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 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…..
 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