Saturday, October 6, 2012

Answering Recent Comments – Part IV

Continuing with the comments previously mentioned in the last post, the first six comments were answered in the previous three posts, the seventh and additional comments are answered beginning below:
Comment #7. “Wow you are so smart. They ate all of the horses. Why didn't I think of that!”
In the so-called "horse latitudes," where sailors were often becalmed for days, the Spanish drove their horses over the sides of the ship to preserve drinking water
Response: “It was meant as a tongue-in-cheek comment as to why horse remains have not been found in South America (or the Western Hemisphere) prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Evidently, as far as you are concerned, my attempt at humor failed. On the other hand, there are two quick answers. 1) Remains of horses have been found in both North and South America. Science is at odds with historians on the subject as to whether or not the remains found were recent, or part of the ancient record. Darwin is one of those who believed what he found was recent (I don’t very often quote Darwin—more humor), and 2) Eating horses during sieges, famine, and other historic times is a well-documented fact. The horse latitudes are so called because the Spanish seamen drove their horses overboard or ate them during long lulls in wind that sometimes lasted for weeks in those latitudes in order to save themselves. What else would the Lamanites do with horses for which they had no use? By the way, an interesting side note: According to Vanishing Creatures, “ in 1598, Dutch sailors came across the flightless Dodo birds on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and immediately saw its potential for meat, as they were starving by the time they reached land. The bird was hunted to extinction for its meat,” as was the Mauritius Blue Pigeon in the 1600s. It is also claimed the Arabian Ostrich suffered much the same fate in Mesopotamia and surrounding area by 1941, as was the cause of the Great Auk demise, which was hunted for its meat into extinction in the 19th century, and the Passenger Pigeon in the early 20th century. Actually, the list is quite long of the species that were hunted for their meat into extinction.
Comment #8 “I have just finished all four of your books and am blown away by the knowledge you have and years upon years of research you obviously have undertaken to gain all this knowledge.”
Response: Thank you for your kind words. Obviously, not everyone thinks I know that much.
Comment #9. An obvious issue of disagreement is metallurgy. No metal swords whatsoever existed in any of the places where people think the events in the Book of Mormon took place, except Jerusalem. There were no metal swords before Columbus in Mesoamerica, North America, or South America.”
Response: It is always interesting when someone makes broad statements without back up reference or material. The fact is, that metallurgy was widespread in South America in B.C. times. According to Aldenderfer, Beukens, Martin, Bruhns, Keatinge and Hosler, metals were being worked in the Andean area at least by the “early horizon” (1000 B.C. to 200 B.C.) in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, but not in Mesoamerica until after 800 A.D. Both Hosler land Pendergast place metallurgy in Mesoamerica as early as 600 A.D., but not before. All indicate that metallurgy started much earlier in South American than Central America and Mexico—as much as 1400 to 1800 years earlier. In fact, Posansky and later Brooks have shown that the metallurgical techniques employed by Andean South Americans in late B.C. and early A.D. times rivaled that of Europe. It also might be noted that swords were seldom items buried in the ground—but left laying on the surface as a result of battles, especially like those described in the Book of Mormon. At the time of the Spanish arrival, a thousand years after the demise of the Nephites, not much would have remained had the conquistadors been looking for such things. But mainly, by the time archeologists began looking for artifacts, 1500 years had passed from the last battle, which took place in northern Ecuador in an area of rivers, lakes, springs, and fountains—hard to say what changes might have occurred in such an area in 1500 years, even if anyone was up in that area digging around, which few have ever done. As for the other battles, almost all prior to the changes described in 3 Nephi, one can only imagine what might have happened to artifacts laying around when mountains crumpled and fell, and valleys became mountains, cities were sunk in the ground and others in the seas. As for the Lamanites, they were not metallurgists--they did not make swords, and their descendants certainly would not have possessed any by the 1500s, 1100 years after the demise of the sword makers.
Comment #10 “You write about wheat and barley being planted in the City of Lehi-Nephi, but there was no wheat, barley or any plow agriculture among ancient American civilizations, neither in Central America, nor in South America.”
Response: You evidently fail to understand the civilizational differences between the Nephites and the Lamanites. Not to belabor the point, since the descriptions are replete in the scriptural record, the Nephites were a city-dwelling, stone-building, government-organized people, not unlike the Jews of Jerusalem from which they came. The story of King Mosiah ending kingship and creating an elected judgeship government is well documented. Like the ancient Greeks, with 80% of their population involved in agriculture, the Nephites were an agrarian society. The Lamanites, on the other hand, were just the opposite, and described as lazy, living in tents, wearing breechcloths, and hunting in the wilderness for their food—they were not planters in an agrarian society. Therefore, when they killed off the sowers and planters—the Nephites—the crops failed, since wheat and barley do not do well unattended. In a thousand years, there was no vestige of these crops remaining. However, as a side note, the neas and sheum grains, which Joseph Smith did not know the exact name or plant, now found in the Andes as quinoa and kiwichi, not only survived, but have become a major product in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in recent years. It should be noted that quinoa and kiwichi are grains that can survive being unattended for centuries.
(See the next post, “Answering Recent Comments – Part V,” for more comments made about different posts on this website)

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