Well, it will be very interesting to see if the peer review by non-LDS
archeologists will validate the findings.Isn't that how
it's supposed to work?Mr Sorenson has previously estimated
populations in excess of 600,000 people.I would like to hear any
non-LDS archeologist make an estimate of the size of the civilizations in that
I am confused by these parallels.Vocal apologists have strongly
voiced the need for a limited geography for the distribution of the descendants
of Lehi. So limited, in fact, that they left no detectable DNA behind. Other
peoples like the Mayans dominated the population of Mesoamerica they surmise.It stands to reason that Sorenson's parallels apply to the majority
population and not to the minority population descended from tiny Lehi's
clan. What am I missing?
Science 23 December 2011: Vol. 334 no. 6063 pp. 1620-1621 DOI:
10.1126/science.334.6063.1620 Does North America Hold the Roots of
Mesoamerican Civilization?Andrew LawlerHigh pyramids and
great plazas are the hallmarks of ancient Mesoamerica, from the 3000-year-old
Olmec cities along the Gulf of Mexico to the inland metropolis of Tenochtitlan
encountered by the Spanish conquistadors. Yet the oldest examples that call to
mind this familiar style are found nearly 1000 kilometers to the north in the
muddy bayous of Louisiana. Five millennia ago, Native Americans here began to
build high mounds of earth flanked by flat plazas that resemble
Mesoamerica's classic architecture. A small band of archaeologists suspect
that these ancient settlements laid the foundation not only for the North
American mound-building tradition that eventually culminated in the great city
of Cahokia (see main text) but perhaps also for Mesoamerican civilization.
To Joe Blow - The majority of Mesoamerican scholars (non-LDS) agree
that the Mayan civilization numbered in the millions with the population
reaching as much as 20 million at it's height.Dr.
Sorenson's work is fascinating to contemplate. It will never convince
someone who does not believe in the Book of Mormon to take it seriously, but I
don't think that is his intent. I think that he is speaking to those who
do believe and want to understand more about a Book that is central to their
faith. I highly doubt that his writings will be peer reviewed, simply because
most academics don't take the issue seriously.The debate on
archeology of the Book of Mormon is a hotly discussed topic. One that people
feel pretty strongly about, and also one that has created a lot of apostasy
within the Church. As far back as when Joseph Smith was prophet people debated
the issue. The prophets have never said where it took place, though it's
interesting to note that all the Church produced films and art (done with the
stamp of approval from the First Presidency) set the Book in Mesoamerican
I'm very disappointed in these supposed correspondences. They apply to
practically every known civilization: "Sociopolitical factions
anxious to gain power and privilege were endemic in Book of Mormon societies.
Their jostling caused most of the sociopolitical stress the scripture reports.
Mesoamerican factionalism was equally pronounced and disruptive."And then Sorenson has the audacity to say "It is not rational to suppose
that mere coincidence can account for similarities of this magnitude,"?I really wish that Mr. Lloyd had acknowledge the weakness of these
claims in his article and gotten a response to such clear criticism from
professor Sorenson or his academic peers.
@Jim C"Vocal apologists have strongly voiced the need for a limited
geography for the distribution of the descendants of Lehi."----------Book of Mormon scholars believe in a limited geography because
that is what is contained in the Book of Mormon. It is not based on some other
theory, need or scientific information. It is based on what the Book of Mormon
To ThinkinginGAInstead of criticizing the author of the DesNews
article, maybe you should read the book before making any judgments as to its
What is fascinating is that a paper in the US would publish such an article in
the 21st Century and people would "debate" it. Nothing like this has
debate has taken place in a European. The founding "fatherly" guys must
be turning in their graves because there are such pockets of irrationally being
fomenting by modern people. They would say you people aren't fit to fun a
@Jim CI've always been a little reluctant to embrace the
theories based on a limited geography. Some use it to explain the lack of DNA
evidence supporting the Book of Mormon, but the fact is, the verses in the BOM
detail many wars between the Nephites and Lamanites which I believe in and of
itself can explain missing DNA. Also, the fact that the Nephite and Lamanite
populations could not have possibly grown as fast as they did simply based on
Lehi's family. There had to have been others join them along the way. I
remember my dad explaining this to me years ago, long before DNA evidence
surfaced. @PierdaAs I understand it, the reason many LDS
scholars and LDS leaders believe the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica is
based on the fact the Book of Mormon never mentions snow, ice or cold weather.
And early on in the Book of Mormon, in the Book of Enos, it talks about how the
Lamanites wore a, "...short skin girdle about their loins..." Not
exactly what one would wear for winter temperatures in say Michigan.
A Mound Complex in Louisiana at 5400-5000 Years Before the PresentScience
19 September 1997: Vol. 277 no. 5333 pp. 1796-1799 DOI:
10.1126/science.277.5333.1796 "Radiometric, luminescence,
artifactual, geomorphic, and pedogenic data date the site to over 5000 calendar
years before present. Evidence suggests that the site was occupied by
hunter-gatherers who seasonally exploited aquatic resources and collected plant
species that later became the first domesticates in eastern North America."
Eastern North America as an independent center of plant
domesticationPNAS August 15, 2006Vol. 103 no. 33 pp. 12223-12228doi: 10.1073/pnas.0604335103Plant domestication in Eastern North
America had already occurred 4,400 years ago, independent from Mesoamerica and
South America. More than half of all the world's crops now in cultivation
were first domesticated in the Americas, most before Adam and Eve.An
interesting comparison of America to the Bible is that the Step Pyramid of
Djoser at Saqqara is the first in Egypt. It dates to about 4,700 years ago. The
Louisiana mound complex dates to 5,400 years ago making it older than
Egypt's oldest pyramid.
They have discovered ancient sunken ships in the Mediterranean Sea that are over
two thousand years old, but they haven't discovered any physical evidence
of Book of Mormon people. Still this doesn't stop some promoters from
inventing all kinds of supposed preposterous proves. They could apply the same
reasoning to establish the location of Santa Clause or Big Foot. Why do some
people never seem to grow too old for fairy tales; perhaps it is that the truth
is just too frightening or complicated for them to embrace. Or perhaps reality
doesn't afford them the recognition or esteem that they receive from
fantasy. But it seems their time would be better spend seeking knowledge and the
truth of the light of the universe. Mormons believe in a material world; if
there were a history of the Book of Mormon people, then there would be material
(physical) evidence easier to find than 2000 year old sunken ships.
According to Book of Mormon text Nephi was able to guide the ship to the
promised land with a compass delivered to the tent door of his father by angels
while still in what is now known as the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. So,
if Nephi was guiding the ship and they were living worthy of the guidance, he
could land it in the exact intended location for settlement. It was not a
hap-hazard wind blown landing such as was described for the Jaredites.The location of landing then could just as easily be described geographically
as the Southern U.S. gulf of Mexico area with northern expansion into the
Mississippi/Ohio river area.So-called native Americans were then
discovered by colonial settlers dressed in their loin cloths.
This is a fun topic. No matter what you think, the BofM exists and it tells a
pretty compelling story. IMO no one living today has an inkling about the
complexity or size of the various civilizations that existed on the American
continents before Columbus. Very possibly there were Chinese, African, Norse,
Portuguese, Celtic and other colonies in existence. There were huge cities in
the Amazon basin that were observed by the first European explorers and then
were gone 50-75 years later probably due to disease introduced by those
visitors. It's been estimated that perhaps 90% of the native population was
lost from the advent of the Europeans. Let's hear some more viewpoints!
An unprecedented event may have happen last week and people will still debate
what exactly happened and how it happened. I'm not surprised that people
are debating what, how, when and where the book of mormon stories happened. I
can argue that so called Mayan experts only knew very little about them. I can
only argue that even the Mayan language still eludes them.
'Striking' indeed. Far too striking to be coincidental. But a
testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon can only be gained through
the Holy Ghost—not through anthropological or archaeological research.
@antodv: CORRECT! But it is interesting to find the bits and pieces of evidences
the Lord provides us as proof which follows our faith. Detractors will always
find an anti Mormon sentiment no matter what evidence is provided. Jesus
performed miracle after miracle, and some chose to rationalize and not believe.
We can look but not see. Our "sight" comes from the Holy Spirit.
Sneaky Jimmy is correct, sort of. Contact with the European nations was
devastating for natives, but not the way it's guilt-trip taught in schools.
There were no wars, no infected blankets given by settlers in germ warfare
(though there is one documented case in, like, the 1800's). It was bigger,
and quicker, than that.When the Spanish first arrived in the
1500's yes they came to conquer. But they also, inadvertently, brought
something else: The Black Plague. Remember how just about then was getting
through wiping out 1/3 of Europe's population? Well, scholar's now
figure that it was the culprit behind 90 (90!) percent of America being wiped
out by the time of Jamestown.So how can anyone hope to be an expert
on massive civilizations that were literally just GONE by the time they found
them? It also explains why it only 5% of what was around before Europeans came
to America is even estimated to be known.
The Mayan culture and civilization was destroyed by Spanish Conquistadors who
subsequently converted them to Catholicism, hence the strong presence of this
religion to this day in South America. The love of Christ was shared.
"LDS Scholar" finds striking similarities.....
Suggested further reading:1) Origins of the American Indians:
European Concepts, 1492-1729 by Lee Eldridge Huddleston, 1967A scholarly
book on the theories of American Indians coming to America. It is valuable for
analyzing diffusionist claims. 2) Native American Origins Special
Section, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 146, Issue 4,
December 2011Uses genetics to answer who the first Americans were and how
ice age humans settled the last large uninhabited landmasses.3) A
Brief History of Piedras Negras as Told by the Ancient Maya, History Revealed in
Maya Glyphs, by Mark Pitts, 2011This book begins in 4691 BC with a very
early ruler and ends in the 9th century AD with the collapse of the city. You
will learn the history by reading the very words of the ancient Mayas, from
their own glyphs.4) Guatemala Memory of Silence, Tz'inil
na'tab'al, Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification:
Conclusions and Recommendations, 1999This report documents and details the
violence, horror and tragedy of Guatemala during the period from 1962 to 1996.
More than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared at the hands of the
government. Most of them were indigenous Mayans.
Jim CIf you read the BofM and history books carefully, you'll find
many evidences that the family of Lehi was a very small family of the
inhabitants of MesoAmerica. By the time of Jacob, there was much inter-marrying
going on with the locals. It is not known how many current remnant peoples of
MesoAmerica descended from Lehi, but there has never been sufficient testing o
rule out ALL living persons as NOT having DNA from Lehi. I suppose you are the
one person on earth who has a sample of Lehi's DNA. Please share it. You
may get the ball rolling on a very important study. You seem very quick to
dismiss all evidence that exists, except the one (DNA) that is still missing.
One day, if they do discover the DNA, and some studies claim they have done so,
will you just ignore their findings, or will your baptism be forthcoming?
Lets draw a parallel with Sorenson's logic: The Lord of the Rings describes
mountains and rivers. There are mountains and rivers in Europe that look like
the descriptions written in the Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings has
stories of kings and people that war with each other. Europe had kings and
people that warred with each other. Therefore, the Lord of the Rings is true.