Saturday, March 26, 2011

Great Lakes Theorists’ Ripliancum, Land Northward and the East Sea –Part I

According to Great Lakes Theorists, the area between the ancient Lake Tonawanda and Lake Onatrio was the Book of Mormon Land Northward, a very small area about 25 miles by 65 miles. Also according to these theorists, the ancient lake had a narrow land bridge at its eastern terminus and a large waterway beyond that which emptied into large rivers which the Nephites called the East Sea.

It would be hard to imagine anyone believing that the entire Land Northward as described in the scriptural record could fit in this tiny area—1625 square miles—about the same as the distance from Bountiful to Santaquin, and between the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains, where today just over 1 ½ million people reside. However, there were at least 12-15 million Jaredites.

In addition, these theorists claim a land bridge existed at the end of the ancient Lake Tonawanda and some unnamed body of water to the east, which they label the East Sea further south. However, this land bridge does not show up on any maps depicting this ancient time when Lake Tonawanda existed.

In fact, the actual geologic depiction of this lake and the land between it and the claimed Lake Iroquois of the period, shows a broken land divided into four parts by fairly good-sized water ways where the ancient lake drained into the lake to the north. This in turn, reduced Lake Iroquois as the waters of Lake Ontario subsided, the water receding to its basic present position. Thus, in the time the theorists’ claim Lake Tonawanda existed, providing their so-called land bridge or narrow neck, the land northward was broken up into areas totally inconsistent with the Book of Mormon description of the Land Northward.

In addition, these theorists’ East Sea was really just a river, and not a large one as shown by the image below in which the river cut down into the deeper soils, but was restricted to the narrowness of the river bed shown.

Called a rock gorge in the Devonian period, this is the Genesee River—what the theorists call their “East Sea.” The original valley here was thought to be that of Irondequoit Creek and Bay, but the most likely westward path originally followed the river. During this period the river flowed north and emptied into the Ontario River (now Lake Ontario). The rivers also in this era were merely tributary rivers to the original Ontario River. It would be hard to say that in the time under discussion, the geological findings show this area to have small rivers and Lake Ontario was merely a river. Most of these areas, now covered by lakes, rivers, etc., were empty glacial moraines that formed valleys and small riverlets.

If Great Lakes theorists are going to use Lake Tonawanda as a separation of waters in Book of Mormon times, then they also have to use the original descriptions of the time—that is, valleys and small rivers, and no Lake Ontario. At this time the Niagara River was wider, but still just a river, not what would be called a “Sea.” The area of Niagara Falls dates back to at least 6,000 to 7,000 years ago, and was even then located in the present area of Niagara Glen, Foster Flats, Wintergreen Flats and Wilson Terrace. At this point the water flows at 25-miles per hour—a speed that would be awe-inspiring to ancient man and one would think worthy of some mention in the area of the narrow neck of land, the narrow passage and narrow pass.

But not a word in the Book of Mormon about it.

(See the next post, “Great Lakes Theorists’ Ripliancum, Land Northward and the East Sea –Part II,” for more of the claims about Lake Tonawanda being the South Sea mentioned in the scriptural record)

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