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The Jaredite Barges


LeSellers

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Ether 2:19-20

"And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither [or, by what means] shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish. And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood."

Both holes were added after the brother of Jared asked the Lord about breathable air. I'm not adding anything.

You are certainly adding your interpretation of the passage.

The Lord does not say to open the hole in the bottom of the barge (even a landlubber like Joseph would have known that was not helpful), so the only hole to which He could have been referring was the one above. By definition, a hole in the bottom of a water craft cannot be an air hole.

Notice, too, it says "thou shalt stop up the hole," which is not the same kind of thing as "thou shalt close the window." "Stop up" implies plugging it, not simply putting a cover over it.

I also just noticed something I find significant: Mahonri asked about steering, as well as lighting, or, perhaps better, in conjunction with lighting. He wanted a porthole or bridge window, not just illumination. (I emphasized that in the passage you quoted above to make it more noticeable.)

We do not have an answer about how Admiral Jared and his crews navigated their fleet. We do not know how they built them, nor what their design was. That was not Moroni's (or perhaps Ether's) point: he wanted to show the hand of the Lord in their lives, and, if he, Mahonri, could see the finger of the Lord, then we can, too.

His raising the issue of steering, though, is interesting because the late and unlamented "DrW" hypothesized that the barges were not steered, but were simply jetsam, thrown onto the water and left adrift. Not so, although we do not have (as with so much more concerning the barges) any detail of how this was accomplished, steering and navigation were part of the package.

Lehi

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It takes more imagination than I have to come up with these explanations.

You exhibit a very powerful imagination. For instance, you apparently believe a hole in the bottom of a flat-bottomed boat could be an air hole. You imagine these flat-bottomed barges would flip over at sea. Both indicative of an over-active imagination.

There is no way I would have read this line:

"What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces"

and honestly thought that it was talking about shutters being broken rather than the windows themselves, as the words say.

Since the shutters are part of the window, why this is a problem eludes me completely. If the shutters are broken to pieces, then the window itself is equally broken. An open window in a storm is a potential danger, especially in a small boat like the Jaredite barges.

I am curious as to why you chose to emphasize the pronoun "they" in the phrase "for they will be dashed in pieces". If each barge had even one such window, that wold be eight windows, and eight is a sufficiently large number to require the plural.

If the windows they pondered were no more than additional covered holes that could only be safely opened when there was no storm, they would be no different than the covered hole in the top (which already qualifies as a "window" under that definition). They could get light when they got air - on calm days. But the text indicates that they wanted a more constant source of light than that, which is probably why author Smith assumed they could have had glass windows.

Many errors and unwarranted assumptions here.

First, Ether does not tell us that the holes in the deck and keel were "covered". He records they were "stopped up" which forces the image of a cork (as in a bottle neck) rather than a hatch cover or a shutter.

Second, the text says they wanted a light to steer by. That's not a "more constant source of light".

Third, "Smith" (who was the translatorm not the author), of a very poor family, probably did not have glass in all the windows of his home. It is quite possible (although unlikely) he didn't have glass in any windows of the house he was in. There is no reason to suppose that he defined "window" as we do today. His windows would have included both glazed and unglazed openings in walls.

Glass was very expensive in the early XIX (and even into the XX, until natural gas was plentiful and cheap

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Since the shutters are part of the window, why this is a problem eludes me completely. If the shutters are broken to pieces, then the window itself is equally broken. An open window in a storm is a potential danger, especially in a small boat like the Jaredite barges.

Not to mention the fact that it is an All Knowing God who says they cannot have windows. Now If Jared had asked for glass windows, this MIGHT be considered an Anachronism.

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Nice thread with all the barbs removed. I don't have any marine engineering experience but I do have about 10k miles on in the open ocean and I study currents and weather as a hobby. I like Rothery's plan for the barges and route, except I don't think the went all the way to Peru. That contradicts the ocean currents near Central/South America. I think they would have landed in Costa Rica or Panama or the Gulf of Tehuantepec (sp?). A guy in SoCal a few years back got lost at sea floating south in the current in a 22 foot disabled sailboat. He was found off the coast of Costa Rica after about 60 days. Also, while storms may last a few days it's rare if you are in one more than 30-48 hours in a vessel, they don't travel at the same speeds.

One of you said that the currents have changed over time, is there any documentation of this?

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Nice thread with all the barbs removed. I don't have any marine engineering experience but I do have about 10k miles on in the open ocean and I study currents and weather as a hobby. I like Rothery's plan for the barges and route, except I don't think the went all the way to Peru. That contradicts the ocean currents near Central/South America. I think they would have landed in Costa Rica or Panama or the Gulf of Tehuantepec (sp?). A guy in SoCal a few years back got lost at sea floating south in the current in a 22 foot disabled sailboat. He was found off the coast of Costa Rica after about 60 days. Also, while storms may last a few days it's rare if you are in one more than 30-48 hours in a vessel, they don't travel at the same speeds.

One of you said that the currents have changed over time, is there any documentation of this?

Here's something close to what you want (though foot notes are not available for it).

http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Lectures/ocean_currents.html

Ocean currents were different in the past

Painstaking detective work involving sediments of the deep sea has enabled scientists to derive a wealth of information on ocean currents of the distant ?????epast. What is just mud to a lay-person, provides a valuable archive of past climate data to the expert. Like tree rings or the annual layers of snow accumulated on glaciers, the sediments at the sea bottom preserve information on the environmental conditions from the time they were formed. It is even possible to distinguish between conditions at the sea surface and at the bottom, as the prime source of data are the shells of tiny organisms. Under the microscope, the abundance of different species can be counted and identified as surface or bottom dwellers. The chemical composition of their shells has been determined by the temperature, salinity and nutrient content of the waters the organisms lived in, which in turn reveals information on the ocean currents of the time.

Looking back over the oceanic records of the past 100,000 years or so, it is striking how variable the currents must have been. Only the last 8,000 years, i.e. most of the Holocene, were a relatively stable period. Before then, throughout the last ice age, sudden jumps and jolts occur in the record roughly every 1,000 years. These are consistent between different sediment cores, and what is more, most of the spikes in the oceanic conditions correspond to synchronous climate shifts on land as recorded in the Greenland ice cap (Bond et al. 1993). Some cold climate episodes started with a temperature drop over Greenland of 5

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Krose,

It's pretty clear that you have not thought this out very well. "I don't understand", and "there are only two possibilities" technique has failed. Your flawed logic has been exposed.

Is this the best you can do?

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You are certainly adding your interpretation of the passage.

Interpreting is not adding.

The Lord does not say to open the hole in the bottom of the barge (even a landlubber like Joseph would have known that was not helpful), so the only hole to which He could have been referring was the one above. By definition, a hole in the bottom of a water craft cannot be an air hole.

Still, since both holes were added after the request to solve the air problem was issued to the Lord, it stands to reason that each hole is potentially an air hole (obviously not at the same time) depending on the position of the barge.

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Interpreting is not adding.

Well then he's saying he disagrees with your interpretation, which means there are other interpretations that are equally if not more viable than yours is. You will have to deal with his interpretation before going anywhere with yours because of such.

Still, since both holes were added after the request to solve the air problem was issued to the Lord, it stands to reason that each hole is potentially an air hole (obviously not at the same time) depending on the position of the barge.

I hope one knows that there could be other uses for the holes. For example, some materials need to take in light in order to glow properly (I'm not sure what type of rocks the lord uses, fluorescent ones, or if he embedded the rocks with glowing spiritual power, both are possible). The holes weren't necessarily used for air; although they do seem to help with an air problem.

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So there is this little beam of light shining through the hole, which would have been closed during any storms (some of which surely lasted for days). Also, with everything the passengers had to endure (how to dispose of their waste, how to avoid hitting their heads when the barge tipped over in a storm, and so on), they somehow were able to keep an accurate accounting of the days?

According to research and analysis conducted a generation ago by a good friend, anthropologist Gordon C. Thomasson, Ph.D. (he was prompted by an LDS Church magazine contest on designing Jaredite barges), the holes would be quite large and supported through the center by a stout tube with air and waste-disposal holes -- to be plugged in inclement weather -- as with a standard "sea chest," as suggested by Thomasson in the accompanying drawing:

JAREDITE BARGE GCT.pdf

Sorry I don't yet know how to insert an illustration into this board (any pointers?). In any case, Thomasson has a larger discussion which goes along with the illustration, but which is too long to insert here.

This would not obviate the opening of the door on occasion, although the text says nothing on the matter (Noah's Ark was also a barge and had a door, which he opened on occasion). Nibley pointed out long ago that the earliest Great Flood stories, those from Mesopotamia, have the Ark as a magur-boat, fully covered and peaked at each end, and with a tight door (Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon, 243, citing Hilprecht on the Babylonian Deluge Story).

Days need not have been accounted for accurately during the voyage. The account of the voyage is presumably written after landfall when the exact passage of time could be calculated astronomically (ancient peoples were well aware of constellation, star, and planetary movements, and how they coincided with equinoxes, solstices, etc.).

Moreover, the 344-day voyage is actually an excellent estimate of the standard amount of time for a barge or boat, drifting without sail, to move from Asia/China through the regular great circle route of the north Pacific current down to Mesoamerica (not Peru), as Rothery intelligently suggests.

Why did DrW, with all his claimed expertise, not mention these facts? (his ocean current chart gave him an excellent alternative, which was defeated by his own absurd and unreasonable assumptions).

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Still, since both holes were added after the request to solve the air problem was issued to the Lord, it stands to reason that each hole is potentially an air hole (obviously not at the same time) depending on the position of the barge.

I'm not sure where you get "it sands to reason". Please review Captain Rothery's speculative design posted earlier (Jaredite

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