Sunday, May 10, 2020

Another Crazy Theory about North America

In “The Mormon Box: Thinking Outside Tradition,” there was a posting of a map of the theorist’s view of the Land of Promise in the area of a land lift called “Ancient Extension of the Gulf of Mexico,” connected to North America. In a 50-page document with numerous windows, the author posted his views on the subject, making the statement: “In my worldview I don’t see a lot of difference between an atheist and a theist. Between a Mormon and a Christian. Between a Christian and a Muslim or Confucian. The differences seem rather trite really. Like different leaves on the same tree.”
    This map has been sent to us from time to time asking our view. Below is that map and our view regarding it.
Theorist’s map of the Land of Promise in the area of the present-day Caribbean Sea. Note we have added the reference numbers to assist in evaluation

In evaluation of this map, we list:
• 1 – Land of First Inheritance: The map shows this to be along the Atlantic Ocean covering most of the area of the Caribbean Sea. It is shown south of the Sea West, connected to all of South America, providing no Sea South, and has the Land of Nephi to the west.
  The problem is that Mormon tells us a different story: “Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers' first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore” (Alma 2:28, emphasis added).
    Obviously, Lehi landed to the west, and came ashore on the coast that bore his name, and the land about the site. However, the map shows the Gulf of Mexico to be the Sea West, precluding any landing on the Sea West.
    Thus, the map is in complete disagreement regarding the placement of the Land of First Inheritance.
• 2 – The South Sea is shown to the west of the Land of Nephi, where a Sea West would have logically been to be given that name. In addition their south sea is to the west of the Land of Nephi, making no Sea West west of that land.
• 3 – The West Sea on this map is to the east of the Land of Zarahemla and to the north of the Land of Nephi, and to the south of the Land of Bountiful. The map shows an east coast along the west sea, to the west of the sea. It is also to the south of the Land of Bountiful. None of this matches the descriptions of the West Sea, especially that the Land of Zarahemla runs from the east to the West Sea (Alma 22:
The south to north arrangement of lands around the Narrow Neck of land, according to Alma 22:27-34

• 4 – The Land of Desolation is shown to be to the east of the Land of Bountiful and just north of the Land of Ishmael, which was in the Land of Nephi. Yet, Mormon tells us that the Land of Desolation “bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed. This should place the Land of Desolation north of the Land of Bountiful, but the map shows it to the east.
    It was only a 1½-day-journey across the narrow neck on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea (Alma 22:32). At the narrowest point, Florida is 130 miles east to west along a line near Orland, Florida from Mims to Homosasa—a distance tht would take a typical Nephi some three to four days to cross. However, even so, the commencement and destination points are on the coasts and there would be nowhere to go beyond that with no Land Southward and the Land Northward about 150 miles to the north.
    In addition, though Mormon tells us that the Land Desolation was to the north of the Land of Bountiful, the map shows it to be to the east (Alma 22:29-30).
• 5 – The Land of Ishmael is shown basically northwest of the Land of Nephi. When Ammon went from the city of Zarahemla to preach in the land of Ishmael he would have had to travel some 1200 miles, all the time passing through Lamanite lands, without a single recorded incident, though it was the Lamanite custom to capture and bind any Nephite and take them to their king (Alma 17:20)
• 6 – The map shows the Land of Nephi bordering the Land of Zarahemla across southern Mexico near the Mexico City. Mormon tells us that a narrow strip of wilderness divided the land at this point from the Sea East to the Sea West (Alma 22:27).
• 7 – The map shows the Land of Bountiful in the area of Texas to western Florida running from east to west. Mormon tells us that the Land of Zarahemla and the Land of Bountiful ran south to north. Yet the map shows the Land of Bountiful to the east of the Land of Zarahemla (Alma 22:29). In addition, “The Nephites had inhabited the land Bountiful, even from the east unto the west sea” (Alma 22:33).
• 8 – The map shows the city of Zarahemla to the west of the Sea West. It also shows the Land of Zarahemla running from the Sea West, to the Sea East, though there is no mention of the Land of Zarahemla reaching the east coast, but that it ends along the Sidon River with the Land and valley of Gideon to the east (Alma 6:7).
A map of the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, showing the Sigsbee Deep at an estimated 14,383 feet below sea level.
As for the science of the matter. The Gulf of Mexico has an average depth of 5,200 feet, with the deepest point at 14,383 feet. The Caribbean Sea, which is the deepest sea in the world, has an average depth of 7217 feet, with the deepest point 24,606 feet. With this 2,000-foot difference, it means that the Gulf of Mexico would be above sea level long before the Caribbean Sea, yet the map above shows the Caribbean Sea above sea level and the Gulf of Mexico still below.
A map of the depths of the Caribbean Sea, showing the Cayman Trench that spreads between Cuba and the Yucatan
It should also be noted that the area of the Land of Nephi in the theorist’s map above is over the area of the Cayman Trench and Mid-Canyon Ridge, the greatest known depth of the Caribbean Sea. It is also of note that the Cayman islands are mountain peaks on the Cayman Ridge that poke their upper most above sea level.
   Thus the Caribbean Sea, which is one of the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean, is a sub-oceanic basin and is approximately 1,063,000 square miles. It is best known for the depth of the Cayman Trench, which falls to a depth of over 25,200 feet. The water depth around the Trench is 22,000 feet.
The Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean is on the boundary between the Caribbean and the Atlantic

The Trench begins about 100 yards off shore, in waters only 50-feet deep. Suddenly, the Trench drops a whopping 6,000 feet straight down, then curves slightly outward as it drops another 19,000 feet in the most breathtaking drop-offs to the bottom of the canyon walls.  
    Consequently, nothing shown on the Theorist’s map is consistent with the scriptural record, which he makes it clear it is not the truth, anyway. In addition, there is no geological evidence to such a rising or falling  of the sea bottom of the Caribbean Sea, and as shown above, such would not be likely under the circumstances of the topography involved.

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