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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:16 am 
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Ludd wrote:
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.


I agree. It really is a stupid argument to use to go after the Book of Mormon claims (and I think very poorly of those that employ it). The greatest evidence (or lack of evidence actually) against the Book of Mormon is the missing plates. Nothing screams louder that the Book of Mormon is a fraud than that.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:38 am 
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Ludd wrote:
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.


Anti-science?

The Book of Mormon was written by someone who believed, literally, that God flooded the world about 4,000 years ago, and the only human survivors floated away safely to the Mideast on a ark.

The Book of Mormon offered an explanation to those people who believed in the flood, how and when the native Americans came to the new world.

The reason there is no mention of the others in the Book of Mormon, is because the existence of native Americans is incongruent with the story of the global flood.

I am truly puzzled that anyone who has come to accept the fact that homo sapiens have walked this planet for 200,000 years, and that story of the global flood is a religious myth, can still cling to the possibility that Smith's claims about the origin of the Book of Mormon have any basis in fact.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:49 am 
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Jaybear wrote:
I am truly puzzled that anyone who has come to accept the fact that homo sapiens have walked this planet for 200,000 years, and that story of the global flood is a religious myth, can still cling to the possibility that Smith's claims about the origin of the Book of Mormon have any basis in fact.
Because the Book of Mormon may not be any of the things you claim it is. A small group of human-beings from the Middle-east could have travelled here and set up a small colony. They may have had little to no contact with the larger civilizations already here and their descendants could now be part of the larger mixed population of Native Americans. Nothing Simon (or the rest of his pet bozos) have presented show that is untrue.

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Last edited by Tobin on Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:58 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 11:00 am 
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Ludd wrote:

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.


I was trying to paraphrase what I believe Simon Southerton had stated and, since he confined what I said to be correct, I believe then it is his claim. Feel free to present evidence that contradicts it.

The inescapable problem for the Book of Mormon is that it clearly states large populations and an empty land, both of which are shown to be false by current DNA, especially the latter. Now, in order to retain a possibility that the Book of Mormon is historical, the church has to ignore what the book claims, redefine what it has taught about native populations for the last 180 years and suggest that science may not be all that accurate. Smoke and mirrors, no substance.

The article isn't balanced nicely, it is an obvious attempt to provide, once again, a lifeline to doubting faithful of a faint possibility that the Book of Mormon is historical by rejecting what leadership and members have actually taught and believed in the past. (Seriously, one 80 year old reference is supposed to convey something?)

What does this say about those members in the past that had a spiritual confirmation (George Lee anyone) about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon? What exactly was the spirit confirming to them? What inconvenient truths will be disregarded in the future when, once again, science shows the Book of Mormon to be the 19th century production it really is?

And finally if these essays are all that convincing, balanced, accurate and so on, why are they anonymous? The anonymity screams that the church itself is unsure about what they are publishing. They are not going to convince anyone who isn't already tethered behind a dog in the race.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:04 am 
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Water Dog wrote:
Simon,

Nothing you said seems to really disagree with the essay in a substantive way. Your assertions support the thesis that DNA neither proves or disproves the Book of Mormon. The essay outlines several different possibilities which each, independently, provide a legitimate explanation for how both the Book of Mormon and modern DNA science can both be true. Beyond that it's pure conjecture.

We can have silly debates about a scripture which supposedly means the Americas were empty prior to the Nephites, and yet what about the Jaredites and Mulekites? The scriptures themselves describe other migrations. It's perfectly reasonable to assume an existing population that they may or may not have been assimilated into to one degree or another. The "most correctness" of the book is only as related to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It's equally specious to make arguments about "knowing" what Lehi's DNA would have been. While ancient Israelite DNA has been characterized, it's disingenuous to claim a complete picture exists. A relatively few samples have been taken, a mere infinitesimal fraction of the whole population that existed at the time. You cannot tell me all the different tribes that existed and give me an accurate picture of their DNA. We don't know what we don't know. Lehi very well could have had DNA which contained Asian haplogroups.

You are also disingenuous to dismiss the potential effect of bottleneck events and drift, and this is an area with which the experts simply disagree with you. You claim that the science tells us more than it reasonably does. You are right, the evidence generally agrees with other disciplines which hypothesize Beringia ancestry. And the Book of Mormon makes no such claims rejecting this. Your point? The science doesn't however paint a clear picture of all the complicated population dynamics in the Americas which involved countless tens of millions of peoples. We can't see DNA patterns to support population changes that we know about through authenticated historical records, yet you presume to suggest that the science can tell us things about entirely unknown people that have been genetically lost? Ludicrous.


Water Dog -

As I've pointed out repeatedly, Simon is less than honest about what the research actually says. No legitimate researcher or scientist would do what he is doing (as I've noted on this forum - "real" scientists don't go around disproving religious texts). And I really don't think much of his claims or his reasons for disputing the Book of Mormon. He just makes assumptions that may be unfounded (as you've noted) and conclusions based on those likely flawed assumptions by misrepresenting what the science really is. That is not how a reputable researcher would behave and as a result, I think he should be discredited and anything he has to say discounted.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:06 am 
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Tobin wrote:
Because the Book of Mormon may not be any of the things you claim it is. A small colony of human-beings from the Middle-east could have travelled here and set up a small colony. They may have had little to no contact with the larger civilizations already here and their descendants could now be part of the larger mixed population of Native Americans. Nothing Simon (or the rest of his pet bozos) have presented show that is untrue.


You miss the point. Its not my claim that is at issue. I claim the book is an obvious fraud.

It was Joseph Smith's claim of what the book represents that is at issue. Surely you are familiar with this statement:

Quote:
In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people....


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:13 am 
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Jaybear wrote:
You miss the point. Its not my claim that is at issue. I claim the book is an obvious fraud.
Oh, I tend to agree, but not for the reasons you've stated. The reason it is an obvious fraud is because the gold plates don't seem to exist (and supposedly disappeared). I personally refuse to believe the Book of Mormon is factual until I see those myself. I hold open the possibility that it may have a basis in fact, but unless or until those plates show up - the prospects of that being true are remote.

Jaybear wrote:
It was Joseph Smith's claim of what the book represents that is at issue. Surely you are familiar with this statement:

Quote:
In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people....


So what? Joseph Smith was a 19th-century man. I discount what he had to say because he likely didn't have all the facts himself. The Book of Mormon may have a basis in fact (i.e. there really are plates) and Joseph Smith could have misunderstood what they really represented or who the Lehites (and others) really were.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:15 am 
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Water Dog wrote:
Jaybear wrote:
I am truly puzzled that anyone who has come to accept the fact that homo sapiens have walked this planet for 200,000 years, and that story of the global flood is a religious myth, can still cling to the possibility that Smith's claims about the origin of the Book of Mormon have any basis in fact.

I am truly puzzled that anyone who has been alive a few decades would blindly accept as established fact any claims whatsoever made about people and events which supposedly took place hundreds, thousands to hundreds of thousands of years ago, which nobody alive witnessed first-hand.

Maybe you should ask these guys why they do.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:24 am 
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Tobin wrote:
So what? Joseph Smith was a 19th-century man. I discount what he had to say because he likely didn't have all the facts himself. The Book of Mormon may have a basis in fact (i.e. there really are plates) and Joseph Smith could have misunderstood what they really represented or who the Lehites (and others) really were.


What is better explanation for the absence of any discussion of the native population.

1. The Nephites had no meaningful interactions with the natives worthy of mention.
2. Whoever wrote the book was not aware that the Americas were colonized over 10,000 years ago, and there was no global flood.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:27 am 
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Water Dog wrote:
Fence Sitter wrote:
Maybe you should ask these guys why they do.

That's the thing - THEY DON'T.



And here is where you clearly are trolling.

On Edit.

Tell you what Water Dog, if you can produce a signed statement from any of those men expressing any doubt about any person and event accurately described in the Book of Mormon happened, I'll send you a $100.00

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:27 am 
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Tobin wrote:
Jaybear wrote:
I am truly puzzled that anyone who has come to accept the fact that homo sapiens have walked this planet for 200,000 years, and that story of the global flood is a religious myth, can still cling to the possibility that Smith's claims about the origin of the Book of Mormon have any basis in fact.
Because the Book of Mormon may not be any of the things you claim it is. A small group of human-beings from the Middle-east could have travelled here and set up a small colony. They may have had little to no contact with the larger civilizations already here and their descendants could now be part of the larger mixed population of Native Americans. Nothing Simon (or the rest of his pet bozos) have presented show that is untrue.


According to this FAIR publication http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/publications/adding-up-the-book-of-mormon-peoples, it was not a small Middle Eastern Colony.

Considering that (conservatively) twenty-five percent of the population were either “foreign born” or children of immigrants, it is reasonable that more than 490,000 people were living in the Nephite and Lamanite areas by 150 B.C. (more than enough to accommodate the thousands of dead mentioned in Mosiah 9:18-19).51 It is also plausible that more than seven million people were alive at the time of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry.52 Even assuming only a “tithe” of survivors (more than 700,000) of the catastrophes described in 3 Nephi 8-11, a population of up to 100 million by AD 350 is not beyond reason. This figure is more than sufficient to sustain the hundreds of thousands of Nephite dead during the “Battle of Cumorah.”

It takes into account that for the numbers of dead that are recorded into the Book of Mormon, they would have had to of taken in immigrant populations. If we are talking about the great civilizations of people that are accounted for in the Book of Mormon, we would have to take into account the culture of said civiliztions. To not expect any intermarriage is ridiculous.

Additionally, the church taught for many generations that the Book of Mormon was a recorded history of the native peoples of the Americas. Not a small part of, or a lost middle eastern colony that we cannot account for. It was an accounting of the principal ancestors of the Lamanites. Unquestionably, we were taught the Native Americans are the Lamanites.

And now we cannot account for them through DNA? We use DNA to establish genealogy to conduct posthumous ordinances in our temples. We use it to bind families together forever. The LDS controlled Utah legislature has determined that DNA evidence is suffecient to convict and put to death those responsible for heinous crimes.

Yet DNA is not good enough to establish the veracity of the historical claims of the church concerning the Book of Mormon. ____.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:31 am 
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Jaybear wrote:
Tobin wrote:
So what? Joseph Smith was a 19th-century man. I discount what he had to say because he likely didn't have all the facts himself. The Book of Mormon may have a basis in fact (i.e. there really are plates) and Joseph Smith could have misunderstood what they really represented or who the Lehites (and others) really were.


What is better explanation for the absence of any discussion of the native population.

1. The Nephites had no meaningful interactions with the natives worthy of mention.
The Book of Mormon doesn't mention these other large civilizations that were clearly here. IF the Book of Mormon has a basis in fact, that seems consistent with the account itself. And the Lamanites themselves may have been as a result of the Lehites intermarrying with other small groups of natives they met here. Bear in mind, that the Lehites were supposedly a small group of less than 100 people that arrived here. Yet, within a short period there are seemingly thousands of them and they are conducting wars.

Jaybear wrote:
2. Whoever wrote the book was not aware that the Americas were colonized over 10,000 years ago, and there was no global flood.
That may simply be an incorrect interpretation of events.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:33 am 
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aznative wrote:
Tobin wrote:
Because the Book of Mormon may not be any of the things you claim it is. A small group of human-beings from the Middle-east could have travelled here and set up a small colony. They may have had little to no contact with the larger civilizations already here and their descendants could now be part of the larger mixed population of Native Americans. Nothing Simon (or the rest of his pet bozos) have presented show that is untrue.


According to this FAIR publication http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/publications/adding-up-the-book-of-mormon-peoples, it was not a small Middle Eastern Colony.

Considering that (conservatively) twenty-five percent of the population were either “foreign born” or children of immigrants, it is reasonable that more than 490,000 people were living in the Nephite and Lamanite areas by 150 B.C. (more than enough to accommodate the thousands of dead mentioned in Mosiah 9:18-19).51 It is also plausible that more than seven million people were alive at the time of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry.52 Even assuming only a “tithe” of survivors (more than 700,000) of the catastrophes described in 3 Nephi 8-11, a population of up to 100 million by AD 350 is not beyond reason. This figure is more than sufficient to sustain the hundreds of thousands of Nephite dead during the “Battle of Cumorah.”

It takes into account that for the numbers of dead that are recorded into the Book of Mormon, they would have had to of taken in immigrant populations. If we are talking about the great civilizations of people that are accounted for in the Book of Mormon, we would have to take into account the culture of said civiliztions. To not expect any intermarriage is ridiculous.

Additionally, the church taught for many generations that the Book of Mormon was a recorded history of the native peoples of the Americas. Not a small part of, or a lost middle eastern colony that we cannot account for. It was an accounting of the principal ancestors of the Lamanites. Unquestionably, we were taught the Native Americans are the Lamanites.

And now we cannot account for them through DNA? We use DNA to establish genealogy to conduct posthumous ordinances in our temples. We use it to bind families together forever. The LDS controlled Utah legislature has determined that DNA evidence is suffecient to convict and put to death those responsible for heinous crimes.

Yet DNA is not good enough to establish the veracity of the historical claims of the church concerning the Book of Mormon. ____.


I don't care what FAIR has to say and their projections are ridiculous. A small colony of less than 100 original Lehites somehow becomes a 100 million in a pre-industrial era? That is beyond stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:40 am 
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Water Dog wrote:
Fence Sitter wrote:
And here is where you clearly are trolling.

No, here is where you clearly are an either ignorant or intentionally dishonest, misrepresenting LDS theology. LDS do not engage in blind faith, or more correctly, are taught not to. I will not speak for everybody. I can tell you though, in direct response to what the gospel has taught me, I don't blindly accept truth from any man or men on any subject. You, on the other hand, DO!


Excellent points Water Dog, I mean if the LDS were encouraged to seek truth for themselves no one would stand up in conference and say something as silly as;

"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"


Clearly I have no idea how LDS culture works.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:45 am 
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Tobin wrote:
I don't care what FAIR has to say and their projections are ridiculous. A small colony of less than 100 original Lehites somehow becomes a 100 million in a pre-industrial era? That is beyond stupid.



SO that which is written in your canon is stupid? The numbers of population mentioned in your standard works is stupid?

See, here is the amazing thing. Even the Book of Mormon states that they grew and flourished and gave away in marriage and the population grew from the births. Obvioulsy FAIR had to pull some numbers from somewhere and introduced the immigration factor.

So here is the stupid thing. It is stupid that one would suppose the Book of Mormon to be that which the church claims it to be. An actual historical accounting of a bunch of Jews caught up in a bad story line from Gilligans Island in which they become the principal ancestors of the indigenous Native American peoples.

That's the stupid thing. It is nothing more than the inspired historical fictoin that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

See? In the end it proves the CofC is the one true correct church. Their leadership has obviously been inspired enough to see what's up. Unlike our dying leadership in Salt Lake City.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:53 am 
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aznative wrote:
Tobin wrote:
I don't care what FAIR has to say and their projections are ridiculous. A small colony of less than 100 original Lehites somehow becomes a 100 million in a pre-industrial era? That is beyond stupid.



SO that which is written in your canon is stupid? The numbers of population mentioned in your standard works is stupid?
Try again. That isn't what I said.

aznative wrote:
See, here is the amazing thing. Even the Book of Mormon states that they grew and flourished and gave away in marriage and the population grew from the births. Obvioulsy FAIR had to pull some numbers from somewhere and introduced the immigration factor.
See above.

aznative wrote:
So here is the stupid thing. It is stupid that one would suppose the Book of Mormon to be that which the church claims it to be. An actual historical accounting of a bunch of Jews caught up in a bad story line from Gilligans Island in which they become the principal ancestors of the indigenous Native American peoples.
Your characterization, not mine.

aznative wrote:
That's the stupid thing. It is nothing more than the inspired historical fictoin that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
I really take a dim view of blanket assertions. I don't think it reflects very well on the person making them.

aznative wrote:
See? In the end it proves the CofC is the one true correct church. Their leadership has obviously been inspired enough to see what's up. Unlike our dying leadership in Salt Lake City.
There is no such thing.

Luke 17:21 (KJV)
Quote:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Ludd wrote:
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).


Obvioulsy, since most all of us here are so dim, would you please enlighten the rest of us who are not as credentialed as you are, being "somewhat of a student" regarding all there is to do with DNA, what is an acceptable, reliable, and accurate measure using DNA to, say, trace back DNA to conduct posthumous ordinances for our families, and to insure that the lines of certain European monarchies are in tact? I mean, wht I'm driving at is just how far back is DNA reliable for? Because if it isn't in the hundreds or thousands, then why are we even using this stuff at all?


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Some old boy out there on the interwebz puts it rather succintly...

justrob wrote:
Quote:
I'd like to apologize in advance for the many people I will offend, but ask that you please read what I have to say.

I largely leave people to their beliefs, but recent deception of the LDS church has compelled me to encourage my friends and family to evaluate their relationship with this institution to whom they pay 10% of their income.

In 1971, Spencer W Kimball said "Now the Lamanites number about sixty million; they are in all of the states of America from Tierra del Fuego all the way up to Point Barrows, and they are in nearly all the islands of the sea from Hawaii south to southern New Zealand."

https://www.LDS.org/ensign/1971/07/of-royal-blood


Yet, a recent article refuting science makes quite a different pronouncement

https://www.LDS.org/topics/book-of-morm ... na-studies

It blames its members for making assumptions about the size and exclusivity of the Book of Mormon culture, but fails to reference the articles from church leaders who preached those exact claims, or the introduction to the Book of Mormon which claimed, until very recently, that the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the Native Americans.

They claim science cannot disprove the Book of Mormon, while changing their scriptures to evade conflict.

What I consider most deceptive is this article's egregious misuse of science in a section titled "Understanding the Genetic Evidence." It criticized Y-chromosome and mitochondrial testing, only mentioning autosomal DNA as a side note, despite autosomal DNA being used almost exclusively to test ethnic origins. The difficulties they enumerated do not invalidate autosomal tests. Their specific example about the founder effect is exactly why autosomal DNA is the preferred test for origin.

Their examples were overly simple and didn't address autosomal DNA, so I will provide my own:
--Imagine that every book had 23 chapters
--A book represents a person
--A chapter represents a chromosome
--The text represents the 0.1% unique DNA each person has (over 100,000 letters per chapter after all the shared DNA was deleted)

In order to reproduce 2 people swap text ONLY per chapter. Generally swaps are several pages at a time, rather than every other word or letter. Swaps are also of equal length & location (if 1 chapter offers the middle 3 pages to swap, the other book's chapter reciprocates with its middle 3 pages).

So after many generations of book-swapping, when we see the text "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" we quickly identify Exodus as one of its ancestors.

But what's more, we can see large swatches of text, and compare them to our library of books. While we don't have every book in our library, we do have a massive library. It is also a library of swapped books, so the odds that we have at least a few pieces of most book are quite high (except for isolated or extinct gene pools).

So we can quickly run a book through our computer and tell you most of its parents. Because of swap rates and mutation rates (a word getting copied down wrong) we can even tell you roughly how many swaps occurred first, and can identify if you came from a sub-group of books that came from a sub-ancestor that had half a page of Exodus ending with "Thou shalt have no other gods" abutted with a page of Hamlet starting with "to be or not to be".

So now that you understand autosomal DNA testing, let's talk about Lehi.

While we don't know the genome of Lehi, Sariah, Zoram, Ishmael or his wife's, we know when & where they lived, as well as Lehi's explicit ancestry of Manasseh. Unless all 5 were non-intermarried migrants (in a very exclusionary time), we have a good sense of their genotype. We also know that they were among the tribes of Israel, who considered marrying outside of their group a sin (very unlikely they were outsiders). Using Biblical text as metaphor for DNA, we might not find "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" in their gene books, but are sure to find several other snippets from the Old Testament identifying them with the other fairly homogenous group of self-isolating Israelites.

(I must note that the Israelites were exiled to Babylon after Lehi's departure, but we still have a large test sample of descendants who themselves show Old Testament DNA snippets in their genome).

So the options become either the extinction of Lehi's gene pool or extreme isolation.

Let's quickly rule out extinction. The Book of Mormon itself prophesies that it was written for the Lamanites: "Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel… Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever", so if the Lamanites were extinct (removing the DNA concern) the book would be false for failed prophecy, & its account of the origins of the Americas would be untrustworthy. More importantly, for my LDS friends, it would not be divine scripture.

So we are left with isolation.

We have to assume that Spencer W Kimball was wrong to number sixty million Lamanite descendants, since doubtless many of those explicit groups have been tested. While outsiders would brush this aside, it carries more weight among LDS members who view Spencer W Kimball as a Prophet, Seer, & Revelator even though he was only acting President of the church at that time.


Last edited by aznative on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:22 pm, 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 12:21 pm 
CTR B

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:41 pm
Posts: 146
justrob part2

Quote:
We also must rule out, as the article has done, the possibility of Lehi's family being the only group in the Americas, despite some church leaders preaching that, the Book of Mormon chronicling rough population numbers throughout (reaching millions), claiming they filled the land, stating that the land was preserved only for the righteous, & explicitly detailing the story of the 1 person they found not of their group (Coriantumr).

To continue, we will assume the most diluting possibility, that Lehi's group was a minority in an abundantly populated land.

To explain the missing DNA, we must assume that no one (or very few) of Lehi's descendants ever reproduced with the other people of the Americas, else traces of their DNA would be found in autosomal testing (those telling Old testament DNA passages).

While the Nephites were unlikely to intermarry with others, the Lamanites had no such reservations & frequently interbred with Nephite defectors. Book of Mormon apologists also use the presence of other groups of people in the Americas as a means to justify rapid population growth. To claim complete isolation may help the DNA argument, but would cause population difficulties.

Even if the Lamanites had remained an isolated tribe, during and after the Book of Mormon narrative, it would mean that the tribe would have to not be tested but still have had the gospel contained in the Book of Mormon preached to them.

Many modern LDS prophets have claimed groups of Native Americans as Lamanites & even sent missionaries under that pretext to fulfill prophecy. There are several passages of canonized scripture detailing Lamanites after the establishment of the church including Doctrine & Covenants 10, 28, 30, 32, 49, & 54.

It seems, to me, that the church has painted itself into a corner.

While it is admirable that they are attempting to address difficult concerns, it is reprehensible that their approach has been that of omission & deceit.

I implore my friends and family, nearly all of whom are LDS, to honestly evaluate their beliefs.

I am constantly encouraged to read LDS literature, and expected to never be upset because "they are only worried about my soul, because they love me." Not only do I comply, but I do so without anger toward those making the request.

Please keep that in mind as I ask you to consider these facts. Do it with an open heart, with real intent, and realizing that I do it because I don't want you to have the detriment any longer of an institution of men profiting off your belief.

What is it worth if it isn't true?

Ezra Taft Benson wrote, "The Book of Mormon is the keystone of [our] testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon."

Jeffery R Holland said "Either the Book of Mormon is what the Prophet Joseph said it is or this Church and its founder are false, fraudulent, a deception from the first instance onward. Not everything in life is so black and white, but it seems the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and its keystone role in our belief is exactly that. Either Joseph Smith was the prophet he said he was, who, after seeing the Father and the Son, later beheld the angel Moroni, repeatedly heard counsel from his lips, eventually receiving at his hands a set of ancient gold plates which he then translated according to the gift and power of God—or else he did not. And if he did not, in the spirit of President Benson’s comment, he is not entitled to retain even the reputation of New England folk hero or well-meaning young man or writer of remarkable fiction. No, and he is not entitled to be considered a great teacher or a quintessential American prophet or the creator of great wisdom literature. If he lied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he is certainly none of those."
https://www.LDS.org/new-era/1995/06/true-or-false

Through pondering and studying the Book of Mormon for most of my life, I have determined that it is neither divine nor true. It is a fraud containing plagiarized text (notably "The Late War").

What's worse, is that it is used as a means of control over millions of kind and loving people. It is sent into the world with a sales force of thousands of young believers (of whom I was one) peddling it to the masses.

Its narrative is anachronistic at best, and immoral at worst. The church that claims it damages the lives of its members financially, emotionally, and in some cases physically (how many young disease-ridden RMs do you know, or parents of a missionary who died?).

Please, please, please re-evaluate your beliefs. If you believe I am mistaken, I am happy to hear your reasons, but please don't just dismiss facts because your church published an article saying that you shouldn't trust science or external facts. Most members (my former self included) are afraid to read or research for fear of discovering facts outside of their faith. If you have the truth, why should you fear? If god were on your side, who could be against you?

Please read. Please think.
-Rob

P.S. this post assumes a high level of understanding of LDS scripture and history. You may contact me for references to anything I've stated as assumed knowledge above.

P.P.S. anyone may copy or share this post freely.


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:46 pm 
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I can summarize it for you without reading it.

When you have Faith, Facts don't matter.

_________________
“If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing." Ensign/2012/12


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 Post subject: Re: New Essay: Book of Mormon And DNA Studies
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:41 pm
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Water Dog wrote:
:rolleyes:

The problem Rob identifies is the same problem probably most of you here suffer from, and that is that you were raised in the church and had things passed down to you that simply weren't true. Things became ingrained in the culture, passed down as lore, and the core doctrines of the gospel were taken for granted. Those core doctrines being the concept of personal revelation and truth coming from God not Man. For whatever reason your parents apparently failed to teach you that you shouldn't take things for granted or accept the gospel blindly, perhaps because they didn't understand this themselves. Apparently you did accept it blindly, and because you never actually had a real understanding of the gospel, or a real testimony, you perceive all of this out of context. Joseph Smith himself said he didn't blame anybody for not believing him and didn't expect anyone to take anything he was saying blindly, and that if the roles were reversed, he'd be a skeptic. I really do appreciate Rob's attitude, but it is based on the very sort of blind faith he thinks he's arguing against.


So by having things passed down to us that simply aren't true, the church must have fallen into apostasy then, correct? Because all of these things which you reference as not being true are being taught as true in the classrooms and from over the pulpit today.


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