Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Bernard Gui

Scientific proof for Ether 15:2

Recommended Posts

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

Quote

 He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

Edited by Bernard Gui

Share this post


Link to post

Yes and No. 

Apologists can find creative answers, like saying that it is an ancient exaggeration, so that means the Bible and the Book of Mormon is not falsifiable.

However, science can verify that there is no evidence of such battle (2 million dead) in ancient pre-classic Mesoamerica.  

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

Yes and No. 

Apologists can find creative answers, like saying that it is an ancient exaggeration, so that means the Bible and the Book of Mormon is not falsifiable.

However, science can verify that there is no evidence of such battle (2 million dead) in ancient pre-classic Mesoamerica.  

There is also no evidence that such a battle did not take, or could not, take place.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, ksfisher said:

There is also no evidence that such a battle did not take, or could not, take place.

The burden of proof falls on you, show me evidence that 2 million is at least plausible. 

Bytheway, one of the best Book of Mormon defenders, Stephen Smoot, said "Book of Mormon's Battle Numbers Don't Add Up" He then thinks speculation is evidence.

It is true that the ancients did exaggerate, but there is no evidence that 2 million was meant as an exaggeration. Perhaps it was direct revelation? 

but when Book of Mormon says barley, it is truly barley. 

 

 

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

Share this post


Link to post
34 minutes ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

The burden of proof falls on you, show me evidence that 2 million is at least plausible. 

Bytheway, one of the best Book of Mormon defenders, Stephen Smoot, said "Book of Mormon's Battle Numbers Don't Add Up

 

 

I would agree that the numbers are improbable.  However, improbability does not equal impossibility. 

 

Edited by ksfisher

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

but when Book of Mormon says barley, it is truly barley. 

You kiss yer mom with that there mocking mouth, TSC?

Besides, your sneer notwithstanding, barley was not unknown in preColumbian times:  http://mormonchallenges.org/book-of-mormon-5-barley-and-wheat/

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

Why is that even an important question? 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

Many misread this portion of Ether.  If you read closely, you will see that those two million people were killed over a period of time in which there were 5 kings against whom Coriantumr fought.  And in that window of time, there are two 2-year periods described as well.

The kings against whom Coriantumr fought after Ether told Coriantumr that he would live to see the destruction of his household (Ether 13:20-21):

1.  Shared

2.  Brother Shared (Gilead)

3.  Gilead's High Priest (who murdered Gilead as he "sat upon his throne").

4. Secret combination who killed Gilead's High Priest in a "secret pass" (Lib).

5.  Shiz (Lib's brother).

So two million people died in warfare over a period of many years (The critics never understand this text or represent this correctly).

Can anybody provide examples of other locations where fields of bones have been found from battles or wars that took place in the same time period (2nd and 3rd centuries BC)?

In fact, the text of the Book of Mormon describes these bodies being left upon the ground to rot.  Anybody familiar with how long it takes for a body to completely decompose (including bones) when left on the ground?  Anybody familiar with how the conditions in Mesoamerica influence the length of time required for a body to decompose.

Suffice it to say, this is a criticism that is uninformed on many levels.

A body left on the ground will be completely decomposed (including bones) within a few years.  Heat and moisture speed up the process.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

The burden of proof falls on you, show me evidence that 2 million is at least plausible. 

No one owes you anything particularly with how badly you mangled the scripture and asked for evidence for something the scripture does not even support. Stop being a doofus.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

First, we've got to work on actual guitars.  Second  ...  well, it involves a phone booth: 

 

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, USU78 said:

Besides, your sneer notwithstanding, barley was not unknown in preColumbian times:  http://mormonchallenges.org/book-of-mormon-5-barley-and-wheat/

but because it was found now you can say that Book of Mormon barley is truly barley. 

Bytheway, there is no evidence of barley in ancient Mesoamerica. 

3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

No one owes you anything particularly with how badly you mangled the scripture and asked for evidence for something the scripture does not even support. Stop being a doofus.

What? I was simply saying that the Book of Mormon is not falsifiable. It is Bernard Gui that is asking for proof. Please read what I am saying before attacking me like that. 

So, do you believe it was literally 2 million? or an exaggeration? 

5 hours ago, ksfisher said:

I would agree that the numbers are improbable.  However, improbability does not equal impossibility. 

 

I agree, but it is not useful, we can't be 100% sure of anything. 

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

That is indeed a large number before the industrialization of warfare. However in the closing years of the people found in the Book of Ether, the Nephites and Lamanites warfare became so intense that at the end of each day's war, they slept upon their swords and warfare went on and on. But even in Joseph's day, if he were drawing upon early (his) history, he would be drawing on pre-industrial war. 

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

On another thread, a poster questioned whether or not science can verify Ether 15:2.

I'm open to any comments on how this could be done. I suppose it involves evidence of 2 million dead bodies from a cataclysmic battle.

Ether 15 makes several things clear, in addition to a very large population -- the Jaredites have writing (15:4-5), and they use some sort of shields, breastplates, head-plates, and swords (15:15,24,30).  These events take place in the vicinity of the Waters of Ripliancum (15:8) and the Hill Ramah (15:11 = Hill Cumorah), all in the Land Northward, which later becomes known as the Land of Desolation.

Does anyplace in the Western Hemisphere fit that description?  Yes, Mexico just north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.  Olmec country.

Do we know of a battlefield in that area where such large numbers perished?  No, but then we hardly expect such a site to be preserved for thousands of years, unless some warriors died and sank into a bog or marshy area which preserved them, their weapons, and DNA.  As for a battle site found recently in Europe -- http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle ..  Such sites are very unusual.

Share this post


Link to post

Odds are it probably wasn't exactly 2 million. I would think that was an estimate. It may have only been 1,999,996. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Do we know of a battlefield in that area where such large numbers perished?  No, but then we hardly expect such a site to be preserved for thousands of yearsvery unusual.

even Brant Gardner says 2 million is an exaggeration.

Edited by TheSkepticChristian

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, ksfisher said:

I would agree that the numbers are improbable.  However, improbability does not equal impossibility. 

 

U.S. dead in all of WW2 totaled just under 418,000.  That is a mechanized country fighting other mechanized countries with tanks, bombers, napalm, machine guns, and ships.  Two million did not die in some supposed ancient war using primitive weapons. The logistics of supplying armies that large would require a massive infrastructure. There would be physical evidence of something of this magnitude.  There would oral and written records passed down.  This plus the Jadeite barge story really show that someone had a good imagination.

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

Yes and No. 

Apologists can find creative answers, like saying that it is an ancient exaggeration, so that means the Bible and the Book of Mormon is not falsifiable.

However, science can verify that there is no evidence of such battle (2 million dead) in ancient pre-classic Mesoamerica.  

You need to be more precise. It isn't apologists, it is historians. You are suggesting that Thucydides couldn't have written history because we know that he intentionally enlarged the numbers of Persians. That certainly suggests that the number was suspect, but says nothing about the actual event. On point 1, it has nothing to do with apologists inventing anything. It is historians dealing with the nature of historical documents.

On the second point, you are correct that no battle that large has been found. Of course, the "that large" hinges on the prior error, but the missing evidence of battles remains. On that point you should consult the archaeologists as well as historians. There are some very large Aztec battles recorded in history for which we have no archaeological evidence. The missing evidence you suggest is a problem is endemic in the area and creates an issue for cultures much later than that in Ether. We don't have all that many bones of the people who lived in an area, let alone in battlefields that were likely not in the cities where the excavations are happening.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, TheSkepticChristian said:

even Brant Gardner says 2 million is an exaggeration.

Right. And why? First is the problem of counts and estimates in antiquity. People rarely counted that high, it would be rare to walk through a battlefield counting bodies, and the science of estimates awaited a thousand years or so to be invented. Numbers in the Book of Mormon do not "behave" like counts--particularly in the larger numbers. Combining what is known of how historical peoples used numbers, and particularly looking at the way numbers are used in the Book of Mormon, these large battle numbers should not be taken at face value.

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Brant Gardner said:

You need to be more precise. It isn't apologists, it is historians. You are suggesting that Thucydides couldn't have written history because we know that he intentionally enlarged the numbers of Persians. That certainly suggests that the number was suspect, but says nothing about the actual event. On point 1, it has nothing to do with apologists inventing anything. It is historians dealing with the nature of historical documents.

On the second point, you are correct that no battle that large has been found. Of course, the "that large" hinges on the prior error, but the missing evidence of battles remains. On that point you should consult the archaeologists as well as historians. There are some very large Aztec battles recorded in history for which we have no archaeological evidence. The missing evidence you suggest is a problem is endemic in the area and creates an issue for cultures much later than that in Ether. We don't have all that many bones of the people who lived in an area, let alone in battlefields that were likely not in the cities where the excavations are happening.

I'm hearing you say that Science does not prove the book of Ether. There is no archaeological evidence for such a large battle. As you state, this is very understandable. "Proof" of historicity doesn't exist but missing evidence doesn't prove it didn't happen either.

 

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'm hearing you say that Science does not prove the book of Ether. There is no archaeological evidence for such a large battle. As you state, this is very understandable. "Proof" of historicity doesn't exist but missing evidence doesn't prove it didn't happen either.

 

A large part of apologetics seems to be coming up with explanations for how the lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon does not prove it ahistorical.

Share this post


Link to post

The book of mormon and Bible will always be possible, even though they are highly improbable as historical documents. Ether 12, the Exodus, God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, and the garden of eden are examples of the improbable. It seems that Joseph Smith and his Biblical counterparts had good imaginations. 

Share this post


Link to post
52 minutes ago, consiglieri said:

A large part of apologetics seems to be coming up with explanations for how the lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon does not prove it ahistorical.

True. It's hard to prove a negative.

Also, science can neither prove that Yoda existed, or that he didn't, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away.

So those who want to believe, can.

Edited by HappyJackWagon

Share this post


Link to post
31 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

True. It's hard to prove a negative.

Also, science can neither prove that Yoda existed, or that he didn't, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away.

So those who want to believe, can.

So, is wanting to believe what it comes down to?  If so, shouldn't the missionary work be radically changed and/or toned down?

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, James Tunney said:

So, is wanting to believe what it comes down to?  If so, shouldn't the missionary work be radically changed and/or toned down?

I don't know that the two are connected but sure, I'll bite. Missionary work should be radically changed and toned down.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By blarsen
      Has anyone sorted out the mystery of the secret writings of the Brother of Jared, the stones or interpeters that were hidden up with them, and how both Mosiah (Ether 4:1) and Moroni may have gotten them (Ether 4:4)?  Ancillary question would be whether Alma's Gazelem (Alma 37:23) are the same as Ether's  "interpreters/stones" (Ether 3:23,28; 4:5)?  There is no indication I can find that the 24-gold plates found by the exploration party sent by Limhi to find the land of Zarahemla, contained anything other than the Book of Ether . .. . no indication they also contained the secret writings of the Brother of Jared OR the interpreters, else why would Limhi ask Ammon if he knew who could interpret them, or that Ammon knew that Alma had such devices before the 24 plates were found?
    • By Maidservant
      I found this in my web surfing today and was fascinated by the connections this person presented in his introduction (he makes no factual claims).  Such as that these two brothers were Princes of Uber (which was an ancient Sumerian city).  As well as a Vedic connection.
       
      Here.
       
      Trying to google further on the names he used, at least the spelling, I did not come up with much further.  Reading through the Sumerian King List did not readily give clues.
       
      The closest expansion of information is regarding the Prophet 'Ad or Hud:
       
      Here.
       
      Also I did see that the name "Erad" as used in the Bible was equivalent to "Jared", although the Erad in the Bible was a later person.
       
      Anyway, has anyone else encountered or explored these possibilities, or am I already behind the times?
    • By altersteve
      As I was reading the Book of Mormon today, I realized that the people of Jared may not have come from the time of the Tower of Babel described in the Bible as previously thought, but from the time of another "confounding of tongues." This, to me, could be a different event that took place at another time and elsewhere, since the Tower of Babel is never mentioned in the Book of Mormon at all. Any thoughts on this?
      I could be wrong about this, of course, and I probably am, but it's an idea. Has any research been done regarding a "confounding of languages" that happened at the time and place of the people of Jared?
×
×
  • Create New...