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Elephants and horses in BOM times


livy111us

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Wade Miller, who is now in charge of the horse project and is finding evidence of horses and elephants in the Americas during BOM times, has just started a blog that may be interesting to some here. I am sure he will discuss some of his findings there.

http://iceagematters.blogspot.com/

I have read several articles and seen several documentaries on this! It is amazing how scholarly research is breaking through misconceptions every day and finding new evidence that make it more plausible that there were Elephants in our hemisphere around 2000 BC and horses around long before the Spaniards arrived!

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The blogs are well written summaries of current knowledge and most common criticisms from what I've seen so far.

One nitpick from the DNA blog:

Unfortunately, it seems that too many Latter-day Saints (LDS) believe that all American Indians must be descendants from Israelites of the Middle East. This can only be an assumption. Nowhere in the Book of Mormon does it state that no other peoples inhabited the Americas at the time Jaredites, Nephites and Lamanites were living there.
I think what he meant in the first sentence was that many LDS believe that all American Indians must be descendants from Israelites of the Middle East and only descendants from these Israelites (at least until one gets the influx of the Europeans and Africans starting with Columbus.) It is possible that all (or almost all) AIs are descendants of one man from around 600 BC due to the same genealogical principle that makes the vast majority of Europeans today all descendants of Charlemagne. The following sentence makes it clear what he is addressing, I just think the point that it is no need for those that have been historically identified as "Lamanites" to be concerned about whether they 'qualify' for that identity or not. Some critics have latched on to the 'exclusion' of Lamanites as an issue when it's not (unless made an issue such as Rod Meldrum has by insisting that there must be a traceable genetic marker to qualify someone to claim to be of a 'bloodline'....which is nonsense, at least at this point in our abilities to trace genetic lines).

As a side note, came across an interesting little article that expands the 'every European a descendant of Charlemagne" to include Muhammed as well as everyone in the world being descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, which ideas I find myself rather fond of: http://www.theatlant...02/05/olson.htm

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It is always easy to make up theories when you have a conclusion and then go find evidence to support it. True research never concludes anything but lets the evidence and facts lead where they will. Can anyone honestly say that a researcher who knew nothing about the Book of Mormon would come up with a theory about a transplanted hebrew civilization covering some part of the Americas riding horses and taming elephants. Of course they wold not because there is little to no evidence of such a thing.

I wish apologist and members alike would stick to just appreciating the Book of Mormon as scripture and take the good it teaches and quit trying to prove its historically accurate. It is embarrassing since no one outside the church takes any of this evidence they come up with serious.

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I wish apologist and members alike would stick to just appreciating the Book of Mormon as scripture and take the good it teaches and quit trying to prove its historically accurate. It is embarrassing since no one outside the church takes any of this evidence they come up with serious.

Monster, that is the way religion is =P. Very rarely will anybody outside of the church take evidence as serious because it doesn't matter all that much to them. Margret Barker is pretty much the only one.

It's the sad truth, so to say =/.

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It is always easy to make up theories when you have a conclusion and then go find evidence to support it. True research never concludes anything but lets the evidence and facts lead where they will. Can anyone honestly say that a researcher who knew nothing about the Book of Mormon would come up with a theory about a transplanted hebrew civilization covering some part of the Americas riding horses and taming elephants. Of course they wold not because there is little to no evidence of such a thing.

I wish apologist and members alike would stick to just appreciating the Book of Mormon as scripture and take the good it teaches and quit trying to prove its historically accurate. It is embarrassing since no one outside the church takes any of this evidence they come up with serious.

Where does the BoM say they rode horses and tamed elephants? I have often said that most criticism of the BoM results from a shallow reading of the text and I think this is a prime example. Researchers shouldn't expect to find those things because the BoM doesn't describe them the way you do.

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It is always easy to make up theories when you have a conclusion and then go find evidence to support it. True research never concludes anything but lets the evidence and facts lead where they will.

It is a curious thing that virtually all scientific advancement has not come to us through "true research".

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I suppose that there is no objective evidence for the Book of Mormon for a reason. If there was proof for the BOM, there would also be proof of God and angels because there would be no other way to explain the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. And there's not supposed to be objective proof for God. We're supposed to walk by faith and not by sight. The Book of Mormon is good as a spiritual guide. But trying to make sense of it historically is just confusing.

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Where does the BoM say they rode horses and tamed elephants? I have often said that most criticism of the BoM results from a shallow reading of the text and I think this is a prime example. Researchers shouldn't expect to find those things because the BoM doesn't describe them the way you do.

OK I am being a little facetious, but my point is as I stated no one would come up with evidence for the BoM unless they were not specifically looking for it. No artifacts, writings or anything else would lead one to conclude something like the BoM happened. The only reason we think there is evidence is because we go looking for validation of said conclusions. The evidence on its own would never lead to the predetermined conclusions on its own.

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OK I am being a little facetious, but my point is as I stated no one would come up with evidence for the BoM unless they were not specifically looking for it.

So what's wrong with (1) reading the Book of Mormon carefully, (2) noticing that it claims to provide eye-witness reports, and (3) testing the observations against information unavailable to Joseph Smith or anyone else?

No artifacts, writings or anything else would lead one to conclude something like the BoM happened.

The Book of Mormon is a writing. As are the testimonies of the witnesses (formal and informal), who described hefting an artifact. And the Mesoamerican cylinder seals are artifacts, as is the Anthon transcript, as are the NHM altars. Something, is, by definition, not nothing.

The only reason we think there is evidence is because we go looking for validation of said conclusions.

Does this generalization apply only to believers? Are they ever influenced at all in their thinking by the evidence that they found when they went off to look? Say, Brant Gardner for example? Or Hugh Nibley, or John Clark, or Daniel Peterson? Or does it only apply to skeptics who go looking for validation their their conclusions? Say Tom Ferguson, or Michael Coe, or Fawn Brodie, or Jerrald Tanner or Palmer?

The evidence on its own would never lead to the predetermined conclusions on its own.

As N. R. Hansen famously observed, "All data is theory laden." And Thomas Kuhn observed that "It makes a great deal of sense to ask which theory is better."

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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I have no idea what you are referring to. Can you provide an example?

You made the statement, "True research never concludes anything but lets the evidence and facts lead where they will." This is not the process by which our current scientific knowledge has come to us -- for any field. Wherefore the confusion?

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