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Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

Has Science Proven the Existence of God?  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Has Science Proven the Existence of God?

    • 1) Yes.
      4
    • 2) No, but it (science) can/has the ability to.
      6
    • 3) No, and it (science) can't/doesn't have the ability to.
      35
    • 4) I don't know.
      3
    • 5) Other (please explain below).
      4


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RF,

Could you please expound on specifically how you perceive the Out of Africa Theory conflicting with the Book of Mormon.  I have been trying to follow you discussion, and can't seem to ken your specific concerns.  I am no expert on this particular theory, but I am at a loss to understand how the emergence of modern man from Africa between 100,000 and 2 million years ago impacts on the movement of the Jaredites or Lehites to the Americas only a few thousand years ago.  Where do you see the conflicts?

My understanding John is that what Mormonism has promoted and this is since its inception by J. Smith that N. american indians were descendants of Lamanites. Lamanites were descended from I believe a Lehi & his wife, who were Hebrew and came from I believe Jerusalem. Some time ago on another board I read a thread and it gave where it was officially mentioned in Mormon documentation that this is what the leaders taught and believed regarding N. American Indians. Because I am not immersed in mormonism and I only look into this on a casual basis I only went to the sources, read the info but did not keep it for future discussions. So at this point if you were to ask what were the documents I couldn't tell you but to my recollection one source was the D & C but there was a long list of other sources and quotes.

The Out of Africa theory has N. American indians and for that matter South as well, coming from Asia approximately 10,000 to 15, 000 years ago, therefore this would conflict with what Mormonism has taught traditionally & officially.

BTW John, the genetic evidence for modern man does not go back much further than 100,000 years. I believe the male genetic evidence goes back 60,000 while female genetic evidence 100,000. Sorry can't remember the terminology which differentiates male and female DNA. Anyhow certainly the genetic evidence goes back no where near 2 million years. That doesn't mean modern man didn't exist then it is only that the current genetic evidence doesn't go back that far. It goes back to one couple ( an Adam and Eve). While other couples may have lived the evidence isn't available which may be due to all their descendants dying off.

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RF,

You said:

The Out of Africa theory has N. American indians and for that matter South as well, coming from Asia approximately 10,000 to 15, 000 years ago, therefore this would conflict with what Mormonism has taught traditionally & officially.

BTW John, the genetic evidence for modern man does not go back much further than 100,000 years. I believe the male genetic evidence goes back 60,000 while female genetic evidence 100,000. Sorry can't remember the terminology which differentiates male and female DNA. Anyhow certainly the genetic evidence goes back no where near 2 million years. That doesn't mean modern man didn't exist then it is only that the current genetic evidence doesn't go back that far. It goes back to one couple ( an Adam and Eve). While other couples may have lived the evidence isn't available which may be due to all their descendants dying off.

Thanks for helping me understand your position. The male DNA is obtained from the Y cheromosome, and the female information is derived from the mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed along by the mother (sperm don't transmit their mitochondria to the fertilized egg). The relatively recent announcement of several Homo erectus skeletons in the Republic of Georgia indicates that hominids were on the move out of Africa much earlier than the Out of Africa model predicts (the skeletons were dated at aproximately 1.8 million years old). Further, there is growing evidence that hominids radiated out of Africa in multiple waves (from 100,000 to 2 million years ago), and that this geographic separation contributed to the various races. Of course, there are still the conflicting claims of China and Australia, both of which have ancient hominid remains that don't mesh with the Out of Africa Theory, as it is now formulated.

At any rate, it appears that your concerns really have little to do with the Out of Africa model (prssumably, the Lehites and Jaredites also came from the same African stock) than with the idea that the Lehites were the sole or dominant group of the Americas, and therefore all native peoples of the Americas should be of Middle Eastern rather than Asian lineage. Is this a correct statement of your position?

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Thanks for helping me understand your position. The male DNA is obtained from the Y cheromosome, and the female information is derived from the mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed along by the mother (sperm don't transmit their mitochondria to the fertilized egg).

I was trying to remember how they wrote it in the book ..I believe they wrote t-DNA and Y-DNA but I'm not sure. The Out of Africa theory is based on the Y-DNA and goes back 60,000 years. And the t-DNA can be traced back approximately 150,000. For a more detailed explanation..if interested there is this site

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...urneyofman.html

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RF said:

I was trying to remember how they wrote it in the book ..I believe they wrote t-DNA and Y-DNA but I'm not sure. The Out of Africa theory is based on the Y-DNA and goes back 60,000 years. And the t-DNA can be traced back approximately 150,000. For a more detailed explanation..if interested there is this site

The actual notation is mtDNA, which is shorthand for mitochondrial DNA.

Homo erectus are not considered Homo Sapiens/modern humans. By approx 30,000 years ago the only surviving hominid species was h. sapiens.

True. Homo erectus is not modern man, but is very close, and recent evidence suggests that Homo sapiens interbred with Homo erectus, and may have assimilated rather than displaced H. erectus. See the following for a popularized account:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1153697.htm

The point is that hominids radiated out from Africa in advance of Homo sapiens, and these other "species" may have served as genetic stepping stones for the spread of H. sapiens from Africa. I use "species" loosely, because the ability to interbreed successfully would preclude these groups from being truly considered biological species.

You also noted:

If you read the site I linked to it mentions "According to the multi-regional model, an archaic form of humans left Africa between one and two million years ago, and modern humans evolved from them independently and simultaneously in pockets of Africa, Europe, and Asia. " and goes on and mentions this to be a less accepted model..actually a dead model.

This would make sense, as the independent evolution of the same species in isolated populations over a wide geographic range is highly improbable. This is, in fact, one of the undergirding principles of the Out of Africa theory, as I understand it. Occam's razor, as it were. This is why the Leakey Foundation and others went somewhat ballistic with the initial dating of the Mungo III burial in Australia at 62,000 years BP, which would have pre-dated Out of Africa predictions of Australian colonization by some 20,000 years. Subsequent work has bumped this down to about 40,000 years BP, bringing it back in line with the model.

My position is that from the inception of mormonism, those in authority, those who claimed divine connection have promoted officially until only recently and believed that the N. American indians (that they were aware of existing in N. America) were descended from the the group associated with Laman mentioned in the BOM. Yes, the Out of Africa theory has all modern man starting out 60,000 years ago in Africa but then shows the migration and when that occurred around the world and this doesn't coincide with the Bom nor with the genetic information of N. & S. American indigenous people. Their migration occurred approx 10,000 to 15,000 years ago from Asia via Bering St. For a pictorial map of the migration see here

So, your position is that the LDS authorities have historically claimed that native North Americans are entirely derived from Book of Mormon peoples. If this position were absolutely correct, then there would certainly be a conflict with the evidence for the migration into the Americas (although there is some debate over the relative timing, due to the discovery and dating of human remains at Monte Verde, Chile, demonstrated that humans had reached deep into South America by 12,500 years ago -- making colonization of North America much earlier than 12,500 years BP, if the Bering Strait model is the only correct colonization model). I, for one, and numerous other LDS are not at all convinced that the Lehites and Jaredites were alone here, or were the sole source of the Native Americans. The Book of Mormon itself never makes such claims. You are correct in indicating that the native peoples have been referred to repeatedly by LDS authorities as Lamanites, and it is quite possible that Lamanite genetic material is among groups of them. However, I don't believe that there is an authoritative statement about the Amerindians being entirely derived from Lehites. Do you know of any? I don't hold my leaders to infallibility in their statements, particularly on issues such as this, that are not particularly critical to anything. Are you also suggesting that the colonization of the Americas by early people was a singular event? There is little evidence for a single immigration event. Indeed, there is considerable controversy about the number of immigration events, the timing of them, and the nature of them (an increasing number of people are arguing for movement by ship, as there is evidence for ship travel as early as 30,000 years BP, and the route across the northern Pacific could have been manageable quite early).

The Jaredite civilization is described in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon, and I would recommend that you read that book to learn about them. They came to the Americas much earlier than the Lehites, and apparently lasted longer, before their self-induced implosion. They lived in the same general region of the Lehites, but had limited overlap with them only at the end of the Jaredite civilization (which actually provides additional evidence in the Book of Mormon for co-habitation of multiple civilizations in the region).

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Homo erectus are not considered Homo Sapiens/modern humans. By approx 30,000 years ago the only surviving hominid species was h. sapiens.

True. Homo erectus is not modern man, but is very close, and recent evidence suggests that Homo sapiens interbred with Homo erectus, and may have assimilated rather than displaced H. erectus. See the following for a popularized account:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1153697.htm

The point is that hominids radiated out from Africa in advance of Homo sapiens, and these other "species" may have served as genetic stepping stones for the spread of H. sapiens from Africa. I use "species" loosely, because the ability to interbreed successfully would preclude these groups from being truly considered biological species.

I'm missing the point here. Does this run counter to the genetic evidence which suggests that modern man from the point of 60,000 years ago spread out throughout the world in a particular fashion. In particular does this in any way counter the genetic evidence Spencer Well uses or any other evidence which suggests N. and S. American became inhabited approximately 10 - 15,000 years ago from people traveling by way of Bering St. from Asia?

me:  If you read the site I linked to it mentions "According to the multi-regional model, an archaic form of humans left Africa between one and two million years ago, and modern humans evolved from them independently and simultaneously in pockets of Africa, Europe, and Asia. " and goes on and mentions this to be a less accepted model..actually a dead model. 

John:  This would make sense, as the independent evolution of the same species in isolated populations over a wide geographic range is highly improbable. This is, in fact, one of the undergirding principles of the Out of Africa theory, as I understand it. Occam's razor, as it were. This is why the Leakey Foundation and others went somewhat ballistic with the initial dating of the Mungo III burial in Australia at 62,000 years BP, which would have pre-dated Out of Africa predictions of Australian colonization by some 20,000 years. Subsequent work has bumped this down to about 40,000 years BP, bringing it back in line with the model.

What is BP?

Me:  My position is that from the inception of mormonism, those in authority, those who claimed divine connection have promoted officially until only recently and believed that the N. American indians (that they were aware of existing in N. America) were descended from the the group associated with Laman mentioned in the BOM. Yes, the Out of Africa theory has all modern man starting out 60,000 years ago in Africa but then shows the migration and when that occurred around the world and this doesn't coincide with the Bom nor with the genetic information of N. & S. American indigenous people. Their migration occurred approx 10,000 to 15,000 years ago from Asia via Bering St. For a pictorial map of the migration see here

John:  So, your position is that the LDS authorities have historically claimed that native North Americans are entirely derived from Book of Mormon peoples.

No my position/understanding is mormonism has promoted that N.American indians have descended from a particular group of people..Lamanites who descended from Lehi who was Hebrew. If there were a signficant number of people living in N. America when Lehi arrived ...where is that written (evidence) in the BOM?

If this position were absolutely correct, then there would certainly be a conflict with the evidence for the migration into the Americas (although there is some debate over the relative timing, due to the discovery and dating of human remains at Monte Verde, Chile, demonstrated that humans had reached deep into South America by 12,500 years ago -- making colonization of North America much earlier than 12,500 years BP, if the Bering Strait model is the only correct colonization model).

My understanding is that the dating evidence from genetics and as well as dating of bones found pretty much coincide. I can't find my book atm...I dont remember exactly how Wells used genetic DNA to date the migrations and without my book I can't really address your comment. I seem to remember him mentioning something about bones found at Monte Verde..exactly what he said I can't remember. I searched last night for the book but at this point don't have it handy.

I, for one, and numerous other LDS are not at all convinced that the Lehites and Jaredites were alone here, or were the sole source of the Native Americans.

I briefly looked into the BOM last night and I seem to remember reading something about 2 million Jaredites being killed by swords and my impression currently is that they were not alive by the time of events dealing with Lehi and after. Where is the physical evidence for these 2 million Jaredites & swords?

I think science has evidence of North and South indigenous people but I gather it doesn't coincide with BOM or the church would be using this evidence to support the events mentioned in it. I don't follow why you think the Lehites and Jaredites were not alone and how that would help support the BOM.

The Book of Mormon itself never makes such claims. You are correct in indicating that the native peoples have been referred to repeatedly by LDS authorities as Lamanites, and it is quite possible that Lamanite genetic material is among groups of them. However, I don't believe that there is an authoritative statement about the Amerindians being entirely derived from Lehites.

Do you know of any?

I don't follow your reasoning..where is the evidence that North American Indian are of Hebrew descent which is essentially what they would be if they were the (fictional) Lamanites?

I don't hold my leaders to infallibility in their statements, particularly on issues such as this, that are not particularly critical to anything.

I think issues which add credibility as well as which detract from credibility of the BOM may in fact be critical or crucial in determining whether the BOM is authentic or not. Certainly the church wants all evidence which will support and would like to downplay all evidence which detracts from their claims. So in this particular instance you are downplaying the evidence that past authorities who received spiritual revelations on this matter were wrong. I really don't think personal testimonies from the divine should ever be wrong otherwise there is no value to them...ever

Are you also suggesting that the colonization of the Americas by early people was a singular event? There is little evidence for a single immigration event. Indeed, there is considerable controversy about the number of immigration events, the timing of them, and the nature of them (an increasing number of people are arguing for movement by ship, as there is evidence for ship travel as early as 30,000 years BP, and the route across the northern Pacific could have been manageable quite early).

What I am suggesting is that if the Lamanites are of Hebrew descent, and leaders in the church who were divinely inspired understood N. American indians descendants of Lamanites...then there should be greater genetic evidence, linguistic evidence to support this. In other words given the extent of the claims ...the evidence which should be availabe does not appear to be...in fact the evidence which is available counters the understanding of past prophets and leaders of the church

The Jaredite civilization is described in the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon, and I would recommend that you read that book to learn about them. They came to the Americas much earlier than the Lehites, and apparently lasted longer, before their self-induced implosion. They lived in the same general region of the Lehites, but had limited overlap with them only at the end of the Jaredite civilization (which actually provides additional evidence in the Book of Mormon for co-habitation of multiple civilizations in the region).

I took a look at the book last night and when I came to the part that there were supposedly 2 million of them that died in a battle I was surprised because I would think there should be physical evidence for that. I wasn't able to find information on what the time period was ..i.e. when was the battle in which 2 million of them were supposed to have been killed.

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RF said:  I'm missing the point here. Does this run counter to the genetic evidence which suggests that modern man from the point of 60,000 years ago spread out throughout the world in a particular fashion. In particular does this in any way counter the genetic evidence Spencer Well uses or any other evidence which suggests N. and S. American became inhabited approximately 10 - 15,000 years ago from people traveling by way of Bering St. from Asia?.

I was responding to your earlier question about Homo erectus, and was referring in particular to the point of the article to which I referred you. It simply points out that there is much we still don

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Actually it hinges on whether the LDS prophets spoke truth or opinion in the name of God. If they spoke truth the evidence would support their claim. If they spoke opinion the evidence likely would not.

Obviously it really doesn't support them soundly, so it is an exersize in mental fury that tries to support that which is not true.

It's much easier to just rest in Jesus and learn about Him.

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No Daniel I'm not going to waste my time going through finding all your critical remarks..what is in the thread speaks for itself.

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me:  What exactly is the focus of the BOM?  Is it mainly about fights between people?  Are there moral values promoted in it?  Please don't tell me to read it.  There is no motivation or reward for me to do so at this point. 

D.P:  Is this a joke? Are we on Candid Camera?

Pray tell why would it be a joke. This is a board promoting mormonism isn't it? Don't you want people who are seeking information to get it from Pro Mormon sites. I believe I read somewhere in one of your articles you criticizing those who are critical of mormonism from getting their information from only anti mormon sites. The rest of your post rest assured I read but I'm weary of responding to you and am choosing to not comment on it. Besides I realize you'll appreciate me not responding.. you won't end up wasting more of your time responding back. I'm only thinking of what's best for you. As it is I feel really guilty taking up so much of your time.

But if you want to enlighten me with an answer to the question above feel free. It might help me to change my mind on hether or not the BOM is a worthwhile read. Or I might end up passing along the info to someone else sometime in the future and they might become interested in reading it.

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RF,

I'm going to have to take a break from the boards for about 2 weeks so I can sneak out of town for professional meetings (in Salt lake City, no less). I may be able to pop in on occasion, but won't have much time to respond. I don't have time to respond to all of your comments (if you want to discuss the location of the Garden of Eden, you will have to do that elsewhere -- this thread is sufficiently diffuse as it is).

I did want to respond to some of your comments and questions before I scoot. First, with regard to your Out of Africa questions -- The OA Theory is intended to establish the initial source and subsequent dispersal of modern man, based on the genetic evidence for Homo sapiens arising from a small founding population. The theory, like all scientific theories, is comprised of multiple hypotheses, that are constantly being revised as the evidence comes in. The theory is generally accepted, but many of the supporting hypotheses are the focus of considerable contention and revision. For example, it had been widely assumed that Homo sapiens had displaced all other hominid species by 30,000 YBP. Using previously published DNA data on large samples from 10 regional populations, Templeton re-analyzed the data (using algorithms developed by Drs. David Posada and Keith Crandall of Brigham Young University, btw), and found that there are elements of DNA that date back molecularly to well over 100,000 YBP (are you familiar with derivation of molecular clocks?). Granted, 90% of the material examined was relatively modern, but the models indicate that genomes of ancient hominids were incorporated into modern man after H. sapiens emerged as a distinct lineage. Hence, the idea of interbreeding with primitive hominids by H. sapiens. This can still be fit into the model without too much difficulty, but requires multiple migrations from Africa (starting about 2 million years ago), rather than a singular event, and with assimilation of local, "home-grown" hominids rather than displacement. The Complete Replacement Hypothesis was a subunit of the Out of Africa Theory, and is currently being revisited in earnest. Granted, Templeton's methods are still being evaluated, but they appear to be a firm step forward from earlier models. We'll see how they are validated in the next few years. Much of the present work is being driven by statistics and models rather than field work. I fail to see how the validity of a theory rests on how many people accept it, as you indicated in your response about Templeton's work. Perhaps you should read the original paper in 'Nature'.

I am not a geneticist (I'm a professional biologist -- a field ecologist, actually), but I am familiar with scientific theories and how they work. Templeton is supposed to have a book coming out sometime soon and you can compare his remarks to Wells, and numerous others. This field will continue to change rapidly as new information comes in, and I would strongly encourage you not to lock yourself into a particular paradigm.

I'm still not sure what this has to do with the Book of Mormon, as the colonization of the Americas is at best peripheral to the OA theory. The primary concern of the OA theory is the rise and dispersal of modern man. No one is arguing here that the Americas were not settled from the Old World. Quite the contrary, the Book of Mormon supports the notion of immigration to the Americas, and an external source for the Amerindians. Some say the primary source of the Amerindians (as the Introduction to the Book of Mormon states), others (like me) feel that the Lehites and Jaredites were minor players. Remember that the Book of Mormon itself makes neither claim overtly (the Introduction was added to the book, and was not part of the translation). Since the book itself makes no such claims, we are left to discover that on our own. In the early days of the Church there was a prevalent opinion among American Christians that the Amerindians were the Lost Tribes of Israel, and this was supported by a variety of "studies" that presumably verified this notion. So, when the Book of Mormon was published, linking this Hemisphere to ancient Israel (although not to the Lost Tribes, as one might expect) it was certainly not far-fetched to accept that the surviving Lehites were the primary source of the Amerindians (note the word "primary" -- this implies that there were other sources [read people] of the Amerindians, even at the time the Introduction was written). Of course, God could have cleared all of this up with various evidences and direct revelation on the subject, but how critical is it that we know the precise genetic constitution of the Amerindians? And besides, we can't exclude the presence of Lehite genetic material from the current Amerindians. Genetic studies are far more complex than simply going out, pulling a blood sample, and cranking it through a machine that spits out definitive results. We can only look at extremely limited portions of the total genome because of difficulties in manipulating the material, and analyzing and interpreting the results. It is very difficult work. As I mentioned above about the OA theory, I would be very hesitant to toss the baby out with the bathwater simply because my questions are not immediately answered, particularly in the realm of faith.

You said:

So basically god wants a story of a particular group of people to be made known to the world through the BOM ..but essentially all the BOM people of the story die. As far as I can tell the book (BOM) promotes no moral redeeming values so the importance to god of this I can't really fathom. And for some reason the people that do survive in the rest of the world god doesn't talk to until J. Smith comes along and through moroni he communicates with J. Smith. So in Christianity we get Jesus talking to Paul giving Paul divine connection and insight and then later in mormonism we have Jesus talking to BOM people and one of them turns into an angel who has a story regarding what Jesus wants and this gives J. Smith divine connection. through moroni. It's amazing what divine connection can do.

I don't understand your point. Is this simply a generic mockery of the Book of Mormon and Christianity? What is it you are wanting me to understand from this?

You concluded:

It's one thing not to know, it's another to claim divine powers, make claims and then change them later when increased knowledge points to those claims not being likely to have occurred. I am an extremely honest person. I can not tolerate dishonesty when it comes from those attempting to claim a moral high ground. Honesty is part of having good moral values.

Is it dishonest to have an opinion about something that is not critical? And is it dishonest to change those opinions in response to changing facts or hypotheses, as the case may be? I thought that dishonesty required knowledge of truth, but suppression of it in favor of untruth. So, are you suggesting that the LDS leaders who spoke of the Amerindians descending primarily from the Lehites knew all along that the Amerindians were actually of solely Asiatic origin? I guess I don't understand your notion of honesty. I have great trust in Church leaders on issues of a spiritually critical nature, but we are not an inerrantist Church whose members are obliged to accept every word spoken by its leaders. I have no problem with evidence shifting opinions in areas that are of little importance, as is the case for the origins of the Amerindians.

Finally, your comments about the Book of Mormon were rather strange and, frankly, belittling. You are certainly free to choose whether or not you read the book, but if you truly want to find out what it contains and why we believe it, you honestly have no other choice. There is a disturbing pattern that is becoming apparent to me in your posts. You appear to rely heavily on the interpretation of others to make your decisions. You want me to make the case for the Book of Mormon without you having to make the effort to read it. You disagree with Templeton's conclusions without ever having read his original paper. You want me to provide you with information about significant battles in world history, and to provide evidence for genetic differences between Homo erectus genes and those of H. sapiens (presumably if they were identical, then the two "species" would not be different? You should read Templeton's paper and some of the papers he cites for more information). You can do some or all of this on your own rather easily. Maybe while I'm gone you can fill in some of these blanks, and we can discuss more later. However, if the comments are belittling of my faith, I will likely stop responding. Skepticism and discoursive criticism are fine, but please do not demean that which I respect, however you may feel about.

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I'll skip your comments at the beginning re: Out of Africa theory because all that you said was my understanding.

The theory, like all scientific theories, is comprised of multiple hypotheses, that are constantly being revised as the evidence comes in.  The theory is generally accepted, but many of the supporting hypotheses are the focus of considerable contention and revision.  For example, it had been widely assumed that Homo sapiens had displaced all other hominid species by 30,000 YBP.

Yes but is this something claimed by the Out of Africa theory? I understand that the phylogeny of hominids varies but my understanding is this is a classification system based on a number of variables, not having to do with genetics. In the hominid tree I thought most of the differentiation had to do with physical characteristics, bone structure, brain size rather than genetic differences. A species is one in which it doesn't breed with another. So I think this is where I'm having a problem. Is Templeton saying that H. Erectus and H. Sapiens are not different species, that they bred. Whereas the Out of Africa theory says that they didn't breed (even though they could have) that they both evolved from a common ancestor H. Ergaster?

Using previously published DNA data on large samples from 10 regional populations, Templeton re-analyzed the data (using algorithms developed by Drs. David Posada and Keith Crandall of Brigham Young University, btw), and found that there are elements of DNA that date back molecularly to well over 100,000 YBP (are you familiar with derivation of molecular clocks?).  Granted, 90% of the material examined was relatively modern, but the models indicate that genomes of ancient hominids were incorporated into modern man after H. sapiens emerged as a distinct lineage. 

I would think that all hominids have elements of DNA dating back molecularly to well over 100,000 years. The only thing I see Templeton doing is in the phylogeny Homo sapiens & H. Neanderthalensis would be shown evolving from H. Erectus. Instead of the more accepted model of Homo Sapiens & H. Neanderthalensis separate from H. Erectus and evolving from H. Ergaster. All I see Templeton doing is changing the phylogeny a bit which would show more interbreeding. I don't know whether that adds any value.

Hence, the idea of interbreeding with primitive hominids by H. sapiens.  This can still be fit into the model without too much difficulty, but requires multiple migrations from Africa (starting about 2 million years ago), rather than a singular event, and with assimilation of local, "home-grown" hominids rather than displacement.

Ok now I see, it has older migrations existing Out of Africa which would mean older groups of hominids throughout the world and possibly later groups breeding the those who are genetically from older migration groups.

The Complete Replacement Hypothesis was a subunit of the Out of Africa Theory, and is currently being revisited in earnest.  Granted, Templeton's methods are still being evaluated, but they appear to be a firm step forward from earlier models.  We'll see how they are validated in the next few years.  Much of the present work is being driven by statistics and models rather than field work.  I fail to see how the validity of a theory rests on how many people accept it, as you indicated in your response about Templeton's work.  Perhaps you should read the original paper in 'Nature'.

It's not a question of resting on numbers of people, it is a matter of those in the field who do the research and are able to evaluate the research..what is their general consensus. Regarding Templeton's work I'm still not sure how that impacts the Out of Africa Theory.

I am not a geneticist (I'm a professional biologist -- a field ecologist, actually), but I am familiar with scientific theories and how they work.  Templeton is supposed to have a book coming out sometime soon and you can compare his remarks to Wells, and numerous others.  This field will continue to change rapidly as new information comes in, and I would strongly encourage you not to lock yourself into a particular paradigm.

I wouldn't say I've locked myself into a paradigm. I think Templeton would probably agree that based on genetics N. & S. Amerindians are of Asian descent and migrated here ..well you say there is bone evidence of at least 12,500 years ago and according to Well I believe he says about in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. And that they did not migrate from the middle east. I don't see where Templeton's work conflicts with this. Which is why I've been trying to understand why you have been going into such depth about this with him.

I'm still not sure what this has to do with the Book of Mormon, as the colonization of the Americas is at best peripheral to the OA theory.  The primary concern of the OA theory is the rise and dispersal of modern man.  No one is arguing here that the Americas were not settled from the Old World.  Quite the contrary, the Book of Mormon supports the notion of immigration to the Americas, and an external source for the Amerindians.  Some say the primary source of the Amerindians (as the Introduction to the Book of Mormon states), others (like me) feel that the Lehites and Jaredites were minor players.  Remember that the Book of Mormon itself makes neither claim overtly (the Introduction was added to the book, and was not part of the translation).  Since the book itself makes no such claims, we are left to discover that on our own.  In the early days of the Church there was a prevalent opinion among American Christians that the Amerindians were the Lost Tribes of Israel, and this was supported by a variety of "studies" that presumably verified this notion.

My understanding is that in J. Smith's day this was the common understanding and that there had been some other books writing about this idea before the BOM. So it stands to reason that someone in J. Smith's day might come up with a fictional story which seems to show that migration to America came from the middle east given the observed Indians and didn't know much about them. My understanding is that is about an explanation of people coming to American from the middle east....so no wonder church leaders promoted Indians being of Hebrew descent. I find it odd that early church leaders aren't given more accountability for what they claim. If they have divine connection then imo just about anything they claim should be accurate. IMO this is a major blunder..that the church was promoting something which later scientific evidence contradicts.

So, when the Book of Mormon was published, linking this Hemisphere to ancient Israel (although not to the Lost Tribes, as one might expect) it was certainly not far-fetched to accept that the surviving Lehites were the primary source of the Amerindians (note the word "primary" -- this implies that there were other sources [read people] of the Amerindians, even at the time the Introduction was written).  Of course, God could have cleared all of this up with various evidences and direct revelation on the subject, but how critical is it that we know the precise genetic constitution of the Amerindians? 

Well John, I personally think it's extremely critical to know...because it has a bearing on how much divine connection church authority has. It seems to me the BOM was written as a fictional story with the core of its premise being an explanation of how the Americans became populated. I doubt the whole story would ever have been written ..were it not for the N. American Indians. The Indians were the catalyst and fueled the BOM's main writer's imagination. Just as we in present day want answers to how the world became populated so have men previously.

And besides, we can't exclude the presence of Lehite genetic material from the current Amerindians.  Genetic studies are far more complex than simply going out, pulling a blood sample, and cranking it through a machine that spits out definitive results.  We can only look at extremely limited portions of the total genome because of difficulties in manipulating the material, and analyzing and interpreting the results.  It is very difficult work.  As I mentioned above about the OA theory, I would be very hesitant to toss the baby out with the bathwater simply because my questions are not immediately answered, particularly in the realm of faith.

Of course I'm not in the position to debate genetics with you..but I think it boils down to the understanding being of those in authority in the church promoting that N. American Indian descended primarily from BOM people..Lehites who were Hebrew from middle east area. And now that science contradicts this...so the church is learning is best not to take a position unless it can be supported with verifiable evidence.

You said:
So basically god wants a story of a particular group of people to be made known to the world through the BOM ..but essentially all the BOM people of the story die. As far as I can tell the book (BOM) promotes no moral redeeming values so the importance to god of this I can't really fathom. And for some reason the people that do survive in the rest of the world god doesn't talk to until J. Smith comes along and through moroni he communicates with J. Smith. So in Christianity we get Jesus talking to Paul giving Paul divine connection and insight and then later in mormonism we have Jesus talking to BOM people and one of them turns into an angel who has a story regarding what Jesus wants and this gives J. Smith divine connection. through moroni. It's amazing what divine connection can do.

I don't understand your point. Is this simply a generic mockery of the Book of Mormon and Christianity? What is it you are wanting me to understand from this?

It is mockery from your point of view, but it is how it looks to me from my point of view.

You concluded:
It's one thing not to know, it's another to claim divine powers, make claims and then change them later when increased knowledge points to those claims not being likely to have occurred. I am an extremely honest person. I can not tolerate dishonesty when it comes from those attempting to claim a moral high ground. Honesty is part of having good moral values.

Is it dishonest to have an opinion about something that is not critical? And is it dishonest to change those opinions in response to changing facts or hypotheses, as the case may be? I thought that dishonesty required knowledge of truth, but suppression of it in favor of untruth. So, are you suggesting that the LDS leaders who spoke of the Amerindians descending primarily from the Lehites knew all along that the Amerindians were actually of solely Asiatic origin? I guess I don't understand your notion of honesty. I have great trust in Church leaders on issues of a spiritually critical nature, but we are not an inerrantist Church whose members are obliged to accept every word spoken by its leaders. I have no problem with evidence shifting opinions in areas that are of little importance, as is the case for the origins of the Amerindians.

I'm not saying that church leaders knew I'm saying if they want to claim divine connection that they have a greater responsibility to get their claims right.

Finally, your comments about the Book of Mormon were rather strange and, frankly, belittling.  You are certainly free to choose whether or not you read the book, but if you truly want to find out what it contains and why we believe it, you honestly have no other choice.  There is a disturbing pattern that is becoming apparent to me in your posts.  You appear to rely heavily on the interpretation of others to make your decisions.  You want me to make the case for the Book of Mormon without you having to make the effort to read it.

I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to..when you say make a case.

You disagree with Templeton's conclusions without ever having read his original paper.

It's not that I disagree ...I just don't understand how it contradicts N. or S. American Indians being of Asian descent.

You want me to provide you with information about significant battles in world history,

Wait a minute here, you made a claim that for historical battles we don't have evidence, and you used that to justify no evidence for BOM battles. Yet you provided no mention of a historical battle nor support for your claim. I said give me a battle in particular and I'll look into what evidence supports it. Yikes you are twisting things.

and to provide evidence for genetic differences between Homo erectus genes and those of H. sapiens (presumably if they were identical, then the two "species" would not be different?

My understanding of the difference between the two,is that it is not determined by genetics but by bone structure and physical charactersistics and it is assumed by many scientists they didn't interbreed..that's why I asked. I want to know why they are classified as separate from one another.

  You should read Templeton's paper and some of the papers he cites for more information).  You can do some or all of this on your own rather easily.  Maybe while I'm gone you can fill in some of these blanks, and we can discuss more later.  However, if the comments are belittling of my faith, I will likely stop responding.  Skepticism and discoursive criticism are fine, but please do not demean that which I respect, however you may feel about.

You brought Templeton up and I really didn't understand why or how that affected where N. American indians migrated from, which is the main reason I mentioned OUt of Africa theory. I think I need to spend more time thinking this through why you are keen on this. I haven't finished reading your previous post and perhaps the answer is there. I'm not interested in discussing Templeton further unless it has a significant bearing on where N. American indian migrated from. Most likely my comments will belittle your faith. It's not that it's intentional..it's just that I don't place religion on a pedestal. And that is every religion, not just Mormonism. If it deserves to be demeaned I will do so. If you were to come to my house that would be another story, unless the purpose of your visit was a discussion and debate on religion.

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So I gather the BOM teaches no morals as you are chosing to be silent on the question I asked.  The questions were:  What exactly is the focus of the BOM?  Is it mainly about fights between people?  Are there moral values promoted in it?

You could, um, read it for yourself.

I will not respond to your particular comments directed against me because you take words out of context, and distort what is said.

Are you even remotely qualified to discuss the religious implications of contemporary cosmology and physics?

Have you read and understood the FARMS DNA articles?

Can someone who knows nothing about the contents of the Book of Mormon discuss it in any meaningful way?

I'm weary of communications with you.

I don't doubt it.

Your whole focus is not on issues,  but on discrediting the individual.

I haven't needed to lift a finger.

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Me:  I can always go onto the RFM board or elsewhere for an explanation on whether the BOM teaches any morals.

D.P:  Okay, Hamblin.  That's it.  The jig is up.  You've overplayed your hand.

I admit it.  You've had me going.  I fell for the ruse -- hook, line, and sinker.  But suggesting that it would be preferable to find out what's in the Book of Mormon by polling the Recovery Board instead of simply reading the Book of Mormon itself was just too much.  I may be a credulous fool, but even I have my limits.

Gee..well I went to the RFM board and literally within seconds had 3 people respond and I'll have you know they responded that it did indeed contain moral value teachings. Aren't you pleased to hear that. I noted no arrogance or deceptiveness in their answers. Quite refreshing.

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Two requests:

(1) I've decided that Confucianism is a bogus and ridiculous fraud. I would like to learn something about the content of the Analects of Confucius. I have a copy of Arthur Waley's translation of the Analects, but I'm not interested in reading it. Can anyone recommend an anti-Confucian message board where I can ask what's in the Analects?

(2) I've concluded, on the basis of several posts that I read on an Oxfordian message board, that Edward DeVere, the seventeenth earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the works of Shakespeare. Can anybody tell me what "Shakespeare" wrote? Was it fiction or non-fiction? Did he write crime novels, or operas, or essays, or country music, or plays, or limericks, or advertising jingles, or what?

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I agree with you Dan, these RF posts are truly masterful.

If Bill Hamblin didn't do it, then another person of equally recondite skills did so.

Truly marvellous.

Beowulf

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