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About JarMan

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. Another amusing exercise is to feed it a snippet of scripture to see what it spits out. I have been experimenting using the beginning of 1 Nephi 3:7: "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father". Sometimes you get gobbledygook, sometimes you get hilarity. But the AI does recognize that it is scripture and tries to produce scriptural-sounding text, even including verse numbering at times. Here's one example:
  2. This was one of my takeaways, too. AI presumably doesn't have any biases to start with: no religion, political persuasion or existing worldview to color its interpretation. So I see AI's feedback as something of an "honest" take on a bunch of information regarding Mormons. In other words, it tries to grapple with a bunch of conflicting information and produce something coherent from it ("tries" being the operative word, here). I ran several phrases multiple times so see what popped out. I was quite amused, and at the same time, felt like it gave me an insight into what a person who knew nothing about Mormonism might conclude after doing some online research.
  3. You can get an idea of which sources the AI is using. Here, it looks to be relying on church magazines. The bio at the end is quite amusing.
  4. A new interface has been released online that allows you to interact with AI. Start a sentence or paragraph and it will continue writing based on its knowledge from "reading" millions of pages. After playing around with it a little bit I decided to ask it: Are Mormons Christian? Here is what it replied: Though AI still has a long way to go, this was actually more coherent than some of the trolls we get on here from time-to-time.
  5. Here's an update of my original chart. There are approximately 180 KJB editions used, but several of these only had partial information. I've shown the two time periods on the chart that are the best matches for the data I've collected.
  6. There are three main rivers that feed the Great Salt Lake: the Jordan, the Weber, and the Bear. To understand what's happening with the Great Salt Lake you have to start with historical flow records for these three sources. The most telling is the Jordan River. We have good records starting in 1943. Since that time the flow from the Jordan River to the Great Salt Lake has essentially doubled. The reason is pretty simple: urbanization. There are really three factors that come into play with urbanization and surface water availability. First, when you change land use from irrigation to cities and towns, less water is depleted. So there is a net gain in water in the streams. Second, hard-scape (roads, parking lots, rooftops) create runoff where vegetation would have consumed the water. And third is the use of wells to supply municipal use. Something like 90% of water used indoors returns to the natural system after it has been treated. By using wells for homes, the net result is that water from the ground is added to surface supplies. Salt Lake and Utah Counties are both tributary to the Jordan River and the urbanization in these areas has caused surface flow to the Great Salt Lake to double. This has occurred despite the fact that Jordanelle Reservoir was brought online in the 1990's. If you look at the Weber and Bear Rivers you'll see a little different story, though, over roughly this same period. On the Weber River, there has been a lot of water developed since 1943. This has caused the outflows to the Great Salt Lake to decrease over this time period. However, no more water is being developed from the Weber River. What we now have is urbanization occurring, which for the same reasons as explained above, is actually creating more outflow to the Great Salt Lake. That leaves us with the Bear River, which is the main source of water for the Great Salt Lake. This is a little bit harder to pin down since it passes through three different states and I'm not as familiar with land use practices in Idaho and Wyoming (though Wyoming only accounts for a small portion of the drainage). What we can tell from the hydrologic records, though, is that, at worst, the flow from the Bear River to the Great Salt Lake is decreasing by about the same amount as the flow from the Jordan River is increasing. So if they offset each other then we can look at the Weber and see that urbanization in Davis and Weber counties is causing the flow to increase. A more realistic look at urbanization in the Bear River drainage, I think, will show us that the amount of decrease in flows from the Bear River is actually smaller than the amount of increase from the Jordan River. What has likely occurred since 1847 when pioneers first came into the valley was a period of over a hundred years where water development did cause less flow out to the Great Salt Lake and declining lake levels. However, as agriculture has given way to cities and towns, at some point this trend started to reverse. I haven't studied it closely enough to know exactly when this trend started to reverse but my sense is that it has been at least twenty years and perhaps as many as forty. The low lake levels we had in 2016 were primarily from prolonged drought. The lake has risen since then with wetter than normal years in 2017 and 2019 (though 2018 was dismal). But even with prolonged drought the lake levels are self-correcting. As the lake level comes down, so does the amount of evaporation. This happens because the surface area decreases and evaporation is the only way for water to leave the lake. Also, as the lake shrinks salinity increases which also results in less evaporation. The exact opposites occur when the lake levels rise. This is probably a longer answer than you wanted, but the reality is that there are not a lot of published studies. The one recent study you cited is quite flawed, and really shouldn't be relied on. In fact, I've spoken to the primary author on the study and he has essentially admitted as much.
  7. The Great Salt Lake is not drying up. This is a myth being propagated for political purposes. And you’re right that capturing the water before it gets to the lake is much more efficient.
  8. The curriculum is so sanitized and shallow. In effect we don't even really have scriptures anymore. This needs to change at the seminary and church university level as well as at the ward level.
  9. I'm glad others find this interesting. I am using google books for the vast majority of the bibles I have looked at. I have found a few bibles at other online sources, but not many. Once I find a new edition I go through it at each of the ten places and enter the results in a spreadsheet. The google books search algorithm is very quirky, though. If I just search for [Holy Bible] within a certain date range I get a limited number of results. If I add a term like [Holy Bible Genesis] I sometimes get a different set of results. So I've played around with several biblical terms to get different sets of results. There's no good way, though, to know if my search has been exhaustive. I just have to change up my search terms until nothing new comes up for awhile within a certain date range. Google really needs to fix this. For all of their internet searching capabilities they've apparently not put a lot of resources towards their google books application.
  10. I've been able to find about another 20 bible editions and the results continue to be intriguing. The "I said" in Isaiah 6:8 has been one of the stronger points against a 19th Century Book of Mormon being used. But the one I had previously found is a stereotype edition so it's not surprising to find another, two years later, by the same publisher. I have to conclude that the "I said" in Isaiah 6:8 was in several consecutive Cambridge editions around 1816-1818. I also found another from a different publisher in 1818. It's strange that this phrase disappeared for 160 years only to make a come back in Joseph's day. But these new findings show that a modern bible is more likely than I had initially thought. At the same time, though, I've found additional evidence to bolster a 1640's-or-so production. This will take me a minute to unpack so bear with me. Out of the ten words or phrases found in the Book of Mormon, they don't all appear until the 1639 and 1640 Cambridge editions. So, unless there are earlier editions I haven't found yet, 1639 is the very earliest the Book of Mormon could have been produced. This works with my theory since I have been saying for some time now that the Book of Mormon was written between 1635 and 1645 and then possibly translated into English soon after. However, you need multiple bibles because I still have not found (after looking at about 120 bibles) a single bible that agrees with the Book of Mormon on all ten readings. The 1639 and 1640 editions have 8/10 with the 2 missing being in Isaiah 6:8 and Isaiah 8:6. The easiest explanation is that the 1639 or 1640 edition was used throughout. Except that some time between 2 Nephi 8:16 and 2 Nephi 16:8 another bible was used for a short time, and then the original bible was brought back some time between 2 Nephi 18:6 and 2 Nephi 20:26. So there needs to be a single edition that agrees with the Book of Mormon at 2 Nephi 16:8 "I said" instead of "said I" and at 2 Nephi 18:6 "Forasmuch" instead of "Forsomuch." We find this with a 1622 edition and then again in 1657. I've found another one now from 1637, published in Edinburgh. This is significant for two reasons. The first is that the date matches better with 1639 or 1640. The second significant thing is that it was published in Scotland. Carmack has pointed out a few times that some of the Book of Mormon language seems to come from Scotland. So the working theory now is that the 1637 Edinburgh and either the 1639 or 1640 Cambridge editions were both used. I will be interested to find out if any of these editions were the ones that were carefully scrutinized in Skousen's study.
  11. I look forward to seeing the criteria he used. I'd like to expand my analysis by both expanding the criteria considered and the number of editions analyzed. I can't help but think that with 29 editions analyzed there's a chance of missing an edition or two somewhere along the line that might be critical.
  12. I'm not following you. Are you talking about the 1769 Benjamin Blaney version or one of the many earlier or later Oxford editions? What makes the one approved by Oxford different? Why wouldn't the original 1611 version be considered the KJB? Or any of the other editions?
  13. I don't know what you mean by "one and only" version. There were many editions published throughout the years beginning in 1611. These editions had slight variants. What is the proper collective term for all of these different editions?
  14. I haven't looked at sources contemporary to Joseph as I believe the Early Modern English warrants a look at the 16th and 17th Centuries instead. I have looked at lots of texts from mostly the early to mid 1600's and there are lots of similarities with the Book of Mormon. The pope as anti-christ was a very common idea during this time, but it's not an idea that's in the Book of Mormon. This is remarkable if, in fact, the Book of Mormon does have early modern roots since it was so widely believed in the Protestant world. Instead we have the Great and Abominable Church, which I think does refer largely to the Catholic Church. The two churches paradigm in 1 Nephi 14:10 where we have the church of the Lamb vs the church of the devil, is an idea explicitly found in the writings of this time.
  15. KJB's have been very consistent over the years. However, there are a handful of words or phrases that have changed slightly. I've Identified 10 words or phrases that have changed in the KJB and which also occur in the Book of Mormon. I examined about 100 KJB's online (between 1611 and 1828) and for each one determined which of the ten words or phrases match with the corresponding word or phrase in the Book of Mormon. The following chart shows my results. The red X means the KJB does not match the Book of Mormon. The black circle means that it does match. The year is shown on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis corresponds to the following: 1) Isaiah 49:13: "heaven" or "heavens"; 2 Nephi 21:13: "heavens" 2) Isaiah 49:13: "God" or "the Lord" or "the LORD"; 1 Nephi 21:13: "the Lord"; I count both "the Lord" and "the LORD" as hits. 3) Isaiah 51:16: "and have covered" or "and have defended" or "and I have covered"; 2 Nephi 8:16: "and hath covered"; none of the bible versions use "hath" like the Book of Mormon. However, I count "and have covered" as a hit while "and have defended" and "and I have covered" I count as misses. 4) Isaiah 6:8: "I saide" or "I said" or "said I"; 2 Nephi 16:8: "I said"; "I saide" and "I said" I count as hits. 5) Isaiah 8:6: "Forsomuch" or "For so much" or "Because" or "Forasmuch" or "For as much"; 2 Nephi 18:6: "forasmuch"; I count both "Forasmuch" and "For as much" as hits. 6) Isaiah 10:26: "rocke Oreb" or "rock Oreb" or "rocke of Oreb" or "rock of Oreb"; 2 Nephi 20:26: "rock of Oreb"; "rocke of Oreb" and "rock of Oreb" I count as hits. 7) Isaiah 10:34: "forrest" or "forest" or "forrests" or "forests"; 2 Nephi 20:34: "forests": I count "forrests" and "forests" as hits. 8 ) Matthew 6:3: "right doeth" or "right doth" or "right hand doth" or "right hand doeth"; 3 Nephi 13:3: "right hand doeth" 9) Malachi 3:4: "offrings" or "offerings" or "offering"; 3 Nephi 24:4: "offering" 10) Malachi 4:2: "shall" or "yee shall" or "ye shall"; 3 Nephi 25:2: "ye shall"; I count "yee shall" and "ye shall" as hits. I understand that the latest critical text volume will do an analysis on the KJB in the Book of Mormon. So this information may be outdated in a matter of a month or so when it gets published. I will be interested see what Dr. Skousen comes up with. Now for a quick analysis of the data. I didn't find a single bible that had all ten corresponding Book of Mormon words/phrases. There were some with 9 and several with 8. This probably means that more than one Bible was used in the process. (The least number of hits was the original 1611 version with 3. So this version was definitely not the one used.) Alternatively, it's possible that a conscious or accidental change was made that just happened to correspond to a different version. Skousen, in fact, suggests that is what has occurred at number 4 (though I have my doubts). The very earliest bibles that could have been used would have been the 1639 and 1640 Cambridge editions which both have 8 hits. The 1622 or 1657 edition would need to be the other bible used to provide the other 2 hits or there are various combinations with two other bibles. Keep your eye on number 4 on the graph. After 1657 it goes dormant until a single instance: an 1816 Cambridge edition. If the process was modern it would most likely have to include this 1816 version plus another version such as the Phinney Bible which contains the other 9 hits. So, based on the data, there are really two different windows in which the process could have occurred: about 1639-1657 and about 1816-1828. Although I've used around 100 Bibles I know there are many more editions out there. Additional data could change this analysis. Also, there may be other words or phrases besides the ten I have identified. There are also a few proper nouns that have different spellings in different Bible versions which I did not include those in my analysis. KJB comparisons.pdf
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