Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Andean Peru is Not a Theory-Part V

Continuing from the last four posts regarding the difference in Andean Peru from all the theories regarding the placement of the Land of Promise proposed by various theorists, and the explanation of the “facts” behind this understanding, as opposed to other’s “theories.”    Speculation: The idea sometimes suggested, that part of the South American continent could have been submerged beneath the sea, leaving a reduced land that the Nephites occupied, is without merit, as abundant geological and archaeological evidence shows.
    Fact: According to geologists, “a significant body of water (referred to as the Central American Seaway) once separated the continents of North and South America,” and according to scientists: “formation of the isthmus of Panama is one of the most important geologic events to occur,” leading to “the Great American Interchange” of plants and animals between the two land masses (“Panama: Isthmus that Changed the World” NASA Earth Observatory).
Light Bue North: “Pebesian Sea;  Light Blue South: Parananse Sea;  Dark Blue north North Throughway Sea; Dark Blue Middle: South Throughout Way Sea (Green areas are high ground plateaus or shields above the surface)
    In addition, according to Daryl P. Domning, (“Evolution of Manatees,” Journal of Paleontology, 1982) some time in the past, seawater flooded the interior of South American forming “epicontinental” seas. In the north was the Pebesian Sea, a result of most of the Amazon basin and the Paranáa River basin and the Pampas being under the sea, as well as Patagonia, except for the Somunciuráa Plateau and the Deseado shield).
    In addition, there was a connection to the Paranense Sea (in the south) via the Paraguayan Chaco Basin, in which (according to F. G. Acenolaza and P. Ferrando Sprechmann, 2002) the Paranense Sea covered a wide area in northern Argentina and Uruguay, including Paraguay and southern Bolivia.
    Then there is the case of the Theorist who chooses as his basis for dates, non-scriptural writing. As he states: “To develop a format for reliable Book of Mormon correlations with other cultures, we must be aware of the time periods in which the other cultures were in existence” (Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p 13). The only problem with that is the scriptural record makes it quite clear there were no other cultures in existence in the Land of Promise during the period of time of the Jaredites through the end of the Nephite nation. Nibley, Sorenson, Allen, and other theorists can claim there were, but there is not a single shred of evidence in the Book of Mormon to suggest such a thing. Yet, irrespective of the facts, Allen pursues a totally false line of thinking when he adds, “Dates are very elusive and, as a result, allow a great degree of flexibility. We run into the same problem (elusive dates) as we attempt to correlate Book of Mormon dates with secular dates of Mesoamerica.”
    The fact is, the dates of the Book of Mormon and the Bible are not elusive at all. They are specific and easily followed; however, in claiming they are elusive, the field is open for speculation on when and where things happen. As an example, Allen goes on to write (p 20): “Traditional statements place the dating of the Jaredites at about 2200 BC.  However, since no dates appear in the Book of Mormon regarding the arrival date of the Jaredites, we are left to choose between the archaeological dates of the Old World and the Spanish Chronicle dates of the New World.” However, when combining Book of Mormon events with Biblical ones and the latter’s dates, there is no need to use those of Iztlilxocitl, which Allen goes on to claim is 2700 B.C., actually making the Jaredites arrival 357 years before the Flood.
    Speculation: The Maya ruins of Tikal date from 600 BC to 900 AD.  These ruins are located in the Peten Jungle of Guatemala and represent one of the most massive sites in Mesoamerica.  Over 3,000 separate structures, spreading over 10 square miles, have been analyzed at Tikal.
Allen’s placement of (Yellow Arrow) Tikal in relationship to his lands of (Green) Bountiful, (Red) Zarahemla, and (Blue) Nephi. Note it is neither within one of the major population areas or along the Sea East coast where the major populations of the Nephites are described
    Fact: While Joseph L. Allen's major city of Tikal is located northeast of the Land of Nephi and Zarahemla and about due east of his Land of Bountiful (see map above), The massive population area of Tikal is completely out of the great population centers of the Book of Mormon, yet it was a city of enormous size for its time (10 square miles).  It was neither in the Land of Nephi, therefore, not one of the major cities Nephi and his people built; it was not in the Land of Zarahemla, therefore not one of the cities the Mulekites or the Nephites of Mosiah, Alma and Helaman, et al, built; it was not in the Land of Bountiful, therefore it was not associated with the great population center of the latter Nephite period where the temple was built.  According to Allen's Introductory Map C in his book, Tikal must have been in the East Wilderness.  Between 90 and 77 B.C., this east wilderness seemed to be unoccupied (Alma 25:5,8), and in 67 B.C., Moroni ordered numerous Nephites into this east wilderness to occupy the land as a deterent to Lamanite attacks (Alma 50:9).  Had there been a Nephite city of such size, this occupation would have been unnecessary, and had it been a Lamanite city, it would have been extremely difficult for Moroni to drive out the Lamanites as described.
    Speculation: The Olmec culture parallels in striking detail with the Jaredites, to the extent that most Book of Mormon students who have studied the Mesoamerica culture have concluded that the Olmecs and the Jaredites were one and the same.
    Fact: The Olmec culture is believed by archaeologists and anthropologists to have begun as early as 1700 B.C. to as late as 1200 B.C., and continued to as late as 500 B.C. to about 300 B.C. Carbon dating of recovered stone tablets believed to be Olmec were dated only to 291 B.C., but later dated to 31 B.C. The Olmecs carved 22 collossal stone heads that had been dated somewhere between 1100 and 500 B.C. The fact is, no one knows what this culture called themselves, and were once believed to  have been younger than the Maya.
    In addition, the Olmec culture is considered by archaeologists to have existed in what the Mesoamericanists call their Land Southward, an area the Jaredites never settled or occupied and only used for a hunting preserve (Ether 10:21).
The Olmecs are considered to have resided on both sides of what the Mesoamericanists claim was the narrow neck of land—or the Olmecs settled in both the Land Northward and the Land Southward, contrary to the scriptural record—making it impossible to claim the Olmec were the Jaredites
    Consequently, it is difficult to say that the “Olmec culture paralleled in striking detail with the Jaredites,” for the only thing they had in common was a partial dating overlap around 1500 B.C. (600 years after the Jaredites arrived in the Land Northward), and 300 to 400 B.C., (200 to 300 years after the Jaredites were annihilated).
    In fact, there is considerable discussion among anthropologists that the ancient Olmecs of Mexico and the Olmec language, religion, culture were of African origins and specifically of the Mende group of West Africa.”
    The fact is, the Olmec existed in eastern Mexico along the Gulf coast, show little if any hard evidence before the first century B.C., claimed a language with no ties to Hebrew or Reformed Egyptian, spread into (Sorenson and Allen’s) Land Southward, and were never along the west coast of their land—none of which bear any resemblance to the Book of Mormon record of the Jaredites.
    Speculation: Today, a uniformity of agreement exists that all groups who speak Maya came from the same ancestral branch, and by 600 BC, that one language had evolved into six language groups.
    Fact: By 600 B.C., we know of only three groups in the Land of Promise (Nephites, Lamanites and Mulekites), with the possibility of a fourth (Jaredites), if they still survived to that time. Of these four groups, three spoke Hebrew (Nephites/Lamanites and Mulekites, all coming from Jerusalem within a few years of each other, and the other spoke a language from Mesopotamia dating to about 200 years after the Flood and the Ark landed.
    There is no possibility that by this time, there would have been six different languages in the Land of Promise—there might have been two, and within a short time, only one, until the Mulekite language became corrupted and it was not understandable as Hebrew.
    As we started out saying, when theorists begin speculating with their pet ideas and theories, they do a great injustice to the Book of Mormon and to the Church overall. It does not matter what a theorist wants to claim, if it is not consistent with the Book of Mormon scriptural record, then it is mere speculation, and if the scriptural record has to be changed to accommodate the theory, then it is bordering on the fallacious, and throws into confusion the scriptural record and leads to contention. The harm then comes from those who want to insist on their pet theories as opposed to following the descriptions and understanding the scriptural record provides as Mormon wrote them and intended them to be understood.

No comments:

Post a Comment