Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Answering the Great Lakes Theorist – Part III

Continuing with a reader named Guy and his lengthy critical comments:
    Reader: “[DowDell's] landing site of course, is along the western coast of South America, in the Andean countries of northern Chile, Peru, and Ecuador" (p.772) And, since no one had the expertise to sail around the world back then, despite being on very predictable wind and sea routes, they would never be discovered: "So it was that the natural elements of sea currents and winds kept the discoverers at home. Without the instruments for measuring position and distance upon the oceans, there could be no out-of-sight-of-land navigation. And without the proper ship-and-sail combinations, there could be no deep ocean sailing. And in this way, the Lord kept the land of promise from discovery until He was ready to fulfill the prophecies and visions that both Lehi and Nephi were given (1 Nephi 13:10, 12-13, 15)."
[NOTE: The above is quote from our book Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica]
    Reader cont: “Of course this theory won't work because we now know that people were traversing the globe before and after that time.”
    Response: This is one of those statements you have to love that Theorists make—a clear, concise, adamant statement, that simply is not true. We do not know anything of the kind about anyone sailing around the world in Lehi’s time. In fact, in 600 B.C., the famed Silk Road was not even considered. It did not become a reality and start under development until 500 B.C. through 200 B.C., which was strictly overland across Asia from China to the Mediterranean Sea.
Because there was no way to sail the waters from China to the Mediterraqnean or even to Africa when the Road first began, it was all overland. The sea lanes were not opened until much later
    The name comes from the Chinese silk carried out along its length, beginning during the time of Gaozu (207 B.C. to 220 A.D.), creator of the Han dynasty, the high point of ancient China (202 B.C. to 220 A.D.), and included several routes, some of which were little more than rough caravan tracks across the desert. Some of these land route were in place as early as 1600 B.C., suggesting very ancient land contacts between East and West. By the time of Herodotus (475 B.C.), the road of the Persian Empire ran for 1775 miles. By the time of the Greeks, the first known contact between China and the west took place around 200 B.C.—all of which was by land!
    The Han army regularly policed the trade route through the latter part of the B.C. centuries against nomadic bandit forces generally identified as Xiongnu. Han general Ban Chao led an army of 70,000 mounted infantry and light cavalry troops in the 1st century A.D. to secure the trade routes, reaching far west to the Tarim basin. Ban Chao expanded his conquests across the Pamirs to the shores of the Caspian Sea and the borders of Parthia. It was from here that the Han general dispatched envoy Gan Ying to Daqin (Rome). The Silk Road essentially came into being from the 1st century B.C. following these efforts by China to consolidate a road to the Western world and India, both through direct settlements in the area of the Tarim Basin and diplomatic relations with the countries of the Dayuan, Parthians, and Bactrians further west.
    Thus, the Silk Road, extending from the Indian Ocean northward, and from China to Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea, dominated all trade controls, routes, and countries for a thousand years. China and Arabia’s control of these routes is what led Portugal and Spain to seek routes to China across the ocean, what caused De Gama and others to seek a sea route around Africa, and the further exploration of the deeper oceans—all of which began around the 12 to 13th centuries.
Columbus had to drop down to the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa before he could pick up the “hidden” current that would take him west across the Atlantic. To return home, he had to pick up the northern route of this Atlantic Gyre that moves clockwise across the Atlantic. Others knew of this westward current, but did not understand what it was in terms of a circular current across the Atlantic Ocean until the Spirit, according to Columbus, caused him to trust in its path
    There were no sea route, sea lanes, sea travel or exploration of the oceans and sailing across them until Columbus “discovered” the westward moving ocean flow from the Canaries, and later the return flow in the gyres of the Atlantic. The gyres of the Pacific were not discovered until the mid-16th century, and without that knowledge, there could have been no crossing of any deep sea ocean!
    While China first began building ships around 722 B.C., with an extensive written history of this, they did not establish a standing Navy until 960 A.D., and become a mariner power until 1404-1433 A.D., when Chinese shipbuilders began to build massive oceangoing junks. Guy can say whatever he wants, but the history of the ocean is not contestable—it exists, has always existed, and is based on ocean currents that have always flowed. History itself, and when the oceans were actually opened for discovery proves the reality of this and the falsity of Guy’s claim, though he is not alone--there are others who delight in re-writing history, trying to claim events that never took place happened, or events that happened took place much earlier in history than they actually did.
    Reader: “The only reason the Nephites were never discovered is because they were not on predictable wind and sea currents.” 
    Response; The truth of the matter is, within a short time of these routes being discovered, the vision of Nephi seeing the Spanish overrunning his brethren in the New World took place. The slight difference is that the Spaniards started out from Spain and ended up in the east of the Western Hemisphere, while Lehi started out in the south and ended up in the west of the Western Hemisphere. While Guy can make whatever claim he chooss, the facts of where these sea lanes are, where each group sailed from and landed, are merely a matter of history and easily verified against the winds and currents involved.
    Reader: “And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. (Ether 6)” 
Wind and ocean currents are constant, predictable, measurable, and trackable—they have been used regularly for centuries and have always blown much the same as they do today since they are driven by unchanging gravitational forces 
    Response: As Guy well knows, he is referring to the Jaredite barges, which were not sailing ships (they had no sails) and would have required a stronger ocean current to move them than it would have a sailing vessel “driven forth before the wind.” In my circle, this is called altering the scriptural record without appearing to do so. Naturally, the winds and currents that were natural were enhanced by the “furious wind” the Lord caused, i.e., a much stronger wind than normal with the Jaredite barges—as it is, it still took 344 days to make the trip for they could not have had sails, being driven beneath the water from time to time (Ether 6:6-7,10). However, with Nephi’s sailing ships, no such increase in wind would have been necessary and no increase in wind is mentioned.
    Reader: “This was a supernatural wind cause by God for when they disfavored Him, the supernatural help stopped and the normal wind currents drove them back: Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me.” 
The Monsoon Winds, which cause the sea currents in the Sea of Arabia and further south, the Indian Ocean, to flow inland for six months and out to sea for six months of every year, are not mysterious or unknown—they have always existed and are called the Trades or Trade Winds since they blow in one regular course or continually in the same direction 
    Response: Once again, Roy is mixing up the Jaredite movement of barges that could move down beneath the sea (no sails) with Nephi’s ship that was “driven forth before the wind” with sails and tiller. It is not likely Guy doesn’t know this since he is moving back and forth between the Jaredites in Ether 6 and the Lehi colony in 1 Nephi 18. This is the type of deception practiced by so many theorists who think you will not check up on their references. These two vessels were totally unlike one another, one was a barge that was submersible and the other was a surface ship with sails “driven forth before the wind.”
This is verified by the continuation of his storyline about Nephi’s ship, when he writes:
    (Reader) “And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore…And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm…And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land. And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land" (1 Nephi 18:21–23) 
    Response: Guy, like all theorists, should know better than to mix up two entirely different story lines in a single discussion about ship motivation (what propelled the two vessels, one a submersible barge, the other a sailing ship). However, it is not the truth of the scripture being promoted here by the Great Lakes Theorist, but a criticism of the factual use of the scriptural record.
(see the next post, “Deconstructing Del DowDell - Part IV, for more of our answers to the lengthy comments from a Great Lakes Theorist)

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