Friday, July 31, 2020


We apologize for the published formatting of the following article. The problem lies with the program upload. We hope they will correct it before our next article published      NEPHI CODE

All Our Seeds and Grains - Part I

It is understood that the Nephites, before leaving their home outside Jerusalem and going into the wilderness, gathered together their seeds. As Nephi said: “we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind” (1 Nephi 8). Mormon tells us that the Nephites had certain grains, including Barley, Wheat and Corn, when he wrote: “We began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley” (Mosiah 9:9).
    It should be noted that the distribution of several cereal and other crop progenitors, reported that these intersect in a small region of southeastern Turkey, near the claimed landing site of Noah’s Arc and the development of his settlement after landing.
    In addition, Lehi’s colony brought barley and wheat to the Land of Promise, and though they traveled some 8 years in the wilderness, they still had their seeds when they reached the Land of Promise.
As soon as they reached the Land of Promise they tilled the ground and planted all their seeds brought from Jerusalem

As Nephi states: “we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem” (1 Nephi 18:24, emphasis added). We also learn from Nephi that these seeds grew extremely well. ” And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance” (1 Nephi 18:24, emphasis added).
    Some of their seeds they brought were grains. As Mormon wrote: “And we began to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, and with seeds of all manner of fruits” (Mosiah 9:9, emphasis added).
Barley, then, is specifically mentioned by name as one of the cereals raised by Zeniff's colony (Mosiah 7:22) and apparently was a standard upon which the Nephite monetary system was based: "A senum of silver was equal to a senine of gold, and either for a measure of barley, and also for a measure of every kind of grain" (Alma 11:7;11:15). Interestingly, barley also appears to have been a standard for biblical monetary systems as well: "Two barley grains made a finger's breadth, 16 made a hand's breadth, 24 a span, and 48 were the biblical cubit—about 41 cm" (Leviticus 27:16; 2 Kings 7:1, 16, 18).
Barley crop

Western agriculture and its most important crop plants are thought to have originated in the Fertile Crescent, a geographical region extending from modern-day Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and western Syria into southeastern Turkey and along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers into Iraq and Iran.
    These plants included wild progenitors of modern cereal species, among them wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum), wild wheats (Triticum urartu, T. boeoticum, T. dicoccoides, Aegilops tauschii), and wild rye (S. vavilovii), intersect in this region.
    Barley was a founder crop (basic, staple crop) of Old World Neolithic 
food production and is still one of the main cereals cultivated in the 
Mediterranean agricultural belt. In the archaeological record, barley 
is commonly found with wheat. It appears to have been "the most 
abundant grain of the ancient Near East and the cheapest. It was 
the standard fare of the poor, the ration of the soldier, serf and slave, 
and the staff of life for the Greek peasantry.
    Michasel Zohary reports that barley is mentioned more than thirty 
times in the Bible and no fewer than thirteen timed in company with 
wheat. However, barley was considered inferior to wheat for human 
consumption and was less valued (Revelations 6:6). Consequently, it 
became the poor people's bread.
    The advantage barley has over wheat is that it will grow in relatively poor, salty, and arid soils in which wheat may not grow. Moreover, since barley ripens a month or more before wheat, it provided the first new flour each year, and in fact was apparently taken for the Omer.
The Passover meal in an ancient Jewish home

Offerings, סְפִירַת הָעוֹמֶר, at the Passover feast. This offering is an important verbal counting of each of the forty-nine days starting with the Sunday Wave Offering of a sheaf of ripe grain with a sacrifice immediately following the commencement רֵאשִׁית.
    For these reasons, even though wheat is more palatable, barley 
was perhaps a more important crop in ancient Israel. Jack Harlan
 observes that barley was apparently domesticated from its wild 
relative Hordeum spontaneum, commonly known as wild barley or 
spontaneous barley, is found today in southwestern Asia and was 
one of the earliest crops domesticated in the Near East. Wild
forms with fragile ears (seed heads) have been found in Syria 
and date to perhaps as early as 8000 BC. Similar remains have
been found in the southern Jordan highlands, dating to about
BC, and at Jarmo and the Zargos hills in Iraq around the same time.
    The first cultivated barley appears in Iran, Syria, Palestine, and 
Turkey at times ranging between 6000 and 7000 BC and is commonly
found with remains of other important crops such as emmer wheat, 
einkorn grain, flax, peas, and lentils. Irrigated barley was present by 
6000 BC and possibly earlier at Jericho. Zohary likewise concludes 
that the cultivation of barley appears to have begun about 8000 BC 
in southwestern Asia, where the wild progenitor of the two-rowed 
barley (Hordeum spontanum) is widespread. Later, the more advanced 
six-rowed primitive types of cultivated barley were derived under 
   The species of barley Lehi and his family would have known are 
limited. Eighteen species of barley are recognized today, but only 
two, Hordeum distichum (two-rowed barley), and H. hexastichum 
(six-rowed barley) have been cultivated.
    Barley ears have a unique structure. There are awns on the stem, 
which are the hair- or bristle-like appendage on a larger structure, 
and can contribute significantly to photosynthesis. The lemma is 
translucent and either the central or lateral spikelets may terminate 
 hood. They also contain triplets of spikelets arranged alternately 
on the rachis (axis of the barley ears containing spikelets). According 
to the morphology of the spikelets, barley under domestication can 
be divided into two principal types:
Two-rowed varieties of barley usually have a higher number of stem or tillers per plant and larger, heavier seed than six-rowed varieties. Six-rowed varieties on the other hand, usually have more seeds per inflorescence

Two-rowed forms, traditionally called Hordeum distichum L., in which 
only the median spikelet in each triplet is fertile and usually armed 
with a prominent awn (or beard—bristles that protrude upward 
from the spikelets). The two lateral spikelets are reduced, they are 
born on longer stalks and are grainless and awnless. Each ear thus 
contains only two rows of fertile spikelets.
Six-rowed forms, traditionally referred to as H. hexastichum L., in 
which the three spikelets in each triplet bear seeds and usually all 
are armed. Ears in these varieties therefore have six rows of fertile  
spikelets. Lehi and his family would probably have brought one or 
perhaps both of these barley species with them on their journey to 
the New World.
2. Corn/Maize. Although corn is a general term used to refer to grain 
or kernels of grain in the King James Version of the Bible (Genesis 41:5; 
Exodus 22:6; Isaiah 28:28),  when corn is referred to in the Book of 
Mormon (Mosiah 7:22; 9:9, 14), we assume that Joseph Smith was 
referring to maize or corn as it is known in America today and that 
the Prophet Joseph Smith was not using the term in the generic biblical 
sense. This is perhaps evidenced in Mosiah 9:9: "And we began 
to till the ground, yea, even with all manner of seeds, with seeds of 
corn, and of wheat, and of barley, and with neas, and with sheum, 
and with seeds of all manner of fruits; and we did begin to multiply
and prosper in the land."
 Quinoa and kiwicha are two very important grains in Peru, which were unknown in the U.S. in Joseph Smith’s time
As previously mentioned, the appearance in this passage of the Nephite 
terms neas and sheum suggests that Joseph Smith was not familiar 
with the plants to which these two words referred and so he left the
terms in their original language. In contrast, he would have been 
amply familiar with wheat, barley, and maize, or "corn," as he would 
 have called it, and accordingly translated the Nephite terms for these 
grains into English.
     Maize is a New World plant first domesticated in the Americas, 
possibly in more than one area. It is generally believed that maize 
originated in Mexico and was domesticated from wild maize 
(teosinte) in south central or southwestern Mexico in semiarid 
regions at elevations above 4,500 feet. By comparison, the
following highest heights of the states within the Heartland 
and Great Lakes theories are: Illinois 1234 feet, Indiana 1257, 
Iowa 1670, Ohio 1549, Missouri 1772, Pennsylvania 3213, New
York 5344, Michigan 1979, Wisconsin 1951, Kentucky 4145, and 
Tennessee 6643. Two states are over 4500 feet necessary for the 
growth of Corn.
    New York’s mean elevation is 1000 feet, with one mountain range, 
 the Adirondack Mountains, at 5344 feet. It is located in the northeast 
corner of the state and not within the lands claimed to be the Land of 
Promise. Tennessee is also above the barley grain level, but city 
development is limited to 2418 feet. The height in Tennessee is 
limited to the southwestern corner of the state.
    Therefore, not a single state has a land level of development for 
planting that is anywhere near the 4500 feet level indicate being 
 where corn/maize originated (Christine A. Hastorf,   “Rio Balsas 
most likely region for maize domestication,” PNAS vol.106, no.13, 
March 2009, pp4957-4958; Anthoiny J. Ranere et al., “The cultural 
and chronological context of early Holocene maize and squash 
domestication in the Central Balsas River Valley, Mexico,” PNAS, 
vol.106, no.13, pp5014-5018; both articles Edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff, 
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and
Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA, and approved January 23, 2009).
(See the next post, “All Our Seed and Grains – Part II,” for additional 
information regarding the seeds brought to the Land of Promise by Lehi)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Andean Deformation and Uplift—How an Island Became the Land of Promise – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the volcanoes described in the scriptural record.
    As indicated earlier, the 2,667-foot Krakatoa, which is part of the world’s Ring of Fire, is located in Indonesia, and one of the simplest type of volcanoes. As a cinder cone, it is built from particles and blobs of congealed lava ejected from a single vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone, thus they spread their fall-out in an even pattern all around the volcano, which then spreads out and blankets the area, throwing it into complete darkness.e 
    Krakatoa, which last erupted in 2012, which was created on the Indo-Australian plate, with its first historic eruption occurring in 1530 with eruptions every couple years. If it were to erupt again there would be lots of debris, ash, thousands of casualties, a cloud of gas, lava flow, pyroclastic flows, and possibly the aftermath of a tsunami. 
Transform fault plate boundaries are zones of shearing, where two plates slide horizontally past each other 

Along much of the western coast of North America, however, the Pacific Plate is sliding past the North American plate at plate intersections called transform faults, which are the only segments of fracture zones that are seismically active. These zones are a transfer of motion from one spreading center to another. 
    It should be noted that the recorded information of the Krakatoa earthquake, emphatically tells us there was impenetrable darkness” which “darkness lasted for three days with ash flung as far away as 3,775 miles.” Likewise, in the Land of Promise there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness” (3 Nephi 8:20, emphasis added).
    In fact, Cinder Cone volcanoes in Peru, such as the Andagus field of volcanoes in Southern Peru, 200 miles south of Cuzco, and 100 miles northwest of Arequipa, in what is called the "Valley of the Volcanoes." This is a reference to the valley covered with Cinder Cone volcanoes, including Lava Flows, and Lava Domes with historical activity that fills the valley floor.
    Domes, which only develop in areas with climates between 59 and 70º, may reach heights of several hundred feet, and can grow steadily for months, years, and even centuries.
    The Cinder Cones vary in shape and width, with gasses being dissolved into the magma because of high pressures deep in the crust. Upon ascent and eruption, pressure drops rapidly, and these gasses begin to exsolve out of the melt, or minerals separating from one another at a critical point in temperature.
    It should also be note that, “there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all; And there was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:21-22).
Eruption of Krakatoa 

Again describing what happened in the Krakatoa eruption and following earthquake, which had three days of darkness following the Krakatoa earthquake. And there were three days of darkness following the earthquake in the Land of Promise. Such scholars activity described in the scriptural record is shown to be realistic by the devastating quake in the Land of Promise.
    For those theorists who belief the contrary, it should be noted that such darkness, sounds, and results have been attributed to violent volcanic eruptions, which are found in nature today as well as the distant past.
    It should again be noted that both scholars and geologists widely agree that the three days of darkness as it is described by the Disciple Nephi could only have been caused by ash-tephra dust clouds eruption. Not only the darkness, but the excessive lightning thundering, tempest, and many other features can all be explained by volcanic activity. In addition, volcanic ash distribution has been historically documented to inhibit combustion and last for days at a time 
    A similar event took place in the Land of Promise when the brothers Nephi and Lehi were imprisoned by the Lamanites, but the Lord freed them with a shaking of the earth (Helaman 5:27,31-33), and an impenetrable “cloud of darkness” that accompanied the earthquake (Helaman 5:34).
Strike-slip fault where blocks had moved horiontally 

Scientists have determined that a full range of destructive events requires both a volcano and an earthquake along a strike-slip fault—a vertical fracture where the blocks have mostly moved horizontally—strike-slip faults develop over time and eventually cause earthquakes at the Earth's surface. The cause of strike-slip fault earthquakes is due to the movement of the two plates against one another far below and the release of built up strain vertically above. 
    This slip partitioning at an oblique convergent margin is a classical problem that results in a lithospheric sliver detaching from the overriding continental plate. Along the 4350-mile long South American subduction zone there is a similar partitioning pattern in the deformation in the Northern Andes controlled by the diverging motion of two rigid continental slivers, the previously known North Andean Sliver that covers Ecuador and Colombia north of the Gulf of Guayaquil and a newly found sliver that encompasses southernmost Ecuador, Peru, and western Bolivia from the trench axis to the Subandean fold-and-thrust belt.
    In fact, great 8.5 megathrust earthquakes have occurred along the Peruvian subduction zone, and in south Peru where earthquake that ruptured 280 miles further south.  Another Andean partitioning pattern is the Subandean shortening in Peru, which is a response to the South American Plate subduction below the Subandean regions and the Eastern Cordillera.
    This shortening is accommodated by the east vergent fold-and-thrust belt of the Eastern Cordillera and Subandean zone. Important Quaternary Subandean shortening rates reaching tens of millimeters per year have been reported in geological and paleomagnetic studies.
    Over 100 sites measured in Peru show the present-day crustal deformation of the 1400-mile long Peruvian margin, which is squeezed between the eastward subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate at the South America trench axis and the westward continental subduction of the South American Plate beneath the Eastern Cordillera and Subandean orogenic wedge.
Tectonic Plate Subduction where one plate subducts (slides under) the Overriding Plate 

Deep coupling occurs in central and southern Peru, where repeated large and great megathrust earthquakes have occurred. Such volcano eruptions and quakes occur at subduction zones or at destructive convergent plate boundaries where one tectonic plate is forced underneath another caused by slip along the thrust fault that forms the contact between them. These interplate earthquakes, which make up 90% of all seismic energy released worldwide. They are the planet's most powerful, with moment magnitudes that can exceed 9.0. Since 1900, all earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater have been megathrust earthquakes. No other type of tectonic activity of terrestrial origin has produced earthquakes of this scale.
    The strong correlation between highly coupled areas and large ruptures suggests that seismic asperities are persistent features of the megathrust. Creeping segments appear at the subducting structures which play a major role in the seismic segmentation of the Peruvian margin, as the earthquake that struck Lima and Callao in 1746 with a moment magnitude of 8.6–8.8 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI, which is an “Extreme” rating.
    In fact, the 1960 Valdivia, Peru, earthquake on 22 May 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded. Various studies have placed it at 9.4 to 9.6 on the moment magnitude scale. This earthquake only lasted 10 minutes. As many as 7000 were killed and as high as $800-million in cost ($6.91 billion in today’s worth).
    One can only wonder at the destruction a three-hour earthquake in the Land of Promise, “would cause. Perhaps the Nephite experience as “never had been known in all the land” (3 Nephi 8;57), would cause. No wonder it was extensively written about and described.
Andes Mountains

All studies show that the Andes is both the youngest or most recent mountain range that has developed in the Western Hemisphere. Some scientist, such as Carmala Garzione, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, have found that the Andes was formed not through long periods of growth, but through a series of rapid growth spurts (Carmala N. Garzione, et al., Rapid Uplift of the Altiplano Revealed Through 13C-18O Bonds in Paleosol Carbonates, Science, vol.31, Is.5760, 2006, pp511-515).  
    Garzione in her article on the “Rise of the Andes,” states that the rapid rise of the Andes accompanied the rapid rise of the Bolivian Altiplano; which again, is evidence for removal of mantle lithosphere which provides increasing evidence that the plateau formed through periodic rapid pulses, not through a continuous, gradual uplift of the surface, as was traditionally thought(Garzione, et al., Rise of the Andes, Science vol.320, Is.5881, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006, pp1304-1307). 
     Garzion has also written that the surface uplift of mountain belts is generally assumed to reflect progressive shortening and crustal thickening, leading to their gradual rise. However, recent studies of the Andes indicate that their elevation remained relatively stable for long periods separated by rapid rise. Periodic punctuated surface uplift of mountain belts probably reflects the rapid removal of unstable, dense lower lithosphere after long-term thickening of the crust and lithospheric mantle (Garzione, et al., Rise of the Andes, Science vol.320, Is.5881, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2006, pp1304-1307). 
    All of this certainly matches the events of the Book of Mormon, and is found in the recorded events in Peru. It also matches the events of the Book of Mormon and the clouds of darkness that accompanied the earthquake and volcanoes erupting in the Land of Promise. These are events that could not have taken place in the Heartland or Great Lakes since there are no volcanoes in the middle and eastern U.S
    Just another example of the matching of events in the scriptural record that point to a South America landing of Lehi.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Andean Deformation and Uplift—How an Island Became the Land of Promise – Psrt I

We are forever being asked about, as well as criticized over, our claim that the rise of the Andes Mountain Range corresponds to the comment in the scriptural record when Samuel the Lamanite foretold events that would transpire at the time of Christ’s death, saying “there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23).
    In fact, most known mountain building processes do require large amounts of time to complete their skyward climb. But for every rule there is an exception. Consider the Himalaya and Andes mountains — despite their relative geologic youth, these mountain belts rank among the world’s tallest peaks. And therein lies the mountainous paradox: How do geologically young mountains grow extremely tall in extremely short geologic time periods?
    A recent study tracking the uplift of a central portion of the massive Andes Mountains in South America shows that mountain building — what geologists term “orogeny” — may actually occur in much faster fits and spurts than previously realized due to the rapid loss of large amounts of material from the mountain’s root.
Mountains suddenly appeared in the Land of Promise where valleys had been

In addition, contrary to popular belief, this rise of the mountains in the Land of Promise took place in a very short time—the Disciple Nephi verifies in no uncertain terms, saying of this event: “they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours” (3 Nephi 8:19, emphasis added).
    This makes the mountains that suddenly rose from valleys in 30 BC would be the youngest mountains, if not in the world, certainly in the Western Hemisphere. This occurrence accompanied the destruction that took place in the land where “the rocks were rent in twain; they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:18). “And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth” (3 Nephi 8:27).
    One can hardly imagine such an earthquake that lasted three hours. By comparison, the worst quake in recent history was that of Krakatoa (Krakatau), an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, part of the Indonesian Island Arc. It erupted in August of 1883, with Krakatoa being one of the most deadly volcanic eruptions of modern history.
The Explosive eruption of the Ubinas volcano, West of Lake Titicaca and East of Arequipa in Peru, set off series of explosions that emitted a column of ash 3 miles high, has drifted with the wind taking with it toxic gases

On Sunday the 26th, the initial blast of the eruption sent a cloud of gas and debris an estimated 15 miles into the air above Perboewatan. It is thought that debris from the earlier eruptive activity must have plugged the neck of the cone, allowing pressure to build in the magma chamber. On the morning of the 27th, four tremendous explosions, heard as far away as Perth, Australia, 2,800 miles distant, plunged both Perboewatan and Danan into the caldera below the sea. It was accompanied by large booming noises and the most frightful thunders and cracklings.
    This like what the Disciple Nephi wrote: “And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder” (3 Nephi 8:6, emphasis added). “And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth” (3 Nephi 8:17, emphasis added).
    Where most earthquakes run horizontally, Krakatoa’s shock and quivering of the earth carried vertically, and the trembling continued throughout the day. The force of the quaking caused the water to flash-boil, creating a cushion of superheated steam that carried the pyroclastic flows up to 25 miles at speeds in excess of 62 mph. The eruption has been assigned a rating of 6 on the Volcanic Explosion Index (the worst being 8, a mega-colossal explosive eruption that can eject 240 cubic miles of tephra and have a cloud column height of over 66,000 feet).
    Krakatoa is estimated to have had the explosive force of 200 megatons of TNT. (Hiroshima bomb had a force of 20 kilotons, nearly ten thousand times less explosive as the Krakatoa eruption). The Krakatoa eruption was about ten times more explosive than the Mount St. Helen’s explosion of 1980 (with a rating of 5).
    In Krakatoa, 165 villages were destroyed, with a steamship carried a mile inland; 11 cubic miles of debris was hurled into the atmosphere, darkening the skies up to 275 miles from the volcano, and covered the entire western end of Java and the south of Sumatra for hundreds of square miles with a pall of impenetrable darkness.
    In the immediate vicinity, the dawn did not return to the darkness for three days with ash flung as far away as 3,775 miles.
    Compare this to the Book of Mormon account in 3 Nephi, in which there was: “darkness for the space of the days of the face of the an” (2 Nephi 8:3, emphasis added).
    There was more destruction in the Land Northward, “the whole face of the land was changed, because of the tempest and the whirlwinds and the thunderings and the lightnings, and the exceedingly great quaking of the whole earth” (3 Nephi 8:12)” and “the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth” (3 Nephi 8:17).
Krakatoa in Indonesia at 2,667 feet; Ubinas in Peru at 18,609’, having eight volcanic eruptions and earthquakes has eruptions every five or six years

Andean Peru accounted for two of the top three earthquakes in the Western Hemisphere during this century to-date, and the only two in an area claimed to be a Land of Promise location (the other one the Western Hemisphere was in Alaska).
    Of 97 earthquakes recorded in the U.S. since 1853, all but seven were recorded in the western states of California, Oregon and Washington; also 1 in Georgia, 2 in North Carolina,  1 in Colorado, 1 in Alabama, and 2 in Idaho, (Lyn Topinka, ”Volcano Hazards Program,” Volcanoes and History, Washington, USGS, 2011). Also, in Peru this year, there were at least 55 confirmed eruptions from 55 different volcanoes, with 11 of those being new eruptions that started during the year, with 60 to 80 occurring each year in Peru.
    It should be noted that an 8.5 megathrust earthquake that occurred along the Peruvian subduction zone, and an 8.8 quake near Lima, which ruptured ad opened up the earth along a 340 mile long portion. Perhaps we should equate this to the Disciple Nephi’s “they were broken up upon the face of the whole earth, insomuch that they were found in broken fragments, and in seams and in cracks, upon all the face of the land” (3 Nephi 8:18, emphasis added).
Volcanoes in the claimed Land of Promise locations
 It also might be of note that the number of volcanoes in the areas claimed to be the land of Promise:
Peru: 2,069
Mesoamerica: 90
Heartland: 0
Great Lakes: 0
    12 U.S. States have volcanoes, none are in or near the areas claimed to be the Land of Promise; 8 are west of the Rocky Mountains and 4 in in the Rockies.
(See the earlier post “Andean Deformation and Uplift—How an Island Became the Land of Promise – Part II,” regarding the volcanoes found in the Western Hemisphere in comparison to the scriptural record).

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Darwin and How We Know Where Lehi Landed – Part II

Continuing from the previous post regarding Charles Darwin’s comments about what he found at La Serena, Chile, that supports the Book of Moron and Lehi’s landing site.
Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina, are connected by Portillo Pass through Cordillera de los Andes, where Darwin found sea shells at 13,000 feet that had once been at sea level
First it should be noted from the previous article that in Darwin’s finding of sea shells at 13,000 feet in the Andes Mountains halfway between Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina, that were once on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, we see a connection to the Book of Mormon. When the mountains rose as Samuel recorded, “and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great” (Helaman 14:23).
Only the Himalayas have a greater height than the South American Andes, which are the highest in the western hemisphere, and the longest continental mountain range in the world--which means they cover the entire land and would have been seen throughout the Land of Promise

It is interesting that Darwin not only concluded that the mountains where he stood had risen 13,000 feet from sea level, but that the ocean receded to the east more than a thousand miles. Thus we see that not only did mountains of great height rise out of the “island” of South America to become a vast mountain chain extending thousands of miles, but also that mountains of great height rose out of valleys in the Land of Promise as described in the Book of Mormon.
The Amazon Basin is larger than the lower 48 states in the U.S.

In addition, this Basin is a low, flat plain throughout the entire Amazon Basin, and is an area larger than the size of the lower 48 states of the U.S., at about four million square miles (compared to 3,119,884 of the U.S.) The terrain is mostly uniform consisting of flat forested plains dissected by large rivers which are characterized by endless meanders, frequent oxbows, and thousands of tiny streams, all of which flood annually.
The low, flat plain of the Amazon Basin

All of this is so low, even today, that it is under water around six months of the year when the waters rise across this endless plain.
    Obviously, when the Basin came up out of the sea and the Andes rose during the three hours of earthquakes that struck the Land of Promise following the crucifixion (3 Nephi 8:19), it would have been visible all over the Land of Promise. In fact, Samuel tells us that “these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men” (Helaman 14:28, emphasis).
    That is, the mountains rose from valleys to such a height that they were visible all over the Land of Promise in this majestic manner that no one in the land could disbelieve that what they saw was brought about by the Lord with the intent that whosoever would believe might be saved, and that whosoever would not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation” (Helaman 14:29).
The Potillo Pass at 13000 feet

The view from the high pass perched in the heart of the Andes is breathtaking, with the snow-capped peaks and unknown valleys extending as far as the eye can see. The winding trail that descends to the Valle del río Tunuyán is the only mark of centuries of human transit.
    As Darwin himself found the sea shells at 13,000 feet above sea level that caused him to ponder how marine fossils existed so far inland and at such high altitudes. Darwin concluded that the southern region of South America must have been submersed in the ocean before being elevated above water. Deposits of ocean sediment in the valleys between the Andean peaks inspired the idea that, for a time, the apexes of the range were individual islands in the southern ocean, and only the continuous process of elevation brought them to their contemporary grandeur.
    Plate tectonics, the modern theory that explains how mountain ranges are raised by the collision and subduction of huge pieces of the lithosphere, did not fully develop until the early 1960s, but the observations of nineteenth century naturalists like Darwin brought such fundamental questions to the fore.
    What Darwin and other naturalists and geologists have never understood is that in some cases, like the Andes Mountains, the Lord was involved, and in this case, that involvement took place following the crucifixion and happened over night not millions of years.
    Now, as for the planting climate, Darwin commented that “With any slight rain, the farmers immediately break ground with a second planting of their corn; and if a third shower falls, will in the spring reap a good harvest.” He added that “It was curious to witness the effect of this trifling amount of moisture; the ground scarcely damp twelve hours afterwards, yet on the 27th an interval of 10 days, all the hills were tinged green in patches, the grass being sparingly scattered in hair-like fibers a full inch long, but before this every part was as destitute of Vegetation as a turnpike road.”
The Elqui Valley ‘ La Serena on the east and stretches outward into the hills and between the mountains. It was and still is known for its clean skies, even temperature and Mediterranean climate. Today, as in the time of Darwin, the area is filled with farms, grain crops and fruit orchards as well as extensive grape vineyards  

Darwin also wrote of his journey from Coquimbo, through La Serena, and up the Elqui Valley: “Leaving Don Josè behind I travelled a day’s ride further up where the R. Claro River joins the Elqui — I had heard of petrified shells & beans, the former turned out true, the latter small white quartz pebbles. We passed through several small villages; the valley was beautifully cultivated and the whole scenery very grand. We were here near the main Cordillera, the surrounding hills being very lofty. In all parts of Northern Central Chili, the fruit trees produce much more abundantly at a considerable elevation near the Andes. The figs & grapes of Elqui are famous for their superiority and are cultivated to a great extent. This valley is perhaps the most productive one to the North of Quillota.”
    This Elqui Valley is where most of the fruit comes from that is enjoyed in the U.S. during the winter months. It is also a Mediterranean Climate—only one of two in the entire Western Hemisphere (the other is in central and southern California)—and a perfect place where “seeds brought from Jerusalem,” a Mediterranean Climate, would have grown in 600 B.C. without “modern” or advanced farming techniques (even today seed packets tell you where the seeds will and will not grow according to climate).
Elqui Valley, with a Mediterranean Climate like the adjacent La Serena is a farmer’s paradise. The Elqui River flows through the valley, bringing ice melt water down from the Andes year round on its run to the Pacific Ocean
It is also interesting to note that Darwin wrote of the discoveries he made regarding the sea shells so far inland from the beaches, “The terraces were indeed uplifted sea beaches, this being clear proof of his by now mature view of South America as a continent rising from the ocean.”
    Before this, he had trekked over the Andes from Santiago, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina, and discovered numerous ocean sea shells at the high altitudes of the mountains, which he noted was clear evidence that the Andes had once been at sea level, and also noted the stepped levels of Patagonia (southern Chile) had been pushed up in series from beneath the sea.
    Thus, we can see, that while the winds and ocean currents are now known to every mariner and available for study in any detailed Atlas, and the Valdivian Forest bordering La Serena and southward is also detailed in any forestry Atlas, Darwin has verified the other two items listed above about the seeds and ore described by Nephi (and also that the Andes and southern Chile were once under the sea and had risen up, suggesting the western coastal area had once been an island).
    It is not difficult to see that these descriptions match in great detail Andean South America and verify all that we have shown about Lehi’s landing site along the west coast of Chile near the 30º South Latitude, where all the above took place and is found naturally in the region.,

Monday, July 27, 2020

Darwin and How We Know Where Lehi Landed – Part I

When South America is suggested as the Land of Promise, most people scoff at the idea, claiming it is too large an area for the distances suggested in the Book of Mormon and dismiss it out of hand. This is typically done without any effort to look into the information available and then make a decision. But mot theorists make up their mind that there is nothing to recommend Andean South America as the home of the Nephites and Chile as Lehi’s landing site.
The HMS Beagle, a Cherokee-class 19-gun brig-sloop of the British Royal navy that was adapted to a survey barque that took Darwin to South America 
    Some of the information that connects the Land of Promise to South America is found in, of all places, Charles Darwin, and his experiences. Darwin sailed on the HMS Beagle along the West Coast of South America in 1835 as well as traveling inland, as well as traveling over the Andes to Argentina where he found interesting artifacts in the heights of the Andes mountains.
Crossing the Andes between Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina
    Darwin spent almost three years in southern Argentina and Chile, during which time he crossed the Andes on a trip from Santiago, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina, through the Uspallata o La Cumbre Pass, between the Piuquenes and Portillo passes. During this expedition he noted the episodic uplift of the Andes with the rise of the Principal Cordillera first and a later uplift of the Frontal Cordillera. He found numberless shells protruding from the same pale band of limestone. As Darwin gathered fossil shells in the mountains, he saw that they were similar to ones he had previously collected on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean far below, and also realized they had at some time in the past rested on the ocean bottom.
    In addition, he knew that at some unknown process of upheaval, the once low-lying beds of the Andes had been elevated to a height of 13,000 feet. He concluded that the Andes had not been wholly created by the molten outpourings of volcanoes, as geologists had then believed.
   Today, of course, we know that Darwin was right. The friction of the Earth's slowly drifting crustal plates has in many re­gions wrinkled the ocean floors and pushed up great mountain ranges along the edges of several continents, the highest in the western hemisphere and second only to the Himalayas.
Seas shells that Darwin found at 13,000 feet in the Andes that once were on the seashore of the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles away
The fossils Darwin collected on this high mountain helped to change his ideas and ultimately those of the world about the age of the Earth. For such shell-bear­ing sediment to have been uplifted from sea floor to mountain crest would have taken millions and millions of years, Darwin recognized.
    It should be noted that today we also know that the Andes are the youngest mountains in the world, having most recently been elevated to their present heights. It is also believed that It's been understood that the Andes mountain range has been growing as the Nazca oceanic plate slips underneath the South American continental plate, causing the Earth's crust to shorten (by folding and faulting) and thicken, moving upward beneath the Andes. In his journals he wrote about what he found there--and so much of it falls right in line with what we have learned from Nephi’s descriptions of where they landed, that it seems apropos to quote him and what he found and what is there.
    First of all, we have been suggesting that Nephi gave us several clues about his landing site and how he got there that are often ignored by Theorists touting their own pre-determined area for the Land of Promise as he told us:
1. Wind and waves that took his ship “driven forth before the wind” from Arabia to where he landed (1 Nephi 18:8-9);
2. He landed in an area where the Climate was conducive to planning seeds from the Mediterranean Climate of Jerusalem that grew exceedingly and provided an abundant harvest (1 Nephi 18:24);
3. A nearby forest where animals of every kind were found, both feral (one domesticated) and iwld animals (1 Nephi 18:25);
4. Nearby deposits of natural ore of gold, silver and copper were found (1 Nephi 18:25).
    26-year-old Charles Darwin arrived in Coquimbo on May 15, 1835 (June, July and August are the main winter months, with May, June and mostly July, the rainy months). He traveled overland from Valparaiso, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina, a journey of 255 miles (215 miles as the crow flies). He made this journey in 18 days, having left Valparaiso on April 27. While at Coquimbo, he was told there were about 6,000 inhabitants of the area (Coquimbo, La Serena, etc.)
    Darwin, basically a geologist from his University period, spent much time describing the geologic and mining properties of Chile. He wrote of the mines he visited, “They were mostly gold, silver and copper mines, though they also had iron, and non-metals of boron, lithium, sodium nitrate and potassium salts. [Also] there were silver mines near Coquimbo, as well as copper and gold mines.” He also wrote about the Chilean economy of Coquimbo and La Serena: “Like the other towns in the North of Chile, it depends for its support on the mines.” In fact, Darwin described the hills he passed “were so drilled through with mines, it seemed like banks of rabbits.”
Map of La Serena and Coquimbo along the Bay, as well as the major deposits of gold, silver and copper next to La Serena, and the Forest with wild and feral (domesticated) animals. Coquimbo means “calm waters,” and Coquimbo Bay means “calm waters of the bay"

Today, 18 miles from La Serena (20 miles from Lehi’s landing) is the Topado quartz-vein gold ore deposit along the Elqui River where three veins contain 50 million tons of ore, with about 175 tons of gold and 500,000 tons of copper (with a gold recovery ratio of 98%).
    A short distance to the north are three gold-silver-copper mines, the Inesita, Marianita, and Paguanta mines, and a little further is the Carmelita gold-silver-copper mine situated on 2,400 hectares, with Copper grades ranging from 4.59% to 0.83%, Gold grades ranging from 1/t (grams per ton) to 0.1 g/t and Silver grades ranging from 11 g/t to 1 g/t, and has a long history of mining dating back to the 1800's.
    In the past, artesian (small scale subsistence) miners known locally as piquineros (quarrymen from Coquimbo) mined the property for its rich high grade copper, silver and gold hosted breccias (rock of broken fragments), and vein structures. 20 miles to the south of La Serena is the Andacollo, an open-pit gold and copper mine. Andacolla, by the way, is a Quechua word (Anta-Goya) which means cobre-reina, or Copper Queen.
    Eleven miles east of La Serena is the Arqueros Ag Mining District (La Serena, Elqui Valley, and Coquimbo), a major silver mining area; 9 miles further is the Talcuna Mining District, with Copper and Silver mines, and 14 miles south of Coquimbo is the large copper mining district of Tambillos; 10 miles beyond that is the copper-silver mine of La Quebrada, and throughout the Coquimbo District are numerous other silver, copper and gold mines. 
    As Darwin recorded, “I spent half of the ensuring day in examining the mines—the mineral extends over a few miles of hilly country and abounds with silver mines [that] produced 2,000 pounds weight of silver a year.”
    All the large Chilean fortunes have been made by mines of the richer metals.” He went on to write that a Dr. Deward returned to England from the area taking with him the profits of a share of a silver mine that amounted to 120,000 pounds.”
    Darwin writes of another mining district up the Elqui valley, which is adjacent to La Serena, on the east side. Again, silver, gold and copper was found and mined there. In fact, from Coquimbo to Atacama, there are 339 gold, silver and copper mine projects in this 438-mile area.
    Inland from the coast are gold, silver and copper Condoriaco mine northeast of La Serena, also Pascua, Lama, El Indio-Tambo, Andacollo, Punitaqui, Rio Frio, and El Bronce de Petorce mines of the La Serena District Belt—there are numerous other mines to the north, east and south of this belt as well. 
Ore-bearing rocks in sight on the ground that have been gathered until only a few such areas can be found today. Such rocks would have been visible to Nephi for him to have knowledge of gold silver and copper as he journeyed in the wilderness 

All of this merely shows that Nephi knew what he was talking about when he described two things: 1) In the direct vicinity of where Lehi landed, were ores of precious and non-precious metals in abundance; and 2) Much of the ore in the area of landing contained both gold and silver (precious metals) and copper (non-precious metal).
(See the next post, “Darwin and How Do We Know Where Lehi Landed – Part II, ”for more on Darwin’s comments that support the book of Mormon.