Monday, February 14, 2011

Problems With Malay Theory Part VII

A few final comments about Ralph Olsen’s Malay Theory for the location of the Land of Promise as has been discussed in the past several posts. Olsen cites the following points to support his claim:

1. “The peninsula is North-south, unlike Sorenson’s east-west orientation.”

There is no mention or description of a peninsula in the scriptural record. There is an island (2 Nephi 10:20), which runs north and south, or more correctly northward and southward, suggesting somewhat of a slight angle. The same can be said of the ancient island of western South America.

2. “The problems with animals go away. Elephants, sheep, horses, etc. all date to the proper time period.”

The Malay Peninsula is an extension of the Asian Continent and as such, is an Old World country. It would be amazing if Old World animals were not found in an Old World country. However, it should be kept in mind that the Lord promised Nephi “And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands” (1 Nephi 2:20). It is very difficult to imagine that the Malay Peninsula is a “choice land above all other lands.” Its climate, topography, swampy jungles, and close proximity to other lands and nations, seems to disqualify it from being the land that was promised to Lehi.

3. “The civilization dates to the proper time period, and has had chariots, iron, silk, etc.”

Anthropologists claim that the cradle of the Malay race was the plains of Menangkahau in the interior of Sumatra around the ancient city of Palembang to the south, from whence they emigrated and formed colonies on the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. The Menangkahua, who spoke Austronesian languages, first arrived in Sumatra around 500 B.C., as part of the Austronesian expansion from Taiwan to Southeast Asia. These people supplanted the former race of people who lived on the peninsula, but where the natives had powerful and civilized nations, the emigrants merely carved out settlements, not colonies. Anthropologists claim the Malay race, as a whole, very closely resembles the East Asian populations from Siam and Manchuria, and are more Binua and Siamese (Thailand) than the Burmese (Maynamar).

4. “Scholarly consensus indicates that Native Americans came from Asia, hopped across the Pacific Islands (such as Hawaii, Tonga, etc), before arriving in the Americas.”

These are the same scientists who claim the Western Hemisphere was populated by East Asians coming across a so-called land bridge from the Chukotka Peninsula in Siberia to the Seward Peninsula in Alaska across a frozen Chukchi Sea during the last ice age dating to 70,000 years ago. Unfortunately, while these scientists claim the first people to populate the Western Hemisphere appeared 12,000 years ago, the so-called land bridge disappeared 14,500 years ago. To compensate for this, these scientists now claim the land bridge lasted until 11,000 years ago. Unfortunately for this theory, archaeologists agree that the oldest dated ruins of settlement in the Western Hemisphere are found in South America, predating any real settlement in Alaska.

5. “There was a dark-skinned people pre-existing on the peninsula. If they intermarried with the Lamanites, (while the Nephites did not intermarry) that would explain the “dark and loathsome” comment in the Book of Mormon.”

No, it does not. The “dark and loathsome” comment is in regard to a mark and curse placed upon the Lamanites by the Lord. Before ever leaving the Old World, the Lord told Nephi regarding his rebellious brothers: “in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also” (1 Nephi 2:21.23); and when they did rebel, the Lord “caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5:21). And after they were cursed with a dark and loathsome skin, the Lord said: “Cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing” (2 Nephi 5:23). Since Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael, and their wives, were immediately cursed with a dark skin—this was not a generational thing of intermarrying.

(See the next post, “Problems With Malay Theory Part VIII,” for the last of Olsen’s general comments and their critique)


  1. I wonder if this guy ever looked at a map. You cannot "hop across the Pacific from Hawaii to Tonga." Tonga is in Indonesia and Hawaii is far to the north in the middle of the Pacific. To hop across the Pacific from Indonesia, one must go to Melonesia, then Micronesia, then to Polynesia, then to the Americas. And to my studies and knowledge, there is absolutely no evidence of such a migration into Polynesia from the west. The peoples of Melanesia (which means black) are of a far different racial stock than those of Polynesia. I just love it when someone looks at a map and says, "Well, this looks like a plausible path for migration," however, this guy didn't even do that...Hawaii to Tonga.

    1. Almost every archaeologist out there supports the theory that human migration went east from Malaysia and Indonesia. Humans spread across the map and to all the islands of the Pacific over time, eventually reaching as far as Hawaii and Easter Island. You don't have to look at a map to guess it, just read a history book.

  2. ooops, I meant Tonga is in Polynesia.

  3. Tonga means “south” and is located about one-third of the distance between Hawaii and New Zealand. The actual Tongan archipelago covers about 500 miles in a north to south line. Any island hopping between these areas would be on a north-south course. Early Polynesians sailed north to Hawaii and south to New Zealand, populating all of what is called Polynesia today. They used the cross currents to move across the hemispheres and the gyres in the north and the south for their movements with the currents. James Cook sailed to Tonga in 1773 (from the east) and called them the Friendly Islands because of the reception he received there and was amazed at the natives’ ability with the outrigger canoes they used to ply the waters—claiming they were almost as fast as his ship.

  4. Maybe they went up the coast of China, to japan, then up the northern current and down to Hawaii, then "hopped" down to Tonga, then to New Zealand, then picked up the Southern Ocean to South America.