Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: The difference between Old and New World archaeology

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  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 27, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    RE: aaazzz

    Like most critics and antis you got wrong.

    He never saidd you should not expect direct evidence, in factthre is eveidence, pile of circumstantial evidence,

    HE clearly said there is little physical evidence because little archeology hand study of the ancient american acheology sites has been done,

    the physical evidence, that some demand, may still be out there,

    but again what would the evidence look like?
    what would their everyday writings look like?
    and where did they live?

    What evidence would be left behind by dirt walls, and wooden buildings?

    Since so little acheological study has been done, there is much to hope for.

    Looking for literal BOM things like "nephi", or "zarahemla" would not be helpful, since the BOM is a modern day translation.

    and finding anything "lamanite" may even be more difficult, what would tent dwellesr leave behind and what did thier writings and language and culture look like?

    Funny how critics will belive in all sorts of speculation, stories, rumours,
    from apostates and non-moromons and anti-mormons, but never consider the possiblities from anything mormon friendly.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    May 27, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    Read pg2JMRE only
    IC appreciate kindness again. For me the BoM implies that metal writing was difficult and to be avoided except for special purposes, and, as I said, those records were hidden, lest they were destroyed by Lamanites.


    LDS like MikeA still claim all IP have descent from Lehi (reread article when you started this screename). Lehites married Ephraimites, all are Asiatic, and Joseph Asenat (thus Lehi) allegedly Turkic, Mongolian, Seljuk related. Mixed lineage Jaredite survivors, Mulekites (probably mixed, wives?), mixed Lehites (Zoram etc), etc all probably interchanged DNA, also with Founders if any.

    Some articles youve posted previously discuss DNA evidence for multiple migrations.

    Dont know about Ephraim being "above" but the BoM clearly teaches the Americas were given to IP and we Gentiles (literal or not) must seek adoption with them.
    Your wife knows about this. : )

    WITNESSES again, there are so many good articles on FAIR, Maxwell etc, and others but the anti knows, and still tries. Hes tried Braden fabricating Harris shaker stories, etc, fortunately Harris plainly refuted this, and witnesses stated saw the plates, hefted uncovered, pointed to eyes in their head and said "with these eyes," pointed to his hands etc.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    May 26, 2011 7:57 p.m.


    You missed one thing:

    "...and therefore, the Book of Mormon is true and historical."

    That always has to be the conclusion of Ash's articles.

  • aaazzz Murray, UT
    May 26, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    I will attempt to summarize this article:

    The new world has less archelogical evidence than the old world, so we should not expect direct evidence.

    Let me know if I left anything out.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 25, 2011 5:26 p.m.


    I am unsure as to why claiming that science (archeology) will never prove the divinity of Christ or his church is a self righteous judgment of people.

    However, if I was offensive in any way, I apologize. It was not intended.

    I am not hurt when others dont see things my way and I am not trying to hurt anyone else's feelings.

    I wish I could agree about people generally seeking the truth. But I don't. I believe it is relatively rare for people to seek the truth to the extent that they will actually sacrifice for it.

    If you watch how folks comment on these boards against all kinds of things related to the church, it becomes pretty clear that archeological proof is not the source of their issues with the church.

    The archeological evidence is pretty good that Jesus once walked the earth. But that doesn't make people believe in his divinity. In a similar vein, I doubt that even compelling evidence that some of the people or places written about in the BOM existed would lead lots of people to accept the church.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 25, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    Something to consider in how people came to the American continent is that there once was one great land mass. After the flood and in the days of Peleg the land divided. That gives one explanation to how, as some indigenous people believe, they have always been here.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 25, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    RE: sharrona | 8:44 a.m. May 24, 2011

    Isaiah was an 8th century prophet.

    The sources you are using came 500 years or more later.

    and who know how accurate they have recorded or copied Isaaiahs words.

    IF the BOM is a barometer, then some correcti0ons are needed.

    The plates of Brass were in existance around 600 BC, only 200 years later.

    Clearly a more reliable source,

    And the BOM prophets were teaching from Isaiah, who knows if they were directly quoting him.

    In any case, I would trust God, modern revelation, prophets of God, the BOM, the Plates of Brass over later and less reliable and less devine sources.

    RE: MormonCowboy

    I could care less about your opinion, or any opinion based on heresay, rumour, speculation, the opinions of Anti-Mormons and critics, apostates and so forth.

    Comeback with something with real foundation and I might listen.

    Our beliefs ans faith and religion are not a game.

  • dalep2u Herriman, UT
    May 25, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    This whole religious pretext is wrong. Neither the Bible or the BofM can provide proof of the Great flood. If you can't even prove something of the largest magnitude epocilipitical event ever to happen to mankind...then how can you even THINK of trusting the rest of the document. The document(s) as a whole are questionable for the same reason.
    Use the get out of jail free card of..."it's a miracle" if you will, but the reality is Christians are willing to ignore solid proof that is literally in front of their eyes...all hoping that someone(Christ) or something (God) will save them from their bad decisions in life. Suck it up folks!!! Be accountable for yourself...then you don't need help.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    May 24, 2011 9:19 p.m.

    No one has ever seen God, but God the One ad Only who is at the Fathers side has made him known (John 1:18 NIV), Moses saw Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27) Moses saw Gods shekinah glory.

    Sorry Sharrona but you are mistaken

    Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."

    You can quote the Greek N.T. and the NIV from now until doomsday but the fact is that the original documents and manuscripts that later became the New Testament, can only be traced back to the third century A.D. That sort of puts the Bible and the BOM on the same playing ground doesnt it. But the BOM has the advantage in that it supports the Exodus account. See Ether Chapter 3 in the BOM

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 24, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska,"Joseph Smith in a grove of trees saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.?
    Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.).
    Brigham Young (JOD v 1 p 49-50): "The Lord fills the immensity of space. What saith the Psalmist[139:7-10]? Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, shall thy hand lead me".

    God[is]spirit(pneuma,)(John 4:24 Greek N.T.).No one has ever seen God, but God the One ad Only who is at the Fathers side has made him known (John 1:18 NIV), Moses saw Him who is invisible (Hebrews 11:27) Moses saw Gods shekinah glory.

    Clearly Joseph Smith and Brigham Young changed their minds.

    Oneness Pentecostals have strong testimonies and gifts of the Holy Spirit(tongues)but false,they deny the triune God.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 24, 2011 5:15 p.m.

    David Whitmer was a solid businessman in Richmond,Missouri. He gave numerous interviews but in all he NEVER denied what he saw with his eyes. There is no thought to that. As others have mentioned it was the Angel Moroni who showed the plates to David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris. Martin Harris was the last one to see the plates and that was separate from David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery. Oliver actually had the opportunity to even try and translate part of the Book of Mormon but was unable to do so. Martin Harris is said to have stated he saw them with his spiritual eyes. So what is the difference between spiritual and natural eyes? Your natural eyes can decieve you just as your natural ears can deceive you. Your spiritual eyes can not be deceived. You have to read the testimonies as they state, "THE LORD TESTIFIED TO US." I stand as a witness to them that they saw what they say they saw just as Joseph Smith in a grove of trees saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Nothing man can say will ever change that.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 24, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    I love it when people push aside because some one leaves the Church. If you actually read the History of the Church you will find that David Whitmer left because he felt Joseph Smith was a FALLEN PROPHET. Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris the same thing. In the end ones testimony is only as solid as the person is. IF you any of the adversaries teachings to get to you, your testimony slowly dies. Testimony must and needs constant nourishment. The LDS Church and its leaders have taught this for years. Also, reading issues from what can be called anti-Mormon literature to gather information is totally useless. Reason most of it is half truths and out right lies.

    Oliver Cowdery wrote to Brigham Young and asked for forgiveness. He wanted to return to the LDS Church. He was rebaptized and was preparing to make his way west to Salt Lake when he took ill and died. He is buried in Richmond, Missouri. Martin Harris who has a living relative as an Apostle of Jesus Christ lived out his days as a member of the LDS Church. He is buried in Utah.
    David Whitmet left the Church.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 24, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Re: "I expect that if God wanted me to believe any of Joseph Smith's revelations, or his witnesses testimonies, he'd let me know in a revelation."

    He did. It's right in the front of the Book of Mormon.

    Now, the only question is, what will you do with that revelation? Will you confirm it, according to God's instructions? Or will you disregard it?

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    May 24, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    William Smiths discription of the plates being a copper gold alloy is very interesting in that first such an alloy was used in the Americas, second, by simply rubbing any citric acid to it you can disolve a thin layer of copper giving it the appearance of gold, and third the weight would be around 60 pounds just as discribed by Joseph and others.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 24, 2011 11:44 a.m.

    With the plates having the appearance of gold they could have been made of any metal. The plates could have been made of something like copper. In chemistry class my teacher once showed us how we could take a brand new copper penny and through some chemical process it in the end looked like a gold penny.

    The plates had the appearance of ancient work, so they must have looked old.

    The eight witnesses handled the plates with their hands, so this experience seems to have been more than just a spiritual manifestation.

    The Lord can hold back records we are not prepared for.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 24, 2011 11:29 a.m.

    Oliver Cowdery was given opportunity to try to translate the Book of Mormon and other ancient records were mentioned in revelations given to him through Joseph Smith. Doctrine and Covenants 6:21; 8:1,11; and 9:1-4.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 24, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Often times entheogens are major contributors to religious experiences of visions and revelation. For those interested in learning more of their influence in religious expeiences there is a great deal of historical study on the subject at the public libraries and the internet.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    "Please, be honest. Is this really your problem with the Church - a lack of some archeological support for the BOM? Is it this that keeps you away from Church?

    Probably the biggest problem, yes. I mean I'm a member who has gone inactive primarily due to lack of belief that the events in the Book of Mormon actually occurred. Is it my only problem? No. For instance, my beliefs probably match up more with the RLDS/Community of Christ than the LDS church. So if some BoM stuff were verified it wouldn't guarantee I'd be active LDS again.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    "If you have not recieved personal revelation of the truthfulness of the BOM or the Church, in Gods' own due time, and when you are ready, he will give you the answer. "

    Well there's that other option, the one where the church isn't true. After all way more people reject the church than join it and let's face it, a lot of religions have members who feel they had some sort of personal revelation.

  • ? Fort Knox, KY
    May 24, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    In the Testimony of the Three Witnesses, they said, "an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon." In the Testimony of Eight Witnesses, they said, "the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship."

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 24, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    The Truth:

    The centrality of that revelation was alleged fantastic prophetic abilities. Immediately following their baptisms it is alleged that The Holy Ghost come upon them and they began to Prophesy.

    "[Oliver] prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men."

    Regarding my comments in "Rock of Revelation", here is my point. When one needs to defend revelation, we drum up convenient anecdotes from Mormon history and scripture that do not bear out in the real world. I personally have attended many baptisms of both adults and children, and not once ever have I been witness to this kind of dramatic burst of revelation. Furthermore, I know of no examples where anyone today claims these kinds of experiences. Sure, afterwards we hear these obligatory stories of comfort, or sensation - but nobody prophesies. So, you can recite the rules and mythology of this fantasy game all day long, in the real world it doesn't work.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 24, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    RE: Truth. Old World Archaeology the Dead Sea Scrolls - The Book of Isaiah The "Great Isaiah Scroll" (1Qls-a), which contains the entire book of Isaiah that we read today -- all 66 chapters! A number of scholars, from a number of religions and professional disciplines, have analyzed this major find. The Great Isaiah Scroll was discovered in Cave 1 in 1947. Four studies produced calibrated date ranges between 3 35-324 BC and 202-107 BC. There have also been numerous paleographic and scribal dating studies conducted that place 1Qls-a at a date range of approximately 150-100 BC. Dead Sea Scrolls The Dead Sea Scrolls have provided phenomenal evidence for the credibility of biblical scripture. Specifically, the nearly intact Great Isaiah Scroll is almost identical to the most recent manuscript version of the Masoretic text from the 900's AD.

    Versus the new world JST of the bible. JS make hundreds of changes to the book of Isaiah. For example (Is 29:14 JST),The Book(BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS)verse 16, by the power of Christ. Verse 17,three witnesses. He creates his own prophecy.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 24, 2011 8:18 a.m.

    RE: Twin Lights: You state, "No amount of archeological evidence will ever prove that Jesus Christ is (or is not) the Son of God. Nor will it ever prove that this is (or is not) his Church".
    That is a very self righteous judgment of people in general. Contrary to what you say people in general seek truth and strive for improvement and progress. That is what produces the advanced civilizations of world history. Also, because you are hurt when others don't see things the same as you do, or don't agree with you, remember there are many others with hurt feelings because you don't see things their way. And that is why proof is so important, it is the unbaised judge that indicates the true path. Give people universal prove of the truth and they will follow it.

  • KC Mormon Edgerton, KS
    May 24, 2011 6:35 a.m.

    Idaho Coug
    First I am not sure that Book of Mormon makes it sound as if writing on metal was a common practice, after all Nephi said that he only wrote the most important things because of the difficulty of writing on the plates.
    Second if the book of Mormon was written on a copper Gold alloy as William Smith (Joseph's) brother said it has been discovered that it is very fragile and if not stored correctly breaks down. The process of storing it requires it to be kept off the ground, this would be the reason for the raised stones it was placed on in the box were Joseph found it.
    Third when one people invade another they take anything of value. Writings, of others, on metal were not important to most ancient people only the metal. Metals would be melted down and reused. After all just look at the people that tried to get the plates from Joseph, or even Joseph himself the first time he was shown the plates. translation was not what was on peoples mind but wealth.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 23, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    Articles like this always lead to the same points of disagreement and it never gets us anywhere.

    Let us say that I was a top notch archeologist and that I could produce verifiable proof of a Mesoamerican city the name of which translates to Bountiful and that there had been some terrible destruction of cities around it circa 2000 years ago.

    Who is now convinced? Who is calling the missionaries with the intention of getting baptized or, if a member already, their bishop to begin putting their life in order?

    My guess is darn few.

    Please, be honest. Is this really your problem with the Church - a lack of some archeological support for the BOM? Is it this that keeps you away from Church?

    No amount of archeological evidence will ever prove that Jesus Christ is (or is not) the Son of God. Nor will it ever prove that this is (or is not) his Church.

    For all believers everywhere (and yes, not just the LDS), these are matters of faith. Period.

    If you don't have that faith, fine. But please let go of the attacks on anything said in support of belief in the Church.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 23, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    RE: Mormoncowboy

    From the article "The Rock of Revelation":

    The centrality of personal revelation was indicated at the time of the Restoration. In April 1829 the Lord told Oliver Cowdery, If you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

    When Oliver sought confirmation personal revelation that the church was true, the Lord educated and informed him, Cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God The Lord instructed Oliver that he had previously been given a witness through the Holy Ghost that the church was true. More importantly, a witness from the Holy Ghost, or personal revelation, is far greater than any other manifestation a person can receive.

    If you have not recieved personal revelation of the truthfulness of the BOM or the Church, in Gods' own due time, and when you are ready, he will give you the answer.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 23, 2011 7:12 p.m.

    The thing that stands out as remarkably odd with David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and others, is their tendency to hear voices and see visions. That's the first and foremost reason to keep a skeptical mind. How do these things jive with how I percieve the world. Furthermore, not many people I know tend to make these types of claims. And then you have LDSRevelations points about strang, Hiram Page, etc. The last concern is the wide variation in the way these men relate their experiences first hand. As a side note, why didn't Joseph Smith just ask the witnesses to publish their own testimonies, rather than sign his affidavit? Of all the testimonies, the three and eight witnesses is by far the least credible - and most inconsistent with the rest of the various statements.
    Bottom line, I expect that if God wanted me to believe any of Joseph Smith's revelations, or his witnesses testimonies, he'd let me know in a revelation. I don't say that facetiously, but fact's just that simple. And that's my greatest argument against the whole thing!

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    Brahmabull the history of the three would support the fact that David Whitmer may have had a separate experience than MH in "seeing the plates" as MH had separated himself from the others because of personal feelings. JS joined him later and he then witnessed the plates and the angel. Should be remembered, also, that the 8 witnesses claimed to see and handle the plates and bore witness of that event. As to David Whitmer's declaration, God could certainly have told David Whitmer to separate himself from the LDS for many reasons besides the two you cite: that he never heard the voice or the LDS church was now not true. Perhap, God had a another place and purpose for Mr. Whitmer at this juncture of his belief and ability.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 23, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Perhaps it would behoove th critic to actually read the the statment of teh witnnesses included with the Book of Mormon,

    It clearly states, with NO qualifiers, they saw the plates, some even handle it, and they say teh engravings on the plates.

    Very straight forward testimony, again with NO qualifiers.

    what s few may have claimed later is irrelvant as we wrrriten testmiony of thoer withness.

    Ther is no confirmation of the things one more may have said later,
    and therefore later things cannot be considered as testmonial evidence.

    We have clear written signed testmonial evidences of multiple witnesses.

    For those question Ash scholarly study on the Book of Mormon, he is just realying scholarly informationon, and research of others on the BOM and ancient america,

    he has not claimed any scientific research of his own and has no presented any scinetific research of his own.

    Further more Ash has simply attempted to expalin why finding physical evidence may be very difficult, (not impossible)

    NOT why you should believe BOM because lack of evidence.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    May 23, 2011 5:38 p.m.

    @ Bill in Nebraska-
    "Martin Harris have never recanted (his) testimony of the BoM.....that testimony stands a witness to the TRUTHFULNESS of the BoM."

    Harris joined 5 or so religions before Mormonism and a number after saw visions in a number of them which he never denied. In fact Harris became a Shaker following Ann Lee for 2 years. More than sixty individuals gave testimony of the appearance of an angel which was holding the Shaker Sacred Roll and Book, published in 1843. Some have called Harris a spiritual gypsy because of this transience.

    James Strang had witnesses and plates that testified of them. John and David Whitmer, Martin Harris and Hiram Page, Apostles John E. Page, William E. M'Lellin, and William Smith were convinced of his claims for at least a time.

    Sorry turns out that in 19th century religions witnesses testifying of plates isn't all that big of a deal. Or you'd have to really consider that the Strangite Church among others is the true Church as well.

    By 1847 not a single one of the surviving eleven witnesses to the BoM was part of became the Salt Lake LDS Church.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Bill - I don't doubt that they actually thought they saw the plates. But you never answered my question. Why would they have to see the plates by vision if Joseph actually had the physical plates? That makes no sense. Furthermore, Whitmer, Harris, and Cowdery (among several other of the 8 witnesses) left the church. So you are saying that their testimony was so strong that they decided to get excommunicated? Think about how rediculous that sounds. That is like 6 of the modern day apostles leaving the church, but still claiming they have testimonies and never denying them. Honestly, I believe the 3 witnesses thought they actually had a vision of the plates - fine. But if that testimony wasn't strong enough to stay in the church then there is something wrong. God also told whitmer to separate from the saints. So if god told him that, the religion can't be true. When they swore they actually saw the plates, then later said they were only allowed to lift them, or feel them under a blanket that is a problem. Again, the church edits it's history, so that is why many people have a problem understanding it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    "that testimony stands a witness to the TRUTHFULNESS of the Book of Mormon. "

    The testimony stands as a witness to the truthfulness of David Whitmer's belief in the Book of Mormon. It doesn't help prove whether or not the Book of Mormon is true.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2011 4:52 p.m.


    That statement by Whitmer was not meant to refute his testimony, nor to refute Mormonism. He made the statement a month after he was already excommunicated. He said "separate from" the LDS - meaning to physically leave Far West. I don't blame him for wanting to leave Far West, as there were threats of violence and tension were high.

    Although Whitmer never returned to the Church, he remained faithful to his testimony despite disagreements with Joseph Smith. The fact that he never recanted his testimony given his leaving the Church and these disagreements serves actually to strengthen his testimony.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    "The BoM cant be argued away. "

    That's because you can't prove negatives. So the argument would technically be that there is insufficient evidence to support the BoM.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 23, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    To Brahmabull: Lots of people leave the Church but never loose their testimony of the Book of Mormon. David Whitmer never rejoined the Church and many people state God told me to do this but in reality it wasn't. So what!!

    He never recanted his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He only recanted his feelings towards Joseph Smith. John Whitmer stated that he felt Brigham Young was correct in leading the Saints to Utah and that he was doing a good job, but never agreed with pologamy. He also never recanted his testimony of the Book of Mormon. You are trying to mix apples and oranges into this and that is false.

    David Whitmer called a priest and his family to his bedside before he died. He had a doctor their certify that he was still in control of all his faculties. He then stated that he along with Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris have never recanted their testimony of the Book of Mormon. All three stood by that testimony to their deaths. You can not dispute that in the least. Attack the man but that testimony stands a witness to the TRUTHFULNESS of the Book of Mormon.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 23, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    Re: Lilljemalm | 2:39 p.m. Why is there no record or authorative reference to these written records on gold plates you reference. Will you please give us information so that we can research and verify your claims. (I hope it is not just a rumor ). Thx.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 23, 2011 3:09 p.m.


    Your observation is a big No DUUH!

    If you were struggling to know whether I was a critic, you could have simply asked. Yes, I am!

    What have you proven? Perhaps you think I don't have an open mind? You think no amount of evidence will persuade me? Let me help you understand. I don't "believe" that the Church is true, or that the Book of Mormon is a real history. Notice the wording, I have an absence of "belief". Do I concede the possibility that regardless of my faithlessness, that my positions could be in error? Yes! the absence of evidence, I believe that the Mormon position is unlikely. While we don't know everything there is to know about ancient cultures, based on what we do know, The Book of Mormon does not fit well within the historical contexts. I could cite all of the details which lead me to this position - however, you and I both know that you, Ash, or the apologist ilk, are unwilling to concede the possibility that you are in error. And therein lies the distinction between my bias and yours!!

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    May 23, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    To IdahoCoug:
    Several years ago, I walked into a small museum in Santiago, Chile. In it, there were three bound volumes of metal plates. They were gold, each about a quarter of an inch thick, bound by three rings each. Each sheet or plate was quite thin, but not written on. The curator said that they were all that was left of a find from northern Chile. Several other volumes had been melted down by conquistadores in the 1500's. He also said that there were some with writing on them that he had seen in Peru. Plates do exist, but are very rare, in part due to the Spanish conquistadores.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    Then you have a huge issue with David Whitmers comment when he left the church : "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to 'separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints' "

    To me that is very powerful. He is stating that as sure he was of the vision he had of the Book of Mormon, he had an equally sure audible voice from god telling him to leave the saints. So there are only a couple of possiblities. Either he didn't have either experience but thought he did, or he had both and the church had gone astray from what it was supposed to. We cannot dismiss or question his testimony to leave the saints but accept his testimony of the Book of Mormon. That would make no sense to pick and choose what we think he did or didn't see. It is either both happened or neither.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2011 1:47 p.m.

    Bill - it matters because at the biginning of the Book of Mormon it gives the testimony of the witnesses. The testimony declares that they saw the plates. It does not say it was a spiritual witness, but an actual witness. Yes, there is a difference. It does not make the experience less valid. It needs to be declared that they were spiritual witnesses.

    On another note, if Joseph Smith had the actual, physical plates then there would be no reason that they couldn't see them with their actual physical eyes, just as you see a real car drive by or hold a dollar bill. Why would it need to be a vision if the plates were right there? It doesn't make sense.

    David whitmer may have said that, however when Martin Harris was asked if he saw the plates with his natural he said: 'No, I saw them with a spiritual eye."

    So who do we believe? Is one lying, or both? Then the issue comes up as to why they left the church. Josephs own brother (one of the 8 witnesses) admits they only were able to lift the plates, not see them. All very odd.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    May 23, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Hi Joggle,

    I basically agree with your comments about bias. Bias is another way of describing what I was thinking of when I spoke of people being open minded, i.e. free of bias. Of course people can't, as you said, be completely free of bias. People who have an "open mind" will look objectively at several possibilities about the BoM, and in being objective, they will reduce their bias and let the data speak for itself.

    A common fault with comments about Ash's articles is that people say the BoM says things it doesn't say. They take statements from contemporaries of JS that have weak historical strength and elevate those statements to be strong statements. I'm referring to statements about translation of the BoM, the presence of a room full of plates, the appearance of plates, etc. I'm sure people like me who believe the BoM is historical make similar mistakes. We let our biases and preconceived opinions affect our interpretation of data about the BoM.

    Comments to Ash's articles are full of hyperbole, and this indicates to me those people are careless in their thinking and in their expressions.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    May 23, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    To JaX and brahmabull: So what difference does it make if they saw them with spiritual eyes or natural eyes?

    Have you ever been in a place that you have been and knew as if you had been their before but obviously never was? How did you know the place?

    How did Moses or any of the Prophets of the Old Testament state they saw the God of the Old Testament? Many times they cite being carried away into the spirit. It doesn't lesson the experience anymore than if they saw them with their own eyes.

    By the way David Whitmer is said to have pointed to his eyes and said "I saw the plates with these eyes."

    I've had many spiritual experiences and even dreams that later on I knew the place as if I had been their before. I even walked up to a spot and saw exactly all I saw in the dream, nothing changed. How does that happen? Science has no explanation and never will.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    May 23, 2011 12:02 p.m.


    Bias is a form of systematic error that can affect ALL investigations (both scientific and personal) and distort the measurement process. A biased study (or opinion) loses validity in relation to the DEGREE of the bias. While some study designs are more prone to bias, its presence is universal. It is difficult or even impossible to completely eliminate bias. In the process of attempting to do so, new bias may be introduced or a study may be rendered less generalizable. Therefore, the goals are to minimize bias and for both investigators and readers to comprehend its residual effects, limiting misinterpretation and misuse of data. Bia must be considered.

    Perhaps rather than assuming people are not open-minded you should consider their bias. Also consider....that we have a brain that can analyze various possible explanations for things. An open mind may assure you that you consider all those possibilities, but it shouldn't prevent you from discarding those explanations without evidence in favor of those with evidence. In other words, it should never be an excuse to believe anything in the absence of good thinking. I consider possibilities all the time, but "possibilities" don't necessarily equal truth!

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 23, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Regarding offending Lakota as possibly not Lamanite; she may have a point. Let's keep all options open. I have a dear Lakota friend that feels the same way so he refuses the DNA eveidence. But, what if we find there were many other groups besides the descendents of Lehi's groups? 1,000 years after Lehi's journey the people that called themselves Nephites (for 200 years in peace) seperated by class and religous beliefs into two main groups.
    Could the Lakota be descendents of the Lamanites at 400 AD rather than Lehi's group in 600 BC? If so, they could still be part of the most important time in Lamanite history. I don't know, but Apologists can't dismiss individual claims to Lamanite heritage either. We still have a long ways to go.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    May 23, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    @JM, you said: "The BoM celebrates IP as chosen, we Gentiles seek adoption"

    You do not seem to understand the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh as taught in LDS curriculum. Ephraim is above Manasseh. You, being an LDS member and non-American Indian are most likely from Ephraim according to the pattern of patriarchal blessing lineages. Your LDS doctrine places America's indigenous people beneath Ephraim.

    As I read what you have posted you seem to admit the possiblity of America's indigenous people's ancestry from pre-adamites while stating that they are the ones you would seek adoption into? No JM, you are quite confused about all of this.

    When the LDS taught that all indigenous people in America were BofM people, that there was a universal flood and that America was not inhabitated again until the Jaredites, that was offensive, but much less so than this LGT idea of a chosen and special people of God mixing in with "others" not from Adam and Eve.

    The apologist efforts are nothing but psuedoscience to support a dehumanizing teaching.

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    Brahmabull, here is at least one early reference:

    Cole, Abner (March 19, 1831), "Gold Bible, No. 6", The [Palmyra] Reflector II (16).

    It should be noted that the same article is arguing that there are discrepancies between the stories told by the witness. So I think later statements that they saw the plates in vision or with spiritual eyes may be consistent with their apparently inconsistent attempts to describe the plates. Obviously, very early on, people were already suspicious of the story and noted the inconsistencies.

  • donn layton, UT
    May 23, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Dr. Hamblin said,IF the persecutions of Christianity had been successful, IF Constantine had never converted and IF Christianity had disappeared around 300 A.D..
    The(Christian) Church is not Gods plan B. Ephesians 1:3-14 provides one example. It is prophesied in the O.T. that the Church would include Gentiles as well (Gen 12:3; 22:18, Is 49:6),itis fulfillment of Gods eternal purpose.
    God is Sovereign, restoration(restituition) of all things (Acts 3:21 )God will restore the earth to its original condition which existed before the fall of Adam and Eve. We see this reflected in Pauls comments as well. For He must reign until abolished is death. (1 Cor. 15:25-26). Nothing to do with Mormonism.

    Allen: Mosiah 7:27God(Jesus)should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood(incarnation),and go forth upon the face of the earth BoM teaches God is Spirit, google the kenosis doctrine. God becomes man not man becomes God.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    Jax - just curious where did David Whitmer say that the plates were a whitish, yellowish color? Because it is my understanding based on several quotes that they never actually saw the plates - only saw them in vision or in spirit.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 23, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    Hello JM. I did a google search about ancient writings on metal plates and got several hits. One of the first that popped up was an LDS article entitled, "Sacred Writing on Metal Plates in the Ancient Mediterranean" by William J. Hamblin. It appears that you are right. There certainly are very old examples of writings on different forms of metal. That's interesting.

    Unfortunately, it does appear that what has been found to date is of limited writing - nothing close to the length described in the Book of Mormon. I certainly consider this to be very interesting along with NHM and the Witnesses. Wouldn't it be great to find more extensive metal writings to further support the extent/length of the writings claimed to have occurred on the Plates of Brass and BofM plates.

    Well, I've used my 4th post so, until next week's edition, enjoy the banter and I hope we all keep an open mind. What fun is it to discuss things with people who are absolutely sure of the outcome before they even begin?

    JM - don't know the "anti" that you mentioned in Meridian. Just lots of liberal LDS like me :)

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    May 23, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    Joshua Skains,

    I don't see how your comment is relevant to the article.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    MichaelM once again you make many assumptions.
    The BoM celebrates IP as chosen, we Gentiles seek adoption.
    Why limiting Ipeople to walking from Central Asia (next to Israel, and who lived there 13000BP?), passing vast empty Russia, China etc, over ice for thousands of miles into the unknown, having no wheel, metals, etc more respectful than also building boats from Western Asia etc?

    The BoM model is exactly what we are finding. The recent PBS series A History of American Indian Achievement shows them originally spreading from Middle East. Explains possibly by boat to land populated by mastodons, horses, etc, mighty hunters, metal workers, etc.
    Ive enjoyed your wifes comments (although some of your comments used to be written just like hers, and now you write more like Dm or Bm, and shes LDS who doesnt attend Church, and youre not LDS, but attend, its all confusion ; ). She originally claimed to be LDS Lakota, and seemed offended that Mike claimed some Native Americans are not Lamanites. However, some LDS scholars now claim that NA have multiple origins, and some may have been here since the beginning, before Asia even existed. And with multiple migrations, theyre still ALL IP inclusive.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    The problem I see with comments given about Ash's articles is that persons making comments have strong viewpoints for or against the BoM. Instead of having open minds about the BoM, they have already formed their opinions for or against the book.

    The value I see in Ash's articles is that he is presenting the viewpoint that current evidence about ancient America doesn't *prove* the BoM false. We LDS have to be careful to not make the mistake of believing that current evidence *proves* the BoM true. In other words, I see Ash's articles as arguments for our having open minds about the book.

    Persons who believe the BoM to be true use a system based on faith to accept the book. Persons who believe the BoM to be fiction use a system based on physical evidence and, in some cases, on logic. It's no wonder that the two groups disagree. My personal belief is that the two viewpoints will eventually converge, but at the present time they are far apart.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Years ago I interviewed the author of "Christ Walked the Americas." He wouldn't read the Book of Mormon. Later I helped make a film about a group of native Americans who resisted the early attemps to convert them to Christianity because they believed they were children of a Heavenly Father and Mother. Then I studied DNA markers at the U of U and one of the students in the class carried a complete set of neanderthal markers which our teacher said was supposedly impossible. From these experiences and many more I learned two things. Few things in science are absoulute, they are plastic and that a single new piece of data can change both the interpretation of past data and the theory it was based on, Second no one sees the world as it is but as they are, so your personal belief system affects your every interpetation. Oh but it is fun to speculate and argue.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    There is a general consensus among non-Mormon archaeologists (including the Smithsonian and National Geographic) and even some Mormon archaeologists that the archaeological record does not substantiate the BoM account, and in some ways directly contradicts it. Former BYU anthropology professor, Dr. Raymond T. Matheny said in 1984: after working in the area of Mesoamerican archaeology for twenty-two years, his conclusion was that the scientific evidence simply does not support the existence of the peoples and events chronicled in the BoM, be it in Central America or anywhere else in the western hemisphere.

    Due to the difficulties that confront Mormon archaeology, most Mormon apologists analyze archaeological findings for parallels and correlations with information found in the BoM. Although LDS scholars have found no indisputable proof of the book's historicity, they have accumulated a large amount of research which they use to support their conclusions. These correlations are disputed by non-Mormon archaeologists who see no such parallels. Non-Mormon scholars, historians, and archaeologists have concluded that the body of evidence found disproves the conclusions of Mormon apologists and the historical authenticity of the BoM. Ash's credentials do not support him as an expert and can be disregarded.

  • JM Lehi, UT
    May 23, 2011 10:08 a.m.

    If I remember correctly scholars on a PBS Special (Bibles Buried Secrets) explained that, until recently, scholars argued the Bible, the entire concept of Israel, and YHVH etc were all invented.

    That changed recently when a boy was banging on a floor and it broke through. Below they found a room with metal scrolls (silver), from around the time of Lehi. They contained Biblical quotes from before Babylon.

    It is still apparent that Israelites were polytheistic before Babylon and Plato (Moses, Abraham etc), and that the Bible went through revisions in Babylon, but scholars claimed this recent discovery gave some of the first hard evidence that the Bible and Israelites even existed before the exile.

    IdahoCoug (notice those meridian license numbers yet??, also, theres an infamous anti-Mormon in Meridian, Jd, heard of him? might be Episcopalian now??)

    ICDmBm, whatever: Engraved plates have been discovered in America and ME. Clearly both had the technology. Dont know why on prevalence, but as mentioned lw, and repeatedly, BoM plates were hidden, sacred. Anything Nephite and not hidden was likely melted, destroyed by Spaniards, Lamanites.

    Thanks honest LDS.

    YarrlyDarb, : ) MC/Dm isnt honorable Mormon or Scientist, hes been challenged and found wanting. ; ).

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 23, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    It seems Mr. Ash is always preparing us for reason as to why there is no historical evidence to support the Book of Mormon; as anything more than fiction. But, nevertheless he thinks we should believe and accept it as real because he says it is, and the prove is just around the corner. Perhaps, but so far there hasn't been much prove of Santa Claus either; I wonder why. I guess because the North Pole is too cold for evidence. Maybe it would be better to focus in on the good of the spirit of the Book of Mormon (and Santa Claus) as stories of inspiration and social teaching. Much the same as the Koran, Dianetics, etc.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    Before we dismiss the observations of scholars due to their non-degree science background, we should remember that the scholars and historians are often the ones that link several science theories together. Mr. Ash does not have to have a science degree to link archeology with written studies anymore than an archeoligist needs to be the one that moves the shovel.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 23, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    To Rebagli - thanks for your reply. The Spanish were on a mission to spread Christianity. I wonder if they would have had motivation to preserve traditions or writings that seemed to talk of Christ (as BofM writings would have done)? the Spanish did destroyed a great deal of the culture they came across but a great deal survived. Just not anything so far written on metal.

    What do you think about Middle Eastern metal writing? The BofM claims it was done extensively via the Plates of Brass by at least 600 BC. It's a stretch to think the Plates of Brass an only copy. One of the biggest problems Biblical scholars have today is trying to conclude what was originally written as we currently only have copies of copies of copies many of which are shown to have been altered over time. It seems a process such as preserving these sacred texts on metal would have prevented this problem and given archeologists such rich material to work with today.

    But it seems that we have found much more evidence of writing on parchment than on metal even though logically metal should have survived much better.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    Dear Mormoncowboy,

    You prove my point unequivocally: "every single Mormon apologist does also."

    You're still seated firmly in the seat of "the critic."

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:34 a.m.

    Something I hadn't thought of before that Ash brought up, what would happen to a record written on metal plates after a couple thousand years? Ash mentions the climate of Mesoamerica and its potential effect on artifacts, but what effect would the climate of Mesoamerica, and subsequently the climate of New England have had on metal plates over the course of many, many years? I'm wondering if any of the claimed witnesses described any aging effects on the plates such as discoloration or deterioration. Would the leaves of a book that old turn or rustle with a metallic sound like the pages of a book as described by witnesses?

    David Whitmer said the plates had a whitish, yellow color. Joseph Smith said the plates had the appearance of gold and said Moroni referred to them as gold. Whitmer also said the rings were made of silver and the plates made of lead or gold. I'm wondering what gold, silver, or gold and silver alloys would look like after a thousand years or so?

  • rebagli Saint George, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    Idaho Coug,

    There is one reason for the lack of epigraphical evidences on metal or any other material...the Spanish conquistadors and the Catholic priests they brought with them. They destroyed almost all the records they deemed as pagan writings. Many Mayan and Aztec records were destroyed by them. If they were on metal plates, which I suspect they were, the metal most common was gold and they were melted down and sent on to Spain. The lack of records is not a mystery, the Spanish and the Catholics destroyed perhaps millions of records, many of which may have had references to BOM traditions or history.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 23, 2011 9:10 a.m.


    Simply including scientific nomanclature, such as "null hypothesis", as a decoration to your argument, does not automatically give you credibility.

    Secondly, painting critics as biased researchers with predetermined conclusions does not somehow remove the inherent flaw of all BoM research. Perhaps some critics do have their a priori's, but make no mistake - every single Mormon apologist does also. Ash is not able to follow the evidence where it takes him, as he has an agenda to find evidence or conditions suitable to a Mormon world-view. That's the whole point of these articles.

    Third, Ash is not a scientist. He has been challenged on that point many times and remained silent. None of the biographies on him from websites or books that he has published, list legitimate scientific credentials - or any other academic credentials for that matter.

    Lastly - Criticism is an essential component of scientific inquiry. And yes it does require knowledge, else how would you criticize??? Very few Mormon critics will claim "non-existence" on the basis on no evidence. What we claim is, no evidence. I simply won't believe religious claims without evidence. No evidence is not a defense for the BoM!!!

  • Connell O'Donovan Santa Cruz, CA
    May 23, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    New World and Old World?? Really?!? I haven't seen those terms in an "academic" setting since the 1950s. Not only are they deeply inaccurate, but Eurocentric, patronizing, and colonialistic. In this context "Middle East" and "the Americas" seems vastly more accurate and academically appropriate. This makes me seriously question Michael Ash's credentials for writing this series.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    May 23, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    What happened to the Brontosaurus? I grew up with archeological fact that the brontosaurus was real. We had the skeleton right? But, further scientific study proved archeology wrong. Now we have a completely different understanding of these giants.
    So, it goes with Mesoamerica. Too many non-archeologists dismiss the science of dating, DNA, etc. because they dont fit our assumptions of BOM history. But, science and archeology are getting better. And as we do there is usually a better explanation how the BOM fits in.
    Example- although Chichen-Itza is far too modern to be part of the Nephite nation; scientific dating has discovered other grand cities that existed perfectly in that time like Monte Alban. We cant jump to conclusions prematurely. However, at the same time, we should never ignorantly dismiss scientific and archeological breakthroughs either.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 23, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    To follow on my above point a bit -

    If the process of writing on metal was successful enough to produce the Plates of Brass in the Old World and at least a long and abridged version of the Book of Mormon along with a room full of other writings in the Hill Cummorah in the Old World, wouldn't that process have been duplicated throughout the culture as an effective way of recording and preserving important writings?

    I recognize that a very small percentage of the population could read and write in both worlds. But wouldn't a successful process such as metal writing be duplicated and passed down through generations and picked up by other cultures coming into contact with the Israelite and Nephite scribes resulting in more widespread writings on metal?

    I know Mike has talked about very limited evidence of this. But I guess I am wondering why we think that we haven't found more metal plates or other forms of writing on metals when it appears to have been an established practice in both the Old and New Worlds?

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    May 23, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    I read an interesting article dealing with pre-Columbian migrations to America. I found it quite applicable to the BofM.

    It is in Current Anthropology Volume 38, Number 3, June 1997 and is titled: "Robbing Native American Cultures", by Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Bernard Ortiz de Montellano, and Warren Barbour.

    Here are some quotes from it.

    "They have also accepted a theory and a methodological approach that grossly distorts the historical record at the expense of Native effect, trampled on the self-respect or self-esteem of Native Americans by minimizing their role as actors in their own history, denigrating their cultures, and usurping their contributions to the development of world civilizations."

    "There is hardly a claim...that can be supported by the evidence found in the archaeological, botanical, linguistic, or historical record."

    "a number of tactics commonly used by pseudoscientists, including an almost exclusive use of outdated secondary sources and a reliance on the pseudoscientific writing of others."

    The apologists are trying to mix the BofM people in with a large population of others. At what point do we realize and admit that this is offensive, racist and without scientific support?

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    May 23, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    Most of those with their sophisticated-sounding criticisms are actually anti-scientific.

    Rather than seeking knowledge and truth through testing null hypotheses using scientific method, they set out to "prove" their own pre-formulated theory trying to "find" data that they believe will substantiate what they already believe.

    They're like police investigators who arrest a suspect and then try to find evidence that will produce a conviction.

    Michael, as a true scientist, allows findings to lead him to a correct conclusion.

    It is the simplest thing in the world to be a critic. It requires no actual knowledge, just an idiosyncratic belief in one's position without gathering data.

    That lack of data leads them to conclude they've therefore proven nonexistence.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    May 23, 2011 8:23 a.m.

    I have wondered why there is not more epigraphical evidences on metal in both new and old world. Certainly writings on metal would likely survive the elements easier than other writings (other than stone) and could be a wealth of information should they be discovered.

    The Book of Mormon talks as if metal writing was common in both the new and old world. My assumption is that the Plates of Brass taken from Laban were not an only copy. I would guess that if the scribes went to the effort to preserve the Old Testiment writings on metal as was done on the Plates of Brass that it would have been repeated. Similarly it appears there was a great deal of writing on metal done during the Book of Mormon era. Stories indicate that a room filled with metal plates was seen by JS in the Hill Cummorah. The Nephite scribes wrote more than one version as JS was given an "abridged" version of the plates after losing the first 116 pages.

    My point is that the BofM seems to indicate metal writing was common. I wonder why they are not a part of the archeological record?

  • JM Lehi, UT
    May 23, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    Great article.
    Comparing BoM archeology to Biblical is apples to oranges.

    One wonderful thing about BoM archeology is that the many evidences found testify to the divinity of Christ, as does the Bible.

    Critics of the Divine Christ also argue that Jesus and the Bible are simply fabrications set in real history, just as they argue that the Divine miracle-performing Buddha and Greek gods etc, were fabrications set in real places and history.

    The BoM cant be argued away.

    MichaelM, Dm, etc, again you make assumptions. We have discussed them often.

    Consider two more things: DNA studies change regularly, so this might be outdated, but-

    1 The people most closely related to Indigenous Americans are apparently Jews and Turkic North Central Asians. IAmerican markers are not prevalent in East Asia.
    Ancient NCA were reportedly redheads etc. Leading non-LDS scholars indicate that modern NCA are related to Manasseh through an ancient prehistoric line.

    These same markers could be FOUNDERS or have entered America early.
    2 Leading scholars recently (2009Perez study and others discussed) say IAmerican morphology is not East Asian, its Near Eastern (part of Asia), Polynesian, Armen, etc. They explain invader DNA is sometimes buried with few interactions.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 23, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Climate, continuity of culture, lack of translatable text are some of the reasons why it is more difficult to find archeological history in the New World. But to say there is NO evidence is ignoring reality. Anyone who says that has obviously not travelled much in either region - Old or New World. I have had guides in Mexico and Central America talk to me (without knowing my background) about evidence of people coming from the sea and commonalities with Old World culture, timelines of events that coincide with Book of Mormon events, etc. that it piqued my curiosity after going in without expecting to find anything supporting the Book of Mormon.

    One of the things I love about studying archeology is I realize how little we really know about the past and that most of it - in both hemispheres - remains to be discovered. To say categorically that we "don't know" something is a statement made in ignorance and precludes us from discovery.

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    May 23, 2011 6:55 a.m.

    Archaeology studies times long before the development of writing.

    Agriculture began before writing, independently at numerous locations and spread. The rise of agriculture in Europe leads back to the Near East.

    Then there are the Phoenicians, the Etruscans and the people of India and China, with incredible studies of agriculture and migrations.

    DNA shows distinctive markers to the Near East not found in America. The BofM is fiction.

    Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish Populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes, 2000

    The Earliest Neolithic Cultures of Northeast China: Recent Discoveries and New Perspectives on the Beginning of Agriculture, 2000

    The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East, 2001

    Y-Chromosome Lineages Trace Diffusion of People and Languages in Southwestern Asia, 2001

    Tracing the Origin and Spread of Agriculture in Europe, 2005

    Mitochondrial DNA Variation of Modern Tuscans Supports the Near Eastern Origin of Etruscans, 2007

    Identifying Genetic Traces of Historical Expansions: Phoenician Footprints in the Mediterranean, 2008

    Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact, 2008

    Genetic Structure of Europeans: A View from the North-East, 2009