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JarMan

Joseph Smith: The World's Greatest Guesser

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Posted (edited)
On 5/5/2019 at 3:16 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

However, all that has really been an effort to cover Coe's actual, professional opinion, which is that Mesoamerican culture was derived entirely from ancient Kampuchea (Cambodia) by diffusion across the Pacific Ocean.  8)

Yes, Coe does see similarities between the ancient Khmer/Kamara and the Maya.

On 5/5/2019 at 3:24 PM, Robert F. Smith said:

Au contraire, mon frère JarMan.  When Rajah Manchou hears of this, he will set us all straight with proof positive that it is Southeast Asia to which we must turn for the tightest set of Bayesian correspondences.

Indeed. Maybe we could get the Dales to have a look at Coe's other book Angkor And The Khmer Civilization.

Coe knows:

  • The civilization of the Ancient Khmer (known in ancient texts as Kumr and Kamara) appears in 582 BC on the southern portion of a peninsula that matches the Book of Mormon geography.
  • The founder of this civilization had a divine vision that he should depart his land for a new land and, upon waking, found divine instruments.
  • The northern part of the peninsula (called Rahma) began in the 5th century BC and was founded by an exiled prince bearing a Babylonian name.
  • These two groups meet in the center of the peninsula at a city called Srah and go on to form a larger kingdom called Kamara or Kommoriyya.
  • This civilization was also known as Zhenla.
  • An older civilization dating to 3000 BC existed there, in Rahma, and the founder was a Morian king from a place called Moron.
  • There was a massive battle involving hundreds of thousands in Komorriya in the 5th century AD and a complete change in culture and government takes place.
  • Their greatest warrior king was named Maroni. 
  • Inscriptions on plates of brass and gold have been found dating back to this period.

The ancient Khmer (Kamara) also had domesticated silkworms, elephants, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, and horses and they were banging out iron ingots in the 6th century BC. The dates line up, the civilizations, cities and states bear the same names, the material culture is the same, the battles take place at the same time, the founding mythologies correspond.

The challenge remains open, find one thing in the ancient civilization of Kamara that does not correspond to the Book of Mormon.

Edited by Rajah Manchou
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    Okay so did anyone see and testify that Joseph Smith Jr was seen sneaking into any of the lecture classes at Dartmouth or in it's Library taking massive notes and sneaking out with hundreds of pages of notes copied from books he spent hundreds off hours writting from ?. 

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20 minutes ago, Anakin7 said:

Okay so did anyone see and testify that Joseph Smith Jr was seen sneaking into any of the lecture classes at Dartmouth or in it's Library taking massive notes and sneaking out with hundreds of pages of notes copied from books he spent hundreds off hours writting from ?. 

Not Joseph Smith Jr, but other figures in Mormon Studies took the lectures at Dartmouth: Ethan Smith, Solomon Spaulding and Hiram Smith.
Two out of those three took what they learned from lectures with John Smith and wrote books about Hebrews in America.

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19 minutes ago, Anakin7 said:

    Okay so did anyone see and testify that Joseph Smith Jr was seen sneaking into any of the lecture classes at Dartmouth or in it's Library taking massive notes and sneaking out with hundreds of pages of notes copied from books he spent hundreds off hours writting from ?. ...............................

Well, of course, it had to have been his older brother Hyrum (who actually had a connection with Dartmouth) who got hold of an Early Modern English manuscript -- an already extant manuscript which had somehow found its way into the Dartmouth Library, in a trunkfull of books shipped in from England long before.....  Which became part of the Smith Family business:  Even explicit in the naming of Don Carlos Smith -- Carlito -- until some other Family put out a hit on Hyrum & Joe, hahahaha, :ph34r:

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On 5/6/2019 at 7:20 AM, JarMan said:

I have no doubt a Southeast Asian setting will have almost all of the same correspondences cited by the Interpreter article. Consider these 33 claimed political correspondences:

Fundamental level of political organization is the independent city-state, “Capital” or leading city-state dominates a cluster of other communities, Some subordinate city-states shift their allegiance to a different “capital” city, Complex state institutions, Many cities exist, City of Laman (Lamanai) “occcupied from earliest times”, Parts of the land were very densely settled, Large-scale public works,  Some rulers live in luxury, Elaborate thrones, Royalty exists, with attendant palaces, courts and nobles, Royal or elite marriages for political purposes, Feasting for political purposes, Gifts to the king for political advantage, Political factions organize around a member of the elite, Foreigners move in and take over government, often as family dynasties, City administrative area with bureaucrats and aristocrats, Records kept specifically of the reigns of the kings, Native leaders incorporated in power structure after subjugation, Tribute required of subjects, Limited number of important patrilineages, King and “king elect”, There are captains serving kings, Political power is exercised by family dynasties, Kings rule over subordinate provincial or territorial rulers, some of noble blood (subkings), “Seating” means accession to political power, Separation of civil and religious authority, Those of noble birth aspire to power, Royal courts imitate their enemies, Royal courts function as “great households”, Candidates for high office had to possess hidden knowledge, Abrupt breaks in dynasties, Subservient peoples are said to “possess” the land while ruled by a dominant power

What civilization has ever existed for a thousand years that doesn't have at least 25 of these 33 correspondences? I would think most would have at least 30. The remaining 98 correspondences in the categories Cultural and Social, Religious, Military, Physical and Geographical, Technological and Miscellaneous are just as general. What the paper really shows is how well the Book of Mormon reflects real civilizations, in general. It does not show that there is anything particularly Mesoamerican about the Book of Mormon.

Can confirm all 33 correspondences, plus many more, exist in ancient Kamara in Southeast Asia. 
The Dales' methodology has problems.

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37 minutes ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Yes, Coe does see similarities between the ancient Khmer/Kamara and the Maya.

Indeed. Maybe we could get the Dales to have a look at Coe's other book Angkor And The Khmer Civilization.

Coe knows:

  • The civilization of the Ancient Khmer (known in ancient texts as Kumr and Kamara) appears in 582 BC on the southern portion of a peninsula that matches the Book of Mormon geography.
  • The founder of this civilization had a divine vision that he should depart his land for a new land and, upon waking, found divine instruments.
  • The northern part of the peninsula (called Rahma) began in the 5th century BC and was founded by an exiled prince bearing a Babylonian name.
  • An older civilization dating to 3000 BC existed here in a land called Rahma, the founder was a Morian king from a place called Moron.
  • These two groups meet in the center of the peninsula at a city called Srah and go on to form a larger kingdom called Kamara or Kommoriyya.
  • This civilization was also known as Zhenla.
  • There was a massive battle involving hundreds of thousands in Komorriya in the 5th century AD and a complete change in culture and government takes place.
  • Their greatest warrior king was named Maroni. 
  • Inscriptions on plates of brass and gold have been found dating back to this period.

The ancient Khmer (Kamara) also had domesticated silkworms, elephants, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, and horses and they were banging out iron ingots in the 6th century BC. The dates line up, the civilizations, cities and states bear the same names, the material culture is the same, the battles take place at the same time, the founding mythologies correspond.

The challenge remains open, find one thing in the ancient civilization of Kamara that does not correspond to the Book of Mormon.

Brilliant, Rajah.  Puts the coup de grâce to any facile set of correspondences, including those put forth by Dan Vogel & Co.

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On 5/4/2019 at 2:27 AM, JarMan said:

A recent Interpreter article entitled "Joseph Smith: The World’s Greatest Guesser (A Bayesian Statistical Analysis of Positive and Negative Correspondences between the

I'm going to go out on limb and say that either Joseph Smith was "the world's greatest guesser", or the Dales are the world's worst thinkers when it comes to making statistical arguments about the likelihood of perceived correspondences in texts showing up.

Between the two, I know which is most likely.

 

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9 hours ago, Rajah Manchou said:

Yes, Coe does see similarities between the ancient Khmer/Kamara and the Maya.

Indeed. Maybe we could get the Dales to have a look at Coe's other book Angkor And The Khmer Civilization.

Coe knows:

  • The civilization of the Ancient Khmer (known in ancient texts as Kumr and Kamara) appears in 582 BC on the southern portion of a peninsula that matches the Book of Mormon geography.
  • The founder of this civilization had a divine vision that he should depart his land for a new land and, upon waking, found divine instruments.
  • The northern part of the peninsula (called Rahma) began in the 5th century BC and was founded by an exiled prince bearing a Babylonian name.
  • These two groups meet in the center of the peninsula at a city called Srah and go on to form a larger kingdom called Kamara or Kommoriyya.
  • This civilization was also known as Zhenla.
  • An older civilization dating to 3000 BC existed there, in Rahma, and the founder was a Morian king from a place called Moron.
  • There was a massive battle involving hundreds of thousands in Komorriya in the 5th century AD and a complete change in culture and government takes place.
  • Their greatest warrior king was named Maroni. 
  • Inscriptions on plates of brass and gold have been found dating back to this period.

The ancient Khmer (Kamara) also had domesticated silkworms, elephants, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, and horses and they were banging out iron ingots in the 6th century BC. The dates line up, the civilizations, cities and states bear the same names, the material culture is the same, the battles take place at the same time, the founding mythologies correspond.

The challenge remains open, find one thing in the ancient civilization of Kamara that does not correspond to the Book of Mormon.

Yet somehow Dr. Coe does not see the fit of this civilization to the Book of Mormon story that you do.

Why is that?

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35 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

Yet somehow Dr. Coe does not see the fit of this civilization to the Book of Mormon story that you do.

Why is that?

For the same reason everybody who knows, or learns, doesn't acknowledge it.
It is so outrageous and unbelievable that people just shrug their shoulders. 
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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The thing that always gets me is the idea that a 24 y.o. With little more than a sixth grade education,  Could invent all the stuff in the in the Book of Mormon, revolutionize how the doctrines in the Bible are seen and practiced etc etc all by himself.

 

when I was 24, I had a college education, and access to many more resources than JS had (had I known about them) and call me stupid but I could not have accomplished or invented all the stuff JS did. I don’t think JS had access to many historical resources to even help him with inventing anything. He lived in an essentially rural environment.  

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    Ah but Mohammed was as illiterate [if not more so] as Joseph Smith J.r and he produces the Koran.

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Having looked a bit more at the article I see another serious problem, besides the extremely grave problem that many obviously correlated features are treated as independent random guesses. It is that the maximum weight which can be assigned to any discrepancies between Nephite and Mayan societies is artificially and arbitrarily set at fifty. According to the authors' methodology there could literally never exist any discrepancy, however severe, which could make it more than fifty times more likely that the Book of Mormon was invented rather than authentic.

This is absurd. Suppose I read a purported description of American society which makes it out that the office of US President is hereditary. Even considering only that one glaring error means that the odds that this purported description is bogus are way more than 50:1. It's not as though one political theorist in fifty thinks the presidency is hereditary. I'm not sure even one in a million thinks that. So artificially limiting the damage that can be done to a book's credibility to no more than a factor of fifty is completely unjustifiable. Serious discrepancies can boost the likelihood of being fake by way, way more than a factor of fifty.

Insofar as the authors multiply many small probabilities together when they are obviously correlated, the authors wildly exaggerate the unlikelihood of Joseph Smith inventing a text with this level of correspondence to Mayan society. And insofar as they artificially limit the disconfirmatory effect of discrepancies, they wildly underestimate the severity of adverse evidence like Nephite steelmaking. And since both of these serious methodological flaws have exponentially strong effects on the paper's results, they really do undermine even the apparently overwhelmingly strong case that the authors have made.

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50 minutes ago, Physics Guy said:

Having looked a bit more at the article I see another serious problem, besides the extremely grave problem that many obviously correlated features are treated as independent random guesses. It is that the maximum weight which can be assigned to any discrepancies between Nephite and Mayan societies is artificially and arbitrarily set at fifty. According to the authors' methodology there could literally never exist any discrepancy, however severe, which could make it more than fifty times more likely that the Book of Mormon was invented rather than authentic.

This is absurd. Suppose I read a purported description of American society which makes it out that the office of US President is hereditary. Even considering only that one glaring error means that the odds that this purported description is bogus are way more than 50:1. It's not as though one political theorist in fifty thinks the presidency is hereditary. I'm not sure even one in a million thinks that. So artificially limiting the damage that can be done to a book's credibility to no more than a factor of fifty is completely unjustifiable. Serious discrepancies can boost the likelihood of being fake by way, way more than a factor of fifty.

Insofar as the authors multiply many small probabilities together when they are obviously correlated, the authors wildly exaggerate the unlikelihood of Joseph Smith inventing a text with this level of correspondence to Mayan society. And insofar as they artificially limit the disconfirmatory effect of discrepancies, they wildly underestimate the severity of adverse evidence like Nephite steelmaking. And since both of these serious methodological flaws have exponentially strong effects on the paper's results, they really do undermine even the apparently overwhelmingly strong case that the authors have made.

It's even more bizarre when the max 50:1 odds are granted in favor of BOM historicity for things like 1) poisonous snakes existed 2) terrain is such that it’s easy to get lost 3) stones were used as weapons. 

So let's say, I wrote a short essay about ancient Mesoamerica where the main character went on a journey riding a horse, got attacked by thieves using stones as weapons but fought them off with his steel sword, then got lost, and eventually stung by a poisonous snake and died. The authors would be weight this evidence as more likely to be accurately describing Mesoamerica than inaccurately describing Mesomerica.

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 8:40 AM, 10THAmendment said:

One of the problems here is that the events in the BOM didn’t occur anywhere near Mesoamerica. Moroni lived in New York. 

This is like comparing the BOM to a history book about Australian Aboriginals, finding similarities (because you’re looking for them), and then concluding that the BOM is true. 

Do you believe the BoM reflects Joseph’s experience and knowledge gained in upstate New York?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2019 at 6:51 AM, ALarson said:

He had years (7 or 8 ) if he started thinking about writing a new Bible or book even if it was just from when he reported the first visit by Moroni.  

So, the "not enough time" argument does not work, IMO.  If people believe he lied about being the author, then why wouldn't he have lied about when he started writing it?

At what age do you suggest he began writing his magnum opus? Where did he do it? No one who knew or worked with him ever made such a suggestion before, during, or after the book’s appearance. Those who knew him best said it was not possible for him to write a book. It would be difficult to hide such an endeavor while living in cramped family quarters, working on the family farm, doing the odd construction projects, and spending the nights and weekends looking for hidden treasures. 

Edited by Bernard Gui
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16 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Do you believe the BoM reflects Joseph’s experience and knowledge gained in upstate New York?

Could be. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2019 at 9:09 PM, Rajah Manchou said:

Not Joseph Smith Jr, but other figures in Mormon Studies took the lectures at Dartmouth: Ethan Smith, Solomon Spaulding and Hiram Smith.
Two out of those three took what they learned from lectures with John Smith and wrote books about Hebrews in America.

Do you mean Spalding? Manuscript Found was about Romans in America.

 

Edited by Bernard Gui

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9 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Yet somehow Dr. Coe does not see the fit of this civilization to the Book of Mormon story that you do.

Why is that?

Coe's serious scholarship is limited to Maya, Olmec, and Angkor Wat.  The Book of Mormon for him is looney tunes.

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24 minutes ago, 10THAmendment said:

Could be. 

Should we expect to find place and tribal names that reflect that area (NY) and common words describing Native Americans in his story?

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Posted (edited)

In the world of statistics ,setting a probability outside of cards or dice or similar events is really a guess unless you have a multitude of examples to draw from. That is how actuarial tables are built for insurance purposes etc. The rates charged are based upon millions of similar events eg. the number of car accidents in the age group of 16 to 25 years olds. Raw data is compiled and massaged to get an estimate for the probability of a random person of that age having an accident and the rates charged accordingly. 

In the OP article , the probabilities are chosen for low , medium , and high. Some justification is given for each choice. If you don't like their choices pick others and redo the calculations. Try 1:1000   and 1: 100 and 1:10 and justify your reasoning . Without many " silk " examples to chose from your guess is just as arbitrary as theirs. I suspect that the final numbers will always be   stunningly small for the chance that JS wrote the book himself.

Just for fun https://discovertheodds.com/what-are-the-odds-of-being-struck-by-lightning/

Note : lightening hits the earth about 8 million times per day. 

Edited by strappinglad
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Posted (edited)

Is this paper an elaborate hoax? I'm reading it looking for signs that intelligent, sincere people wrote it, and I'm coming up short. I'm not trying to be snarky here--this is a sincere question.

As an example of why I'm skeptical, consider their point number 6.3 "Multiple calendars kept." On this point, they compare the calendar system in the Book of Mormon to the calendar system the Mayans used. The Book of Mormon calendar is composed of days, weeks, months, and years. Sometimes they counted years from when Lehi left Jerusalem. Sometimes from when there was a change in government. We know from how the Bible syncs with the Book of Mormon that Book of Mormon years are the same thing as what we would think of as years. It's worth noting that the modern conception of calendars is different than the ancient Hebrew calendar, and there is no indication that the writers of the Book of Mormon were using a Hebrew calendar(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar). 

In contrast, the Mayans had a very elaborate calendar with 365-day Haabs, which overlapped another 260-day calendar called a "Tzolkin" that had 20 periods of 13 days. A specific date is set by the intersection of the Haab and the Tzolkin, which circles around on a cycle of about 52 years. And then it has "long counts" of 2,880,000 days, with the long count starting about 3,000 B.C.

So, when you compare how the Book of Mormon tracks dates (i.e. exactly like us, except with years starting when there are different changes in rulers) to how the Mayans track dates with these overlapping cycles of 260 days, is this a hit or a miss in terms of the Book of Mormon fitting in a Mayan setting? I would call it a miss. But according to Dr. Dale and Dr. Dale, this is a spectacular hit that by itself proves that the Book of Mormon is Mayan in origin!

In their exact words:

Quote

6.3 Multiple calendars kept

Coe’s standard: “Meshing with the 260-day count is a ‘Vague Year’ or Ha’b of 365 days, so called because the actual length of the solar year is about a quarter-day more. … Although the Maya were perfectly aware that the Ha’b was shorter than the tropical year, they did not change the calendar accordingly. … From this it follows that a particular day in the 260-day count, such as 1 K’an, also had a position in the Ha’b, for instance 2 Pop. A day designated as 1 K’an 2 Pop could not return until 52 Ha’b (18,980 days) had passed. This is the Calendar Round” (pp. 64‒65).

 

Book of Mormon correspondence: See 3 Nephi 1:1; 3 Nephi 2:7‒8.

 

Analysis of correspondence: The correspondence is specific and detailed. Not only were multiple calendars kept, both The Maya and the Book of Mormon describe exactly how they were kept. If the keeping of one calendar is unusual, then keeping several different calendars is even more unusual. We would like to give this a higher weighting than 0.02 (1 in a million?), but cannot by the constraints we have imposed on ourselves.

 

Likelihood = 0.02

Furthermore, points 6.1 and 3.18 are also about calendars, which they consider independent hits. So when you multiply these three odds together, they are claiming that the way the Book of Mormon describes dates is so spectacularly like the way the Mayans handled dates that the odds of Joseph Smith successfully guessed these details about Mayan culture on his own is 25,000 to 1. But that is very conservative, based upon the constraints the authors imposed upon themselves.

Does anybody think they are sincere about this? When you read the way the Book of Mormon describes dates, (e.g. "Behold, four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Savior" Mormon 8:6) do you think, "Wow! How could Dr. Coe possibly claim that this has 'little to do with early Indian cultures as we know them'? Counting the years since the coming of our Lord and Savior is so uncannily Mayan you can't help but be amazed at how well this fits into their culture! The odds of Joseph Smith successfully guessing this amazing Mayan detail on his own must be at least 25,000 to 1!!!"

 

 

Note: After the phrase "Likelihood = 0.02" these are my words, not Dr. Dale & Dr. Dale's--I'm struggling with the editor to remove that from the quote box.

 

Edited by Analytics
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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

In the world of statistics ,setting a probability outside of cards or dice or similar events is really a guess unless you have a multitude of examples to draw from. That is how actuarial tables are built for insurance purposes etc. The rates charged are based upon millions of similar events eg. the number of car accidents in the age group of 16 to 25 years olds. Raw data is compiled and massaged to get an estimate for the probability of a random person of that age having an accident and the rates charged accordingly. 

In the OP article , the probabilities are chosen for low , medium , and high. Some justification is given for each choice. If you don't like their choices pick others and redo the calculations. Try 1:1000   and 1: 100 and 1:10 and justify your reasoning . Without many " silk " examples to chose from your guess is just as arbitrary as theirs. I suspect that the final numbers will always be   stunningly small for the chance that JS wrote the book himself.

Just for fun https://discovertheodds.com/what-are-the-odds-of-being-struck-by-lightning/

Note : lightening hits the earth about 8 million times per day. 

The problem is much deeper than statistics and odds. The authors, who are not unbiased, are picking out hits and misses. Can you imagine how the results might be different if Michael Coe choose the hits and misses? As analytics pointed out above, the authors feel the calendar match deserves a 1:1,000,000 chance. Me looking at it, I would not call it a hit at all. The whole thing is garbage. 

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

The authors, who are not unbiased, are picking out hits and misses.

Now if they had gotten someone who had never read the Book of Mormon to go through Coe's book and pull out all the facts and then see if something similar was mentioned or contradicted...

I haven't read much of the study, the whole assigning probabilities to events when you can't actually know the probability just doesn't appeal to me.  Using Coe's book means at best it shows consistency with Coe's views expressed in his book...which may or may not be accurate or thorough.  Add the tied probability issue mentioned above and using events consistent with other ancient people (possibly from the Bible as well?) rather than relatively unique...it just doesn't interest me.

Did they use a control book, another book written in that time period with a historical setting?  Or compare to a book of that period describing the area to eliminate what might not be guesses?  I have no clue about texts that were available at the time.

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

Do you mean Spaulding? Manuscript Found was about Romans in America.

The Oberlin Manuscript was about Romans in America.
Manuscript Found was said to be a story about Israelites who migrated to America.
We don't know what the relationship is between the Oberlin Manuscript and Manuscript Found.

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2 hours ago, Analytics said:

Is this paper an elaborate hoax? I'm reading it looking for signs that intelligent, sincere people wrote it, and I'm coming up short. I'm not trying to be snarky here--this is a sincere question.

As an example of why I'm skeptical, consider their point number 6.3 "Multiple calendars kept." On this point, they compare the calendar system in the Book of Mormon to the calendar system the Mayans used. The Book of Mormon calendar is composed of days, weeks, months, and years. Sometimes they counted years from when Lehi left Jerusalem. Sometimes from when there was a change in government. We know from how the Bible syncs with the Book of Mormon that Book of Mormon years are the same thing as what we would think of as years. It's worth noting that the modern conception of calendars is different than the ancient Hebrew calendar, and there is no indication that the writers of the Book of Mormon were using a Hebrew calendar(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_calendar). 

In contrast, the Mayans had a very elaborate calendar with 365-day Haabs, which overlapped another 260-day calendar called a "Tzolkin" that had 20 periods of 13 days. A specific date is set by the intersection of the Haab and the Tzolkin, which circles around on a cycle of about 52 years. And then it has "long counts" of 2,880,000 days, with the long count starting about 3,000 B.C.

So, when you compare how the Book of Mormon tracks dates (i.e. exactly like us, except with years starting when there are different changes in rulers) to how the Mayans track dates with these overlapping cycles of 260 days, is this a hit or a miss in terms of the Book of Mormon fitting in a Mayan setting? I would call it a miss. But according to Dr. Dale and Dr. Dale, this is a spectacular hit that by itself proves that the Book of Mormon is Mayan in origin!

In their exact words:

 

Note: After the phrase "Likelihood = 0.02" these are my words, not Dr. Dale & Dr. Dale's--I'm struggling with the editor to remove that from the quote box.

 

The paper is full of this type of weirdness. Consider the "Strong Christian elements in Maya religion" for example. You would think the differences in Maya religion and Christianity would be a very strong negative correspondence. Somehow it gets turned into a strong correspondence. 

Quote

Strong Christian elements in Maya religion

 

Coe’s standard: “Many Colonial-period Maya identified the risen Christ with the Maize God” (p. 71). “The raised wooden standard shall come! … Our lord comes, Itza! Our elder brother comes. … Receive your guests, the bearded men, the men of the east, the bearers of the sign of God, lord!” (p. 227). “There was … a great deal of … blending between Spanish and Maya religious institutions and beliefs, since in many respects they were so similar” (p. 289).

Book of Mormon correspondence: From the title page to the last chapter, the Book of Mormon is, as it claims to be, another witness that Jesus is the Christ.

[Page 126]Analysis of correspondence: In both books, the correspondence is specific, detailed and very unusual. Why would Joseph Smith have “guessed” that the ancient Mesoamericans had strong elements of Christianity in their religious practices? View of the Hebrews claims to find ancient Hebrew elements among American Indian tribes, but not Christian elements. So this is specific, detailed and unusual.

Likelihood = 0.02

It's become an axiom that those chasing parallels cannot recognize their own confirmation bias no matter how obvious it is to others.

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