Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

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Lemmie
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Lemmie »

The 9th refers to the edition of Coe’s book. Although there were easily 9 versions of methodology and explanation in the comment section as the Dales’ struggled to justify their bad analyses.

My favorite was when Wyatt stepped in to make an “upper level” comment, as he called it, saying something like the paper was not meant to assert that the odds were that the Book of Mormon was historical. In response, someone quoted a line from the paper that literally stated this analysis asserts the odds are that the Book of Mormon was historical. How’s that for editing and peer review?

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Lemmie »

I found a post from by DrW, in our original thread on the Dales’ debacle, quoting Wyatt and the Dales about what the paper means:
Got a kick out of the following quotes and comment over on the Interpreter website re: the Dale & Dale paper:
______________________________________________

"The Dales aren’t using “the Bayes Theorem to show a historical Book of Mormon.” You have misunderstood the purpose of their paper.

-Allen (Wyatt)

"The point of the paper is to disprove Coe’s assertions, not to prove the Book of Mormon."

-Allen (Wyatt)

Then:

"The overall weight of the evidence is just overwhelming: the Book of Mormon is historical."

Best wishes,
Bruce (Dale)

Finally:

"Someone needs to get their story straight."

Best wishes,
Arc (Angel? Welder?)
________________________________

Pretty much sums up the disaster unfolding over there.
----------------
Hilarious.

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Kishkumen »

Absolutely jaw-droppingly nuts.
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Dr Moore
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Dr Moore »

Say something Joseph attributes to the Nephites is understood in the 19th century to be part of Native American culture, and then later a similar thing is shown to be part of Mayan culture.

How is the likelihood ratio anything other than 1.000 that Joseph got the bullseye? It is meaningless, requires no guesswork or supernatural explanation.

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Dr Moore »

The Dales intentionally ignore anything of Mayan social, technological or cultural history that are not mentioned in the BofM. This allows them to consider only 3 points of contradiction in the analysis. In reality, a careful reading of both texts should yield many, many more points of disagreement. I don't think the Dales wanted to do that exercise, because it's more work and it would weaken their argument.

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Lemmie »

And vice versa for what was ignored, which is even more damning, in my opinion. There are many things in the Book of Mormon that are not in Coe’s book, by only looking for matches, the result is no more significant than simple parallelism.

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Analytics »

Dr Moore wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:13 am
The Dales intentionally ignore anything of Mayan social, technological or cultural history that are not mentioned in the BofM. This allows them to consider only 3 points of contradiction in the analysis. In reality, a careful reading of both texts should yield many, many more points of disagreement. I don't think the Dales wanted to do that exercise, because it's more work and it would weaken their argument.
The impression I get from all of this is that Brian Dales (probably) used Bayesian analysis in another field, where he looked at data points and used a heuristic to estimate likelihood ratios by considering how "specific, unusual, and detailed" various data points are. When they apply this to the Book of Mormon, not only do they cherry pick the data, they are also jaw-droppingly biased in how they evaluate how "specific, unusual, and detailed" the data points are.

The example that sticks out in my mind is the alleged correspondence 6.3 "Multiple calendars kept." From Dales:
Multiple calendars kept

Coe’s standard: “Meshing with the 260-day count is a ‘Vague Year’ or Ha’b of 365 days, so called because the actual length of the solar year is about a quarter-day more. … Although the Maya were perfectly aware that the Ha’b was shorter than the tropical year, they did not change the calendar accordingly. … From this it follows that a particular day in the 260-day count, such as 1 K’an, also had a position in the Ha’b, for instance 2 Pop. A day designated as 1 K’an 2 Pop could not return until 52 Ha’b (18,980 days) had passed. This is the Calendar Round” (pp. 64‒65).
Book of Mormon correspondence: See 3 Nephi 1:1; 3 Nephi 2:7‒8.
Analysis of correspondence: The correspondence is specific and detailed. Not only were multiple calendars kept, both The Maya and the Book of Mormon describe exactly how they were kept. If the keeping of one calendar is unusual, then keeping several different calendars is even more unusual. We would like to give this a higher weighting than 0.02 (1 in a million?), but cannot by the constraints we have imposed on ourselves.
Likelihood = 0.02
In other words, he's claiming that keeping "multiple calendars" as described in 3 Nephi 1:1 and 3 Nephi 2:7-8 is so specific, detailed, and uniquely Mayan, this fact alone in isolation makes the odds a million-to-on in favor of the Book of Mormon being of Mayan origin. But because the Dales are so conservative, they pretend it only makes it 50-1.

One might have the knee-jerk reaction to think this is invalid because of the sharpshooters fallacy or something like that, but it's worse than that--the specific details don't match--it isn't a hit. If the Book of Mormon accurately described Vague Years, Ha'b's, K'an's, Pops, and Calendar Rounds, then this would be specific, detailed, and unusual, and would in fact deserve the likelihood ratios the Dales propose. But the specific details don't match. Given the fact that they don't match and the fact that the Book of Mormon thinks of calendars exactly as a modern reader would, it isn't a hit--it is a dramatic miss that can't be explained from the ancient-mayan hypothesis.

In the inimitable words of Billy Shears:
Mayans thought of time in circles— 260-day counts, Calendar Rounds, Vague Years, Long Counts, Great Cycles, etc. Speaking of the 260 day calendar, Coe said, “Every single day had its own omens and associations, and the inexorable march of the 20 days acted as a kind of perpetual fortune-telling machine guiding the destinies of the Maya and all the peoples of Mexico.” The 260-day count and 365-day “vague years” were both kept, but not for purposes of recording events, but rather for omens and associations. In contrast, long counts were used for keeping track of historical dates, but again, this was a giant circle that took over 5,000 years to cycle around.

In contrast, time is thought of as a line in the Book of Mormon. This in itself is a strong anachronism. Before Christ was born, time was kept track of in solar years, and it seems the author is working hard to keep track of time so that there is precisely 600 solar years of history between when Lehi left Jerusalem and Christ is born. Time is counted in years from various events, and in a sense these could be thought of as different calendars, but counting years from the year of a big event is fundamentally different than keeping track of where we are in various circles.

It’s worth pointing out that counting years with year 1 BC set as the year Jesus was born is known as the “Anno Domini” system, and was invented by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in the year AD 525. It is a huge anachronism that the Nephites started using the Anno Domini system at least 516 years before Dionysius Exiguus invented it; it was used from as early as AD 9 and was used continuously until the end of the book in AD 421 (See 3 Nephi 2:8 and Moroni 10:1). This is convenient for modern readers, but not in any way Mayan.

When you look at all of the evidence surrounding calendars, this is very strong evidence that the Book of Mormon is historical fiction written by a modern author who was very careful about synchronizing his timeline with the timeline in the Bible. I score this a likelihood ratio of 50+.
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Dr Moore
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Dr Moore »

So the multiple calendar hit is actually a miss, linear v circular. 1/50 becomes at best a meaningless data point, and more realistically a detractor.

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Analytics
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Analytics »

I would say it isn’t just a matter of linear vs. circular, but rather is by itself clear and convincing evidence that the Book of Mormon is not Mayan. Think of it this way:

Mayan Calendars
The Maya had multiple calendars, all of which counted days and go around in circles. Most of them ignore the solar year—they just count days. Summarizing Wikipedia:

1- The Sacred Round. This one has 260 unique days that just go around in a circle over and over and over.

2- The Haab’ has 18 months of 20 days each, plus 5 nameless days.

3- The Calendar Round combines the Sacred Round and the Haab’, and counts dates over 18,980 days, and then repeats itself. My impression is that the each element of this is associated with a particular combination of gods and luck charms. So while indicating the day in the Sacred Round and the day in the Haab’ uniquely identifies one of the 18,980 days in the Calendar Round, the main point of it isn’t to identify the day, but to identify what the day is like in terms of gods and supernatural forces and such.

4- Long Count is the way they actually kept track of events to keep track of history. It is simply the number of days since August 11, 3114 BC (Gregorian Calendar), which is when they believe the universe was created. Long Counts have nothing to do with solar years—it’s just a count of how old the universe is in days. Apparently their number system is capable of counting this up to 23,040,000,000 days, and then repeats itself. But this isn’t a circle per se, it’s an artifact of the limitations of their numbering system.

Joseph Smith’s Calendar
Joseph Smith used the Gregorian calendar where “year” explicitly means solar year, with a pattern of leap years so that a year has either 365 or 366 days and remains synchronized with the solar year. The year is divided into 12 months, each with between 28 and 31 days. There are also 7-day weeks. Years are numbered so that 1 BC is the year Jesus was believed to be born.

Book of Mormon Calendar
They measured things in solar years, starting either at when Lehi left Jerusalem, when the reign of the judges began, or when they saw the sign of Jesus’ birth. Years are divided into numbered months, which are divided into numbered days. There is also a 7-day week.

Analysis
The Dales claim that the Book of Mormon having multiple calendars (i.e. starting to count from solar years from different events such as the beginning of the reign of the judges or when Jesus was born) is detailed, specific, and unusually Mayan, and thus is extraordinarily strong evidence that the Book of Mormon originated in Mayan culture.

I argue just the opposite. The way the Book of Mormon handles dates is detailed, specific, and (from a Mayan perspective) very unusual and exactly matches the way people like Joseph Smith who are steeped in Roman calendar systems would think about time.

This constitutes very strong evidence that the Book of Mormon is modern and not Mayan, and illustrates how terrible the Dales are at evaluating the evidence they consider.
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

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honorentheos
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by honorentheos »

Lemmie wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:48 am
The 9th refers to the edition of Coe’s book.
Bruce claimed to be working on a new project using an earlier edition of The Maya to attempt to.show as more knowledge about the Maya has accumulated so have the hits in favor of the Book of Mormon being set in a Mayan context. I suspect the reference to the 9th edition is to set up this upcoming project.

The claim and preview of where he planned to take this project next is in the comments.
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honorentheos
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by honorentheos »

Analytics wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:44 am
This constitutes very strong evidence that the Book of Mormon is modern and not Mayan, and illustrates how terrible the Dales are at evaluating the evidence they consider.
Exactly. The supposed hits were anything but.
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honorentheos
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by honorentheos »

Here's a mention in the thread on this board:
honorentheos wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:23 am
malkie wrote:In other news, Bruce is planning another paper based on the 1st edition of The Mayas!
I saw that yesterday and wondered what it was he hoped to achieve by announcing it?

His stated premise is that a supported theory will accrue evidence over time, further supporting it's validity. He then claims to have purchased and read (twice!) the 1st edition of The Maya to determine which of their 131 positive correspondences identified using the 9th edition were not included in the 1st edition, intending to show that as knowledge of the Maya has increased so has the evidence supporting the claim the Book of Mormon is describing a people living in pre-classic Mayan times and cultural environment.

His claim is that the number of their correspondences that were added between the 1st and 9th is substantial, increasing from just under 80 positive correspondences to the 131 claimed in their paper. He also claims the evidence includes reversals (i.e. - that a water migration to the Americas is possible) or where a correspondence increased in the understood importance it had for Mayan culture.

So, not only is he standing by the current paper, he seems quite intent on following it up with another paper.

In other words, he's just an over-educated internet troll.
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I have a question
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by I have a question »

We have two types of tickets this year, both for all three days:

Live streaming : $59.95

Watch the conference online in real time.
View the conference on demand immediately after the conference for a year.
Have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers during the conference.
Receive additional perks, such free shipping (continental U.S. only) on books purchased from the online bookstore during the three days of the conference, recorded Q&As with some of the speakers, and downloadable goodies (we’re still gathering them!).

On demand after the conference: $29.95

View the conference on demand starting in September.
https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/2 ... conference

I assume somebody here has the wherewithall to access and pass on the videos of the presentations...Gee's and The Dales will be doozie's.

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Dr Exiled
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Dr Exiled »

We should give the clown of the conference award and perhaps give out a 2nd and 3rd place award, too. Gee and The Dales are my pre-conference favorites to wear the coveted apologist clown suit. However, Dr. P might steal the show:

Image

Don't worry Lou, you still get to be the evil clown and scare kids and adults into obedience:

Image
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Tom
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Tom »

FairMormon has posted videos of the opening minutes of some of the presentations. There's not much substance in the clips (clips may include footage of the guy cleaning the lectern and microphone).

Dales: https://www.Facebook.com/fairmormon/vid ... 215743699/

Muhlestein: https://www.Facebook.com/fairmormon/vid ... 729824488/

Mark Ashurst-McGee states in this clip that he thinks Producing Ancient Scripture is "set to get roasted next week on the Fair Voice podcast." Presumably Ms. Seariac will be involved in said roasting.

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Kishkumen »

Tom wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:40 am
Mark Ashurst-McGee states in this clip that he thinks Producing Ancient Scripture is "set to get roasted next week on the Fair Voice podcast." Presumably Ms. Seariac will be involved in said roasting.
That is interesting. She evidently thinks very highly of Thomas Wayment. That does not necessarily mean she always agrees with him, however.
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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Tom »

Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:51 am
Tom wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:40 am
Mark Ashurst-McGee states in this clip that he thinks Producing Ancient Scripture is "set to get roasted next week on the Fair Voice podcast." Presumably Ms. Seariac will be involved in said roasting.
That is interesting. She evidently thinks very highly of Thomas Wayment. That does not necessarily mean she always agrees with him, however.
I assume she'll have a guest or guests on the podcast. Will we hear from Dr. Gee, G. Danielsen (see here), Dennis Horne (same), Kevin Christensen, Jeff Lindsay, or Blake Ostler (same)?

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Re: Fair Mormon 2020, full of gems

Post by Tom »

FairMormon has posted the audio from Dr. Gee’s extremely tedious conference address on social science research regarding “the best practices in defending the church.” I believe he should have read through his paper a few more times before his formal presentation. It’s rough.

https://www.fairmormon.org/blog/2020/08 ... ving-faith

Among other things, Dr. Gee says that data show that effective defenses of the faith should be simple, concrete, and credible. “One of the reasons that the historical authenticity of the Book of Abraham is in question,” he says, “is that the answers are not simple. They are so complicated that I have seen critics so intent on undercutting members of the church that they did not realize that they undercut their own arguments in the process.” He states that “arguments in defense of the church also need to be credible. They need to be accurate and as solid as we can make them. We need to correct errors as we find them. Truth is ill-served by a bad argument.” I am not making this up. Two inks? Abraham on the couch (Muhlestein)? Gee’s calculations of the original length of the scroll?

Dr. Gee says we don’t need to be overly concerned with tone, noting that he was told of a FAIR volunteer a number of years ago who constantly criticized others at FAIR because he thought there was a problem with their tone.

He also makes some claims about why people convert and why people apostatize that don’t deserve much attention.

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