isn’t qualified to evaluate what’s in the books she reads, but rather saying that you have no interest in engaging with her on the issues because she isn’t qualified to evaluate what’s in the books she reads.

Thanks for the clarification.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Analytics wrote:
So you aren’t saying beastie is wrong because she isn’t qualified to evaluate what’s in the books she reads, but rather saying that you have no interest in engaging with her on the issues because she isn’t qualified to evaluate what’s in the books she reads.

Thanks for the clarification.

It's partly something like that. Sort of. In a way. You're kind of in the parking lot of the ballpark.

This is boring.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:27 pm 
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DCP
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No. As I said, and as I said that I said, I'm partially explaining why I have no interest in interminable conversations with her.


You ought to be more precise in this statement. Judging from your posting behavior, you are quite willing to have interminable conversations with me about my inadequacies. You’re just not willing to have interminable conversations with me about the actual substance of my comments.


Analytics
Quote:
You aren’t saying beastie's position on horses was wrong because she is an amateur, but you are saying that even after reading a few dozen books on the subject she is still incapable of knowing what arguments are up to date and what books gained transaction, and thus we shouldn’t trust her or the experts she quotes, but rather rely solely on “Mesoamericanists who have a particular interest in the Book of Mormon.”



It’s fascinating how this has evolved over the years. When I initially became interested in interacting with apologists regarding LGT in Mesoamerica, I was told that I wasn’t qualified to evaluate the apologists’ claims due to my lack of background knowledge about Mesoamerica. I thought they had a valid point so spent several years educating myself by reading books written by respected scholars in the field. I eventually studied it as much as I did due to the fact that the Maya are extremely interesting to me in general, and being able to deal more adequately with apologia was a bonus.

Once I educated myself, the responses changed. I do want to say that Brant is the one person who has always complimented me on my self-education, and shares my opinion that Mesoamerica is fascinating in general. As I became more educated on the subject, his responses, as I’ve mentioned, dwelt more on how, according to him, I wasn’t interpreting the Book of Mormon correctly.

So now the reaction has evolved. Apparently, apologists like DCP believe it just isn’t possible for anyone who doesn’t have a masters or doctorate in the field, as well as an intensive background in the Book of Mormon, to evaluate the claims apologists make. It certainly narrows the pool of reliable sources, doesn’t it? Sorenson, Gardner, Clark, Hansen – we have to take their word for it all. They’re the only reliable sources. A layperson like me cannot possibly recognize that, for example, Dr. Sorenson seriously misused important references. A layperson like me cannot possibly recognize that the assertion that “The Book of Mormon mentions bows and arrows, swords, slings, scimitars, clubs, spears, shields, breastplates, helmets, and cotton armor–all items documented from Mesoamerica." directly contradicts the consensus among Mesoamerican scholars regarding, for example, the introduction of the bow and arrow into Mesoamerica.

Unless we have advanced degrees in Mesoamerican studies as well as extensive study of the Book of Mormon, we must bow our heads and say “yes”.

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Last edited by beastie on Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:30 pm 
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I suppose the reason DCP won’t explain why he hasn’t bothered to email Dr. Jones about those all-important horse bones, despite expressing astonishment that I hadn’t contacted Dr. Miller, has to do with my personal inadequacies as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:48 pm 
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beastie wrote:
I suppose the reason DCP won’t explain why he hasn’t bothered to email Dr. Jones about those all-important horse bones, despite expressing astonishment that I hadn’t contacted Dr. Miller, has to do with my personal inadequacies as well.

Why on earth should I contact Dr. Jones? This is your issue, beastie. I don't even know the man.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:58 pm 
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Why on earth should I contact Dr. Jones? This is your issue, beastie. I don't even know the man.


This has been referenced so often, and as I already demonstrated, on at least one MI article, I - evidently erroneously - assumed that you had some interest in verifying the information. I thought, as editor of the MI, you would have some interest in that.

I already emailed him, btw. I don't know him, and I'm not a fellow BYU professor, either. As with Dr. Miller, I will let you all know if I ever hear anything from him.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:00 pm 
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beastie wrote:
...So now the reaction has evolved. Apparently, apologists like DCP believe it just isn’t possible for anyone who doesn’t have a masters or doctorate in the field, as well as an intensive background in the Book of Mormon, to evaluate the claims apologists make. It certainly narrows the pool of reliable sources, doesn’t it? Sorenson, Gardner, Clark, Hansen – we have to take their word for it all. They’re the only reliable sources. A layperson like me cannot possibly recognize that, for example, Dr. Sorenson seriously misused important references. A layperson like me cannot possibly recognize that the assertion that “The Book of Mormon mentions bows and arrows, swords, slings, scimitars, clubs, spears, shields, breastplates, helmets, and cotton armor–all items documented from Mesoamerica." directly contradicts the consensus among Mesoamerican scholars regarding, for example, the introduction of the bow and arrow into Mesoamerica.

Unless we have advanced degrees in Mesoamerican studies as well as extensive study of the Book of Mormon, we must bow our heads and say “yes”.

Ouch!

With these folks, it is clearly about doing whatever it takes to enhance the illusion of plausibility. A frank and open dialogue about the details isn’t conductive to that aim, so distraction is the best they can hope for.

Am I being too harsh? Obviously, the non-Mormon Mesoamericanists are qualified to judge these issues. Why aren’t they convinced? Some of them have evaluated it, and I bet they reject it for the same reasons you do. Deep down the apologists must know this—that is why they feed this to the believers in saccharine faith-promoting videos rather than present it to people who are qualified to evaluate the claims.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:30 pm 
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beastie wrote:
...So now the reaction has evolved. Apparently, apologists like DCP believe it just isn’t possible for anyone who doesn’t have a masters or doctorate in the field, as well as an intensive background in the Book of Mormon, to evaluate the claims apologists make.

No, I don't believe that.

Don't try to generalize here. I've said -- and this is scarcely news -- that I find lengthy discussions with you on substantive topics very exasperating, and have decided not to engage in them any more.

This has utterly nothing whatsoever to do with any general disdain for people lacking graduate degrees in a field.

Nothing whatsoever.

Nothing.

Clear enough?

Nothing.

Analytics wrote:
Am I being too harsh? Obviously, the non-Mormon Mesoamericanists are qualified to judge these issues. Why aren’t they convinced? Some of them have evaluated it, and I bet they reject it for the same reasons you do. Deep down the apologists must know this—that is why they feed this to the believers in saccharine faith-promoting videos rather than present it to people who are qualified to evaluate the claims

"Saccharine faith-promoting videos rather than [academic materials directed to non-Mormon scholars]" (emphasis mine)?

Really?

Of course, we can disagree about whether the Journey of Faith videos are "saccharine." But such items as those below simply aren't videos at all -- saccharine or otherwise -- and they were absolutely aimed at non-Mormon scholars:

John L. Sorenson. "The Significance of an Apparent Relationship between the Ancient Near East and Mesoamerica." In Man across the Sea: Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, edited by C. L. Riley, J. C. Kelley, C. W. Pennington, and R. L. Rands, 219—41. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971.)

John L. Sorenson. "A Reconsideration of Early Metal in Mesoamerica." Katunob 9 (March 1976): 1—18.

John L. Sorenson and Martin Raish, eds. Pre-Columbian Contact With the Americas Across the Oceans: An Annotated Bibliography, 2d ed. (Provo: Research Press, 1996).

John L. Sorenson and Carl L. Johannessen. "Biological Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages." In Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World, edited by Victor H. Mair, 238—97. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2006).

Here are some of the reviewers' comments about the annotated bibliography. It will be noted, of course, that they all come "only from Provo":

Quote:
"Your great bibliographical project . . . will greatly enhance the quality of discussion in the field." Joseph Needham, history of Asian science, Cambridge University.

"Impressive bibliography and monumental effort." Betty J. Meggers, anthropology, Smithsonian Institution.

"A magnificent contribution . . . amusing, enlightening, and unbelievably useful. I am one of the better-informed people on this subject, but I had not seen ten percent of the papers cited." George F. Carter, geography and anthropology, Texas A&M.

"Nobody can afford to offer an opinion on this subject from now on without having carefully considered this essential volume." David H. Kelley, archaeology, University of Calgary.

"This jewel of a work amazes, awes, and pleases me." Mary Ritchie Key, linguistics, University of California, Irvine.

"Extremely complete." Walter Gardini, anthropology, Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires.

"Monumental accomplishment." Hasso von Winning, archaeology, Southwest Museum, Los Angeles.

"Incredible. . . . An extremely important compilation." Stephen C. Jett, geography, University of California, Davis.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
Don't try to generalize here. I've said -- and this is scarcely news -- that I find lengthy discussions with you on substantive topics very exasperating, and have decided not to engage in them any more.

This has utterly nothing whatsoever to do with any general disdain for people lacking graduate degrees in a field.

Nothing whatsoever.

Nothing.

Clear enough?

Nothing.

When you said the following, it sure sounded like you were expressing something about the general incompetence of people lacking graduate degrees, even the ones who have read quite a number of books.
Daniel Peterson wrote:
I've read quite a number of books on Mesoamerican topics over the course of my long and useless life. One of my early memories is of my father taking me, at my insistence, to an exhibit on Mesoamerica at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; I still have the catalog.

But I know I'm not an expert, and I'm in precisely the boat that beastie is in. I don't know what scholarly arguments are up to date, and which books have failed to gain traction, and, if I decided to dogmatize about Mesoamerica at any length, it would soon show. I'm reliant on Mesoamerican specialists and, when it's the focus, on Mesoamericanists who have a particular interest in the Book of Mormon.


Daniel Peterson wrote:
Of course, we can disagree about whether the Journey of Faith videos are "saccharine." But such items as those below simply aren't videos at all -- saccharine or otherwise -- and they were absolutely aimed at non-Mormon scholars...

I happily stand corrected. I was under the impression from a previous discussion that there was an "unwritten rule" that Mormons aren't allowed to publish things that support the Book of Mormon.

Since Mormon scholars are publishing these things in the appropriate venues, are they convincing any of the non-Mormon qualified experts that the Book of Mormon is a serious candidate for an accurate translation of a authentic ancient Mesoamerican manuscript?

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:59 pm 
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John L. Sorenson and Carl L. Johannessen. "Biological Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages." In Contact and Exchange in the Ancient World, edited by Victor H. Mair, 238—97. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2006).


that would be an interesting article. I just recieved a book call LIFE IN BIBLICAL ISRAEL by Phillip J King. One thing that they say is that the Hebrews were not a sea people. "The Bible seldom refers to ships and sailing, since the Israelite s , despite their proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, were not a maritime people but an agrarian kingdom."

"The Philistines, Phoenicians and Syrians controlled most of the Levantine coast."

If Nephi said he bought a boat then that could have some merit but Hebrews did not build boats, others in the area did, those who had forests.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:09 pm 
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I think it's apparent in 1 Nephi that, while traveling through the desert was one thing, building a boat was another. Nephi had to be shown the pattern for the boat (I Nephi 17:8) and his brothers rebelled at the idea (1 Nephi 17:17). Nothing in 1 Nephi requires the Israelites to have been natural shipbuilders, or suggests anything of the sort. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Analytics wrote:
When you said the following, it sure sounded like you were expressing something about the general incompetence of people lacking graduate degrees, even the ones who have read quite a number of books.

On the whole, I think that people who know more about a field tend to be better guides to it and commentators on it than are people who know less.

Do you disagree with this notion? Do you consider it radical? Unfair to amateurs?

Daniel Peterson wrote:
Since Mormon scholars are publishing these things in the appropriate venues, are they convincing any of the non-Mormon qualified experts that the Book of Mormon is a serious candidate for an accurate translation of a authentic ancient Mesoamerican manuscript?

I don't have any survey data at my fingertips regarding this question. Do you?

I know of at least a couple of professional Mesoamerican archaeologists who've joined the Church in the past few years. I couldn't though, direct you to hard scientific information about whether Mesoamericanist attitudes toward Mormon claims are opening up, becoming more rigidly negative, or staying the same. If you have access to such information, I hope you'll share it.

In the fields in which I work, based simply on interactions with scholarly peers and the like, my impression is that we're taken a bit more seriously than we used to be, and are less commonly regarded as utterly beyond the pale. But I have no quantifiable data to submit to you on that front, and my sample size isn't large enough to count as truly scientific. Again, I welcome any more rigorous research that you may have performed on the question.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Daniel Peterson wrote:
On the whole, I think that people who know more about a field tend to be better guides to it and commentators on it than are people who know less.

Do you disagree with this notion? Do you consider it radical? Unfair to amateurs?

Of course I agree. Trusting the consensus of qualified experts is the position I've taken all along. That said, I’m not impressed with responses to specific arguments in the form of, “here is a quote from an expert who [rightly] claims he knows more than beastie does, so there!”

Daniel Peterson wrote:
I don't have any survey data at my fingertips regarding this question. Do you?

I know of at least a couple of professional Mesoamerican archaeologists who've joined the Church in the past few years.


Really? I'd be interested in hearing their stories. May I ask who?

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Quote:
John L. Sorenson. "A Reconsideration of Early Metal in Mesoamerica." Katunob 9 (March 1976): 1—18.


Deanne Matheny - who, even by DCP's standards, ought to count as a reliable expert - had a few things to say about the accuracy of Sorenson's claims in this particular essay.

http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/book/chapter8.htm

BTW, if, for some reason, I, personally, am fundamentally incapable of understanding material produced by Mesoamerican experts, it ought to be pretty easy to find numerous instances in which Brant, or someone like Hashbaz, has had to correct my misunderstandings. And yet anyone who seriously searches our past discussions will find it's not easy to find at all - because, as I have repeated stated, Brant mainly disagrees with how I interpret the Book of Mormon, and doesn't disagree with my assertions about ancient Mesoamerica. And hashbaz mainly was engaged with strawmen.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:35 pm 
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DCP Wrote:

"I know of at least a couple of professional Mesoamerican archaeologists who've joined the Church in the past few years."

with their permission can you give us the names.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:39 pm 
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Do I need to consider Deanne Matheny a reliable authority? On what basis do I need to do this?

Anyway, here's a response to her from Professor Sorenson:

http://mi.byu.edu/publications/review/? ... m=1&id=142

Analytics wrote:
Daniel Peterson wrote:
I know of at least a couple of professional Mesoamerican archaeologists who've joined the Church in the past few years.
Really? I'd be interested in hearing their stories. May I ask who?

Quote:
Kim Goldsmith, Ph.D., Teotihuacan, Mexico
Dr. Kim C. Goldsmith received her PhD from the University of California at Riverside in 2000. She has been an archaeologist in Teotihuacan for 25 years, and is the clay figurine specialist for the site. She has also worked at several other sites throughout Mexico and California. Besides her archaeological duties, Kim has given tours for the Mexican government to world-famous visitors, including uncountable world diplomats, religious leaders, and celebrities. Some of the visitors have included Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John Ashcroft, the Panchen Lama of Tibet, and Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Twelve. Dr. Goldsmith has been featured in numerous documentaries, such as The History Channel’s “Digging for the Truth”, the BBC’s “The Story of God”, The National Geographic Channel’s “Is It Real?”, and other films (including LDS). Kim is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in 2007 was sealed in the Mexico City Temple to her convert husband Alejandro Serabia, the Director of the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey of Faith: The New World review
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:43 pm 
karl61 wrote:
DCP Wrote:

"I know of at least a couple of professional Mesoamerican archaeologists who've joined the Church in the past few years."

with their permission can you give us the names.


You don't need permission. Here are two:

Alejandro Sarabia Gonzalez.

Edit: I see DCP just posted the two I suspected. My understanding is that they are not involved in apologetics. Goldsmith does lectures for Book of Mormon tours, as a Mesoamerican specialist, but whether she actually believes there's a plausible setting for the Book of Mormon, and prepared to argue for such in academic circles, is another question.


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