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The Jaredite Barges


LeSellers

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When I point out the vanishingly low probability that the Jaredites could have transited to the New World as described in the Book of Ether, the invariable Mormon response, after consideration of the facts, is that the journey was accomplished by supernatural means, in other words in violation of natural law.

I reject your facile analysis. There is at least one explanation that does not break natural law.

Before we get there, however, it might be useful for you to outline why you believe it does. I do not relish tilting at straw windmills. Waste of time, and my steed is as tired as I am.

Lehi

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I reject your facile analysis. There is at least one explanation that does not break natural law.

Before we get there, however, it might be useful for you to outline why you believe it does. I do not relish tilting at straw windmills. Waste of time, and my steed is as tired as I am.

Lehi

Lehi,

This subject has already been discussed on this board a number of times. In reviewing what folks on the board have said about the barges in the past, I found a legacy post here that looked to be a fairly accurate description of the problems with the Jaredite barges. Rather than spend the time to list (yet again) all the ways the Jaredite barges story would require miracles, please allow me to refer you to the post # 49 on this thread.

Thanks. (My horse is a tired as well.)

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allow me to refer you to the post # 49 on this thread.

Just wondering: Are you the late, great "DrW"?

You seem to be making the same argument, although, obviously, you didn't get into the detail here are in the earlier topic. And you did point to it rather trustingly.

Lehi

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I think it is time to recognize the journey of the Jaredites for what it really is, a metaphor for the trials of life. The barges obviously represent the umbrellas of protection that the Lord provided each family. The holes in the barges stand for the ability of Prayer to bring light and air to the soul. The bright stones are the gift of the spirit that guides each person to the truth (promised land).

The yearlong journey eastward may refer to the trek across the land bridge of the Bering Strait .

Besides, the name Jared can be nothing less than an misspelling of the word " jarhead" referring to the marines which Joseph Smith was so fond of .

I could continue but the analysis skills I learned in English Lit class are a bit rusty.

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Among the many fantastic stories in the Book of Mormon, the saga of the journey from the Middle East to the New World by the Jaredites sometime between about 2500 and 2300 BC stands out as being readily falsifiable (and falsified).
I would like a CFR for the readily falsifiable and falsified bit if anyone is willing/able to give it.

As an ocean sailor, I have tried several times to convince myself that such a trip could be made. I have considered my own knowledge of ocean sailing, and made reference to global marine navigation charts with prevailing wind and surface current speed and direction data. I have considered academic research from mainstream science concerning the Mesopotamian shipbuilding industry and the types and uses of ships produced between about 3000 and 2000 BC.

Of which charts and associated conditions are relevant to 3000-2000 BC time frame how? Sea currents and prevalent wind directions do alter over time.

Unfortunately, even based on the most favorable assumptions that can be made in all of these areas, it is abundantly clear that such a trip could not have been made. This conclusion does not rest on one â??deal breakerâ? factor or consideration. As I will show based on the hard sciences of oceanography, meteorology, physics, and chemistry, such a journey is far from possible today, and it was far from possible in ancient times.

See referenced link below

This post considers the claim in the Book of Mormon (BoM) that in the 2500 to 2300 BC time frame, a group of some 22 people were able to build eight watertight â??bargesâ? with no means of propulsion. We are told that they then provisioned, launched and rode along in these drifting craft from somewhere in the Middle East to the New World in 344 days. These craft were built as completely water tight so that closable air holes had to be provided for ventilation. We read that â??--holes were made in the top and in the bottomâ?, which holes could be plugged to prevent water from entering the vessel. According to the BoM, these vessels were built so that they could be safely submerged by wave action for short periods. The Book of Ether tells us that fire was not used on board these barges.

Emphasis my own. See below for explanation.

So I was going through the referenced post bit by bit as this is one of my fields of expertise (Aerospace and Ocean Engineer) I have noticed he starts with a false presumption. As can be shown in the first 2 chapters of Ether; the launching point of the barges is not the middle east. The starting location is around the Tower of Babel which would put the start of the journey in modern day Iraq, but instead of journeying south-westward they journey north, away from the middle east. They further must build barges to continue their journey as they have to cross many rivers. This leads me to believe that they traveled Northwestward and launched from a direct Atlantic location.

Unfortunately when I was referencing my points directly my browser crashed and I could no longer reference his post line upon line. I will therefore edit this post to include his false assumptions concerning the launching location, the ship construction, and even ocean currents; I will also post concerning them individually in the coming days.

For further consideration but not directly related to the topic at hand consider the following:

Sponsored by Oslo University Faculty of Zoology Thor Heyerdahl, with his young bride LIv, left for his first field research in Polynesia in 1937. the purpose of the Fatu-Hiva expedition was to study how the local animal life had reached the isolated oceanic island. Hyerdahl
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There is much about the account of the Jaredite voyage that lends itself to easy ridicule. One detail that I always thought was particularly hard to believe was the length of time the journey supposedly took.

According to the book, God caused a "furious wind" that "did never cease to blow towards the promised land," yet it took them nearly a full year to cross the ocean.

It took Columbus five weeks to cross the Atlantic, and just a couple of months to make it back, while dealing with huge storms. Thor Heyerdahl's little raft made it across much of the Pacific in about three months. These journeys didn't even get a divine wind to blow them; they used the natural currents and winds.

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I would like a CFR for the readily falsifiable and falsified bit if anyone is willing/able to give it.

Of which charts and associated conditions are relevant to 3000-2000 BC time frame how? Sea currents and prevalent wind directions do alter over time.

See referenced link below

Emphasis my own. See below for explanation.

So I was going through the referenced post bit by bit as this is one of my fields of expertise (Aerospace and Ocean Engineer) I have noticed he starts with a false presumption. As can be shown in the first 2 chapters of Ether; the launching point of the barges is not the middle east. The starting location is around the Tower of Babel which would put the start of the journey in modern day Iraq, but instead of journeying south-westward they journey north, away from the middle east. They further must build barges to continue their journey as they have to cross many rivers. This leads me to believe that they traveled Northwestward and launched from a direct Atlantic location.

Unfortunately when I was referencing my points directly my browser crashed and I could no longer reference his post line upon line. I will therefore edit this post to include his false assumptions concerning the launching location, the ship construction, and even ocean currents; I will also post concerning them individually in the coming days.

For further consideration but not directly related to the topic at hand consider the following:

http://www.nordicway...y_explorers.htm

Just out of curiosity why would scientists mock an experiment that would validate the immigration of the inhabitants of the Polynesian islands?

I am certainly familiar with the Kon Tiki expedition. Great example of engineering and open ocean sailing. If you are a marine engineer (and I have no reason to doubt that you are), I think you are being disingenuous to compare the closed light-tight unpowered barges of the Jaredites to the open air, sail powered Kon Tiki.

The Jaredite barges were not Kon Tiki. Kon Tiki had a deck, a shelter, a rudder, and most importantly, sails. The Jaredite barges were unpowered. As pointed out by the "late great DrW" in the post I referenced, without sails, the barges would have been no more than steerable than a piece of driftwood.

The barges were also closed, "like unto a dish". Their occupancy by humans required that they be provided with supernatural glowing rocks for light. They were reported to be at least semi-submersible so as to be capable of being buried in the depths of the sea for some period of time. Their description indicates that they did not have a usable deck, since the entry hatch was sealed prior to departure.

The fact that no one knows (because the Book of Ether fails to mention) from where the Jaredites were supposed to have launched their craft gives an early indication that this whole saga is likely to be a tall tale. And the inconsistencies and factual problems with the remainder of the story certainly support this viewpoint.

Nibley claims that the Jaredites crossed the Asian continent and launched from the east coast of China. If you do any ocean sailing, you know that once they were in the North Pacific gyre (Japanese current) from the east coast of China, the crossing should have taken no more than 180 - 200 days - max - not 344. Japanese fishing net floats make it to Washington State in a few months, so 344 days does not fit. Do you not believe Hugh Nibley? (Me either.)

So, in response to the OP, I await your description of how the eight Jaredite barges could have transited the Atlantic Ocean with no power, made it across the Gulf Stream, and landed in the New World at anywhere near the same place and time, with their occupants having survived for 344 days at sea sealed inside a closed vessel with their livestock.

As a marine engineer, I trust that you will be forthcoming about the tremendous forces that high wind and high waves can exert on vessels at sea. High waves breaking onto the "light upon the water" wooden vessels would have certainly damaged them just as such waves severely damage and sometimes sink, modern sailing vessels, whether they be made from fiberglass, steel, aluminum, or wood. Small craft, especially small wooden craft (say 40 - 60 feet or so) are lucky to make it through 24 to 48 hours with waves breaking over the decks in heavy seas. For the Jaredites, we are told that the strong winds blew continually - continually - for 344 days.

I would appreciate your assessment of how these craft were able to avoid complete structural failure after almost a year of constant pounding by wind and waves. (In this case claiming a miracle is okay, because that it the point of the OP, I guess.)

Concerning the violation of the laws of nature associated with Jaredite journey, in accordance with the OP, perhaps you or someone else could provide with a "natural" explanation for the light emitting stones. Please keep in mind that we do not want to kill our occupants with ionizing radiation.

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I am certainly familiar with the Kon Tiki expedition. Great example of engineering and open ocean sailing. If you are a marine engineer (and I have no reason to doubt that you are), I think you are being disingenuous to compare the closed light-tight unpowered barges of the Jaredites to the open air, sail powered Kon Tiki.

The Jaredite barges were not Kon Tiki. Kon Tiki had a deck, a shelter, a rudder, and most importantly, sails. The Jaredite barges were unpowered. As pointed out by the "late great DrW" in the post I referenced, without sails, the barges would have been no more than steerable than a piece of driftwood.

http://www.adp.noaa....eancurrents.jpg

Ocean Currents are sure useful, no?

The barges were also closed, "like unto a dish". Their occupancy by humans required that they supernatural glowing rocks for light.

There ARE rocks that glow, ya' know.

They were reported to be at least semi-submersible so as to be capable of being buried in the depths of the sea for some period of time. Their description indicates that they did not have a usable deck, since the entry hatch was sealed prior to departure.

It was so waves could wash over the boats in storms. Speaking of storms, they are another way to push the barges over to the Americas.

The fact that no one knows (because the Book of Ether fails to mention) from where the Jaredites were supposed to have launched their craft gives an early indication that this whole saga is likely to be a tall tale. And it only gets worse.

The fact that no one knows how the universe formed (because the Universe doesn't have enough information) and from what material gives an early indication that this whole saga is likely to be a tall tale. And it only gets worse.

No. Just no. The fact info is not given doesn't mean anything really.

Nibley claims that the Jaredites crossed the Asian continent and launched from the east coast of China. If you do any ocean sailing, you know that once they were in the North Pacific gyre (Japanese current) from the east coast of China, the crossing should have taken no more than 180 - 200 days - max - not 344. Japanese fishing net floats make it to Washington State in a few months, so 344 days does not fit. Do you not believe Hugh Nibley? (Me either.)

The North pacific gyre isn't the only current they could have taken. And consider the fact that there were storms, it is not unreasonable to say that they could have been pushed off of one current onto another - specifically, drifting it more south onto another cycling current.

So, in response to the OP, I await your description of how the eight Jaredite barges could have transited the Atlantic Ocean with no power, made it across the Gulf Stream, and landed in the New World at anywhere near the same place and time, with their occupants having survived for 344 days at sea sealed inside a closed vessel with their livestock.

I just gave you one.

As a marine engineer, I trust that you will be forthcoming about the tremendous forces that high wind and high waves can exert on vessels at sea. High waves breaking onto the "light upon the water" wooden vessels would have certainly damaged them just as such waves severely damage and sometimes sink, modern sailing vessels, whether they be made from fiberglass, steel, aluminum, or wood.

Have you ever wondered if the wooden vessels were coated with something that made them quite resilient to water?

Also, btw, what you are referring to is called a freak wave - why it usually sinks the vessel is because it turns it over. A vessel with a top doesn't have this problem.

Small craft, especially small wooden craft (say 40 - 60 feet or so) are lucky to make it through 24 to 48 hours with waves breaking over the decks in heavy seas. For the Jaredites, we are told that the strong winds blew continually - continually - for 344 days.

CFR, also I need to ask, how thick were the Jaredite Barges, and what materials were used to seal the wood together? Do you know?

I would appreciate your assessment of how these craft were able to avoid complete structural failure after almost a year of constant pounding by wind and waves. (In this case claiming a miracle is okay, because that it the point of the OP, I guess.)

What might say the same thing about bottles, pieces of driftwood, and fauna and flora yet we still find them perfectly intact.

Concerning the violation of the laws of nature associated with Jaredite journey, in accordance with the OP, perhaps you or someone else could provide with a "natural" explanation for the light emitting stones. Please keep in mind that we do not want to kill our occupants with ionizing radiation.

Sure, I'll find one.

From http://www.mii.org/p...in_the_Dark.pdf

Fluorescence may occur even under visible light alone. For instance, the

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Warning: My thoughts are all over the place on this post and maybe hard to follow. I apologize in advance for my poor writing abilities at the moment.

I am certainly familiar with the Kon Tiki expedition. Great example of engineering and open ocean sailing. If you are a marine engineer (and I have no reason to doubt that you are), I think you are being disingenuous to compare the closed light-tight unpowered barges of the Jaredites to the open air, sail powered Kon Tiki.

It was more of a parallel as something similar is referenced in the BOM aside from the Jaradite barges. In the original post I had I went in to more relevance concerning why I brought it up, but I admit the Kon Tiki is neither here nor there in this discussion (hence why I put the disclaimer prefacing it).

The Jaredites barges were not Kon Tiki. Kon Tiki had a deck, a shelter, a rudder, and most importantly, sails. The Jaredite barges were unpowered. As pointed out by the "late great DrW" in the post I referenced, without sails, the barges would have been no more than steerable than a piece of driftwood.

The barges were also closed, "like unto a dish". Their occupancy by humans required that they supernatural glowing rocks for light. They were reported to be at least semi-submersible so as to be capable of being buried in the depths of the sea for some period of time. Their description indicates that they did not have a usable deck, since the entry hatch was sealed prior to departure.

Nibley claims that the Jaredites crossed the Asian continent and launched from the east coast of China. If you do any ocean sailing, you know that once they were in the North Pacific gyre (Japanese current) from the east coast of China, the crossing should have taken no more than 180 - 200 days - max - not 344. Japanese fishing net floats make it to Washington State in a few months, so 344 days does not fit. Do you not believe Hugh Nibley? (Me either.)

There again you're assuming oceanic currents have been maintained without change over the course of 4000+ years something that just is not so. On the embarkation point: I personally haven't resulted their embarkation point, so really any location outside of the middle east is a possibility as I'm going through Ether on a point to point basis and comparing it to the analysis which you seem to be a proponent of. For what cause does Nibley state that the embarkation point as being the east side of China?

In discussion of the design of the ship we can reference a door in the accounting of the craft. It does not state that the barges are more than watertight on all sides and further shows that it is oblong (as opposed to saucer shaped as they come to a point). The scriptural evidence to support such a view can be found here:

Eth 2:16-17

And the Lord said: Go to work and build, after the manner of the barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord. And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water.

And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish.

As can be seen the barges are not described in ornate detail, just that they were oblong that the B/L ratio was probably similar to other boats or barges of the time, and that the front and rear were peaked. Furthermore we know the barges to be asymmetrical as there is reference to a door already built into the ship. Unless the door was maintained on the hull of the ship we could easily assume that the door was mounted on a superstructure that was integrated on the hull of the ship. Perhaps similar to a self-righting coast guard vessel. Sealing of the doors does not necessitate that a deck of any sort is not present. Additionally we are made aware of no specific dimensions on the hull of the ship besides the length alone, and that descriptor is rather vague.

This being the case the door need to be big enough to allow individuals as well as their live stock into the vessel. Additionally there is no reference to the door being on the top or bottom of the boat but holes to allow air to come in (This is curious to me in that why would an individual attempt to open a hole on the bottom to let in air? Think about it. The occupant knew where the water was as the vessel would be underfoot. This begs the question, why one on bottom?--I personally think waste management), which leaves the door to be placed either on the side of the hull or on a superstructure. Placing a door on a hull is not wise as it limits not only the sealing ability of the door but also the ability to successfully load or unload goods easily.

In regards to sealing of the doors, there is no such account of them sealing them and not making use of them. It can be intimated that the doors were sealed in foul seas and weather as to keep the water out, and if at anytime the sea state became too much to bear the doors could be sealed. However on lower number sea states the door being open may prove beneficial and may have been done. The account is rather limited on that respect.

In retrospect the description of the craft itself is peculiar in that it makes distinction between the bottom, the sides, the bow and the stern, and the top. This indicates to me that it is indeed asymmetric with a self righting properties.

Now that the basic hull form, doors, and 'air holes' have been talked about, lets move on to what has been said concerning what they have and do not have. There is no evidence one way or the other to support the position that the vessels did not have sails, rudder, or anything else to aid them in their journey. The only intimation we have is that they were driven by the sea states. One could say the same about any maritime vessel that is affected by various sea states or other conditions (sailboats come to mind during a squall, row boats, dingies, some yachts, etc).

So, in response to the OP, I await your description of how the eight Jaredite barges could have transited the Atlantic Ocean with no power, made it across the Gulf Stream, and landed in the New World at anywhere near the same place and time, with their occupants having survived for 344 days at sea sealed inside a closed vessel with their livestock.

I think the necessitation of evidence is on you to show that they were in-fact sealed in the boats for 344 days with no out door usage. That's an assumption not listed in the initial post. As I have described above, the language is peculiar to describe a 'dish' shaped craft.

As for violation of the laws of nature associated with Jaredite journey, in accordance with the OP, perhaps we could start with a "natural" explanation for the light emitting stones. Please keep in mind that we do not want to kill our occupants with ionizing radiation.

Would you prefer bio-luminescent bacteria? Encased heavy water? Any number of other non-lethal means of illumination?

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I'm always drawn to the Hopi creation myth when hearing of the Jaredite barges. In the Book of the Hopi, one version of that myth has the people being sealed inside hollow reeds for the trip across the ocean to the 4th World, presumably the Americas. From the Wiki based largely on the Book:

Entrance into the Fourth World

Two main versions exist as to the Hopi's emergence into the present Fourth World. The more prevalent is that Spider Grandmother caused a hollow reed (or bamboo) to grow into the sky, and it emerged in the Fourth World at the sipapu. The people then climbed up the reed into this world, emerging from the sipapu. The location of the sipapu is given as in the Grand Canyon.

The other version (mainly told in Oraibi) has it Tawa destroyed the Third World in a great flood. Before the destruction, Spider Grandmother sealed the more righteous people into hollow reeds which were used as boats. Upon arriving on a small piece of dry land, the people saw nothing around them but more water, even after planting a large bamboo shoot, climbing to the top, and looking about. Spider Woman then told the people to make boats out of more reeds, and using island "stepping-stones" along the way, the people sailed east until they eventually arrived on the mountainous coasts of the Fourth World.

While it may not be possible to positively ascertain which is the original or "more correct" story, Harold Courlander writes, at least in Oraibi (the oldest of the Hopi villages), little children are often told the story of the sipapu, and the story of an ocean voyage is related to them when they are older.[18] He states that even the name of the Hopi Water Clan (Patkinyamu) literally means "A Dwelling-on-Water" or "Houseboat". However, he notes the sipapu story is centered on Walpi and is more accepted among Hopis generally.[18] Frank Waters is somewhat more insistent, and asserts the entire story of the sipapu, especially its proferred location in the Grand Canyon, merely symbolizes the Hopi tale of a water voyage from the West. In this interpretation, the Colorado River represents the western ocean while the cliffs of the canyon represent the Fourth World's rocky coasts.[19]

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I could not find an icon that showed my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. I thought the last sentence was enough to express the idea. Oh well.

One thing that should be remembered is our book of Ether is an abridgment of an abridgment in which not the hundredth part of the original is written. That's like taking "the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich " and condensing it to a 10 page pamphlet.

Also,Jared's people had built barges to cross bodies of water for several years as they journeyed .They probably got pretty good at it.

As for the 344 days "extended trip " , I am reminded that the Israelites wandered for 40 Years around an area that could be traversed in at most a few weeks. Maybe they took the scenic route. Maybe they stopped for the odd bathroom break.We just don't know all the details and won't until,As Moroni suggests,we find and translate the plates that he got the story from.

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In reviewing what folks on the board have said about the barges in the past, I found a legacy post here that looked to be a fairly accurate description of the problems with the Jaredite barges.

Dipping into past records is a very LDS thing to do. So, I'll follow suit and post what I've written in the past (albeit in another, very different, forum

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Man, what is up with my internet? I'm glad I copied this before pressing post:

Sorry, didn't see your edit until after I had posted. I'll address those momentarily.

As a marine engineer, I trust that you will be forthcoming about the tremendous forces that high wind and high waves can exert on vessels at sea. High waves breaking onto the "light upon the water" wooden vessels would have certainly damaged them just as such waves severely damage and sometimes sink, modern sailing vessels, whether they be made from fiberglass, steel, aluminum, or wood. Small craft, especially small wooden craft (say 40 - 60 feet or so) are lucky to make it through 24 to 48 hours with waves breaking over the decks in heavy seas. For the Jaredites, we are told that the strong winds blew continually - continually - for 344 days.

As has already been shown the hull geometry can be vastly different than what you have imagined. Additionally we do not know the sea states they underwent, nor do we know the force exerted on them in a dynamic function so nearly guessing is about as close as anyone is going to get in that respect. If you're attempting to discredit the account it should be shown and referenced that a balsa wood craft made a similar trip (the craft you seem to be at least partially familiar with). The structural properties of balsa wood are extremely different in strength to a hard wood and would not withstand extreme sea states. To dismiss out of hand however would inappropriate and short sighted.

I would appreciate your assessment of how these craft were able to avoid complete structural failure after almost a year of constant pounding by wind and waves. (In this case claiming a miracle is okay, because that it the point of the OP, I guess.)

Constant pounding would weather the craft would pose a problem for a completely sealed vessel, but has already been shown craft maintenance is not outside the realm of possibility with the geometry presented. More to the point, sea states would need to be rather constant and large for that to be the case. I'm of the mindset that the voyage itself maybe never exceeded sea state 3, but may have had an occasional storm (reminiscent of the issues presented to Nephi in the first book of Nephi) where the sea state could have been much higher (probably never exceeding S.S. 6 or 7).

Structural failure can be viewed in two respects; out right catastrophic failure, and fatigue failure. Not knowing the hull geometry of the ship beyond the fact it was water tight and built to withstand momentary submergence to an unknown depth; fatigue failure would be hard to estimate, though I imagine that a wooden vessel would have little issue staying afloat for almost a year without making port. Whether or not they made land fall prior to reaching the America's is not known and is intimated that they did not. Given those conditions the vessel very well could have survived without issue. Wood has a nice ability to flex under load and if molded in a composite fashion (as what could be assumed in how they sealed the boat) would provide excellent sea worthiness. But hey, what does a Marine Engineer know :P

If we had more details or at the very least an embarkation point a more detailed analysis could be done. As it stands we do not even know the type of lumber used to construct the ships so dismissing them out of hand is rather a large step to take.

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... we are told that the strong winds blew continually - continually - for 344 days.

Actually, it was continuously... even worse. The words used are "never cease."

There ARE rocks that glow, ya' know.

I don't see why anyone would feel the need to come up with an explanation for how these rocks might be naturally glowing material. Then you would have to explain why the "transparent" stones that BoJ "did molten out of a rock" didn't start glowing until they were touched by "the finger of the Lord." It was just a magic touch, plain and simple.

.

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I don't see why anyone would feel the need to come up with an explanation for how these rocks might be naturally glowing material. Then you would have to explain why the "transparent" stones that BoJ "did molten out of a rock" didn't start glowing until they were touched by "the finger of the Lord." It was just a magic touch, plain and simple.

I don't see the point either... but apparently 44Foxtrot does. The fact that it was possible - using rules of the universe that we may or may not currently know - is good enough for me. I don't really view it as magic.

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Dipping into past records is a very LDS thing to do. So, I'll follow suit and post what I've written in the past (albeit in another, very different, forum

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DrW was not the only one who assumed that these were unpowered barges. The BoM makes no mention of power whatsoever and claims instead that they were blown to the New World by strong winds.

It is easy to say that they could have been powered, but then you are obliged to explain what might have powered them, given their description in the BoM. Let's see:

Sails? Nope. No sails are mentioned. Likewise for masts, or rigging, or a deck from which sails could be controlled, or a keel, or a rudder, the latter two of which would have been necessary if there were sails on a closed hull boat design. These things were "like unto a dish".

Oars? Nope. Oars require oarsmen (none mentioned) and holes (or oar locks) in the freeboard hull of the vessel. Also not mentioned and remember that these things were airtight.)

Does it matter?

Lack of descriptors more than likely. If we held the same level of necessity we must call into question other non-stated assumptions throughout all non-engineering literature.

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Lack of descriptors more than likely. If we held the same level of necessity we must call into question other non-stated assumptions throughout all non-engineering literature.

There are plenty of descriptors. Just not the ones that needed to make the story the least bit credible. We are given a great deal of detail about the construction of the barges. We were provided with their approximate length and the facts that they were built with wood, water tight, air tight, could be submerged.

What you don't seem to be able to grasp is the fact that the details that we were given regarding the design of the barges preclude the use of sails or oars. And in 2,500 BC, that was about it for non-magical marine power.

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There is much about the account of the Jaredite voyage that lends itself to easy ridicule. One detail that I always thought was particularly hard to believe was the length of time the journey supposedly took.

According to the book, God caused a "furious wind" that "did never cease to blow towards the promised land," yet it took them nearly a full year to cross the ocean.

It took Columbus five weeks to cross the Atlantic, and just a couple of months to make it back, while dealing with huge storms. Thor Heyerdahl's little raft made it across much of the Pacific in about three months. These journeys didn't even get a divine wind to blow them; they used the natural currents and winds.

This is a good point. If one was talking about sailing vessels crossing the Atlantic or as Nibley claimed, the Pacific, the time is far too long. However, these were not sailing vessels, they were semi-submersible barges. They were at the mercy of the winds and currents. As has been pointed out, They had about as much capability to navigate as a piece of driftwood.

Rather than try to figure out how long it should have taken, one should try to figure out how the craft could have made it at all, let alone with anyone inside still alive after 344 days.

This is one for which Mormons should just swallow their pride and claim "miracle".

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There are plenty of descriptors.

Please list the descriptors I have not concerning the barge shape, construction, materials, etc, etc, etc.
Just not the ones that needed to make the story the least bit credible.
Since the focus of the story is metaphysical in nature why should real estate on the plates be taken up describing in painstaking detail the construction of a ship?
We are given a great deal of detail about the construction of the barges.
Tell me what material was used in their construction and how they made the barges water tight.
We were provided with their approximate length and the facts that they were built with wood, water tight, air tight, could be submerged.
That's not all that descriptive. How tall is the tree they use to distinguish the length of the ship. In particular what kind of wood did they use? Was it hard or soft? Was it bounded using rawhide, glue, or was it pressure held by splints and spacers? As you can see descriptors are lacking quite severely unless you have some keen insight as to their actual construction, materials, and labor used to do so you are offering an opinion without weight of evidence.

What you don't seem to be able to grasp is the fact that the details that we were given regarding the design of the barges preclude the use of sails or oars. And in 2,500 BC, that was about it for non-magical marine power.

And what you fail to grasp is that they have not really focused any amount of explanation on the barges at all. Why would they go into detail about propulsive technology or hull design more than to say that it was water tight as the main focus is not concerning the ship? In a hieroglyphic sense I understand the simile--though I would of course concede the point if the someone more familiar with hieroglyphs would present something counter to it.

In all reality the mode of transportation takes up less than 2 verses in description with another verse taken in modification of the barge. That's a pittance for attempting to prove one thing over another.

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This is a good point. If one was talking about sailing vessels crossing the Atlantic or as Nibley claimed, the Pacific, the time is far too long. However, these were not sailing vessels, they were semi-submersible barges. They were at the mercy of the winds and currents. As has been pointed out, They had about as much capability to navigate as a piece of driftwood.

Rather than try to figure out how long it should have taken, one should try to figure out how the craft could have made it at all, let alone with anyone inside still alive after 344 days.

This is one for which Mormons should just swallow their pride and claim "miracle".

And you have not addressed any of the points I have raised but remained remarkably silent on the issue, yet you jump from one subject matter to the next. I propose then we break this up.

First: barge construction and modification with embarkation locations

Second: travel time. Wind, currents, storms, etc. without consulting a modern day oceanic current map (as any good oceanographer will tell you; currents do change, sometimes very quickly) for attempting to validate a mistaken assumption.

Third: life expectancy of the rafts accounting for water logging, repairs, etc (this would come into play from a good discussion of the first)

I suggest we focus on a singular frame of reference and not move on until either the argument is conceded or a resolution is reached.

So lets keep it on the first one for now.

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I don't see the point either... but apparently 44Foxtrot does. The fact that it was possible - using rules of the universe that we may or may not currently know - is good enough for me. I don't really view it as magic.

Do you really think it is within any laws of physics that a touch could transform something melted from a rock into a luminescent material? Some kind of "laying on of hands" priesthood power that transforms the elements? I suppose calling it an unknown rule covers anything.

I also have no idea what might be melted "out of a rock" (which seems to indicate a metal ore) that would end up transparent. Perhaps if it were sand, he could have made actual glass, which might be described as looking like glass.

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