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Ryan Dahle

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Everything posted by Ryan Dahle

  1. No worries. I mean, in a way, I'm sort of cheating by crowdsourcing quotes. Maybe I will include this one on the list just to see if anyone even uses the resource: "I hate talking to myself!" - Kenngo 1969 If no one writes in asking who Kenngo is, why he talks to himself, why he hates it, and what in the world it has to do with evidence, I will know that no one is reading this stuff anyway.
  2. I am compiling a supplemental resource for Evidence Central which will supply a range of quotes from Latter-day Saint leaders and scholars on the topics of faith, reason, evidence, etc. I know that some who frequent this discussion board likely have lists of such quotes already created, or perhaps know right where to find ones that are particularly memorable or important to them. If anyone has anything that they feel would be helpful in this regard, it would be very welcome. And of course, discussion of such quotes would be welcome as well, if any feel so inclined. This is a discussion board,
  3. I have spent some time trying to track evidence of chiasmus in pre-1829 English literature (I haven't looked at other parallelisms). What I found was that simple chiastic structures (A B B A) were known and utilized occasionally (and sometimes more frequently) by some authors. Ring forms and macro chiasms were also somewhat present, but those are quite a bit different than most of the instances of chiasmus in the Book of Mormon. What I couldn't find evidence of was pervasive use of the type of mid-length multi-layered chiasms which are so prevalent in the Book of Mormon. The most chiastic Engl
  4. Many people have speculated about the final implications of the EModE theory, and there is no developed working theory or consensus on that part of it. But I think it is obviously clear that Skousen recognizes an unusual amount of EModE in the text. Skousen was the one who initially hunted down lexical items that he thought were unusually archaic. And he has now been assisted by Stanford Carmack in describing the Book of Mormon's EModE syntax and grammar. Skousen clearly subscribes to the EModE theory in the sense that he concludes the text is primarily from the EModE period and that this evid
  5. The new resources from Doctrine and Covenants Central may be of interest.
  6. I think Jackson is referring to instances where the same (or a similar) type of textual emendation highlighted by Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon was used by Joseph Smith in preceding verses. Here is an example from Jackson's article: Jackson, of course, knows this because of his familiarity with the Bible revision manuscripts: https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/the-papers/revelations-and-translations/jsppr5
  7. Absolutely. Again, my objection is that Pogi is attempting to use science as an end run around the moral questions by switching definitions midstream (from a scientific description of human being to a moral description of personhood and rights). Bingo And here I think is a good example: Here you begin with a philosophical value-judgment about "human beings" held generally by America, and then you assert that it would be good to know what science calls a "human being"--as if what science is referring to and what philosophy are referring to are necessarily the same thing,
  8. @SeekingUnderstanding I pointed out to Pogi that you made the following statement And then I followed up with this statement (Pogi's response follows): Why are you always trying to speak for him? Why don't you just ask him for yourself. So I guess I will ask you. Would you agree that a zygote is a "human being" if that term is understood strictly in a scientific context, as merely a scientific description, with no ethical/religious values attached to it?
  9. I'm not saying that science shouldn't inform the ethical discussion. Of course it is important to understand the science in order to apply our ethical or religious values. What I'm saying is that everyone in the debate mostly already understands and agrees upon the scientific description of how human life begins. If someone is in error on that point, it is worth bringing the scientific facts to their awareness. But the scientific description of life, on its own, doesn't provide us with sanctity-of-life value judgements. It only describes a natural phenomenon to which we can apply our ethical/r
  10. Actually, here is what seekingunderstanding said: I'm sure he would agree with the term "human being" as well, if it is used strictly in a scientific context. It honestly doesn't matter what science calls it because science doesn't attach any ethical/religious value to it. The debate has nothing to do with scientific definitions because everyone already agrees on those. Of course it is unscientific to assign a different sanctity-of-life value to a zygote than it is to a human adult. It is also unscientific to assign the same sanctity-of-life value to a zygote as to a human ad
  11. Perhaps it should encourage us to reconsider how we treat human beings even in their earliest stages of existence. Just to clarify, I'm very much not a pro-choice person. And I am in complete alignment with the Church's position on this issue. All I'm saying is that science itself doesn't provide us with value judgements about the sanctity of life. And pretty much everyone participating in the debate is sufficiently aware of the process of human conception and development. Everyone knows that humans begin their development at fertilization. If most people who disagree on philos
  12. It depends on who you ask, I guess. For some, apparently the impact is on the term "being". That seems to be the philosophical hinge point for seekingunderstanding. If it is not a being, it can be denied the philosophical unalienable natural rights innate to all human beings. I guess you could ask the same question to seekingunderstanding. Why does it matter philosophically? Apparently it matters to him too, so why are you asking me only? Well, I'm asking you because you seem to think it has some sort of special relevance. I am quite confident that seekingunderstanding
  13. And what specifically is the impact, philosophically/religious speaking, of accepting the scientific fact that a zygote is a human life?
  14. I still don't understand your point. You are saying that the physiological differences between a zygote and an adult human are irrelevant because scientifically speaking they are both human, just at different stages of development. So what? How does that have any relevance to the philosophical/religious debate? What do you think is added to the discussion by ensuring that everyone agrees with the science of human development?
  15. We can't talk about philosophy and morality without a biological foundation and common language. Or we will be talking past each other. We have to start from the basic facts and build from there. We can't talk about abortion until we know what we are talking about. It seems to me that you are trying to leverage science simply to get people to say that "human life" starts at fertilization. Since I think everyone here agrees with this, in a strictly biological sense, I'm not sure what your goal is here, other than to try to later exploit their agreement about "human life" for some
  16. Look, I'm sure I completely disagree with their ideology on this. But from the comments you provided, I would say that their issue is definitely with the points I brought up--the philosophical and religious meaning of "life," "human," "personhood," etc., and not with science's description of human biology. I would suggest that instead it is most important to start with defining the meaning of words. It seems pretty clear to me that you are using a particular word in a strictly biological sense, and those disagreeing with you are attaching religious and philosophical connotations to th
  17. But the moral and philosophical implications are already present in your statements. The term "life" is often loaded with much more significance than a strict scientific description of anatomy and cell function. There are clearly philosophical and religious dimensions to that term, and that is where people generally disagree. Maybe I'm missing something, but are there people on this board who are actually arguing that human "life"--in a strictly scientific sense, with no philosophical or religious values attached to that term--doesn't begin at fertilization? Stated another way, are there
  18. I think the problem with this approach is that the question of what is human life from a scientific perspective may not be the same as from a religious or philosophical perspective. I think everyone essentially agrees about the science: as far as how a human life begins and develops. What science can't do is arbitrate the discussion about when that biological human life takes on the qualities and aspects of humanity that many humans feel are somehow sacred or that have render that individual as having inherent human value and rights. I'm very conservative on the issue and basically follo
  19. As an overview, here is a new article from Evidence Central: Chiasmus It offers a few resources on 18th and 19th-century knowledge of chiasmus that most other sources from Book of Mormon Central don't discuss. Other than that, it is sort of just an overview of the sources Robert already pointed you toward. As for "new" stuff from critics, I'm not aware of any recent publications along those lines. Noel Reynolds has a recent publication that adds to the ongoing discussion and debate over the merits of Alma 36: https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/rethinking-alma-36/
  20. I trust that most scholars with adequate training can have scholarly disagreements about linguistics and many other matters. That isn't really my point, though. The discussion isn't about holding an unyielding assumption that Gee is completely right, based solely on his credentials. Rather it is about one commenter's casual dismissal of Gee's analysis, based on Gee's supposed lack of relevant linguistic expertise. If other scholars weigh in and it seems that a consensus forms against Gee's analysis, that is one thing. But it seems rather ironic to me that someone with virtually no linguis
  21. I can see why it might seem that way to you. All the best.
  22. Yes. Gee definitely has training and background in multiple ANE languages. You might want to take a look at his many publications in both Latter-day Saint and non-Latter-day Saint academic journals. In fact, I'm guessing most Egyptologists have familiarity with multiple ANE languages. It seems like it is a necessity for any comparative analysis in their field. Moreover, once a scholar has a solid understanding of ANE linguistics in general, I think it is pretty easy to responsibly apply that knowledge to languages that they are less familiar with. They know where to look to get the data they n
  23. In other words, the best you can come up with is a very tenuous explanation for how Joseph clearly "guessed" something right, and no matter how tenuous it is, it will always be better than a miraculous explanation. Got it. You should probably leave the linguistic critique to the scholars with linguistic training. I think we both admit that there is probably a lot you don't see here. I'm actually quite sure of that. I'm not a linguistic scholar, but I've done enough linguistic analysis to know that amateur comparison of English transliterations simply isn't reliable. The proble
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