Friday, August 21, 2015

Another Area of Disagreement – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding several recent studies that have adjusted the Generation Age on the average, and continuing here with:
5. In another recent study, biological anthropologist Agnar Helgason and colleagues used the Icelandic deCODE genetics database to arrive at a female line interval of 28.12 years for the most recent generations and 28.72 years for the whole lineage length (Male line lineages showed a similar difference—31.13 years for the recent generations and 31.93 years overall).
So, for a more mathematically appealing average, Helagason and fellow researchers recommended estimating female generational line intervals at 30 years and male generational intervals at 35 years, based on the Quebec and Iceland studies (Don Devine, CG, CGI, “Research Cornerstones: How Long is a Generation? Science Provides an Answer,” Ancestry Magazine, American Antiquity vol 38, no 2, April 1979, pp 1–39; see also: Nancy Howell, The Demography of the Dobe !Kung); Jeffrey R. Gulcher, Ryk Ward, and Kari Stefansson, American Journal of Human Genetics, 2003, etc.)
    These highly respected studies listed above added another 10 to 13 years to a generation than supposed in the past, yet are still based on rather modern periods of time where children are fewer and people live shorter lives. In the case of the Jaredites, who lived lives into the low hundreds, that is, from 120 to 140, and had numerous children, documented with Orihah’s 31 children (Ether 7:2), and others fathering children into their “old age,” we have a different set of circumstances in which to figure generational time frames. 
    According to the CIA World Factbook (2008), life expectancy today is about 80 years in Australia, Canada, Japan, France and Sweden; 78 years in the US, England, Spain, and parts of Europe; between 70 and 77 in South America, China, Middle East, and northern Africa, dropping to under 40 in southern Africa. So, using the highest rate of 80 years (43.75%), and a generational gap of 35 years, we can look at the Jaredites with 120 years, and about 52 years per generation (43.3%).
As can be seen, (red arrow) Sorenson with his dates of 3100 to 3300 B.C. for the time of the Flood, based on secular writings of the 18th century actually occurs before (yellow arrow) Noah’s Flood according to Moses writing and shows a difference of 1000 years or more
    As mentioned earlier, Mesoamerican theorists use the dates of 3100-3300 B.C. for the time the Jaredites arrived in the land of promise. That means, in order for Sorenson’s inclusion of the Mayan Calendar date of 3100 B.C., rather than the biblical dates used by Moses, for the time the Jaredites spent in the New World, an additional 1000 years would have to exist between the 29 generations of Jaredites in the land of promise.
    This means, that the Jaredites, according to Sorenson would have been in the land of promise from 3100 B.C. (rather than 2100 B.C. according to Moses), spread out across the same 29 generations from Jared to Ether (Ether 1:6-32)
    At these verifiable 28 generations (plus one descendant) of Jaredites, that would make each generation an average of 85.7 years per generation (89.66 years per generation if 3100 B.C. is used), which would be an untenable position. Even 52 years seems high to our way of thinking today, but given the circumstances of the life styles, ages, spread and numbers of children born to the Jaredites, 52 certainly appears as a more realistic probability than 89 years. Of course, we should keep in mind that a 52 year generation gap for a people living to 120 years (like the Jaredites), is the same percentage equivalent as 35 year generation gap to a people living to 80 years of age.
    So that brings us to Morianton’s Generation—or the descendant Riplakish, who was an evil king, causing heavy taxes which “was grievous to be borne” (Ether 10:5); building many spacious buildings and an exceedingly beautiful throne for himself; building many prisons and placing those behind bars that did not pay their taxes, laboring continually for their support in prison, or being put to death (Ether 10:6); and “afflicting the people with his whoredoms and abominations.” The people put up with this for 42 years, but finally rose up in rebellion against the king, killing Riplakish and driving his descendants out of the land (Ether 10:9).
    Then, “after the space of many years” Morianton, a descendant of Riplakish, no doubt one of those driven out of the land earlier during the rebellion, gathered together an army of outcasts, again, no doubt, probably those driven out of the land during the rebellion, and attacked and conquered many cities in the land during a battle that lasted for many years (Ether 10:9). Eventually, Morianton conquered the entire land and crowned himself king.
    By comparison, the term “many years” is used in Alma referring to a 12 year war that lasted from 72 B.C. to 60 B.C., in which he wrote: “..and thus they had had wars, and bloodsheds and famine, and affliction, for the space of many years.” (Alma 62:39) At least in this one case, “many years” referred to a specific time frame—a space of 12 years.  This 12-year period, if we apply this to the “many years” in Ether, after the expulsion of Riplakish’s descendants, would certainly fit for Morianton to be a son or grandson. This also fits the running narrative regarding the king lines of the Jaredites and their rulers, wars, and actions. Riplakish had already been king for 42 years by the time of the rebellion and his death.
The wars of the Jaredites raged over the land for nearly 2500 years
Considering the fact that he was probably young when he was made king because his father, Shez, “did live to an exceeding old age; and he begat Riplakish. And he died, and Riplakish reigned in his stead” (Ether 10:4). This would appear from the reading that Shez not only lived to a very old age, but fathered his son in his old age, suggesting that Shez died not too long after Riplakish reached a governing age, of say about 40 years. This is based on a very old age of about 120 (could have been as old as 140).
    If Riplakish was born when his father was about 80, he would have reached the age of 40 when his father was 120. Using these figures, Riplakish was about 82 when the rebellion came and he was killed. He could have had sons that were between 20 and 60 years old. Taking the younger figure of 20, in about 12 years, this young son who also would have been a descendant, would have been old enough at 32 to mount an attack to reclaim his father’s throne. On the other hand, an older son, say about 50, would have had a son about this age, and in 12 years he would have been 30 and ready to mount such an attack, being a grandson of Riplakish. It is even possible, using the oldest age of 60, who might have had a grandson about this age. Of course, there is always the possibility that Morianton might have been a brother or uncle, however, this would not have given him as much legitimacy to crown himself king as a direct descendant would have had, such as a son or grandson.
    Thus, while this is obviously just speculative, several options of ages fit the 12-year gap chosen for Morianton to arrive on the scene after Riplakish’s death. Consequently, in this only gap between father and son in the Jaredite genealogy, we could have just one generation span, or two, making the Jaredite 28 generation no more than 29—although even at 30 generations, the Jaredite generational gap would be only 53 years rather than 55, which does not change the stated overall figures enough to matter.
    One thing is certain, though, and that is the time frame and chronology worked out by Book of Mormon and Mesoamerican theorists of 3100-3300 B.C. would not fit the events in the record, creating an 89 to 96-year generational gap and events spread out over another 800 to 1000 years existence for the Jaredites. Thus is can be seen that the Ether record of the Jaredites arriving in the Land of Promise around 2100 B.C. fits the Biblical Noah Flood dates and is far more accurate than using the Maya calendar claiming a 3100 B.C. date.

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