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Emode as Proof Js Did Not Write Bom


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Whenever I see examples I do something as simple as plug the words and phrases into the Ngram viewer and each time I see at least some usage in the early 1800s.  That simply doesn't mean it's nearly impossible for Joseph to have arrived at any of these words or phrases, at least to me.  I suppose it might still be that it's unlikely that Joseph would have picked up these archaic sounding forms in his era, but if they were possibly around somewhere it seems far more likely that Joseph and company came up with them rather than some revived dead guy from the EmodE era did the translation and sent the words into Joseph's brain.   Or if you prefer the idea that God speaks EMod...that seems silly since the book, it is touted, was intended the whole time to be for our day.  As much as I've tried to follow this, read up on it, I never am able to see the point in the end.  If Joseph didn't write it, it doesn't really matter anyway.  It has to be meaningful to begin with.  It has to carry weight beyond those in the religion.  

It arrived on the scene in the 19 C and it appears there's still really no solid reason to see it around before that.  

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

It is not "ludicrous" or "fraudulent science" to use statistics to detect the frequency of use of some feature.  In fact it is ludicrous to do otherwise, Bob.

And since when is "had smote" the supposed "best example"?  Carmack discusses the perfect tense in the BofM, as with "had been spake" at Alma 6:8 (cf. "hath/had/have (not) been spake").  He cites William Tyndale's use of "had smote," so that your use of it in Joseph Smith's day is just another red herring (and you do love red herring).  I have noted repeatedly that some aspects of language continue into the future, some do not.  If you want to focus on "had smote," but refuse to provide the statistical rate of usage of it through time, that is a perfect example of "fraudulent science."  If "had smote" continues in use through time at the same rate from Tyndale to today that does not in any way disprove the presence of EModE in the BofM, but only tells us that the phrase is not diagnostic of anything.  We need instead to look at other examples of the perfect tense (as Carmack does).  Otherwise we are merely baying at the moon.

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

Quote

Alma 6:8
according to the revelation of the truth of the word 
which had been spake by his fathers

1646 EEBO A26759 John Bastwick [1593–1654] The utter routing of the whole army of all the Independents and Sectaries
This had not been spake of at all (saith the Author)

1659 EEBO A30566 Jeremiah Burroughs [1599–1646] Christ inviting sinners to come to him for rest
Now the spiritual afflictions have been spake of much in the handling of the former burden,

1699 EEBO A48010 Gentleman in the City Declaration against Antinomian errors
when he tells him that all had approved of it but One, 
and that One had been spake to about it.

If you find new 18c examples of this, please let me know.

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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On 8/3/2020 at 4:36 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

There are books from around 1540 which are closest to the BofM in style and syntax, but not Bibles.

Would it not be relatively simple to compare the BoM with those books to determine if any of the authors might be a candidate for BoM authorship?

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2 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:
On 8/3/2020 at 5:36 AM, Robert F. Smith said:

There are books from around 1540 which are closest to the BofM in style and syntax, but not Bibles.

Would it not be relatively simple to compare the BoM with those books to determine if any of the authors might be a candidate for BoM authorship?

I mean the big problem here is if we know there are books from around 1540 that match the BoM style and syntax, then whose to say those books weren't around when Joseph and company were around?  What would be interesting, in all of this, is if we find out that a book was in existence in 1540, hidden from the world, for the most part, and that book was the Book of Mormon.  But, come on.  We all know that isn't going to happen.  

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10 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There is nothing wrong with such offhand notions.  I myself used to take that view.  However, it is absurd to ask Oaks to write such an article, when actual experts are available.  Grant Hardy, who does not agree with Carmack & Skousen on this, would have been a far better choice.

I assume you've mistaken Dallin D. Oaks for his father. Oaks fils is an "actual expert." He has a Ph.D. in English linguistics.

Quote

Similarly, all of the basic research of Skousen & Carmack took place in complete innocence of possible conclusions. 

Uh-huh.

Quote

Actually, Carmack has spent a lot of time examining 19th century sources, and that only reinforces his data on EModE.  

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

Edited by Nevo
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18 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

Joseph Smith may have had a rudimentary understanding of the KJ Bible and Shakespeare and that would have been plenty of learning to have him create the language of the Book of Mormon.

Perhaps Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress is a better candidate than Shakespeare.

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16 minutes ago, Nevo said:

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

I've recently expanded my set of personal databases to include 200,000 18c texts (ECCO, which I've been checking online for years) and of course I check Google Books, Evans (also have my own database of that), Shaw-Shoemaker (only limited access), JS's early writings, 25 pseudobiblical texts and counting, other Gale databases. The best matching is in EEBO. And the Book of Mormon presents like a written text, not like an oral text, such as The Sorry Tale.

I've found the best matching for the clausal complementation and the past tense and the relative pronouns and the subjunctive shall and the verb agreement and the modal auxiliary usage and the present-tense inflection, etc. in EEBO, in the early modern era.

If you're a strict secularist, then only a constrained set of outcomes are admitted. If not, then you're open to a more diverse set of outcomes.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

That's not the original Shakespeare, from what I've seen. In fact, I don't find "truer words" in Shakespeare. The above is an archaizing modification of an idiomatic expression.

Yes, "had (been) spake" is a weaker one, needs support from others, but part of the picture. Not a pseudobiblical usage. The Book of Mormon has 13 instances of "had (been) spake". Can you find me a text with even five instances of "«have» . . spake" outside of the early modern era?

I looked for "been spake" in Google Books right now, constrained to the years 1801 to  1829, two false positives came up. Before the Book of Mormon, I know of three instances of "been spake", all in the 1600s. I haven't seen the 1816 AV example before. Could be a false positive. Let's say it isn't, "been spake" was still rare before the Book of Mormon.

Edited by champatsch
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34 minutes ago, Nevo said:

I assume you've mistaken Dallin D. Oaks for his father. Oaks fils is an "actual expert." He has a Ph.D. in English linguistics.

I stand corrected, Nevo.  Was not familiar with Oaks fils.

34 minutes ago, Nevo said:

...................

Well, you've followed this project more closely than I have. But from the articles I've read, it looks like Carmack checks Book of Mormon syntax against databases of tens of thousands of Early Modern English texts and a couple thousand eighteenth-century texts, and then uses a handful of hand-picked 19th-century texts as a control. The results are predictable.

I agree that we should have fair and representative statistics.  You are alleging that Carmack has not done due diligence.  You (or someone you cite) should be prepared to make that actual case.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

Sorry:  Carmack did not do the study that you suggested.  This is all fraudulent pseudo-babble.   Fawn Brodie in a priest's collar.  

From Champatch in 2017:

OK:

The original Shakespeare is "Truer words hath ne’er been spake. ”   This apparent Shakespeare expert (http://www.debbieschlussel.com/73465/your-day-in-moderate-american-islam-mosque-leaders-tried-to-cut-off-mans-hands-sharia-justice/) says that this phrase is in some Shakespeare search engines .  She points out that this phrase has been used innumerable times over the centuries although sometimes the text says "been spoken."  

Certainly, the phrase "Truer words hath ne'er been spake" has entered the popular venacular and is used often.  If Shakespeare used the source, and common schoolboys (and girls) were expected to know Shakespeare, I can't see why this has any basis for a theory of the Book of Mormon's source text.

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

"Spake" used in Deuteronomy.  "Been spake" in the AV bible in Jeremiah, 1816.  

"Have been spake" in an 1860 prayer book by Henry John Gauntlett:  An 1874 prayer book by Joseph Barnby, in an 1881 article on page 150 in Homiletic Review, a periodical, on page 207 of "The Covenantor: Devoted the Principles of the Reformed Church" in 1858, and much much more.

Once again, where is your statistical chart?  You are equating single uses in some work here or there with the many uses throughout the BofM.  For you, perhaps statistics constitutes "fraudulent pseudo-babble."  Yet it is the heart and soul of science and scholarship.  It is you who follows the subjective psychohistorical approach of Fawn Brodie.  Just as you do, she eschewed science and scholarship.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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1 hour ago, stemelbow said:

Whenever I see examples I do something as simple as plug the words and phrases into the Ngram viewer and each time I see at least some usage in the early 1800s.  That simply doesn't mean it's nearly impossible for Joseph to have arrived at any of these words or phrases, at least to me.  I suppose it might still be that it's unlikely that Joseph would have picked up these archaic sounding forms in his era, but if they were possibly around somewhere it seems far more likely that Joseph and company came up with them rather than some revived dead guy from the EmodE era did the translation and sent the words into Joseph's brain.   Or if you prefer the idea that God speaks EMod...that seems silly since the book, it is touted, was intended the whole time to be for our day.  As much as I've tried to follow this, read up on it, I never am able to see the point in the end.  If Joseph didn't write it, it doesn't really matter anyway.  It has to be meaningful to begin with.  It has to carry weight beyond those in the religion.  

It arrived on the scene in the 19 C and it appears there's still really no solid reason to see it around before that.  

All good points.  However, it is like saying that a murder was committed, but, since we have no motive, we have to disregard the forensic evidence.  The evidence stands on its own, regardless of any outstanding questions we may justifiably have.  One cannot hopscotch his way to an EModE BofM.  The systematic nature of it leaves any offhand examples of later usage out in the cold.  A fact that Bob Crockett just doesn't allow for.

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33 minutes ago, champatsch said:

That's not the original Shakespeare, from what I've seen. In fact, I don't find "truer words" in Shakespeare. The above is an archaizing modification of an idiomatic expression.

Yes, "had (been) spake" is a weaker one, needs support from others, but part of the picture. Not a pseudobiblical usage. The Book of Mormon has 13 instances of "had (been) spake". Can you find me a text with even five instances of "«have» . . spake" outside of the early modern era?

I looked for "been spake" in Google Books right now, constrained to the years 1801 to  1829, two false positives came up. Before the Book of Mormon, I know of three instances of "been spake", all in the 1600s. I haven't seen the 1816 AV example before. Could be a false positive. Let's say it isn't, "been spake" was still rare before the Book of Mormon.

"Spake" appears about 40 times in Shakespeare.   

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Quote

"Hath been spake" found in an 1876 poem by John Greeleaf Whittier:  "And , knowing how my life hath been Spake the simple tradesman then . . . ."

The above example isn't a case of the syntax. It's poetic, and "hath been" doesn't group with spake.

But let's stipulate that two of the other late 19c examples given further above are actual instances of the syntax. (I verified another one dated 1907 not too long ago.) Yes, it shows that someone just might generate this item of archaism, but that's far from the end of the story in the Book of Mormon.

JS dictated many different archaizing forms and constructions thousands and thousands of times, and often in ways that match identifiable early modern patterns. That's what we have in the earliest text of the Book of Mormon.

(So far I know of four instances of "been spake" before the Book of Mormon: a1594, a1646, 1646, 1699. What do we have between 1700 and 1830? ECCO has two false positives of "been spake" (no punctuation). Can someone verify the alleged 1816 AV example? Be aware of OCR column breaks.)

Edited by champatsch
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19 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Once again, where is your statistical chart?  You are equating single uses in some work here or there with the many uses throughout the BofM.  For you, perhaps statistics constitutes "fraudulent pseudo-babble."  Yet it is the heart and soul of science and scholarship.  It is you who follows the subjective psychhistorical approach of Fawn Brodie.  Just as you do, she eschewed science and scholarship.

You ask me to run a statistical comparison to refute a canard?  

Any peer agree with Carmack?  I mean, a literary peer?  (He's not a literary peer.)

All too often LDS faith wavers in support of the Book of Mormon.  The most silly arguments are advanced to support it.  

In reality, had Joseph Smith used some 200-year-old text with the Book of Mormon there would have been some witness of it.  There wasn't.  

Edited by Bob Crockett
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22 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

"Spake" appears about 40 times in Shakespeare.   

I count 52 in the Riverside edition. The past participle spake isn't in Shakespeare.

Earlier you quoted an unreliable source, now you're confusing readers with irrelevant information.

What we need to find, to argue for JS's authorship, is a late modern text with quite a few of the pervasive syntactic features found in the Book of Mormon. I haven't found that, and I've been looking.

Edited by champatsch
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@Bob Crockett, you're an attorney, aren't you?  If so, the following should be relatable for you.
The Book of Mormon has a lot of very old British statutory language/syntax in it, a lot more than it would've, had JS worded it.

Edited by champatsch
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23 minutes ago, champatsch said:

I count 52 in the Riverside edition. The past participle spake isn't in Shakespeare.

Earlier you quoted an unreliable source, now you're confusing readers with irrelevant information.

What we need to find, to argue for JS's authorship, is a late modern text with quite a few of the pervasive syntactic features found in the Book of Mormon. I haven't found that, and I've been looking.

The problem with Carmack is that he does not have the expertise to make his argument.   

HIs argument depends also upon the presence of a conspiracy to fold in elements of Ye Olde English into the Book of Mormon text in a manner far beyond his apparent expertise.  I've read Joseph Smith's early writings.  He had about a third-grade ability.  There is no evidence of this conspiracy.  All who said they say the Book of Mormon dictated said he didn't have anything before him, including the Bible.

I'm just a lay person, but I've read the original text.  I had a copy.  It is silly in its grammar and syntax.  It is consistent with his grammatical ability at the time but the Book of Mormon is too organized internally for him to simply engage in automatic writing to dictate it.  

All in all, the Book of Mormon is not some text beyond the ability of somebody like Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon to craft.  It is not an extraordinary thing and the text is not some astonishing reproduction of Ye Old English.   I find the doctrines rather interesting and new for the time, however, and I wonder how somebody like Joseph Smith could have thought them up, but perhaps somebody was steeped in the teachings of Alexander Campbell.  

 

Edited by Bob Crockett
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6 minutes ago, champatsch said:

@Bob Crockett, you're an attorney, aren't you?  If so, the following should be relatable for you.
The Book of Mormon has a lot of very old British statutory language/syntax in it, a lot more than it would've, had JS worded it.

So dating ancient documents--attempts to put dates or ranges to when something was written is a pretty complex field for sure.  When the authors are unknown it makes it tough.  When authors are claimed it doesn't necessarily help, as it's been pretty much universally acknowledged that Moses did not write the first 5 books of the OT.  I assume if we had no author for the Book of Mormon and we were uncertain when it came, we might be able to place in an older era than Joseph Smith.  Maybe.  But I'd be curious what various fields of experts would be able to determine following methods used for more ancient works.  You may have some points to suggest it was written in 16th century England.  Other factors may put it right squarely in Joseph's era--as many have argued.  That might suggest, though, that it belongs in the later era because it's more reasonable to think the early elements were added later, than later elements somehow being predicted earlier.  To me, what that suggests is, the syntax that comes from an earlier period, crept into the later writing.  If Joseph was the excellent inspired genius level bricolage organizer, then its likely he wrote it.  Additionally if the words appeared to his mind, or magically glowing in the darkness as he strained at a rock, then it can only be surmised he wrote it.  Every writing, every one does is found in their consciousness.  

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Stylometry requires the intersection of expertise in statistics, linguistics and literature (for the area to be investigated).  Statistics is the easiest discipline to master; the concepts for such study can be learned in any college-level Statistics 101 course.  Linguistics is extraordinarily difficult, and literature needs a lot more than google churching through on-line books.  Dr. Carmack hasn't mastered all these disciplines, for if he had, there'd be peer (I mean, non-member) support for his conclusions.  I think somebody reaching the conclusions Dr. Carmack has reached would have doctoral-level ability in Shakespeare and Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the Tyndal BIble.  There's been plenty of stylometric research into old texts and lots of peer discussion.   None here.   Don't believe it.

I'm a lawyer.  I've used stylometric research in the past.  I based my conclusions about what may pass muster in court.  Dr. Carmack's research won't.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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16 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

It is silly in its grammar and syntax.

First, there are attorneys and well-educated people who don't think the earliest text is silly in its grammar and syntax. They can see the "bad grammar", but see beyond and recognize various complex syntactic structures.

Second, there's a lot of questionable language which wasn't JS's language, like the extra and usage and the object they which syntax. It throws into doubt the whole canard that the bad grammar comes from JS. That's a canard you are apparently enamored of.

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Just now, Bob Crockett said:

The problem with Carmack is that he does not have the expertise to make his argument.   

HIs argument depends also upon the presence of a conspiracy to fold in elements of Ye Olde English into the Book of Mormon text in a manner far beyond his apparent expertise.  I've read Joseph Smith's early writings.  He had about a third-grade ability.  There is no evidence of this conspiracy.  All who said they say the Book of Mormon dictated said he didn't have anything before him, including the Bible.

I'm just a lay person, but I've read the original text.  I had a copy.  It is silly in its grammar and syntax.  It is consistent with his grammatical ability at the time but the Book of Mormon is too organized internally for him to simply engage in automatic writing to dictate it.  

All in all, the Book of Mormon is not some text beyond the ability of somebody like Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon to craft.  It is not an extraordinary thing and the text is not some astonishing reproduction of Ye Old English.   I find the doctrines rather interesting and new for the time, however, and I wonder how somebody like Joseph Smith could have thought them up, but perhaps somebody was steeped in the teachings of Alexander Campbell.  

I think you misunderstand. Acceptance of the EModE data doesn't necessarily mean that Joseph was using a physical EModE manuscript for his dictation. I personally think Joseph translated the text in the manner reported by the witnesses. I just accept the fact that the text that was revealed to him had pockets of systematic EModE features in it. 

Also, Carmack does indeed have the expertise to make his argument. He is probably the most qualified person in the world to comment on such matters because he has both the formal linguistic background and training, and also because he has spent years of applying that expertise to this specific topic. 

Edited by Ryan Dahle
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You presume a lot of me.  The canard is Dr. Carmack's conclusions and not the Book of Mormon text.  I have no problem understanding that the First Edition of the Book of Mormon is filled with grammatical issues. I see the Book of Mormon as containing rather sophisticated doctrine and some wording beyond the ken of somebody like Joseph Smith, but not beyond the ken of some sophisticated conspirators of the day.  But, having been educated in game theory in my economics education regime, I don't see that a conspiracy ever existed.  Too many credible witnesses saw the dictation under way, and these witnesses do not admit Dr. Carmack's theory or a big conspiracy theory.

Edited by Bob Crockett
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1 minute ago, Ryan Dahle said:

I think you misunderstand. Acceptance of the EModE data doesn't necessarily mean that Joseph was using a physical EModE manuscript for his dictation. I personally think Joseph translated the text in the manner reported by the witnesses. I just accept the fact that the text that was revealed to him had pockets of systematic EModE features in it. 

Also, Carmack does indeed have the expertise to make his argument. He is probably the most qualified person in the world to comment on such matters because he has both the formal linguistic background and training, and also because and has spent years of applying that expertise to this specific situation. 

Do you understand that IF Dr. Carmack had the expertise to make his argument, there'd be peer support for it?  Peer support and expertise go hand-in-hand, at least from that required in a court of law.  I suppose one could accept voodoo expertise, and that is what Dr. Carmack's work appears to be, but I don't.

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13 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

Stylometry requires the intersection of expertise in statistics, linguistics and literature (for the area to be investigated).  Statistics is the easiest discipline to master; the concepts for such study can be learned in any college-level Statistics 101 course.  Linguistics is extraordinarily difficult, and literature needs a lot more than google churching through on-line books.  Dr. Carmack hasn't mastered all these disciplines, for if he had, there'd be peer (I mean, non-member) support for his conclusions.  I think somebody reaching the conclusions Dr. Carmack has reached would have doctoral-level ability in Shakespeare and Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the Tyndal BIble.  There's been plenty of stylometric research into old texts and lots of peer discussion.   None here.   Don't believe it.

I'm a lawyer.  I've used stylometric research in the past.  I based my conclusions about what may pass muster in court.  Dr. Carmack's research won't.

Your observations here, though interesting, aren't accurate. The vast majority of people don't/won't care one bit about these things, if they don't interest them and fit into their current worldview. I showed many things to a globally well-known linguist that I had briefly worked with 20 years earlier. He knew nothing about the Book of Mormon. He told me he thought it had a lot of Early Modern English in it. It didn't affect him beyond that mere observation in any way. He wasn't an anti-Mormon, so he didn't deny the presence of extrabiblical archaism, but he wasn't interested in exploring it further.

I've performed stylometric analyses as part of my work, syntactostylistics, with more than 200,000 texts.

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      A   shall the words of Christ, 
         B   if we follow their course,
             C  carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
      The A phrase again compares the words of Christ with the Liahona, but in reversed order. The B phrase indicates what we should do with A – follow their directions, and the C phrase gives the destination of those who do B – the promised land and a far better place, eternal life. 
       A   for so was it with our fathers; 
         B    for so was it prepared for them,
            C   that if they would look they might live; 
      A   even so it is with us.
         B   The way is prepared, 
            C   and if we will look we may live forever.
      In this last alternate, Alma personalizes the analogies of the first two. The A phrase compares the Nephite fathers (Lehi and Nephi) with Alma and his son Helaman. The B phrase indicates that God prepared the ways of direction for all of them. The C phrase compares the physical salvation of the Nephite fathers by following the Liahona with the spiritual salvation promised to all of us who will look upon Christ.
      Alma concludes his instructions with another impassioned fatherly plea that his son rise to the greatness of his calling.
      This passage indicates deliberate logical planning on the part of Alma in giving crucial instructions to his son prior to his death. This is what Alma thought would be of most worth to his son - look to Christ. It gives us insight into the Nephite mind, especially that of a powerful and gifted leader. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the beautiful intricacies that await in its pages for us to discover. (Thanks to Donald Parry for his marvelous edition of the Book of Mormon. Poetic Parallelism in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted. Maxwell Institute, 2007).
       Your comments are welcomed. 
       Here is the passage in context.
       
    • By Five Solas
      1. Read the Book of Mormon
      2.  Ask God
      3. With a sincere heart
      4. With real intent
      5. Having faith in Christ
      Failure is not an option, if you believe Moroni.  First, you must read.  Next, you must follow with prayer while meeting his remaining 3 prerequisites.  Then the truth of the Book of Mormon will be manifested to you.  Full stop.
      Therefore if the truth is not manifested, the reason is as plain as the nose on your face: One or more of the prerequisites were not met.  There is no alternate possibility.  "It’s very simple"—as President Trump is fond of saying in his press conferences.
      5 possible ways to fail, and only 5.  So here is a question:  With LDS Church growth stalling and 70+% of millennials going inactive/leaving the LDS Church by age 20 (courtesy of Mormonleaks), which of the 5 do you think represents the greatest challenge?  Or are they all equally challenging?  Or do you think it's some combination of them that present difficulty?
      And while we’re on the question, how exactly does one go about achieving the last three prerequisites?  Would any LDS seriously admonish an investigator to read the Bible first in order to attain “faith in Christ” prior to attempting the Book of Mormon?
      --Erik
      _____________________________________________
      For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
      --H.L. Mencken
    • By hope_for_things
      Where did the Book of Mormon come from.  I constantly hear this idea argued from both apologetic and critical sides.  All in an attempt to explain how Joseph could have produced the Book of Mormon.  Yet, when it comes right down to it, both sides should be able to agree on some pretty basic historical facts from the evidence.  
      Joseph Smith dictated the content of the BoM to some scribes Nearly everyone should be able to agree on that statement, and I think that really explains it in a nutshell.  I was thinking about other figures in history that are revered for things they produced.  Newton, Einstein, Beethoven, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.  Do anyone else spend so much time asking where they came up with their masterpiece works?  Where did Einstein get that amazing theory of relativity?  Where did Michelangelo get that amazing statue of David.  How could they have possibly produced these things?  Where did they come from?  
      I think we spend so much time looking for evidence, trying to find parallels, seeking to understand where the BoM came from, that we are missing the answer right in front of our faces and we should all be able to agree on.  The BoM came from Joseph Smith.  This is the clear and straightforward answer that both believers and nonbelievers should be able to agree on, and its the simple answer to a highly debated question.  
    • By Robert F. Smith
      Annalee Newitz, “Most scientists now reject the idea that the first Americans came by land,” Ars Technica, Nov 4, 2017, online at https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/majority-of-scientists-now-agree-that-humans-came-to-the-americas-by-boat/ , with map,
      Todd J. Braje, et al., “Finding the first Americans,” Science, 358/6363 (3 Nov 2017):592-594, online at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6363/592 ,
      It now appears that coming to America by boat was normal even from earliest times.  There is no longer any reason to credit the Beringia Land Bridge hypothesis, except in a much later period.
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