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Solved! DNA & Book of Mormon

Or has it been?  In this episode we’re going to talk about the thorniest of all topics when it comes to DNA & Book of Mormon.  Former bishop Simon Southerton, an Australian researcher and expert on DNA, says he lost his testimony when he discovered that Native American peoples had Asian DNA rather than Middle Eastern DNA.  We’re continuing our discussion with David Rosenvall.  How does David respond to this?  He has a theory I’ve never encountered before!

David:  If you go back to the Book of Ether we know that story happened long before Lehi and his descendants.  We’re talking probably the Tower of Babel.  At that time there was a family, Jared and his family, and the brother of Jared and his family, and their friends, so a large group of people left where we think the Tower of Babel was.  We assume that it was down in the area of Iraq today.  In the Book of Ether it states that they went northward.  From there they crossed into a quarter where man had never been and they built boats and crossed some large inland sea.  After they crossed this inland sea with boats they built all by themselves, it says the Lord wanted them to continue on to the Promised Land.  Eventually they got to a great sea, they called it, and they camped near a mountain.

Well it just so happens if you want to go look on Google Earth, there’s only one mountain on the entire eastern seaboard of China today, and it’s actually the birthplace of Taoism.  It’s almost the birthplace of China. So we have this large group of people that came across from Tower of Babel and settled on the seashore.  Four years after they had been there, the Lord had chastised them for not praying and Ether goes and builds these boats and he needs instructions on how to build them.  They’re a little different than the boats they built before.  He says they built eight boats.  Those eight boats then take 345 days I believe it is, or about that, to cross over to wherever they got to.  It just so happens that the ocean currents across the northern Pacific without a sail take about exactly that time.

So out of all these people coming over on these eight barges, probably about 13 families because it says there were 22 souls that arrived with them, they spread across North America.  Eventually one of those families, Ether’s descendants kill themselves off, but that doesn’t suggest that everyone else got killed off, and they probably dispersed all across North America.

So when Lehi gets wherever he’s going, let’s assume Baja for a second, there’s probably a thousand more years of people spreading across there.  There could have been and probably would have been people in North America, however it appears wherever he went they were in isolation.  They never came in contact with anyone except the Mulekites and they knew that there was a people who killed themselves up north.  That’s about all that they knew.

Now let’s go back to DNA.  In North America, our hypothesis is that you have at least everyone that came over with Jared and his brother who dispersed for thousands of years, and if you assume that there are some that didn’t come across the ocean who were also related to them, who may have been a big part of how Asia became, there’s a good chance that the people of North America and the people of Asia are going to have the same DNA.  The difference is they used boats to get them across and maybe the Bering Sea but at least the boats according to the Book of Mormon.  So I always say DNA is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon is true because in there is the Book of Ether that talks about a group that was in Asia and a group that’s in North America that are related.

I’ve never understood the DNA fight if you will.

Have you ever heard this before?  Check out our Intro and comparison to Mesoamerica.

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Can David Answer Critics Questions about Animals, Steel, & Cumorah?

We’re continuing our conversation with David Rosenvall.  He’s the guy who came up with who came up with the idea that the Book of Mormon lands may have occurred in the Baja Peninsula.  We’ll also discuss some other issues with the Book of Mormon.  Are there two Hill Cumorahs?

We don’t know where he goes but we do know how long it took him that he wandered.  He again buries the plates in 420 A.D. We believe in the hill north of Manchester where Joseph Smith would eventually meet with him.  That’s a period of about 36 years.

How would one get plates that one can carry, these few plates to that sort of distance?  Well if you want to break it down per year it’s about the distance from Provo to Ogden every year that Moroni would have had to travel with these plates.  We don’t know.  We have one point that’s kind of interesting.  Manti, Utah is a place that Brigham Young states that Moroni dedicated the temple site.  If you go down there, there’s a statue of Moroni there, dedicating.

You can see if one started in Baja and had to get to New York in 36 years, one could easily take that path.  Our theory isn’t so much about two Cumorahs, it’s about two hills:  one in the text called the Hill Cumorah, and one where Joseph Smith got the plates called the hill north of Manchester.  Now I kind of like that we as the saints call that hill in New York, Cumorah.

Had you heard about this statue of Moroni in Manti?  What about steel swords?

One of the things most interesting that we have learned since we started this:  if you go down to the museums in Baja California, specifically the museum in La Paz, they’ll have a display of swords.  Half of them are Spanish swords that they know are very beautiful.  They have a certain design and they’re on display.  It just so happens they have this other collection which is a completely different design, much older, very rusted that are swords, and knives, and all sorts of metal implements that they say they have gotten from some burial sites when they dig up.  They’ve found them in of the ground.

So we have metal swords, just as described from the Baja Peninsula.  What we are missing is a full archaeological excavation of more of that.  So we’re finding it very exciting that (1) we’ve got areas where metal is still there today that you can take from outcroppings, (2) you’ve got smelting sites that are ancient.  They all claim they are pre-Spanish.  They’re smelting sites.  Number (3), they do have evidence on the peninsula, so at this point, the Book of Mormon is holding together.  Now the rest of North America, yeah you’ve got a problem with it, but not the Baja Peninsula. They’ve got metal implements.

Were you aware that metal swords have been found in Baja, or is David overstating his case?  What do you think of this theory?  (Check out part 1 and part 2.)

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Baja vs Meso: Who Wins?

We’re continuing our conversation with David Rosenvall.  He’s the guy who came up with the idea that the Book of Mormon lands may have occurred in the Baja Peninsula.  I’ve also asked him to critique John L. Sorenson’s theory.  Sorenson has the dominant theory where the Book of Mormon took place in Central America.  I’ll ask David to critique John’s theory.

David:  One of the things that I think the Mesoamerican models do is they focus very much on the human geography, and I think they’ve done a really good job at identifying things in Mesoamerica that can be tied back to the Book of Mormon culturally: language perhaps, structures, some of those types of things.  Where they get in trouble is where they try to place the physical geography on top of that, things start turning sideways, distances and so forth, you get all sideways.

GT:  Well let’s talk about that for a second.

David:  You bet.

GT:  To me that’s one of the biggest problems.  When you think of North and South America, well north and south makes a lot of sense.  But when you get to Mesoamerica, the narrow neck of land is actually situated east and west.  It’s not north and south.

David:  Yeah, so the orientation is a problem.  One thing we do in the text is we assume it was given to us by the gift and power of God.  We don’t need to retranslate it.  If it says east, it’s east.  If it’s west, it’s west.  If the swords rusted, they’re made of steel.  Animals are the animals stated and so forth.

When you get into some of the other geography, you’re having to rotate things and stretch distances.  That’s ok; let them work that out.  But our model is, what does the text say?  And apply it using the science we know today.  We find a location that can fit.  That’s the basis.  That’s it.  Read the text and use science to try to review it.

There is a post at Wheat and Tares where someone explains why Sorenson’s model is ok.

I also want to point to an area that David has focused on is the area of language.

There’s a great work done by Brian Stubbs that has followed the language of some of these people.  He’s tied a group of Native Americans called Uto-Aztecan people, identified by their language and you can see how they have moved and they ended up as the Aztecs in Central America.  If that’s who are the Book of Mormon people, you would see their culture where they were found when the Europeans found them.  But trace them back to where their language came from and you’ll find it’s southern California and northern Baja.

We’ll talk more about language in a future episode, but let me ask you.  Do you see think the east-west orientation is a problem for Sorenson’s model?  What do you think of the Baja model?

Check out David’s introduction to the theory in the previous post, and check out the video below or audio above.  Don’t forget there are less than two weeks to sign up for the free book!