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Simon’s Thoughts on Noah’s Flood, Religious Beliefs

We’re concluding our conversation with Dr. Simon Southerton.  Searching for answers about Noah’s flood led him to study more about DNA & the Book of Mormon.  Is there evidence for Noah’s flood?

Simon:  There was a very large deluge because the flood myth is not common to just Christianity.  There are other belief systems throughout the Middle East and Mesopotamia that all contain this flood myth.  There was—I think it was the Black Sea. There was a major deluge when rising sea levels after the Ice Age broke the entrance into the Black Sea through the Strait of Bosporus.  There is plenty of scientific evidence for major deluge that flooded the area surrounding the Black Sea.  So, there would have been devastating consequences for all of the farming communities around there at the time.  I don’t know the date of that, but it might have been 8000 years ago.  So yes, it was an event.  It just didn’t happen.

GT:  What didn’t happen?

Simon:  A global flood.

GT:  Oh, ok.

Simon: The only way it could have possibly happened would be if God had hidden all of the evidence of it, deliberately, and manipulatively hidden all of the evidence of the flood to trick everyone.

(Don’t forget to check out what Dr. Perego thinks about the flood.)  Does Simon still believe in the Bible?   What are his religious beliefs?  Could he accept a non-literal interpretation of the Book of Mormon?  We’ll answer these questions in our next conversation…..

Does Simon believe in Noah’s flood? What are his religious beliefs now?

 

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Vanishing DNA? Lamanite DNA Shouldn’t Vanish

We’re continuing our conversation with Dr. Simon Southerton.  We’re going to talk about vanishing DNA.  Is it possible that Lehite DNA simply vanished from the Americas?  Simon says no, but I’ll ask him about some other possible cases.

 

 

GT:  Well his point is we know the Vikings were here.  We can see their settlements.  We can’t find any DNA from them. So, he sees the parallel with the Lehites.  We can’t find their DNA.  So, you don’t agree with that parallel?

Simon:  Well I can see the point he is trying to make.  He is just trying to create, “Yes, we can’t find them.”  But it just bears no resemblance to the Book of Mormon account.  What we need to hear, we don’t need to hear the DNA excuses for why we can’t find their DNA.

What people need to hear from the church is an explanation, a new narrative, an explanation for the Book of Mormon narrative.  How do we fit this vanishing story with the text, the scripture?  If you read the scripture it is really quite clear that they were very significant populations of people.  So, the Nephites and Lamanites were fighting each other for a thousand years but they still referred to each other as their brethren.  How does that go on for a thousand years when you’re just a tiny little people?

I’ll also ask Simon about Rodney Meldrum’s claims to have found Middle Eastern DNA here in North America.  What does Simon think of Meldrum’s claims?

Simon:  I’ve been less critical of Meldrum than the FARMS[1] guys.  They called him a snake-oil salesman, which he is.  But he’s a salesman, he is not a scientist.  He’s a joke.  He doesn’t understand the science.  He thinks that the scientists foolishly overlooked the connection of the X-lineage to the Middle East, and his whole business is built on his X-lineage claim, and he’s wrong.  It’s completely wrong.

We heavily reference our conversation with Dr. Perego.  If you haven’t seen it, or have forgotten, I encourage you to check out our interview with Perego!  Check out our conversation…..

Dr. Simon Southerton says it is unlikely that DNA would vanish
Dr. Simon Southerton says it is unlikely that DNA would vanish

[1] FARMS stands for Foundation of Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.  This is an informal collaboration of academics devoted to Latter-day Saint historical scholarship.  In 2006, the group became a formal part of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, formerly known as the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, BYU. FARMS has since been absorbed into the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies.  For more info, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Ancient_Research_and_Mormon_Studies

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What is the Cohen Haplotype? Do Lamanites Have It?

We’re continuing our discussion with Australian researcher, Dr. Simon Southerton. In this next episode, we’re going to dig into the science deeper.  What is the Cohen Haplotype?

GT:  I know the Cohen haplotype is this genetic marker…

We’ll also talk about the Lemba Tribe.

Simon:  All the Cohen is, is a particular Y-Chromosome which was present in the Lemba Tribe.  Now this is a tribe, they look African.  They are in Zimbabwe,[1] which is what—is that its current name?  Yes, I think that’s its current name.  They had oral traditions that were Jewish.  They built very significant stone-walled cities, but most scholars rejected the fact that they were Jewish.

It’s not uncommon for native people all around the world to claim that they have got Jewish ancestry.  The Polynesians loved the fact that they think they are Jewish, because it ties them into the sort of Christian world that they like.  Anyway, it was rejected, and then they did the DNA work and they found that they have got a Semitic Y-Chromosome, in particular this Y-Chromosome which seems particularly common in the males of the priestly class, the Jewish priestly class.  So, it just confirmed conclusively that there was Jewish DNA that arrived down there.

How is that helpful for looking for Book of Mormon DNA in the Americas?

Simon: Yes, it is a clear case of how DNA, even though it is a fairly small incursion of DNA, they have been able to track it.

GT:  Would you expect to find something similar in the Americas if that were the case?

Simon:  I didn’t expect to see every single Native American being a Jew, having Jewish DNA. I thought at least there had to be something.  I don’t know what that percentage is, but we’re down now to nothing.  Fifteen and a half thousand Native Americans have been tested, their mitochondrial DNA tested.  It’s all Asian with a smattering of African, there is quite a lot of African DNA.

Simon will talk about some of the newer DNA testing done on Native Americans, and why it doesn’t bode well for those searching for Middle Eastern DNA here. Don’t forget to check out our previous conversation with Simon, as well as Dr. Ugo Perego’s discussion on the Lemba Tribe.  Check out our conversation…..

Cohen Haplotype is found among Jews.  Is it found in Native Americans?  What is the Lemba Tribe?
Cohen Haplotype is found among Jews. Is it found in Native Americans? What is the Lemba Tribe?

[1] Some Lemba live in South Africa also.