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Book Of Mormon: New Evidence Of 19Th Century Origin


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#381 The Grimace

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 04:09 PM

Whose opinion to take??

Well, if all we have is opinion, then let's go with mine.


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#382 Benjamin McGuire

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 05:41 PM

Duane - a few further comments:

That said, I do think there is still a weightiness--a red flag, if you will--to finding a collection of relatively rare 4-grams between two texts. I won't say the case is closed that this shows a primary source, but in a quest to understand how things came to be (and I find shared common ground with you in seeking to get to the bottom of things), consider this hypothetical situation: let's say that Ellen White (Prophet of the Seventh Day Adventists) read Pride and Prejudice in her teen years and then went on to write Conflict of the Ages. What would the evidence look like if that were the case? Would we expect to see direct quotations? Possibly, but she wouldn't want to make it a dead give away that she'd copied something else. Would we expect to see influence? Yes, because when the creativity of the human mind is employed in generating a new work, it cannot help but remix things that it has encountered before (every English word we speak is a remix of someone else's using it--perhaps your parents, siblings, friends, books you've read, etc. have caused certain word sequence probabilities in your mind to outweigh other word sequence probabilities when expressing an idea).

You seem to be missing the real issue which has confronted literary theorists for the past two hundred years. The problem isn't with finding parallels where there may be something to it, its finding parallels where there isn't anything to it. How do we differentiate between the two? You want to use this system of weighting, but in the long run, how do you actually evaluate your method? What if we can take your baseline data and find two books that have a strong score in your system that couldn't possible be related to each other? Your system assumes at its lowest level that apparent correlation is a real correlation - but this is why those engaged in this study argue that these kinds of results create illusionary similarities far more than real similarities. It's this issue that you have to work in. What does coincidental similarity actually look like when run through your modeling, and can you distinguish it from real similarity that is connected? What if Ellen White had never read Pride and Prejudice. Despite the similarities that could be found, the real reason why it doesn't actually quote from it is because it was never read. There is some circular reasoning here. After all, there are two reasons why a man might deny having an affair. He might deny it because he doesn't want anyone to know that he was cheating on his wife. And of course, he might deny it if he hadn't actually had the affair. Your approach provides no reasonable way to discount it. This is what you need to offer.

If I understand your argument about authorship correctly, you're saying that finding two texts with a specific phrase that is shared by no other texts is a way we can be certain that a book has the same author. Are you also applying this authorship attribution test to this study, i.e. that we can only identify the texts that influence an author if we find matches that are in the two texts and no other?

No. This is not what I am saying. In fact, if you were to read through my review essay of Grunder's Bibligraphy, you would see how I outline a solid methodology for looking at parallels and evaluating them. However, in this particular arena - where we are doing digital searches on electronic texts, the answer is yes. Within that narrow scope, the moment you find multiple sources for a phrase is the moment that you cannot claim influence - because you have no way of determining which (if it was in fact any of those sources) that created the influence. This is a far different thing from examining contexts, usages, the rhetoric of a text, and so on, to determine influence. None of those things can happen within the context of an electronic search function. And you cannot look at texts because you have already reduced them all to meaningless n-grams (which are not themselves readable texts). I am not alone in taking this position (this is the reason for introducing Love's volume). Potentially, we could assume on issues of volume (as in comparing the Book of Mormon to the KJV and getting 25,000 hits) that there is a more solid connection, or we could look at density (as we see with the copyright statements) and see that there is a more solid connection. But your study only minimally addresses this first issue (in the sense that we would expect a higher value with 25,000 equivalencies) and the second issue not at all.

 

When you speak of influence, its not something you can define easily - and this too has been discussed a great deal over the past two centuries (as detailed in my review essay - you really should have a read).

I think the strength of the "signal" is fairly strong in the case of The Late War--a high frequency of relatively unusual terms indicates a close relationship between books.

And I don't see it as very strong at all. One of the problems in this kind of issue is that until you start just comparing texts at random, you don't have any kind of feel for what it looks like generally speaking. I have read a great many 19th century texts (I have a large personal collection of them). I have looked at them using various statistical models. I have a pretty good feel for how texts relate to one another. So I can say with some confidence that this sort of comparison does not fit well with what looks (intuitively) to be a strong connection. And I can say with some confidence that there isn't a very strong signal in this case. There isn't a high frequency of relatively unusual terms. But it's hard for me to convince you of this because you don't have the same kind of working experience with these texts that I have. Perhaps you could take a look at texts that actually do have borrowing going on and give us the details. You mention Mercy Warren's history. There was an earlier history by Ramsay that Warren claims to have used. My look indicates a strong connection between the two confirming this on the basis of baseline data without being weighted. What does your weighting system show between them? Perhaps you have compared other texts where we already know influence happened? This is the sort of baseline we need to go along with your baseline. What should we expect to see in an outcome where we already know textual reliance exists?

I would expect that all of the 159 phrases with significance score 0.25 are equally rare (within certain error bounds). I mean, that's how we found them after all--in a simple random sample of 5,000 books (from a population of ~130,000 books), these phrases are "very rare" relative to other 4-grams in the English language at that time. As mentioned before, one of the things we can do to improve our results is to expand the size of our baseline.

And I will say right now that my experience was that roughly 30 percent of them were simply not rare when I used a simple search on one electronic database as a cross check. 30 percent on just those words scoring .25 moved this book from 1st place into 5th place. But its obvious that you didn't check the rarity of those phrases across all 130,000 books. Because you simply wouldn't have had the same results. Statistically we like to use random samples when we can be fairly confident that the random sampling will be representative - and we use the sample in a way that wouldn't significantly change if we used the entire data set. However, in the case of your methods, the random sampling isn't necessarily representative, and clearly you are using the random sample in a way that would be inconsistent with using the entire data set (that is, adding more books would reduce the values of all but the most unique phrases - and those you are getting rid of in any case ....).

 

Part of what I see here is either a poorly articulated argument or a self-defeating one. When you talk of influence it seems that you are hesitant to try to refer to something as an actual source. You want to say something to the effect of - well this was in his environment, and it may have influenced his language in some way. But the way in which it gets into his argument doesn't have to come from this book directly. And for it to be in his environment suggests that you should be actually looking at that environment. Why take 5,000 books from a 330 year period leading up to the Book of Mormon? Why not narrow it down to a +/- 50 years? At that range (before and after) we can also look to see if the phrase potentially simply exists within the environment, and shouldn't be linked back to a single source or a particular source? And rather than limit it to 5,000 books, with a narrower range, why not take all of them? Your results will be more accurate.

A second issue is that there are far far more books published *after* 1830 than before (the number of books published each year seems to be on a power curve of some kind--it's amazing how much more data the human family is creating year in and year out).

I understand that there are computational issues here. But I also know that there are several factors which have a direct impact on the overlap between books (this from my personal experience) - the length of the book matters, the size of the vocabulary matters, the genre matters. The selection of texts doesn't have to be random. I think you wanted to make it random because you believed that this would create an objective mapping - but the reality is that the limitation introduced more problems than it solved. So don't make it random. Hand pick the 5,000 texts from a more appropriate time period - try to get books published in a close geographical vicinity. Because of the nature of the searches, we aren't trying to create as many rare combinations as possible, we are trying to eliminate as many as we can so that we can then look at the small handful of individual phrases with our own brains and not through an algorithm to determine whether influence exists. So not only use a hand selected group of texts, make sure there are similarities in genre. Get books about wars and histories. Perhaps some travelogs. Do your best to create the broadest overlap possible, then your sampling of texts will start to resemble the actual entire collection. But a random selection will not get you that far.

The Late War and The Book of Mormon, however, is a significant find because many of these matches *are* rare. I think that is the major contribution of our work to date. We've identified a (perhaps novel?) way of being more precise about which overlapping 4-grams have meaning and which are simply background noise.

And I am disagreeing with you. Some of them are rare (and I expect some rare ones simply due to coincidence - the Book of Mormon does have, after all, more than 200,000 unique four word phrases in it). Many of them are simply not rare. So I don't see this as a particularly effective way to eliminate noise. More to the point, it runs into the obvious problem that I didn't mention earlier. Consider this -

 

In your study of the Hunt book, there is one section of both texts that is clearly derivative and comes with a genealogy that we can map quite easily. That is, I can take that stretch of text identified in your list of parallels, mark it as significant, and then track down the sources, up to the common shared original points from which both texts derive. What section of text was that? The copyright statement. I can describe with a great deal of accuracy where it comes from, and how it evolves over time. And this is the bit of text that your algorithm identified as the most trivial section of the textual similarity. So not only do you find apparent rarity where I don't think it exists, your weighting ignores the obvious influenced part of the text as trivial. This does not make for something that gives me a sense of security in your findings.

I think this is perhaps the primary flaw in the argument presented. All of our relatedness studies show that it's only the baseline-weighted matches that matter.

And from my perspective - without access to the raw data, or the baseline data, what I see is a weighting system that cannot provide reliable results - and so its outcome is pointless. Of course, since you rank all the books, one of them has to be the winner (any complex weighting system will always yield one) but, nothing in the process the way it has been described or provided gives me any sense that the results mean anything at all. This has given you the sense that perhaps this book is much more similar to the Book of Mormon than the others - and if you only look through the lens of those 159 "rare" phrases, you might be right. But you would be ignoring the other more than 200,000 phrases of which the Book of Mormon is primarily constructed.

 

Ben M.


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#383 HairBear

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 05:52 PM

This whole argument between the Book of Mormon and The Late War reminds me of the plagiarism lawsuit brought against JK Rowling by the family of the author of Willy The Wizard.

 

http://www.dailymail...ard-author.html


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#384 Bit

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:28 PM

Okay, here are the first 10 verse of both books posted side-by-side. Would cognaitiveharmony and Sethbag and John and Canard78 and Grimace or anyone else please begin pointing out the dumbfounding and uncanny and striking similarities in writing styles, phrasing, concepts, subjects, content, language, themes, and parallels. Please help me see that the Book of Mormon was as if it were a song that had already been written in the book, Late War.

 

Compare+1.jpg

 

Once the dumbfounding similarities have been pointed out for these 10 verses, I will post the next 10 verses.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

Wade,

 

Please right-click on those annoying green lines and select "ignore". That's incredibly hard to read.


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#385 volgadon

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:31 PM

Semi similar, hits on fewer details in the general theme especially considering that the assailing army won the battle and did not flee into the forest/wilderness.  Do you have a text in mind that you feel describes this battle in a similar way so that we can look for things such as King James English in the 19th century vernacular?

 

You seem to be thinking of the final, succesful investment, but there were prior, unsuccesful attempts. One assault failed when the forlorn hope's ladders were too short to scale the walls. The French defenders then opened fire, inflicting a significant amount of casualties who were abandoned in the ditches as the British force fled. Familiar? The unsuccesful attempts are by large the reason for the subsequent barbarity of the British towards the town.


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#386 volgadon

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

The notion of bodies filling up ditches has also been shown to be a not uncommon theme in descriptions of particularly harsh battles. The evidence for direct influence is nill. 

 

 

Exactly, The sole purpose of ditches surrounding fortifications is to increase the difficulty involved in investing your fortification. You don't make it more difficult by having your enemy get a hernia from working overtime. You increase the difficulty by impeding the enemy's ability to advance, and leaving him more vulnerable to being killed. A ditch both increases the height of the fortifications and slows down the enemy who is compelled to either descend into it, or find a way to bridge it, all the while being easier to kill. The enemy, after all, is tightly packed into one location and has little freedom of movement. Completely routing the enemy would have been the ideal outcome, but even prolonging the siege could buy valuable time. In other words, if you can't make your enemy leave his troops dead in the ditch, then you are doing it wrong.


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#387 calmoriah

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:40 PM

Yes, because when the creativity of the human mind is employed in generating a new work, it cannot help but remix things that it has encountered before (every English word we speak is a remix of someone else's using it--perhaps your parents, siblings, friends, books you've read, etc. have caused certain word sequence probabilities in your mind to outweigh other word sequence probabilities when expressing an idea).

 

If this is a given, then how can one tell at what point this 'always in the air to begin with' influence becomes actually significant?


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#388 canard78

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:40 PM

I know you didn't address this to me, but I am not arguing for a heavy influence, and certainly not for Hunt's book as a source. What it offers me is another point of reference for a contemporary document that uses KJV-style language to develop certain religious and, oddly enough, military themes. For example, I'd never seen anything other than the Book of Mormon from that era that so thoroughly weds righteousness/liberty and military battles.

Does this mean the book is a source for the Book of Mormon? No, but it shows me that someone else was using the same linguistic choices to develop similar themes, thus giving another tidbit of information about the environment into which the Book of Mormon emerged.

Let me give you an analogy. I read Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling when it first came out, and then read Brodie's book a few months later. Unlike Bushman, Brodie spent time talking about different people in Joseph Smith's time and place who had claimed similar religious epiphanies. I'd never heard about these people before, so to me, Brodie's book gave me a better picture of the environment that produced Joseph Smith than Bushman's book did. Does that mean that Joseph Smith merely copied these other religious experiences? No, but it tells me that the First Vision fits in nicely with the context, and it provided more context than I had previously understood. That's how I feel about the Hunt book. It's not "proof" either way, but it helps me contextualize the Book of Mormon.

 

Thanks jkwilliams. I've limited time at the moment so haven't been able to reply to wade.


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#389 canard78

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 11:01 PM

I am not making an argument. I am scrutinizing your claim that: "I've only reached chapter 4 and... yes... strikingly similar!"

 

I don't know for certain that it was translated later. I am familiar with the Mosiah Priority theory, and I don't necessarily reject it. If you prefer to begin the comparison in Mosiah, or wherever, I am fine with that. Just let me know.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

 

I've very limited time so will get back to you in more detail. 

 

I've already stated that I don't consider The Late War to be something Joseph plagiarized. I'm interested in evidence for/against a loose or tight translation.

 

Certainly a 'tight' translation argument can simply say "well... God made the words appear on the stone. So he made words appear that would sound like the other pseudo-biblical literature of the day so it would fit in." A tight translation proponent can actually adapt to any issue that arises (such as the issue of Moroni 9 quoting the unoriginal and interpolated verses of Mark 16) by saying "he read the words of a stone in his hat, so don't blame Joseph."

 

On the other hand, those who argue for a loose translation have to find evidence of linguistic patterns and structures that could have lead to Joseph choosing the particular words that he did. Rather than assume I'm accusing Joseph of a verse by verse copy (I'm not) I'm more interested to explore whether there are books in his day that could have influenced and guided the words he chose.

 

I don't  consider Joseph an outright fraud. From the evidence available I think he genuinely believed he was dictating inspired/revealed text but I also think the way he taught Cowdery to try to translate shows that he first formulated the words in his mind, felt they were right and then spoke them out loud. 

 

So if Joseph is choosing the words of either a loose translation of an ancient document or a modern dictation of inspired scripture (and both remain options to me) I would need to show that there were contemporary sources that could influence the choice of words, sentence structures.

 

For example:

Late War: 

Page 81

38 Instead of protecting the tender women, the fairest work of God, the life of the world; behold! What hast thou done?
39 See! The shrieking matron cast herself into the waters that she may escape thy brutal violence: but all in vain; her garments are torn from her; she becomes a prey to they savage lust.
40 Not she alone, but her daughter, and her fair sisters, have fallen into the unhallowed hands, and been defiled!
41 Oh, Britain! The voice of violated chastity riseth up against thee; the mark of the beast is indelibly printed in thy forehead:

 

 

Does that sound like anything in the Book of Mormon? Could the phrasing have influenced Joseph's choice of words in dictating?

 

Mosiah 19:13-15

Or

Jacob 2:7, 32-35

Or

Moroni 9

 

I'm not claiming a verse by verse plagiarism (and never have). I'm saying the Late War has both themes and phrases that are also found in the Book of Mormon and can be offered as evidence for the sources that influenced Joseph's choice of language in dictating a loose translation or inspired modern scripture.

 

There are also multiple examples of "Hebraisms" in The Late War which have been long used as evidence for the Book of Mormon's tight translation of an ancient Hebrew book (written in reformed Egyptian). I'd say many of those evidences have been challenged by these finds.


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#390 Kevin Christensen

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:14 AM

SNIP
Let me give you an analogy. I read Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling when it first came out, and then read Brodie's book a few months later. Unlike Bushman, Brodie spent time talking about different people in Joseph Smith's time and place who had claimed similar religious epiphanies. I'd never heard about these people before, so to me, Brodie's book gave me a better picture of the environment that produced Joseph Smith than Bushman's book did. Does that mean that Joseph Smith merely copied these other religious experiences? No, but it tells me that the First Vision fits in nicely with the context, and it provided more context than I had previously understood. That's how I feel about the Hunt book. It's not "proof" either way, but it helps me contextualize the Book of Mormon.

Bushman's essay "The Visionary World of Joseph Smith" counts, IMHO, as part of the context in which I assess Joseph Smith.

https://byustudies.b...aspx?title=6465

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#391 cdowis

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 06:56 AM

 

There are also multiple examples of "Hebraisms" in The Late War which have been long used as evidence for the Book of Mormon's tight translation of an ancient Hebrew book (written in reformed Egyptian). I'd say many of those evidences have been challenged by these finds.

 

 

 

I remember the name "Alma" for a male was touted as BOM evidence, until it was pointed out that this name was also found for males in the NY 1830 Census.

 

New research gives us new information.


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#392 Tacenda

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:06 AM

I've very limited time so will get back to you in more detail.

I've already stated that I don't consider The Late War to be something Joseph plagiarized. I'm interested in evidence for/against a loose or tight translation.

Certainly a 'tight' translation argument can simply say "well... God made the words appear on the stone. So he made words appear that would sound like the other pseudo-biblical literature of the day so it would fit in." A tight translation proponent can actually adapt to any issue that arises (such as the issue of Moroni 9 quoting the unoriginal and interpolated verses of Mark 16) by saying "he read the words of a stone in his hat, so don't blame Joseph."

On the other hand, those who argue for a loose translation have to find evidence of linguistic patterns and structures that could have lead to Joseph choosing the particular words that he did. Rather than assume I'm accusing Joseph of a verse by verse copy (I'm not) I'm more interested to explore whether there are books in his day that could have influenced and guided the words he chose.

I don't consider Joseph an outright fraud. From the evidence available I think he genuinely believed he was dictating inspired/revealed text but I also think the way he taught Cowdery to try to translate shows that he first formulated the words in his mind, felt they were right and then spoke them out loud.

So if Joseph is choosing the words of either a loose translation of an ancient document or a modern dictation of inspired scripture (and both remain options to me) I would need to show that there were contemporary sources that could influence the choice of words, sentence structures.

For example:

Does that sound like anything in the Book of Mormon? Could the phrasing have influenced Joseph's choice of words in dictating?

Mosiah 19:13-15
Or
Jacob 2:7, 32-35
Or
Moroni 9

I'm not claiming a verse by verse plagiarism (and never have). I'm saying the Late War has both themes and phrases that are also found in the Book of Mormon and can be offered as evidence for the sources that influenced Joseph's choice of language in dictating a loose translation or inspired modern scripture.

There are also multiple examples of "Hebraisms" in The Late War which have been long used as evidence for the Book of Mormon's tight translation of an ancient Hebrew book (written in reformed Egyptian). I'd say many of those evidences have been challenged by these finds.

Good thing we don't say JS copied the BoM straight off the plates.
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#393 canard78

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 08:38 AM

I remember the name "Alma" for a male was touted as BOM evidence, until it was pointed out that this name was also found for males in the NY 1830 Census.

 

New research gives us new information.

 

So the Hebraisms will be unceremoniously dumped? I suppose that can be added to the Stella 5 and Quetzalcoatl evidences too. Will Chiasmus be next? That would eliminate the favourite four of my teens.


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#394 wenglund

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:04 AM

This is a fantastic critique, Ben! I appreciate the thoroughness of your comments. I have some counterpoints, but there are certainly some great issues raised that will help further the work to make this and other comparisons more accurate in the future. I hope it's clear from what we do and how we're incorporating new information that we are primarily interested in truth and understanding.

 

This is antastic! I greatly admire this approach, and have tried to emulate it myself over the years. Hopefully, it is apparent in my lay criticisms here.

 

Yes, because when the creativity of the human mind is employed in generating a new work, it cannot help but remix things that it has encountered before (every English word we speak is a remix of someone else's using it--perhaps your parents, siblings, friends, books you've read, etc. have caused certain word sequence probabilities in your mind to outweigh other word sequence probabilities when expressing an idea).

 

I can personally attest that this is at least one way that the revelatory process works, having experienced it myself--not in terms of translating an ancient record into modern English, but in answering the sincere questions of a Jewish scholar investigator while on my mission. The Spirit took over my mouth, and as I began listening to myself speak things that were at once fantastic and well beyond me, but also somewhat familiar, I sensed that bits and pieces of my thoughts and learning were spooned from the ideational pool of my mind, and reassembled together in ways I had yet to consider. The answers given to the deep questions were mine, but not mine.

 

Is this how, linguistically, the Book of Mormon was translated, either in part or whole? I don't know.  I am open to it as a plausibility (one of several that may make up a mixture of modes), and this regardless of how I may eventual come down on the side of tight vs. loose translation (I am undecided at this point).

 

Having said this, it may be important to note that the thoughts and learning and language that were drawn from my ideational pool weren't just from books. In fact, I suspect that most of them weren't since I wasn't that big of a reader up until that time. Instead, most of them came from my own cogitations and conversations with people around me and from listening to teachers in class as well as a variety of audio/video media that I had been exposed to.

 

I think it reasonable to suppose that in terms of language, the same for Joseph and the translation of the Book of Mormon (with the exception of audio/video media).

 

The point being, your study understandably only samples a small spectrum of potential cognitive influences in Joseph's day. Your algorithms can't search the vast non-textual world that Joseph experienced, and thus may register a false positive when it comes to significant and meaningful influence.  Something to consider.

 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


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#395 canard78

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

This whole argument between the Book of Mormon and The Late War reminds me of the plagiarism lawsuit brought against JK Rowling by the family of the author of Willy The Wizard.

 

http://www.dailymail...ard-author.html

 

No one's arguing for direct plagiarism. But a source of language and concept has been.

 

Where's this from, the Book of Mormon or The Late War (without using a search function)?

 

...and said unto his captains of fifties, and his captains of hundreds, Fear not; we defend our lives and our liberty, and in that thing the Lord will not forsake us.

 


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#396 canadaduane

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:01 AM

If this is a given, then how can one tell at what point this 'always in the air to begin with' influence becomes actually significant?

 

This is a great question. How do you detect a signal in a room full of noise? When you're at a party and others are discussing loudly around you, how is it that you can still pick out the words of one particular person? Computer science and signal processing has helped us discover how this is possible. Likewise, we believe we've developed a process (which we're calling Iterative Source Separation) that can do this for textual data. By iteratively removing the apparent influence of texts that are actually just "background noise" we slowly erode the noise until there is a signal that emerges. We believe this signal is evidence of sources that played a particularly important role in the remixing that eventually resulted in an author's text.

 

We're beginning to write about our method of Iterative Source Separation on the blog. See askreality.com.


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#397 wenglund

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

I'm not claiming a verse by verse plagiarism (and never have). I'm saying the Late War has both themes and phrases that are also found in the Book of Mormon and can be offered as evidence for the sources that influenced Joseph's choice of language in dictating a loose translation or inspired modern scripture.


At least in my case, the dispute has never been over plagiarism, but influence.

And, the dispute hasn't even been over verse-by verse influence. Rather, the question has been the degree of possible influence--which, to me, isn't best determined by random samples of similarities, but by a logically sequenced methodology that puts the random samplings into perspective. That is why I began at the verse-by-verse level.

And, no one is denying the similarities in language and even sub-plots. What is being questioned is whether those similarities are meaningful in determining direct influence of the Late War on the production of the Book of Mormon.

If you are going to posit that there was direct influence (which, itself, will be a daunting task to substantiate), then it is also incumbant upon you to explain how the alleged direct influence occurred during the production of the Book of Mormon. By starting at the beginning of the production, I am laying the groundwork for exploring how or whether the alleged direct influence occurred.

Is that now more clear (I thought I clarified this several times before, though apparently it didn't suffice)? There is a method to my seeming madeness that doesn't presuppose plagiarism, but scrutinizes the hypotheses regarding influence--and this in terms of the degree of influence and how the alleged influence occurred.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-
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#398 calmoriah

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:33 PM

So the Hebraisms will be unceremoniously dumped?.....Will Chiasmus be next?

If Hebraisms are found to be in the modern culture as well as the ancient, I think they need to be treated with caution.  Their complete absence would be problematic though I would assume, so I think they can be used as evidence of finding something expected in an ancient text.

 

As for Chiasmus, I think it is important to determine the level of sophistication and whether that was parallel between the modern and ancient and if not, which fits the BoM better.


Edited by calmoriah, 25 October 2013 - 12:37 PM.

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#399 canard78

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 12:50 PM

At least in my case, the dispute has never been over plagiarism, but influence.

And, the dispute hasn't even been over verse-by verse influence. Rather, the question has been the degree of possible influence--which, to me, isn't best determined by random samples of similarities, but by a logically sequenced methodology that puts the random samplings into perspective. That is why I began at the verse-by-verse level.

And, no one is denying the similarities in language and even sub-plots. What is being questioned is whether those similarities are meaningful in determining direct influence of the Late War on the production of the Book of Mormon.

If you are going to posit that there was direct influence (which, itself, will be a daunting task to substantiate), then it is also incumbant upon you to explain how the alleged direct influence occurred during the production of the Book of Mormon. By starting at the beginning of the production, I am laying the groundwork for exploring how or whether the alleged direct influence occurred.

Is that now more clear (I thought I clarified this several times before, though apparently it didn't suffice)? There is a method to my seeming madeness that doesn't presuppose plagiarism, but scrutinizes the hypotheses regarding influence--and this in terms of the degree of influence and how the alleged influence occurred.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


It's very clear what you're aiming to do. I just don't agree with your methodology. If you're defending the accusation that Joseph made it up (which isn't coming from me) then I can understand you're trying to illustrate the BoM contains different structures, themes and sequence to The Late War.
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"Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth." Elder Uchtdorf, What is Truth? January 2013

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#400 webbles

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 07:27 PM



No one's arguing for direct plagiarism. But a source of language and concept has been.

 

Where's this from, the Book of Mormon or The Late War (without using a search function)?

 

 

...and said unto his captains of fifties, and his captains of hundreds, Fear not; we defend our lives and our liberty, and in that thing the Lord will not forsake us.

 

 

I'm going to guess and say the Late War.  It doesn't sound like the Book of Mormon.

 

A side note, how do you quote a user and keep their inner quotes?  I had to re-add that inner quote back into the quote.


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