Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Dilemmas with Great Lakes model more than just geographical

Published: Monday, Jan. 24 2011 6:00 a.m. MST

7. For several winters nearly a quarter of a million Nephites lived near Cumorah for their final battle. Not only doesn’t the Book of Mormon mention the cold and snow conditions that a people in the Great Lakes region must have encountered, but we are left to wonder how so many people in western New York could have lived in tents during those cold winters and what they would have done for food.

8. If the New York “Cumorah” was the Cumorah of the final Nephite battle, archaeology should have discovered up to a half a million corpses and hundreds of thousands of weapons. No such finds have ever been made.

9. Large-scale fortifications — of specific types — are mentioned as being utilized by Book of Mormon people, but they are unknown from the archaeological evidence in the Great Lakes region.

10. The destruction recorded in 3 Nephi obviously refers to volcanic activity, yet volcanoes are unknown in the Great Lakes region.

In Clark’s review of several Great-Lakes-model books, he claims:

“All authors ineptly handle archaeological and anthropological details of the text and of the real-world setting. Their arguments are not plausible and sometimes not even logical.

“One cannot believe geologists' reconstructions of ancient lakes and then choose to disbelieve the dates given for them. One cannot take early settlers' accounts of the wonderful archaeological finds in New York as positive evidence and then turn around and discard the statements of the most knowledgeable archaeologist to have ever worked in the state. Such a procedure reveals that a researcher already has a conclusion in mind and is only harvesting sound bites from authorities to back his own claims — to lend them an appearance of credibility rather than seeking for the reality.”

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