Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How Far Back Can We Measure Dates? Part XII

Continuing from the previous posts regarding radiocarbon dating techniques and how they have skewed our understanding of the past and its age, and more specifically with the final installment on this subject of dating techniques and their impact on understanding the settlement of the Americas and specifically the Land of Promise—Andean South America.
The Jaredites (Left: #1) landed around 2100 B.C., their barges scattered along the Santa Elena Peninsula coast facing south just beyond the present site of the Bay of Guayaquil; Lehi (#2), landed along the central Chilean coast (probably the southern end of the island at the time) around 30º south latitude in about 587 B.C.; Mulek (#3), landed in southern Peruvian coast within a year or two of that same period, where Pachacamac lies today (just southwest of Lima).
    We know from the scriptural record that these three events took place, and the time frames in which they occurred. The Jaredites landed around 2100 B.C., about 1500 years before the Nephites and Mulekites. Moroni tells us that, “after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof” (Ether 13:2).
    Consequently, we can assume with considerable certainty that no one existed in this Land of Promise in the area where the Jaredites landed until their barges reached the shore and they “set their feet upon the shores of the promised land” (Ether 6:12), and “they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth” (Ether 6:13).
    Some 1500 years later, and 2700 miles to the south, Lehi landed in a land that had been promised to him and his posterity. He told them, “we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever” (2 Nephi 1:5). He also added, in a future tense setting, “And also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:5 emphasis mine).
Lehi, however, was not finished explaining this land to his family: “None shall come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord” (2 Nephi 1:6), and that the land is consecrated to him whom he shall bring” (2 Nephi 1:7). In the meantime, Lehi made it clear to his family, “It is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance” (2 Nephi 1:8).
    Finally, to make it quite clear, Lehi added, “Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever” (2 Nephi 1:9). In addition, using the tense that is written, Lehi talks about the Lord leading people out from Jerusalem “inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem” in the future tense, it should be noted that no one was led out of Jerusalem, that we know about, between the time of the Flood and around Lehi’s death other than the Jaredites.
    This should make it crystal clear to all who read and accept the scriptural record that no one existed (after the Flood) on the land before the Jaredites landed in the north and Lehi landed in the south.
Within a year or two, Mulek and his people landed a little to the north of Lehi. Somewhere around that time, Nephi escaped from his brethren who sought his life after their father, Lehi, died (2 Nephi 5:5), and traveled northward to finally settle an area his people called “Nephi,” and where the City of Nephi, the temple and numerous buildings were built (2 Nephi 5:15-16).
    This area has been established as the present area of Sacsayhuaman, now overlooking the area of Cuzco in Peru. From this point onward, the Nephite nation settled around and built up the area from around Lake Titicaca in the south to what is now called the Sacred Valley in the north. There was no reason for them to go anywhere else since this area provided all they needed and was basically secure from the Lamanites who attacked them from the south from time to time (Jacob 1:10; 3:13; 7:24; Enos 1:24; Jarom 1:13-14; Omni 1:3, 10).
Finally, somewhere around 225-200 B.C., the Lord tells Mosiah to leave the area of Nephi and to take all those who would go with him (Omni 1:12), and they traveled northward and discovered an unknown people and a land they called Zarahemla (Omni 1:14). These were obviously the people of Mulek, who had come out from Jerusalem and landed in that very area nearly 400 years earlier. These “Mulekites,” or people of Zarahemla, had expanded and “had become exceedingly numerous” over the centuries (Omni 1:17).
    Starting in this area, from around 200 B.C. and for a little over 500 years, the Nephites expanded from sea to sea, from the south to the north, and filled the land entirely (Helaman 3:8). Finally, around 325 A.D., the final wars broke out with the Lamanites that eventually saw the total destruction of the Nephite nation by 386 A.D.
    The point of all this is that the architectural sites, ruined cities, roads, and all that was discovered in the land at the time of the Spanish conquest, would have been mostly built by the Nephites. We know of no specific construction performed by the Lamanites, though there is some indication that Nephite defectors, Amalekites and Amulonites had built a city called Jerusalem along with the Lamanites (Alma 21:2).
    The point of all this is to show once again that those who make up dates, make up people, make up cultures, make up civilizations, make up histories dealing with the Land of Promise that is not consistent with the scriptural record, are inaccurate, no matter how much they try to couch it in scientific terms, ideas, and principles. The Jaredites landed in the north—consequently, we should look to see who the first people to occupy the area of Ecuador were, which would appear from discoveries so far, to be the Valdivians by today’s name; and since Lehi was the first to land (though Mulek landed in almost the exact same time frame), those who landed in the south (Chile and Peru) would have been the Nephites and Mujlekites, who combined into one people by around 200 B.C.
When we combine Mormon’s writings with the people who have been discovered in the land from the beginning onward (after the Flood), we find a perfectly good match to the scriptural record without having to change the scriptural meaning, directions, or information, nor do we have to change anything to fit in.
    Carbon-14 dating is only useful in determining chronological order, not in determining calendar time frames.
    For those who feel we belabored this point far beyond the need over the last several posts, we apologize; however, in reading over the continuing flow of information that is published and presented by both members and nonmembers alike, and by scientists and critics, it seemed necessary to cover this overall basic idea from as many directions as there are since it has been, and continually is, inaccurately presented by others. The reason is simple, upon a true understanding of scientific principles, the Book of Mormon stands tall—against pseudo science, or scientific principles used the wrong way, truth has to struggle to be seen.
    There is nothing wrong with the Carbon-14 principle, only with interpreting it against the wrong conditions (atmosphere in equilibrium), and there is nothing wrong with the concept of tree-ring dating as long as it is done accurate and correctly, i.e., not accept singular annual rings, and using gap matching (bridging gaps) that cannot be proven.

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