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Wade Miller: Horses…


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12 minutes ago, pogi said:

It really bothers me that a misunderstanding of the word "horses" is blamed on the reader for being too assumptious and casual in their reading.  If "horses" is supposed to mean something other than "horses", than that is a translation issue, and any misunderstanding should not be blamed on the reader who has been taught their entire life that the Book of Mormon is "plain" and "simple" to understand and the "most correct of any other book".  It's "correctness" has been attributed by the church to "the Lord's hand operative in its translation".   The church has claimed that there is "irrefutable evidence to show both the correctness of the translation and the Lord's hand in it".   So, forgive us for expecting something more simple and plain to understand.  I mean this whole argument that the horse, or cow/cattle, etc really isn't a horse/cow/cattle but that it is some other animal that we don't have a good English word for really seems to fall flat on its face when you consider the use of "curelom" and "cumom".  If The practice was to replace words for common modern animals with ancient unkown animal, then why wasn't that patter consistent throughout?  Why wasn't that done also with "curelom" and "cumom"?  For being the "most correct", it sure seems to be inconsistent in its translation methods.  Requiring loose translations here and tight translations there...

Blaming those who understandably read "horse" to mean "horse" is really a cheap shot and shows to me the weakness and lack of confidence of the argument when such tactics are employed.   If your explanation is true, than if anyone is to be blamed for the misunderstanding, then it is Joseph Smith...or perhaps God, for MISLEADING people.  Or perhaps Mr. Ed might have a little blame for the misunderstanding too - "a horse is a horse, a horse, of course..."  Curse you Mr. Ed!  A horse is not always a horse - you are just making too many assumptions and are too casual in your reading!

Curious this.   If I am to accept the historicity of the Book of Mormon, then I have to accept that the Nephites came from a land and culture that knew what horses were and they knew what chariots were.  After all, there is proof of this in the Book of Mormon where in 2 Nephi 12 "horse" and "chariot" actually DO mean "horse" and "chariot' because he is reading from the brass plates and the words of Isaiah.  So, horse and chariot actually do mean horse and chariot in the Book of Mormon...but only sometimes.  Sorry, this is getting all too convoluted for me.   They knew what a wheel was and how to use one, so why is there no evidence of this most basic and useful technology in the Americas?  Why did the people revert to more ancient technologies in some ways by not making use of the wheel in building and transportation, but show evidence of advanced technologies in other ways?  If there truly were horses in the Americas (as some would have me believe) why wouldn't they harness them and domesticate them, like they did in the land they came from?  Makes no sense.  But perhaps I am just being too assumptions and casual.    

It is also a little too much to expect me to disregard the context of "horses and chariots" in the Book of Mormon, how they are only mentioned when preparing for long-distance travel (and not just to battle).  So, if these were not domesticated beasts of burden, why were they prepared only for travel in conjunction with the chariot?  Why was chariot never mentioned without the horse?  Brant Gardner makes a valiant effort, by trying to link these things with ceremonial ritual for was, but horses and chariots were used for more than war in the Book of Mormon.  Seems strange to prepare horses and bring horses for ceremonial purposes when they were just making a simple trip to another city.  But that is just an observation from my "casual" reading. 

Funny that we believe that scripture might be translated incorrectly, and do not accept that scripture is inerrant but of course Joseph Smith was infallible in all things 🤭

Edited by mfbukowski
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36 minutes ago, pogi said:

It really bothers me that a misunderstanding of the word "horses" is blamed on the reader for being too assumptious and casual in their reading.  If "horses" is supposed to mean something other than "horses", than that is a translation issue, and any misunderstanding should not be blamed on the reader who has been taught their entire life that the Book of Mormon is "plain" and "simple" to understand and the "most correct of any other book".  It's "correctness" has been attributed by the church to "the Lord's hand operative in its translation".   The church has claimed that there is "irrefutable evidence to show both the correctness of the translation and the Lord's hand in it".   So, forgive us for expecting something more simple and plain to understand.  I mean this whole argument that the horse, or cow/cattle, etc really isn't a horse/cow/cattle but that it is some other animal that we don't have a good English word for really seems to fall flat on its face when you consider the use of "curelom" and "cumom".  If the translation practice was to replace names of unknown animals with names of common modern animals, then why wasn't that pattern consistent throughout the translation process?  Why wasn't that done also with "curelom" and "cumom"?  For being the "most correct", it sure seems to be inconsistent in its translation methods.  Requiring loose translations here and tight translations there... Replacing ancient animal names with more familiar animal names here, but using the ancient name there...

Blaming those who understandably read "horse" to mean "horse" is really a cheap shot and shows to me the weakness and lack of confidence of the argument when such tactics are employed.   If your explanation is true, than if anyone is to be blamed for the misunderstanding, then it is Joseph Smith...or perhaps God, for MISLEADING people.  Or perhaps Mr. Ed might have a little blame for the misunderstanding too - "a horse is a horse, a horse, of course..."  Curse you Mr. Ed!  A horse is not always a horse - you are just making too many assumptions and are too casual in your reading!

Curious this.   If I am to accept the historicity of the Book of Mormon, then I have to accept that the Nephites came from a land and culture that knew what horses were and they knew what chariots were.  After all, there is proof of this in the Book of Mormon where in 2 Nephi 12 "horse" and "chariot" actually DO mean "horse" and "chariot' because he is reading from the brass plates and the words of Isaiah.  So, horse and chariot actually do mean horse and chariot in the Book of Mormon...but only sometimes.  Sorry, this is getting all too convoluted for me.   My point being that because they knew what an actual "chariot" was, then they also knew about the technology of the wheel.  They knew what a wheel was and how to use one, so why is there no evidence of this most basic and useful technology in the Americas?  Why did the people revert to more ancient technologies in some ways by not making use of the wheel in building and transportation, but show evidence of advanced technologies in other ways?  If there truly were horses in the Americas (as some would have me believe) why wouldn't they harness them and domesticate them, like they did in the land they came from?  Makes no sense.  But perhaps I am just being too assumptions and casual.    

It is also a little too much to expect me to disregard the context of "horses and chariots" in the Book of Mormon, how they are only mentioned when preparing for long-distance travel (and not just to battle).  So, if these were not domesticated beasts of burden, why were they prepared only for travel in conjunction with the chariot?  Why was chariot never mentioned without the horse?  Brant Gardner makes a valiant effort, by trying to link these things with ceremonial ritual for war, but horses and chariots were used for more than war in the Book of Mormon.  Seems strange to prepare horses and bring horses for ceremonial purposes when they were just making a simple trip to another city.  But that is just an observation from my "casual" reading. 

Mixing up animal names is such a normal thing that we often don't notice it. 

a hippopotamus isn't a horse (even though its name means river horse)

There are no buffalo that make their "Home on the Range" in the US (its a bison)

A diamondback rattlesnake doesn't have precious stones on its back

There are such things as male ladybugs.

We use the same word for a male cow, a male elephant and a male elk.

Rocky Mountain oysters aren't mollusks

A horned toad isn't an amphibian

a red panda isn't a panda.

A jack rabbit isn't a rabbit.

we us the same word for a female pig and a female bear.

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Danzo said:

Mixing up animal names is such a normal thing that we often don't notice it. 

a hippopotamus isn't a horse (even though its name means river horse)

There are no buffalo that make their "Home on the Range" in the US (its a bison)

A diamondback rattlesnake doesn't have precious stones on its back

There are such things as male ladybugs.

We use the same word for a male cow, a male elephant and a male elk.

Rocky Mountain oysters aren't mollusks

A horned toad isn't an amphibian

a red panda isn't a panda.

A jack rabbit isn't a rabbit.

we us the same word for a female pig and a female bear.

 

 

 

That’s great, but it doesn’t really address my point/s.  Plus, with all of these examples the reader understands exactly what the author is referring to, in which case you really CAN blame the reader for any misunderstanding. 

Edited by pogi
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On 10/25/2022 at 1:12 PM, OGHoosier said:

At the expense of an unforgiveable pun...hold your horses. 

Just looking at the abstract of the article you posted, I noticed the following, emphasis mine: 

If I interpret this correctly, this article says that readings taken from soil organic matter (SOM) are easily contaminated by younger carbon, but not charcoal. Charcoal, in contrast, seems to be held up as fairly accurate for radiocarbon dating in soils, even trending towards older dates. Well, looking at Table 1 from the Miller paper, I note that half of the samples, including those dated to Book of Mormon times, were charcoal. 

Southerton (who is a geneticist, NOT a geologist as opposed to Miller and the authors of @Craig Speechly's paper) may be right about charcoal being an unreliable sample material, but the authors of @Craig Speechly's paper don't seem to think so. I'll also note that Southerton interprets the presence of "carbonates" in the soil to indicate that the soil is contaminated. That's not what that means, it just means that the soil...has carbon-based materials in it. I'll also note that Miller et. al. do not, in fact admit that their carbon-dating procedures are inaccurate; they say "it doesn't give a precise age," which is just the state of play with carbon dating. 

Also I'll note that the presence of horse bones does not mandate that those horses were domesticated, so Southerton appears to be approaching this piece...a bit hastily ;) .

Again, the Gold Standard of any carbon dating in determining the age of a bone is from the organic materiel in the bone itself particularly with a potential finding as earth shattering as the one claimed by this paper. All organic material within close proximity to the bone is subject to contamination form rain water seeping into the ground. This paper is not the slam dunk being promoted by LDS apologists.  For me the jury is still out.

Edited by Craig Speechly
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Postcolumbian Mayan males were noted to have average heights of 5'2".  I couldn't find the avg height of ancient Olmec but ancient races in general trended smaller.

Given the above, maybe there was ancient jockey-class that rode Llamas or steroid-pumped Alpacas.

Edited by Chum
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31 minutes ago, pogi said:

That’s great, but it doesn’t really address my point/s.  Plus, with all of these examples the reader understands exactly what the author is referring to, in which case you really CAN blame the reader for any misunderstanding. 

except we are talking about transferring ideas between one language a culture to another. we often call things something that mean something different in another culture and language.  Try ordering a "pepperoni" pizza in Italy and see what the put on the pizza, or a "tuna" sandwich in Mexico.

I know of many people who are confused by many of the things I mentioned above.   People who may not be familiar with the language or even the animals themselves.  People who know what a buffalo is can be understandably confused when we show them an animal that we call a buffalo that definitely is not a buffalo.  In Italy they milk buffalos and make mozzarella cheese from their milk. Its much harder to do with the animal we in the US often call a buffalo. We know the difference because it is a part of our language an culture.  People outside, not so much. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Craig Speechly said:

Again, the Gold Standard of any carbon dating in determining the age of a bone is from the organic materiel in the bone itself particularly with a potential finding as earth shattering as the one claimed by this paper. All organic material within close proximity to the bone is subject to contamination form rain water seeping into the ground. This paper is not the slam dunk being promoted by LDS apologists.  For me the jury is still out.

Except that the very paper you cited shows that charcoal is more resistant to contamination than other soil organic materials. It goes so far as to use charcoal as a control for judging whether or not humin fraction C14 is reliable. Charcoal is an organic material, but within the context of your posted paper charcoal =\= the "soil organic materials" that are easily contaminated. Half of the Miller paper's data was derived from charcoal samples, including the ones relevant to Book of Mormon times. The Gold Standard may be collagen but it's not all-or-nothing, Gold or bust. Don't let the indubitable be the enemy of the informative. 

Furthermore...this isn't an earth-shattering claim by any means. If it's validated, it means that a population of horses survived for a few thousand years beyond the previously-most-recent fossil. There is no earth being shattered which might require additional scrutiny. This would be a matter of trivia if it weren't for the Book of Mormon debates.

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1 hour ago, Danzo said:

Try ordering a "pepperoni" pizza in Italy and see what the put on the pizza, or a "tuna" sandwich in Mexico.

This is a VERY idle speculation behind which I put absolutely no weight...but I wonder if the native languages had words for animals which sounded similar to the Hebrew terms for different animals? "tuna" in American English is a fish but in Mexican Spanish it's a fruit. Did the locals in the New World have an animal which sounded like some of Old World animal names in Hebrew, in which the sound persisted in the Nephite language but the animal to which it referred changed?

I think a loose cultural translation is still the best way to account for animals in the Book of Mormon but this idle speculation may be of use.

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2 hours ago, Danzo said:

We know the difference because it is a part of our language an culture.  

 Yep. Readers shouldn't be expected to know the difference in regards to the loanshifts used in the Book of Mormon.  That is my point you are missing. 

The Book of Mormon supposedly used words familiar with our language and culture (hence the birth of the loanshift argument).  We therefore can't blame the reader for misunderstanding these terms.   It is more a translation issue than it is readers error.  I therefore take issue with anyone blaming the reader as if they should know better.  Given the history of confidence the church has given to the strength of the translation, it is not surprising that members would be mislead by the translation to believe that a horse is actually a horse - especially given the context in the script.  It wasn't until Mormons became more familiar with the ancient Americas and that a lot of these animals, grains, and steels didn't actually exist that these arguments even started popping up.  We had to to come up with an explanation to fit the pre-conceived narrative (painting targets around arrows, it seems).  We use those arguments in confidence, until someone comes around and argues that, wait! horses did actually exist in ancient America...then we happily ditch our painted arrows and stick with a tight translation argument.  Before that, I am fairly confident that everyone (probably including Joseph Smith) understood "horse" to mean "horse".     

I actually have no problem with the concept of loanshifting - which is why I think you are missing my points.  I just don't think a lot of it even comes close to fitting with the context of the narrative in the Book of Mormon. I made several other points in my post as well.  One being this - if loanshifting is the translation method used in the Book of Mormon, then how do you explain the existence of "curelom" and "cumom"?  For being the most correct book and solid translation, sure seems to be inconsistent in methodology.  The other point I brought up was inconsistent technologies.  Some apologists suggest that the absence of the word wheel in the Book of Mormon is evidence of its historocity, but for me it seems like evidence against it. The Nephites knew what a real chariot was after all, they came from that world - and it was recorded in their scripture.  Why didn't they develop use of the common wheel?  Would have probably come in more useful and handy than the curelom and cumom in building their temples and transportation, etc!

To conclude that "horses" were used to transport people in ancient America is not an error of assumptions and casual reading - it is a conclusion based on consistent context throughout the book of Mormon with horses only being mentioned and prepared in relation to travel - and because the translator used the word "horse" which would be understood as an animal used for travel and transportation.  The context and choice of words are consistent. 

If the point was to use modern language/animals that closely resemble ancient animals in look and/or function etc. then "horse" and "chariot" were really poor choices unless the translator wanted the reader to believe that these animals were used for transporting people by pulling a chariot - that is the context after all!  Because THAT is the natural reading and conclusion that one would come to.   The ancient animal and "chariot" must have served a similar purpose or role, right?  Well, apparently not.  Such a conclusion is "sigh" worthy, apparently. 

 

Edited by pogi
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On 10/25/2022 at 12:12 PM, OGHoosier said:

At the expense of an unforgiveable pun...hold your horses.

😱

"Pain" not "pun".  

You beat me to wit... ;)

 

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30 minutes ago, pogi said:

Would have probably come in more useful and handy than the curelom and cumom in building their temples and transportation, etc!

I'll note that "curelom" and "cumom" occur only in the Book of Ether, which claims to be an abridgement of a prior translation. If one holds the loan-shift hypothesis for the Nephites, it's possible that curelom and cumom are artifacts of the translation of Ether and not subject to the same methodology as animals in the rest of the Book of Mormon.

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34 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

I'll note that "curelom" and "cumom" occur only in the Book of Ether, which claims to be an abridgement of a prior translation. If one holds the loan-shift hypothesis for the Nephites, it's possible that curelom and cumom are artifacts of the translation of Ether and not subject to the same methodology as animals in the rest of the Book of Mormon.

Except that the loanshit hypothesis applies to Joseph Smith (not the Nephites) as the one applying the translation method to ancient scripture.   Why would he use the method for the Nephites but not the Book of Ether?  If "horse and chariot" is close enough, surely he could have come up with an equally poor alternative for curelom and cumom.    I will also note that Joseph used the loanshift method for other animals in the Book of Ether, such as "cattle', "cows" "oxen", etc. (in the very same verse, no less), so why not the curelom and cumom also?

Edited by pogi
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I appeal to those who have done research on this.  Is it an absolute fact that the Plains horses used by Indians in the 17-1800s when first observed riding are descendants of the Spanish horses brought over from Europe?

Horses were and are valuable commodities to the owners, and the idea that they "escaped" the Spanish in any meaningful numbers strikes me as unusual and odd.  Anyone who has ever owned a horse knows that when hungry, they head for the barn.  The farthest north the Spanish settled was around Santa Fe NM AFAIK.  

The Dakotas are much farther north.

I suppose it's possible that some were sold.

Edited by mrmarklin
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5 hours ago, Snodgrassian said:

I must be a lazy learner... but I am tired of these ever moving goals posts. Is it a tight translation or a loose translation? Was the it written in Hebrew? If I am a translator, which I was for a long time, and I use the word "chariot" (in 1820's), that word has meaning. We already know that the Bible has many mistranslations, but the Book of Mormon should not suffer from the same poor chose in words that Bible translations have. 

"I think Joseph meant what he translated, I just don't think you have a good understanding of the text." Ouch. Very common practice is to blame the member/student for not understanding the meaning of doctrine/scripture. We have ample resources in our scriptures that often "fix" words that are confusing in our times, yet we have a Book of Mormon that we refuse to update the text to increase understanding. 

If I recall correctly, horses and chariots are referenced together, every time chariot is mentioned. Why must we distance ourselves from a more traditional interpretation of chariot? 

Shrug, if the shoe fits. You have to use the phrase, "if I recall correctly," which you wouldn't need to if you took five minutes before posting to check the verses for yourself. I'm sorry, you can try to claim this is an apologetic tactic or moving the goal post (which fills out my anti mormon bingo card very well), but I just lose so much respect for you when you come to the conversation with critical and demanding questions but in return can't even cite specific verses of which you are critical. Sorry again, truly, but that tends to reinforce my perception that you haven't taken the time to understand the text.

You also said that "we have ample resources to 'fix' words that are confusing on our times...yet refuse to [update the BoM in a similar way]" apparently unaware that the MI study edition of the Book of Mormon directly addresses anachronisms. (To be honest, not as much as I would like but its a start.) Moreover, I'm a translator too, and find no issues with the Book of Mormon's use of chariot. In fact, my knowledge of various anachronisms and hard to translate terms, particularly those that have no English equivalent, and in texts whose provenance is contested, makes "chariot" even less of an issue for me.

I wasn't interested much before, and even less so now. So good luck. 

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54 minutes ago, pogi said:

 Yep. Readers shouldn't be expected to know the difference in regards to the loanshifts used in the Book of Mormon.  That is my point you are missing. 

The Book of Mormon supposedly used words familiar with our language and culture (hence the birth of the loanshift argument).  We therefore can't blame the reader for misunderstanding these terms.   It is more a translation issue than it is readers error.  I therefore take issue with anyone blaming the reader as if they should know better.  Given the history of confidence the church has given to the strength of the translation, it is not surprising that members would be mislead by the translation to believe that a horse is actually a horse - especially given the context in the script.  It wasn't until Mormons became more familiar with the ancient Americas and that a lot of these animals, grains, and steels didn't actually exist that these arguments even started popping up.  We had to to come up with an explanation to fit the pre-conceived narrative (painting targets around arrows, it seems).  We use those arguments in confidence, until someone comes around and argues that, wait! horses did actually exist in ancient America...then we happily ditch our painted arrows and stick with a tight translation argument.  Before that, I am fairly confident that everyone (probably including Joseph Smith) understood "horse" to mean "horse".     

I actually have no problem with the concept of loanshifting - which is why I think you are missing my points.  I just don't think a lot of it even comes close to fitting with the context of the narrative in the Book of Mormon. I made several other points in my post as well.  One being this - if loanshifting is the translation method used in the Book of Mormon, then how do you explain the existence of "curelom" and "cumom"?  For being the most correct book and solid translation, sure seems to be inconsistent in methodology.  The other point I brought up was inconsistent technologies.  Some apologists suggest that the absence of the word wheel in the Book of Mormon is evidence of its historocity, but for me it seems like evidence against it. The Nephites knew what a real chariot was after all, they came from that world - and it was recorded in their scripture.  Why didn't they develop use of the common wheel?  Would have probably come in more useful and handy than the curelom and cumom in building their temples and transportation, etc!

To conclude that "horses" were used to transport people in ancient America is not an error of assumptions and casual reading - it is a conclusion based on consistent context throughout the book of Mormon with horses only being mentioned and prepared in relation to travel - and because the translator used the word "horse" which would be understood as an animal used for travel and transportation.  The context and choice of words are consistent. 

If the point was to use modern language/animals that closely resemble ancient animals in look and/or function etc. then "horse" and "chariot" were really poor choices unless the translator wanted the reader to believe that these animals were used for transporting people by pulling a chariot - that is the context after all!  Because THAT is the natural reading and conclusion that one would come to.   The ancient animal and "chariot" must have served a similar purpose or role, right?  Well, apparently not.  Such a conclusion is "sigh" worthy, apparently. 

 

 

If we can call a bison a buffalo, knowing that a buffalo is a different creature than a bison, and really doesn't look much like one (have you ever seen a buffalo and called it a bison by mistake?) then I think it is within the possibility that the nephites could call a tapir a horse, or a deer a horse. or something else with four legs and hoofs a horse.

I I am not saying I know what really happened, for me its not important.  It could be just the errors of men as the book of Mormon itself says that it has.

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22 minutes ago, Danzo said:

 

If we can call a bison a buffalo, knowing that a buffalo is a different creature than a bison, and really doesn't look much like one (have you ever seen a buffalo and called it a bison by mistake?) then I think it is within the possibility that the nephites could call a tapir a horse, or a deer a horse. or something else with four legs and hoofs a horse.

I I am not saying I know what really happened, for me its not important.  It could be just the errors of men as the book of Mormon itself says that it has.

Again, I don't really have a problem with the concept of loanshifting.  That is not my issue. 

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49 minutes ago, morgan.deane said:

Shrug, if the shoe fits. You have to use the phrase, "if I recall correctly," which you wouldn't need to if you took five minutes before posting to check the verses for yourself. I'm sorry, you can try to claim this is an apologetic tactic or moving the goal post (which fills out my anti mormon bingo card very well), but I just lose so much respect for you when you come to the conversation with critical and demanding questions but in return can't even cite specific verses of which you are critical. Sorry again, truly, but that tends to reinforce my perception that you haven't taken the time to understand the text.

And your use of ad hominem causes me to lose respect and confidence in you and your argument.   The fact is that his recollection was correct, and you know it.  Instead of addressing his point, you demean him, even when he is right.  Maybe he was confident enough in his recollection that he didn't feel the need to waste his time...     I think you are being the lazy one here by resorting to ad hominem instead of respectful dialogue in addressing concerns/questions. 

I agree that it is strange that they are only motioned together and only in the context of preparing for travel, especially considering that the horse (or tapir, or whatever it was) wasn't used for travel.  In 2 Nephi, "horse and chariot" actually does mean "horse and chariot', so to use them multiple times in different passages to mean different things that aren't related and may have nothing to do with travel...yeah, a little strange if you ask me.

Edited by pogi
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45 minutes ago, morgan.deane said:

Shrug, if the shoe fits. You have to use the phrase, "if I recall correctly," which you wouldn't need to if you took five minutes before posting to check the verses for yourself. I'm sorry, you can try to claim this is an apologetic tactic or moving the goal post (which fills out my anti mormon bingo card very well), but I just lose so much respect for you when you come to the conversation with critical and demanding questions but in return can't even cite specific verses of which you are critical. Sorry again, truly, but that tends to reinforce my perception that you haven't taken the time to understand the text.

Are you calling pogi an anti-Mormon? Yikes. 

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5 hours ago, pogi said:

It really bothers me that a misunderstanding of the word "horses" is blamed on the reader for being too assumptious and casual in their reading.  If "horses" is supposed to mean something other than "horses", than that is a translation issue, and any misunderstanding should not be blamed on the reader who has been taught their entire life that the Book of Mormon is "plain" and "simple" to understand and the "most correct of any other book".  It's "correctness" has been attributed by the church to "the Lord's hand operative in its translation".   The church has claimed that there is "irrefutable evidence to show both the correctness of the translation and the Lord's hand in it".   So, forgive us for expecting something more simple and plain to understand.  I mean this whole argument that the horse, or cow/cattle, etc really isn't a horse/cow/cattle but that it is some other animal that we don't have a good English word for really seems to fall flat on its face when you consider the use of "curelom" and "cumom".  If the translation practice was to replace names of unknown animals with names of common modern animals, then why wasn't that pattern consistent throughout the translation process?  Why wasn't that done also with "curelom" and "cumom"?  For being the "most correct", it sure seems to be inconsistent in its translation methods.  Requiring loose translations here and tight translations there... Replacing ancient animal names with more familiar animal names here, but using the ancient name there...

Blaming those who understandably read "horse" to mean "horse" is really a cheap shot and shows to me the weakness and lack of confidence of the argument when such tactics are employed.   If your explanation is true, than if anyone is to be blamed for the misunderstanding, then it is Joseph Smith...or perhaps God, for MISLEADING people.  Or perhaps Mr. Ed might have a little blame for the misunderstanding too - "a horse is a horse, a horse, of course..."  Curse you Mr. Ed!  A horse is not always a horse - you are just making too many assumptions and are too casual in your reading!

Curious this.   If I am to accept the historicity of the Book of Mormon, then I have to accept that the Nephites came from a land and culture that knew what horses were and they knew what chariots were.  After all, there is proof of this in the Book of Mormon where in 2 Nephi 12 "horse" and "chariot" actually DO mean "horse" and "chariot' because he is reading from the brass plates and the words of Isaiah.  So, horse and chariot actually do mean horse and chariot in the Book of Mormon...but only sometimes.  Sorry, this is getting all too convoluted for me.   My point being that because they knew what an actual "chariot" was, then they also knew about the technology of the wheel.  They knew what a wheel was and how to use one, so why is there no evidence of this most basic and useful technology in the Americas?  Why did the people revert to more ancient technologies in some ways by not making use of the wheel in building and transportation, but show evidence of advanced technologies in other ways?  If there truly were horses in the Americas (as some would have me believe) why wouldn't they harness them and domesticate them, like they did in the land they came from?  Makes no sense.  But perhaps I am just being too assumptions and casual.    

It is also a little too much to expect me to disregard the context of "horses and chariots" in the Book of Mormon, how they are only mentioned when preparing for long-distance travel (and not just to battle).  So, if these were not domesticated beasts of burden, why were they prepared only for travel in conjunction with the chariot?  Why was chariot never mentioned without the horse?  Brant Gardner makes a valiant effort, by trying to link these things with ceremonial ritual for war, but horses and chariots were used for more than war in the Book of Mormon.  Seems strange to prepare horses and bring horses for ceremonial purposes when they were just making a simple trip to another city.  But that is just an observation from my "casual" reading. 

Its actually not convoluted at all. My response was to the idea that horses were harnessed and pulling chariots and the non Isaiah references. 

This was a thread about horses so your points apply generally to everyone else but I'm sticking on topic. On that note you did make some other startling statements that I highlighted above: 

First, about the loss of wheel. The use of the chariot and hence the wheel, fell out of use in China not because the technology was lost, but because it was incredibly impractical. It couldn't go over rough terrain as well as horses, they were also much more expensive to man and maintain, so they simply stopped being used. When something isn't used it is often lost (or simply not used for such a long time that it is lost from the records.) That is what happened in the Middle East and central Asian highlands for a thousand years.

"The wheel had disappeared from  the Middle East since Roman times...wagons [and chariots] were not part of life...the camel was such an economically efficient means of transportation that it had replaced the wagon in its natural habitats." Kenneth Chase, A Global History of Firearms to 1700, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 206.  

In places where they weren't completely abandoned they often had ceremonial purposes. This was the case in China, and probably why archeologists have found wheeled toys or ceremonial objects in Mesoamerican. https://uncoveredhistory.com/mesoamerica/wheeled-toys/ (Mesoamericanists are so confused and are trying to come up with all sorts of complicated explanations why they had mini wheels but not full sized wheels, when some study into military history would make them understand it was mostly a matter of practicality and economics.) The wheel was still known, like the Middle East and China, it just wasn't practical, especially if we consider the added Mesoamerican context that their weren't good candidates for draft animals to pull them and the region had even more difficult terrain and fewer roads than China. Again, pulling chariots was never mentioned in the Book of Mormon, so this information actually affirms the textual absence of pull and harness. It makes perfect sense if you study history and technology. 

You possibly had more egregious errors that kind of prove my point Chariots were never used in battle by Nephites and Lamanites.  Yet you repeated that false claim several times in your piece. Perhaps you were combing the Isaiah chapters with non Isaiah verses. All I've done is focus on non Isaiah passages so I don't know why you would muddy the waters. My point is about reading text carefully, so I think this matters a great deal. 

I don't know Mesoamerica as well as Brant Gardner. But I read the text carefully, which is again my point, and have the benefit of my extensive study of military history and chariots. And I think Gardner makes a very good case for a chariot and horse that makes much more sense based on the text, and not our assumptions. With more knowledge about history (the abandonment of the wheel or chariot attested across multiple regions), and possibly the Book of Mormon (chariots were never used in battle) the confusion goes away. And I don't conflate plain gospel truths with textual issues.

Maybe this is the problem, and that we have many people who have read the text once a long time ago, and never done much study past that. That might be why, getting back to my original point, there is still nothing in the text that says horses were harnessed to pull chariots but so many just assume. 

Edited by morgan.deane
lowering the temp.
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7 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

My mistake. BTW, I’m sorry I offended you with my silly tapir joke. 

No worries. Well some worry. But I think Pogi is right about one thing, and that I'm way too charged about this. I apologize for my intensity (though turning weakness into strength, thats what drives all those back breaking hours researching and writing for a new project). Honestly, thats a large reason why I've been a member here for like a decade but have barely reached 200 posts. Sometimes you just have to know yourself, and I get too involved in these things haha.  Anyways, I'm taking a break. Truly, best wishes to all. 

Edited by morgan.deane
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1 minute ago, morgan.deane said:

No worries. Well some worry. But I think Pogi is right about one thing, and that I'm way too charged about this. I apologize for my intensity (though turning weakness into strength, thats what drives all those back breaking hours researching and writing for a new project). Anyways, I'm taking a break. Truly, best wishes to all. 

I understand. I used to have pretty strong feelings about these issues, too. 

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41 minutes ago, morgan.deane said:

"The wheel had disappeared from  the Middle East since Roman times...wagons [and chariots] were not part of life...the camel was such an economically efficient means of transportation that it had replaced the wagon in its natural habitats." Kenneth Chase, A Global History of Firearms to 1700, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 206.  

So the wheel was replaced with more efficient forms of transportation, like the camel (which was ridden).  So, what's the Nephites' excuse?  Neither did they use the wheel or domesticate any form of animal for transportation.  Yet travel is ALWAYS the context that horses fall in in the Book of Mormon.  Given our understanding of "horse" and the context of the passages, how can you blame the reader for misunderstanding?  Seriously?  I would give more credit to your approach if you simply acknowledged the imperfect translation process and acknowledged how easy it could be for readers to be mislead in understanding - as pretty much all Mormons were up until recent times. 

41 minutes ago, morgan.deane said:

The wheel was still known, like the Middle East and China, it just wasn't practical, especially if we consider the added Mesoamerican context that their weren't good candidates for draft animals to pull them and the region had even more difficult terrain and fewer roads than China. Again, pulling chariots was never mentioned in the Book of Mormon, so this information actually affirms the textual absence of pull and harness. It makes perfect sense if you study history and technology. 

Humans make pretty efficient draft animals...just ask the pioneers!  There were sufficient roads for wheeled handcarts.  Seems way more efficient than lifting a person on whatever you think the "chariot" was.  China and other cultures replaced the wheel for more efficient options, so why not the Nephites?   A point of curiosity for me. 

Moving all of their provisions from place to place without the use of packhorses or camels or any other animal that other cultures used, it sure would have been nice and efficient to have a wheeled wagon!

41 minutes ago, morgan.deane said:

You had more egregious errors that undermined your case. Chariots were never used in battle by Nephites and Lamanites.  Yet you repeated that false claim several times in your piece. I'm sorry, this doesn't convince me that your reading was anything but casual. 

I never said they were used in battle.  I said that they were mentioned in the context of travel or battle (3 Nephi 3).  Perhaps you are the one guilty of casual reading.

More to say but have to go. 

 

 

  

Edited by pogi
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