Monday, August 11, 2014

The Fallacy of Seven Matching Points – Part II

A reader sent me a copy of Joseph Warren Grammer’s Book of Mormon Evicdences Revisited (2009), containing 14 chapters and 3 appendices. Much of his first so-called “matching point” was covered in the previous post. In this post we look at the final part of Point One, and his second matching point. 
    Point One (cont): Grammer: “Entertaining this idea, then, the anthropological and archeological estimates of 1000 B.C., as the beginning date for the Adena people, corresponds quite easily with the date that could be given to the Jaredites.”
Map showing the Adena and Hopewell cultures. The Adena are shown by horizontal lines to the east and south of Lakes Erie and Ontario; the Hopewell to the west of that (with a little overlap), mostly south and west of Lake Michigan
    Response: You have to love it when someone makes up a figure, then uses it to later prove his own point. And therein lies the problem with just about every Theory that has been advanced regarding the Land of Promise location—i.e., trying to create a match where no match exists. The Adena people to which Grammer refers, are believed to have existed from about 1000 B.C. to about 200 B.C. In fact, the Adena culture refers to what were probably “a number of related Native American societies sharing a burial complex and ceremonial system.” The Adena lived in a variety of locations, but mostly in Ohio where they had about 200 sites, and another 200 sites in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania and New York.
    Now the date of the Jaredites seems pretty well set by exact chronological dates that the Lord dictated to Moses, which appears both in Genesis and in the Book of Moses, Pearl of Great Price. Therefore, the date of the Flood occurred in 2344 B.C. (using the year 4000 for the start of Adam’s life after being ejected from the Garden of Eden).
    In addition, Nimrod, he who later built the Tower was Noah’s great grandson (Noah, Ham, Cush, Nimrod). Since the Ark landed in 2343 B.C., and Ham was already married (Genesis 8:16), we might assume Cush was born about 2350-2340 B.C., making Nimrod born around 2300 B.C. (or earlier). On the other hand, Peleg, in whose time the Earth was divided, was Noah’s 3rd great grandson Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg), and probably born around 2200 B.C.
In the days of Peleg (a name meaning division), the Earth was Divided
    Once the earth was divided, with the great sea that was once in the north country (The Seer, p250) and having no Atlantic Ocean before the Flood (Doctrines of Salvation Vol3), we obviously conclude that the Jaredites did not leave the Tower of Babel area until during Peleg’s time and after the Earth was divided, making it sometime during Peleg’s 209-year-lifetime (Genesis 11:16:-18).Thus we can conclude that the Jaredites left Mesopotamia around 2116 B.C., about 227 years after the Flood, meaning they landed in the Land of Promise between 2108 and 2106 B.C.
    Even if these dates are only within 100 years of accuracy, it is not possible for the Jaredites, who would have arrived more than 1000 years (2100 B.C.) before the Adena are thought to have began in North America (1000 B.C.), to have been that people. So repeating Grammer’s thesis about the Adena being the Jaredites, “Entertaining this idea, then (that the Jaredites arrived “during the time of the tower of Babel, about 2243-2004 B.C.”, the anthropological and archeological estimates of 1000 B.C., as the beginning date for the Adena people, corresponds quite easily with the date that could be given to the Jaredites, is simply not a scientific proof, no matter how much Grammer wants us to believe it is! It doesn’t even make any sense. It took 1000 years or more for the Jaredites to be noticed and given a culture now called the Adena? Perhaps Grammer might want to re-read the Book of Ether and re-evaluate his very non-scientific, and non-realistic position.
    Point Two: Grammer: “The Book of Mormon states that Lehi left Jerusalem about 600 B.C., and the Nephite civilization lasted until 421 A.D.”
Response: No, that is not accurate. The Nephites landed sometime around 588 B.C., having actually left in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, which almost all responsible scholars place at 597 B.C., began as a nation after Nephi left his wayward brothers who sought his life, and established the Land and City of Nephi (2 Nephi 5:8), and was annihilated as a nation and civilization in 385 A.D. (Mormon 6:5). The year 421 A.D. was Moroni’s last entry into the record some 36 years later.
    Point Two (cont): Grammer: “We have learned that the Hopewell culture is a civilization that arose in the mid-eastern part of North America as early as 200 B.C. until about 400 A.D. Given time for a small group of people to get established, as we did with the Adena, then the difference between 600 B.C., when Lehi left Jerusalem, and estimated 200 B.C., when the Hopewell culture began, is a very fascinating coincidence to consider.”
    Response: Not much of a coincidence when you consider that in about 570 BC, Nephi moved those who would go with him to a new location from the coast and founded a city that over the next fifty years raised flocks, herds, and animals of every kind (2 Nephi 5:11), had at least one city with buildings, and works of wood, iron, copper, brass, steel, gold, silver and precious ores (2 Nephi 5:15), and had a temple that would rival Solomon’s (2 Nephi 5:16), and a community of industrious people (2 Nephi 5:17). All of this was at least 250 years before the fall of the Adena, and the rise of the Hopewell, who Grammer claims were the Nephites.
    Think of it. By the time the Hopewell came on the scene, the Nephites had been in the land for some 270 years, building cities of some magnitude. In addition, Mosiah had left the city of Nephi and traveled northward to discovered Zarahemla, where they became a very large and industrious people.
    Where is the coincidence at all, and certainly nothing to be fascinated over!
    Point Two (cont): Grammer: “It was stated toward the beginning of this chapter, the reasons for the sudden decline of the Hopewell culture are not well understood. However, we know the reason for the decline of the Nephite culture, and if the Hopewell and Nephite peoples are the same, then we DO know the reason for the sudden decline of the Hopewell.”
A  re-creation of a Hopewell village Hamlet developed by the University of Cincinnati Archaeology Department
    Response: First, according to the Archaeology Institute of America, and also the Ohio Historical Society, the Hopewell are said to have existed from 100 B.C. up to 500 A.D. According to Douglas T. Price and Gary M. Feinman (Images of the Past, 2008), they were a widely dispersed set of related populations connected by a common network of trade routes, known as the Hopewell Exchange System, running from Florida in the southeastern United States (where they traded in the Gulf of Mexico) as far north as into southeastern Canada. It is also claimed that Hopewell settlements had a low population density of small villages or hamlets of a few rectangular homes made of posts with wattle and daub walls and thatched roofs.
    While this is the description of the Hopewell, it hardly fits the industriousness and accomplishments Nephit describes of his people and their 1000 year history.
    Point Three: Grammer: “The end of the Adena culture overlapped the beginning of the Hopewell culture; just as the Book of Mormon says that the Jaredite civilization overlapped the Nephite civilization just a little.”
    Response: First, the Book of Mormon does not say that the Jaredite civilization overlapped the Nephite period—it says nothing at all on the subject. The only connection at all is in one Coriantumr, who wandered into the city of Zarahemla. They did not know who he was, nor could they understand his language, nor read his chiseled brief history that Mosiah later interpreted. When Coriantumr wandered among the Mulekites (people of Zarahemla) is not stated or even inferred. Even Limhi’s people, who accidentally wandered into the old Jaredite lands, thought they were among their ancestors of Zarahemla (Mosiah 8:7-11), and Limhi thought these records and the history of whoever the people were “to be a great mystery” (Mosiah 8:19).
(See the next post, “Fallacy of Seven Matching Points-Part III,” of Joseph Warren Grammer’s work Book of Mormon Evidences Revisited (2009), containing 14 chapters and 3 appendices, for the next so-called “matching” points)

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