Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lands of Appropriate Scale – Part X

Continuing with the seventeen points discussed in the previous two posts, as they apply to the Andean area:

11. Climate to grow seeds from Jerusalem (1 Nephi 18:24). Once again, the climate around the 30º south latitude coastal region in Chile (Bay of Coquimbo and La Serena) is a matching Mediterranean Climate to that of Jerusalem. There are only 5 such climates in the world, and the only other one in the Western Hemisphere is central and southern California. Mesoamerica is a tropical climate where many Mediterranean plants still will not grow.

12. The great defensive wall built by the Nephites (Helaman 4:7). There is a remarkable wall, called the Great Wall of Peru, that was discovered from the air by Shippee and Johnson in a 1931 flyover, showing a wall built from the Pacific Ocean shore inland for many miles. This wall has been determined to have been built to keep attacking forces from the south from getting into the north. There are numerous walls built throughout Peru that served the same purpose, though smaller.

13. Circumcision (Helaman 9:21). Mummies have been found throughout Peru of males that had been circumcised. This is a rare find and none other in the Western Hemisphere have been found.

14. Mountains whose height is great (Helaman 14:23). The Andes, according to recent discoveries, are not only the youngest mountain range in the western world, but also “popped” up suddenly in geologic terms. In the Andean area the mountains are so high and along such a continuous line, that there are 69 peaks over 20,000 feet, and 115 more in the 19,000 foot range, for a total of 185 peaks over 19,000 feet. No other area in the Western Hemisphere comes even close to this—Mesoiamerica has one peak 18,000, and no others over 15,000 feet.

15. Four seas (Helaman 3:8). Since the area of southern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and western Bolivia were once an island, the land was surrounded by water—with “seas” in all four cardinal directions. The Pacific Ocean was the Sea West, the Atlantic Ocean (which Charles Darwin acknowledged had recently been as far west as the area then covered by the Andean mountains), was the Sea East, a clear passage through where Panama now stands was a Sea North passage, and the Sea South was the Drake Passage.

16. Winds and currents leading to their land (1 Nephi 18:8-9). As has been stated many times, the winds and currents would take a ship “driven before the wind” southward through the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, bending eastward in the Southern Ocean, across the southern Pacific and then bend northward along the western shore of South America, stopping in the Tropic of Capricorn about 30º south latitude. No ocean currents and winds lead directly to Mesoamerica, though minimal coastal currents from the north and south could reach it—but none from the west.

17. A narrow neck that is really narrow (Alma 22:32). Between the eastern shore of the Bay of Guayaquil in southern Ecuador to the Andes uplift (where the Atlantic Ocean once was), is about 26 miles. About the distance it would take a man to cover in a day and a half. There is also a passage or pass from the southeast to the northwest of this narrow bridge or neck from the southward to the northward of the bay as Mormon describes—and the entire area could be held by a military force and keep anyone from gaining the land to the north.

Thus, is can be seen, that Sorenson’s comment: “Ingenious and impassioned arguments have been mustered in support of other theorized areas (from the Great Lakes to Peru or encompassing the entire hemisphere) as the scene for Nephite history. But every proposed geographical setting other than Mesoamerica fails to meet the criteria established by the text of Mormon's account,” is completely without merit.

These 17 items alone show that the Andean area is far more compatible with Mormon’s account than is Mesoamerica. To see the entire 65 items showing how the Andean area meets ALL of the criteria established in the Book of Mormon read the book “Lehi Never Saw Mesoamerica.”

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