Jump to content

the incredible expanding, shrinking, and disappearing Lehites


steelyray

Recommended Posts

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson has conceded that the Lehites made almost no contribution to the gene pool of American Indians, despite the BOM's claim that they are their principle ancestors.

The most glaring problem of shrinking the Lehites is accounting for the vast numbers of Native Americans of Asian descent who clearly have lived in the New World for many thousands of years.

If there were so many Native Americans there when Lehi arrived, how in the heck did the tiny Lehite group usurp control so quickly and why is the Book of Mormon silent about this remarkable takeover?

If Lehi and co. came to a full new world, how did they turn into millions without ever noticing their neighbors? They're never mentioned in the BOM.

But since the new theory is that they intermarried with other American Indian tribes to the point of disappearing, does that mean that they intermarried with all these tribes, but never bothered to mention them or have any interaction with them?

Then we have the Jaredites. The theory is again that the BOM people intermarried with the natives, but also that the 'Jaredite' population was about 2 million at the time of the 600 B.C war.

There are of course some very obvious problems with this model. The assertion that the entire civilization of "Jaredites" exterminated each other save one survivor is silly to begin with; if the Jaredites lived there for more than 1000 years, and interbred with natives, they would have migrated all over the western hemisphere. So for them to all suddenly return to fight in the battle of Ramah like a bunch of lemmings is an absurdity.

Link to comment

To me, the term 'principal ancestors' means the primary race and culture of my direct ancestors, which would include the 'gene pool.' It obviously does not mean their primary cultural ancestors, for culture innately includes technology, and there seems to have been no technology transfer.

What does it mean to you?

Link to comment

To me, the term 'principal ancestors' means the primary race and culture of my direct ancestors, which would include the 'gene pool.' It obviously does not mean their primary cultural ancestors, for culture innately includes technology, and there seems to have been no technology transfer.

What does it mean to you?

Where does the Book of Mormon per se claim that the Lehites were the "principal ancestors" of the American Indians?

Link to comment

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson has conceded that the Lehites made almost no contribution to the gene pool of American Indians, despite the BOM's claim that they are their principle ancestors.

I would call that conscession premature at best.
If there were so many Native Americans there when Lehi arrived, how in the heck did the tiny Lehite group usurp control so quickly and why is the Book of Mormon silent about this remarkable takeover?
How? Because they had a charismatic leader ordained by God to do so. Why is it silent on it? Because the Book of Mormon is a religious history, not a political one.
If Lehi and co. came to a full new world, how did they turn into millions without ever noticing their neighbors? They're never mentioned in the BOM.
Ibid.
There are of course some very obvious problems with this model. The assertion that the entire civilization of "Jaredites" exterminated each other save one survivor is silly to begin with; if the Jaredites lived there for more than 1000 years, and interbred with natives, they would have migrated all over the western hemisphere. So for them to all suddenly return to fight in the battle of Ramah like a bunch of lemmings is an absurdity.

They were forcibly gathered by those in power, not driven back together as if by instinct.
Link to comment

I would call that conscession premature at best.

Take it up with Daniel.

How? Because they had a charismatic leader ordained by God to do so. Why is it silent on it? Because the Book of Mormon is a religious history, not a political one.

A religious history which describes in detail the wars between tribes, are these not political? A 'religious' history which describes arcane technologies like money denominations, but yet misses major interactions with other tribes? Does it seem at all convenient or contrived to you that precisely the tribes which Joseph described we can find no agreeable evidence for, yet the ones that did exist are altogether absent from the record?

They were forcibly gathered by those in power, not driven back together as if by instinct.

And exactly how does one accomplish this? And pray tell how it is accomplished with no memory or trace remaining?

Link to comment

To me, the term 'principal ancestors' means the primary race and culture of my direct ancestors, which would include the 'gene pool.' It obviously does not mean their primary cultural ancestors, for culture innately includes technology, and there seems to have been no technology transfer.

What does it mean to you?

What does it mean to me? That Elder McConkie inserted the word, with the caveat that such introductions, chapter headings, footnotes, etc. were not infallible, and were subject to revision.

Link to comment

A religious history which describes in detail the wars between tribes, are these not political? A 'religious' history which describes arcane technologies like money denominations, but yet misses major interactions with other tribes? Does it seem at all convenient or contrived to you that precisely the tribes which Joseph described we can find no agreeable evidence for, yet the ones that did exist are altogether absent from the record?

Other than the Bible and BoM, what ancient records have you studied? (Assuming you have read the BoM and Bible, that is)

Link to comment

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson has conceded that the Lehites made almost no contribution to the gene pool of American Indians, despite the BOM's claim that they are their principle ancestors.

Can you provide us any possible context in which the term "Principal" can apply?

Where does the Book of Mormon per se claim that the Lehites were the "principal ancestors" of the American Indians?

The introduction to the Book of Mormon was written long after its publication. I don't know who wrote the introduction, but it is not considered to be inspired scripture, merely an explanatory page introuducing the text. The inclusion of the word "principal" reflects the prevailing belief of the time, that being a hemispheric notion of BoM geography. The choice to use the word "principal" was, in hindsight, unfortunate. The introduction has since been changed:

After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/introduction

Link to comment

Other than the Bible and BoM, what ancient records have you studied? (Assuming you have read the BoM and Bible, that is)

Would you like to answer the questions first, before this thread goes a million directions? Or are we going to turn this into a scholarship measurement match?

As for myself, I've read the ante-Nicene church Fathers, some of Josephus, the Qur'an, selected translations from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Feynman's Lectures on Physics, which might as well be scripture. Now, back to the topic at hand please?

Link to comment

But the historical anachronism still stands.

I'd say you are the one who is being anachronistic, making a federal case out of a non-canonical study aid, always subject to revision, and which, in fact, has been revised as greater understanding has come to the fore.

By the way, in the context of the perpetuation in the Americas of the Abrahamic covenant with its associated obligations and blessings, the Lehites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians. So the old phrasing was not incorrect, just ambiguous and potentially misleading.

Link to comment

Would you like to answer the questions first, before this thread goes a million directions? Or are we going to turn this into a scholarship measurement match?

No, you are making generalizations about what ancient records should do. It seems to me you don't actually know what they should do, only that they shouldn't be like the BoM.

As for myself, I've read the ante-Nicene church Fathers, some of Josephus, the Qur'an, selected translations from the Dead Sea Scrolls and Feynman's Lectures on Physics, which might as well be scripture. Now, back to the topic at hand please?

Interesting examples. None begin around 600BC as the BoM claims to. And the Dead Sea Scrolls, how do they sustain your contention that ancient records need to give info on surrounding people's?

Link to comment

I'd say you are the one who is being anachronistic, making a federal case out of a non-canonical study aid, always subject to revision, and which, in fact, has been revised as greater understanding has come to the fore.

No, not really. Where did all of those people disappear to? How did they populate in such a ridiculously short period of time without having any technological exchange with any other tribe, etc? Was the whole church in error for a hundred years when it refered to Amerindians as Lamanites?

Link to comment

No, not really. Where did all of those people disappear to? How did they populate in such a ridiculously short period of time without having any technological exchange with any other tribe, etc? Was the whole church in error for a hundred years when it refered to Amerindians as Lamanites?

As far as I know, the Church still regards them as descendants of Lamanites (or better, descendants of Lehi) and quite properly so. As far as I can tell, no one is saying that they disappeared, only that their descendancy became absorbed into other indigenous populations. And as I understand it, the limited geography theory does not discount the intermarriage of the Nephites and Lamanites with other peoples who were in the Americas at the time.

You are jousting at a straw man. You should make an effort to understand the arguments before ridiculing them.

Link to comment

As far as I know, the Church still regards them as descendants of Lamanites (or better, descendants of Lehi) and quite properly so. As far as I can tell, no one is saying that they disappeared, only that their descendancy became absorbed into other indigenous populations. And as I understand it, the limited geography theory does not discount the intermarriage of the Nephites and Lamanites with other peoples who were in the Americas at the time.

You are jousting at a straw man. You should make an effort to understand the arguments before ridiculing them.

LGT is not a 'theory.' It is at best a 'hypothesis,' and hardly a cohesive one at that. Two Cumorahs? Come on now. Moroni traversing 2600 miiles to bury the plates in New York but not bothering to mention any of that? Is the leadership wrong in supporting hemispheric geography? North doesn't mean north but means east? And how many miles can you march in a day in Central America? 'Zelph' and the mounds that he was buried in found in Missouri? Why, Joseph Smith could hardly move an inch without tripping over what would amount to a bombshell in the world of archeology if it were actually true and not a figment of his overactive imagination.

Link to comment

A religious history which describes in detail the wars between tribes, are these not political?

No they were in fact religious - the wars described are primarily between the faithful Nephites and Lamanites lead by religious dissenters from the Nephites.
A 'religious' history which describes arcane technologies like money denominations, but yet misses major interactions with other tribes?
Yes. The monetary denominations of the Nephites are only described because they are necessary to understand the offer Zeezrom was making - a religious story.
Does it seem at all convenient or contrived to you that precisely the tribes which Joseph described we can find no agreeable evidence for, yet the ones that did exist are altogether absent from the record?
Not at all. We have very little real information outside the Book of Mormon on what tribes actually existed during the time periods of the Book of Mormon, and the principle "tribe" described by the BoM - the Nephites - were systematically destroyed by their enemies more than a thousand years before Columbus.
And exactly how does one accomplish this? And pray tell how it is accomplished with no memory or trace remaining?
Before modern times the bulk of most armies was unwillingly impressed into service. The Jaredites did the same. They gathered their people over the space of four years before the final battle, and explicit mention is made of arming their women and children as well.

There are traces remaining of what we call the Olmec civilization, and the memory of the destruction is preserved in the Book of Mormon. There were no other survivors to carry it forward.

Link to comment

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson has conceded that the Lehites made almost no contribution to the gene pool of American Indians, despite the BOM's claim that they are their principle ancestors.

The most glaring problem of shrinking the Lehites is accounting for the vast numbers of Native Americans of Asian descent who clearly have lived in the New World for many thousands of years.

If there were so many Native Americans there when Lehi arrived, how in the heck did the tiny Lehite group usurp control so quickly and why is the Book of Mormon silent about this remarkable takeover?

If Lehi and co. came to a full new world, how did they turn into millions without ever noticing their neighbors? They're never mentioned in the BOM.

But since the new theory is that they intermarried with other American Indian tribes to the point of disappearing, does that mean that they intermarried with all these tribes, but never bothered to mention them or have any interaction with them?

Then we have the Jaredites. The theory is again that the BOM people intermarried with the natives, but also that the 'Jaredite' population was about 2 million at the time of the 600 B.C war.

There are of course some very obvious problems with this model. The assertion that the entire civilization of "Jaredites" exterminated each other save one survivor is silly to begin with; if the Jaredites lived there for more than 1000 years, and interbred with natives, they would have migrated all over the western hemisphere. So for them to all suddenly return to fight in the battle of Ramah like a bunch of lemmings is an absurdity.

Hey SteelRay, I started a similar thread a while back on a similar subject. It may be of interest to you.

Link to comment
Two Cumorahs? Come on now. Moroni traversing 2600 miiles to bury the plates in New York but not bothering to mention any of that?
He does mention long lonely journeys in flight from the Lamanites.
Is the leadership wrong in supporting hemispheric geography?
If Church leadership supports a hemispheric geography, why has all the art and films since about the mid-'60s released by the Church depicted a Meso-American setting?
Link to comment

No they were in fact religious - the wars described are primarily between the faithful Nephites and Lamanites lead by religious dissenters from the Nephites.

Yes. The monetary denominations of the Nephites are only described because they are necessary to understand the offer Zeezrom was making - a religious story.

Not at all. We have very little real information outside the Book of Mormon on what tribes actually existed during the time periods of the Book of Mormon, and the principle "tribe" described by the BoM - the Nephites - were systematically destroyed by their enemies more than a thousand years before Columbus.

And every trace of their existence completely wiped out, right down to the ore offal they would've had from smelting iron. Those are some very efficient enemies, who for some reason don't bother to use wheels themselves.

Before modern times the bulk of most armies was unwillingly impressed into service. The Jaredites did the same. They gathered their people over the space of four years before the final battle, and explicit mention is made of arming their women and children as well.

There are traces remaining of what we call the Olmec civilization, and the memory of the destruction is preserved in the Book of Mormon. There were no other survivors to carry it forward.

What would you to expect to find after a battle of no survivors?

Link to comment

Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson has conceded that the Lehites made almost no contribution to the gene pool of American Indians, despite the BOM's claim that they are their principle ancestors.

The most glaring problem of shrinking the Lehites is accounting for the vast numbers of Native Americans of Asian descent who clearly have lived in the New World for many thousands of years.

If there were so many Native Americans there when Lehi arrived, how in the heck did the tiny Lehite group usurp control so quickly and why is the Book of Mormon silent about this remarkable takeover?

If Lehi and co. came to a full new world, how did they turn into millions without ever noticing their neighbors? They're never mentioned in the BOM.

But since the new theory is that they intermarried with other American Indian tribes to the point of disappearing, does that mean that they intermarried with all these tribes, but never bothered to mention them or have any interaction with them?

Then we have the Jaredites. The theory is again that the BOM people intermarried with the natives, but also that the 'Jaredite' population was about 2 million at the time of the 600 B.C war.

There are of course some very obvious problems with this model. The assertion that the entire civilization of "Jaredites" exterminated each other save one survivor is silly to begin with; if the Jaredites lived there for more than 1000 years, and interbred with natives, they would have migrated all over the western hemisphere. So for them to all suddenly return to fight in the battle of Ramah like a bunch of lemmings is an absurdity.

The proper way to formulate hypotheses about the actual history, culture and geography of the Book of Mormon peoples is in terms that are untestable in the foreseeable future.

It must be formulated so as to provide systematic invisibility to archeology in particular and science in general.

In short, make sure your model does not inadvertently have testable consequences.

Link to comment

And every trace of their existence completely wiped out, right down to the ore offal they would've had from smelting iron. Those are some very efficient enemies, who for some reason don't bother to use wheels themselves.

Who knows how widespread iron smelting was among the Nephite civilization? Why should we assume it was common enough to have left discernable evidence 1500 years later?

Who says the Americas didn't have wheels before the Europeans found them?

What would you to expect to find after a battle of no survivors?

Pretty much what the Nephites found. What would be left after another 2000 years?
Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...