William Schryver wrote:
I just love it when the resident would-be Mesoamericanist of The Great and Spacious Trailer Park© waxes astounded by things she doesn't even remotely understand.
That's the reason I'm astounded, Will. It doesn't take any expertise to recognize that your theory, in certain areas, is quite awkward, and even inconsistent.
For example: what expertise does it require to recognize the inconsistency in this:
a - you assert that Joseph Smith et al viewed Egyptian as synonymous with "pure language"
b - you assert that Joseph Smith et al were attempting to construct a "pure language"
c - that had nothing to do with Egyptian
d - because elements contained no Egyptian characters
There is no expertise required to recognize that if Joseph Smith et al believed Egyptian was synonymous with pure language, and they were attempting to construct a pure language, then it absolutely had something to do with Egyptian AND it didn't matter if it didn't contain Egyptian characters because no one was there to tell them that the characters they were including were not Egyptian characters. So if Joseph Smith, through revelation or relying on sources that he believed had Egyptian roots (Masonry), added characters he believed, or claimed, to be Egyptian, no one could prove that they weren't.
And what expertise does it require to recognize that Paul and Will are correct when they assert that your theory requiring the scribes to insert a mistake immediately followed by a correction but only later inserting the strike-out is odd on its face, and quite illogical. Why would the scribes only go back later, when they would have to wade through the text, to insert the strike-out? That makes no sense. That's why I said "at what point is common sense allowed to intervene?"
Now, maybe your theory will actually turn out to be correct. I don't know. I'm not qualified to judge that, and neither are your cheerleaders, with few exceptions. My point is that your theory isn't an obvious slam dunk, because it does contain inconsistencies such as above, and it does require the existence of a mysterious, previously unknown document. That's not a slam dunk, and yet your cheerleaders act as if you've delivered a massive slam dunk that critics are ridiculous not to concede. If your theory is correct, it is yet to be proven, and you have to deal with these inconsistencies and other issues pointed out. And you know that, because you keep alluding to your future work which will, supposedly, deliver the REAL slam dunk.
If you have yet to deliver the REAL slam dunk, why do your cheerleaders act as if it's already been scored?
We all know the answer to that, don't we?
You mentioned earlier that you believers "know what is at stake". I think that you, and other defenders of the faith now quivering in ecstasy over your imaginary slam dunk, actually realized that the critical arguments against the Book of Abraham are devastating, despite your bluster otherwise. So you, and other believers, are extremely emotionally invested in this theory because you think it's your only chance to make a dent in those devastating critiques. Your emotional investment is just too high to recognize that what you've presented, to this point, is far from a slam dunk precisely because it contains problems that even someone with only cursory knowledge on the issue can recognize.
OTOH, for critics, this issue is by and large peripheral. If your theory turns out to be correct, its impact will be minor. The papyri still don't match the Book of Abraham. That's why this has been one of the most entertaining episodes in As LDS Apology Turns in a long time, and for that I thank you.