Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Being in the Camp of the Heartland Theory – Part IV

Continued from the previous post with more of a reader’s comments and our responses regarding his Heartland beliefs.
• Reader: “Many Algonquian tribes, (Possibly Mulekites) say their ancestry came from the east.”
The tribal lands of the Algonquian are found in southern and eastern Canada, with small portions dropping down into the Great Lakes and along the eastern seaboard.  Solid Red circle shows the main area of the Algonquin tribes; Green circle shows the original settlements of the Algonquin

Response: To the east of the Algonquian homeland would have been across the Atlantic Ocean to France northward to Denmark, that is, far north of the Middle East. In order to sail from the Mediterranean Sea to the Americas in 600 BC, one had to drop down to the Canaries (as Columbus did in 1492), which is east of the Caribbean Sea, sail across the ocean to the area of Puerto Rico, then sail 1885 miles up the entire east coast of North America to the St. Lawrence River.
    On the other hand, east of Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa where the Algonquian in Canada were located would be Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and also what is now the state of Maine, where the original Algonquian settled; in addition, what is east of the Great Lakes would be the eastern seaboard of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, also where the Algonquian originally settled.
• Reader: “[from the east] and down the Saint Lawrence river to the Great Lakes…”
Response: First of all, from the east and down the St. Lawrence could mean that they came from the area of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, or Newfoundland and Labrador and sailed up the St. Lawrence. However, and most importantly, one could not have sailed up the St. Lawrence before the 19th century AD past Montreal because of the series of Lachine Rapids because of the river’s permanent shelf-like drops between the island of Montreal and the south shore that required portaging several miles beyond this area before movement further upriver was possible. Not until the Canadian engineers in 1825 built, after 130 years of failures, and opened the Lachine Canal, was boat movement northward from Montreal possible.
Without locks and dams, no ship could manage to move up 223 feet vertically from the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, or another 326 feet vertically to Lake Erie. No ancient sailing ship could have reached any of the Great Lakes from the St. Lawrence River until the 19th century AD

This, however, presented a problem of sailing upriver, climbing 226 feet between Montreal and Lake Ontario against a very powerful downflow current. Then, once reaching the outflow of Lake Ontario, which is 570 feet above sea level, and the seven locks needed to lift ships up the vertical height to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie make up the world’s most spectacular lift system, which each of the seven locks raising a ship approximately 45 feet or for an overall total of about 315 feet—something that would have been impossible before the 19th century AD.
• Reader: “from across the sea, not from the west or south.”
Response: It says from the east, not from across the sea, and since this interior land is far from the coast, and the St. Lawrence River is mentioned, there are many lands to the east of the Great Lakes and Canadian lands in that area. Besides, later, the Vikings came across the sea (from Greenland) to the area of the St. Lawrence River—not from the Middle East. Coming across the sea from the east to the St. Lawrence, or even more south, would require sailing a very northern route, along Iceland and Greenland. To come the way Columbus did, reaching the St. Lawrence would be from the south.
• Reader: “Most of the DNA found in the South American peoples are thought to have originated from China.”
Worldwide distribution of Haplogroup Q, with the black area of each circle showing the frequency of Haplogroup Q within that area

Response: First, there is no certainly, based on DNA, where South Americans originated. Most scientists say they came from Beringia (Siberia/Alaska), a very long way from China; others say they came from Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, others say they came from Indonesia, while still others say they came from North America. In fact, one DNA study claims Brazilians originated in Australia. However, DNA measurements in the Americas have been found to be controversial, with Y chromosome markers having been used to study Native American origins, showing that the colonizers of the New World carried a single founder haplotype. 
    However, these early studies have been based on a few, mostly complex polymorphisms of insufficient resolution to determine whether observed diversity stems from admixture or diversity among the colonizers. Because the interpretation of Y chromosomal variation in the New World depends on founding diversity, it is important to develop marker systems with finer resolution (Andrés Ruiz-Linares, et. al., “Microsatellites provide evidence for Y chromosome diversity among the founders of the New World,” Procedures of the National Academy of Science, May 1999, vol.96, no.11, pp6312-6317).
    Secondly, as mentioned above, the mtDNA suggested by the Reader and other Heartland theorists as existing only among the Algonquian and coming from the Middle East is also not accurate. As the map shows, the mtDNA involved in the subclades shows an even greater concentration in South American than North America, and such a tiny amount in the Middle East as to be almost unmeasurable. In fact, according to Andrés Ruiz-Linares, South American populations have a high prevalence of SNP M19 that defines a distinct lineage within Q1a3a; it has been detected in 59% of Ticuna men and in 10% of Wayuu men located in the north of Columbia.
    This subclade, Q1a3a1, seems to be unique to South American populations and suggests that population isolation and perhaps even the establishment of tribes of Native Americans began very shortly after they migrated to the Americas (M.C. Bortolini et.al., Y-chromosome evidence for differing ancient demographic histories in the Americas,” American Journal of Human Genetics, vol.73, 2003, pp524–539). None of these studies mention or suggest an origination in China.
• Reader: “The fact that Ancient Jews did not build Temples or altars with stairs, but used ramps. North America mound builders used ramps, Central and South American Temples used stairs. That is all very compelling.”
Left: Ramps at Pachacamac, a huge site south of Lima, Peru; Right: Stone stairs used in Caral-Supe in the northwest of Peru

Response: Ramps were used in Mesopotamian ziggurats, of which the Jaredites would have been familiar, and stairs were used in Jewish temples, of which the Nephites would have been aware. In South America, both ramps and stairs were used, not only in Pachacamac and Caral-Supe, but elsewhere as well in the thousands of ruins and sites so-far discovered in Andean South America.
• Reader: “Everything I have seen and read is just more compelling to me with the Heartland Model than with the Central America or South America models. That is all I'm saying is that from the theories put forth, the Heartland model seems like the best theory to me. That is where I'm at.”
Response: Perhaps if you did a little study and didn’t just rely on Wayne May and Rod L. Meldrum for your information, you might find a whole new world out there for your enlightenment. There is so much information available on South America these days, that you would be amazed at the similarities with the Nephite record—it is so “compelling” it just simply cannot be denied by anyone investigating it with an open mind, and not already closed to some other speculative ideas.

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