Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Question: When Did Horses Live in the Americas? Part II

Continuing with the last post regarding the existence of horses in the Western Hemisphere during Book of Mormon times, the Equidae, sometimes known as the horse family, is the taxonomic family of horses and related animals, including the extant horses, donkeys, and zebras, and many other species known only from fossils. 

Wild horses are those never domesticated, such as the Przewalski’s horse (left). Also called wild horses is the mustang (right. Bottom Left: The Pentland Hills Icelandics; Bottom Right: The Brumby of Australia—the latter three horses are descendants of once domesticated horses

The term "wild horse" is also used colloquially to refer to herds of feral horses (free roaming horses of domesticated ancestry) such as the Mustangs in the United States, the Brumby in Australia, the Pentland Hills Icelandics in Scotland, and many others. These feral horses are untamed members of the domestic horse subspecies (Equus ferus caballus), and should not be confused with the two truly "wild" horse subspecies—the Tarpan (Tarpani) and the Przewalski, both of which have never been domesticated.

For example, when Europeans reintroduced the horse to the Americas beginning in the 16th century, some horses escaped and formed feral herds, the best-known being the Mustang. The Australian Brumby is descended from horses strayed or let loose in Australia by English settlers. There are isolated populations of feral horses in a number of places, including Portugal, Scotland, and a number of barrier islands along the Atlantic coast of North America from Sable Island off Nova Scotia to the Shackleford Banks of North Carolina. While these are often referred to as "wild" horses, they are not truly "wild" in the biological sense of having no domesticated ancestors.

This, then leads us to the question, how do we know that some of these “feral” horses were not left over from an earlier time? How do we know they were all brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Spanish and later European settlers? When scientists first discovered horses in these wild herds in North and South America, how did they know they were not left over from the period of the Nephites/Lamanites? Since DNA testing shows that the so-called “extinct” horses of the Western Hemisphere are the exact same biological species as the European horses brought here in the sixteenth century (see previous post), how do we know that some of those ancient horses did not survive and roam in uninhabited areas for centuries and were entire herds or parts of herds of these wild “feral” horses that have been found in numerous areas?

The simple answer is that we do not know. Scientists do not know. Nor can they know!
However, because of the absolute conviction scientists have that horses in the Western Hemisphere died out and became extinct long before the Spanish arrived, there could be no “feral” herds roaming the Americas in any place under any circumstance.

It might also be of interest to know that the remains found in the La Brea Tar pits of Southern California (an area where I grew up and spent much time roaming the pits in my youth) cover a wide range of extant (existing) animals, though some are not known to be indigenous to this Hemisphere—thus, scientists must create a scenario to show how they got here, or that they became extinct here, and were reintroduced by Europeans in modern times.

It is interesting that in the Tar Pits were found so-called “extinct” remains of camels, horses, and elephants, alongside extant buffalo (bison)
Also, isn’t it interesting that these “extinct” animals were found not only alongside the American bison (buffalo), but also alongside other existing animals, such as pronghorn antelope, elk, deer, bear, lion, jaguar, cheetah, cougar, bobcat, wolf, coyote, and numerous other common small animals, such as dogs, raccoon, skunk, weasel, badgers, shrews, moles, bats, rabbits, etc. There were also found 250,000 bird specimens representing 120 extant species, including hawks, eagles, and numerous song birds, along with ducks and geese.
The point of all this is simply that existing animals were found throughout the tar pit excavations alongside so-called extinct animals. Isn’t it interesting that scientists claim some animals were around millions of years ago, but not during the time of man, or in modern times, such as the time of the Jaredites and Nephites. How does anyone know that? Oh, yeah, the Spanish didn’t find any horses, elephants or camels, so they somehow did not survive past 10,000 years ago or so, but almost all the other animals found did.

As far as the Book of Mormon is concerned, I think science has to prove that the horse, camel, elephant, etc., did not exist during Jaredite and Nephite times (2100 B.C. to about 400 A.D.) rather than the Book of Mormon have to prove they did. After all, every record we can find shows these animals did exist in the Western Hemisphere, and when you consider that the Earth is only 13,000 years old or so, how could they not have lived during those times?

The simple fact is, that the Garden of Eden was in the eastern United States, as modern revelation has stated, therefore the Ark would have been built somewhere around that area, and animals gathered from all over the region. The Flood waters rose, killing every living and breathing thing on the Earth. When the waters subsided, the Ark landed in an area somewhere around eastern Turkey, and the survivors came down off the mountain into the area near Mesopotamia. And in Mesopotamia about 200 years after the Flood, the Jaredites were told to gather animals of every kind, including birds, bees, and fish, and transport them to the Western Hemisphere around 2100 B.C. These animals included the elephant, horse, camel, and two unknown animals (to Joseph Smith in 1829) called the “cumom” and the “curelom,” which we have identified as the Llama and the Alpaca. By the way, isn’t it interesting that in the La Brea Tar Pits, remains of the llama were found.

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