Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Correcting a Critic’s Comments and Blog – Part IV

Continuing with Jared Methrandir’s comments referring us to his website when commenting on one of our articles back in 2013.
    While discussing this issue in the previous article, while the Jaredites and Nephites occupied a portion of this Land of Promise, the New Jerusalem (a holy city) would be built on this land (it doesn’t say the same portion that the Jaredites and Nephites occupied), and that this overall land (the entire Land of Promise) would be a land of liberty.
    While many Americans, people of the United States, consider the U.S. superior to any other country in the Western Hemisphere, and to-date the economy, freedoms, and status certainly warrant that thought, it does not mean that the Land of Promise is just in the U.S. any more than the state of Israel now or Israel in the past, is just in Jerusalem. The Lord preserved this entire Western Hemisphere from foreign involvement and foreign intrigue by the world’s countries until he was ready to have it settled.
First he brought the Jaredites, then the Nephites, Lamanites, and Mulekites. Who else he might have brought before the Spanish conquerors and then the Europeans, is not known. But since there is absolutely no mention of any others in the entire scriptural record, it just might be that none others came. On the other hand, we certainly have evidence that others were here. While it is true that this land would have been heavily settled by antediluvians, those before the Flood, and their record to some extent survived in the ground, we really have no idea who else and when might have been here.
    Blog Comment: “In fact one Mormon blog I've looked at called the NephiCode makes a point of distinguishing between the House of Lehi and their promises/destiny, and the Diaspora of either Kingdom.”
    Response: Evidently you feel the Lord would not act independently from the Kingdom of Judah and/or the Kingdom of Israel. Limiting the Lord’s involvement in Earthly matters is an interesting concept—I wonder where it came from. The fact of the matter is that “it is impossible to know in how many different directions the people went—the number of dispersions and migrations undoubtedly were many.” In fact, they were scattered through the countries (Ezekiel 6:8), they were scattered among nations they had not known (Zechariah 7:14), led away into all nations (Luke 21:24), and all countries (Ezekiel 36:24), scattered to the east and the west, to the north and the south (Isaiah 43:1, 5-6). “Wherefore, the Jews shall be scattered among all nations…and the Jews shall be scattered by other nations. For behold, the Lord God has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to his will and pleasure” (2 Nephi 10:15-16).
    Blog Comment: ”So the genetic affinity Native Americans have to East Asia, in both their Y-Chormosone and Mithocondrial DNA Haplogroups is a problem for the Book of Mormon.
    Response: As pointed out in the previous post on this subject: “In an article in Science, by Scott Armstrong Elias (2014) he points out that “Genetic evidence shows there is no direct ancestral link between the people of ancient East Asia and modern Native Americans.” And in another article in Nature about the “Dual ancestry of Native Americans,” by Maanasa Raghavan, et al, it states that “Modern-day western Eurasians are genetically closely related to modern-day Native Americas, with no close affinity to east Asians.”
This is not a problem for the Book of Mormon, but for those who think they know about DNA and write about something that is continually changing as wider and wider samples are being used with more accurate and truthful results.
    While the theory that the Americas were populated by humans crossing from Siberia to Alaska across a land bridge was first proposed as far back as 1590, and has been generally accepted since the 1930s, the idea of DNA and a Land Bridge have no connection. That is, showing a DNA connection would not confirm they arrived in America via a Land Bridge.
    Nor is it even proven that people came over a land bridge in the first place. Whether they did or did not, it is still a highly controversial issue and for everyone who thinks they did, there are those who think they did not. In fact, according to Scott Armstrong Elias, he further argues that “Based on archaeological evidence, humans did not survive the last ice age’s peak in northeastern Siberia, and yet there is no evidence they had reached Alaska or the rest of the New World either. While there is evidence to suggest northeast Siberia was inhabited during a warm period about 30,000 years ago before the last ice age peaked, after this the archaeological record goes silent, and only returns 15,000 years ago, after the last ice age ended.” This 15,000-year gap, not related to East Asians, is a point still being debated.
    Maanasa Raghavan, further states: “The origins of the First Americans remain contentious.” In checking what is considered the “oldest anatomically modern human genome reported to date,” the 31-member team found that the MA-1 mitochondrial genome belongs to haplogroup U, which has also been found at high frequency among Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers, and the Y chromosome of MA-1 to modern-day Western Eurasians and near the root of most Native American lineages. Further it was “estimated that 14% to 38% of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population,” explaining that “Gene flow from the MA-1 lineage into Native American ancestors could explain why several crania from the First Americans have been reported as bearing morphological characteristics that do not resemble those of east Asians.” They conclude that “western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans.”
    Blog Comment: “But [it is not a problem] for me since…I believe they traveled across Asia, intermingled with East Asian population, and became ancestral to people groups in East Asia, before some of them came to the Americas and mingled with people already here. I talk about my theories on Israelite DNA.”
Response: Perhaps you should not talk about your theories, but find out what the DNA experts are saying about this matter. Opinions are counter-productive to scholarly work since they work to skew the results during the process.
     Blog Comment: “Joseph Smith's intent was definitely entirely about making special the land he lived in.”
    Response: Clearly, you have no idea of the nature and thinking of Joseph Smith. He placed the existence of the Nephites from the central area of Chile to the northern U.S. area, encompassing much of the entire Western Hemisphere, or approximately one-third of the world. At no time did he try to use the Nephite storyline as proof of a superiority of the United States. It is neither scholarly nor beneficial to try and put words in other people’s mouths, especially those of an earlier age.
    It is always amazing how little people know that try to criticize the Church, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith. It is as though knowledge is unimportant—just opinions are all that is necessary!

No comments:

Post a Comment