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Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology 
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 Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology



Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:06 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
frankly, i found the section about the archaeology the most damning of the entire book. It sort of "proves the point" that he was making up the entire thing as he went along. There was no way for him to understand the science as we do today and the idea that he might get caught was beyond his technological capacity.


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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
A friend lent me a big coffee-table picture book of Archaeology and the Book of Mormon. It was supposed to explain how the stories from the Book of Mormon link to actual archaeological finds, but the text in the book made no effort to connect the included photographs of pre-Columbian artifacts to the Mormon stories about early Central America. The book was simply a retelling of the BOM myths interspersed with pictures of ruins and artifacts. There was no attempt to prove or persuade the reader that the BOM connected to any physical evidence.
After talking to my Mormon friends a little about this I got the sense that they didn't believe it was possible to formulate any fact-based hypotheses about ancient cultures. They seem completely unaware of what the fields of archaeology and anthropology involve. Really, the whole concept of critically evaluating evidence seemed unknown to them.
Having been a teacher for about ten years, my personal experience was that our schools don't do as good a job as they should in teaching critical thinking skills. "Critical thinking" is a required standard, but because it's a difficult concept to test, it ends up getting short shrift in the classroom. Can we really afford a gullible population willing to accept patent nonsense like the Nephites and the Lamanites?



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Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
KayR wrote:
Can we really afford a gullible population willing to accept patent nonsense like the Nephites and the Lamanites?


no, not really, considering what they are costing themselves and others.

perhaps in the same way we have to wait for toddlers to get out of terrible twos we have to wait for people to grow up in understanding.

but i'll be the first to admit to some impatience :D

our school system should be teaching comparative religion and comparative mythology to help youngsters to be better equipped to judge belief systems from an informed perspective rather than being a good child by blindly adopting whatever perverted view of religion their parents may or may not have.

i remember my children, one in particular, rejecting my own rather ill-formed belief system, and after the shock wore off i thought, wow! they are right! and i'm so proud of them for throwing off the baggage of dad's loony shit and having their own opinion on what's best for them to accept or reject, plus i could then learn from them.

but people are generally often suckers for loony shit, anything to avoid the truth that requires a glance in the mirror. :)



Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:57 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
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perhaps in the same way we have to wait for toddlers to get out of terrible twos we have to wait for people to grow up in understanding


The terrible twos is a stage in the wiring in the infant brain. It passes because physiologically the brain continues to develop. I don't think we can count on that kind of salvation in this case! I don't think we wait for evolution to solve the problem for us.

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i remember my children, one in particular, rejecting my own rather ill-formed belief system, and after the shock wore off i thought, wow! they are right! and i'm so proud of them for throwing off the baggage of dad's loony shit and having their own opinion on what's best for them to accept or reject,


I think my experience is probably more typical--when I expressed some religious doubts to my mother, she rather soundly and succinctly explained to me "While you're in my house you don't have opinions!"



Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
KayR wrote:
I don't think we wait for evolution to solve the problem for us.


quite so, and i notice a lot of great folk are doing their bit to advocate for freedom from the mind forged manacle.

viva la fun!



Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:47 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
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ginof wrote:
frankly, i found the section about the archaeology the most damning of the entire book.


I am in total agreement with you on this point ginof. The Book of Mormon, Mormon Chapter 6 describes the final battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites at the Hill Cumorah. A quick calculation shows that over 200,000 people allegedly participated in this battle with casualties exceeding 100,000. And these people were armed with Bronze Age weapons, swords, spears, breastplates and helmets. Yet where are the artifacts? Surely some trace of this battle remained. When I lived in Salt Lakce City, I questioned a Mormon friend about the lack of archeological evidence, all he said was, "Well, they found some arrowheads." :blush: Talk about damning with faint evidence.

Some Mormon apologists claim that the Nephite civilization was in southern Mexicp near the Yucatan Peninsula. If this is true, what caused them to make the arduous trek across (future) Mexico and the United States to fight a battle? :? Oh, the "two Cumorahs" theory. Still, a long way for Moroni to travel (after all, he was not yet an angel) just to hide the famous golden plates.

And of course, the whole Native Americans were originally early Israelites totally flies in the face of modern genetics.


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Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
Well, the Pope excommunicated Galileo--facts have always been given short shrift when they get in the way of theology. When you think about it, religions today evolved in a time when the general populace were very ignorant of science; at one time, priests were the scientists: they used astronomy to predict the changing of the seasons, which is what led to their early power. The average guy couldn't predict when it would be safe to plant as he didn't understand how to predict changing seasons. Churches haven't yet figured out how to deal with a science-based culture like we have today. So many decisions that are in the public sphere have demanded that the populace become familiar with scientific topics: immunizations, pollution, climate change.... The general population is slowly developing the skills necessary to question long-held religious beliefs, and the churches are going to be forced into a paradigm shift. They're going to have to abandon the old myths like Genesis and the Nephites or risk losing market share. I don't know if we'll see the Mormon Church make the shift, but I've got a feeling they have some savvy folks up there in the Temple.



Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
KayR wrote:
Churches haven't yet figured out how to deal with a science-based culture like we have today.


Respectfully, I think some Churches do a pretty good job of embracing science based information. The ones that do so have given up their dogmatic past and expect that what we know about the world changes. I'm thinking of the more humanist based ones like Ethical Culture, Untiarian Universalism and others.

My guess is that your comment was really focused on the more main stream religions, but I wanted to point out that they are not ALL like that.


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Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:28 am
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
There have been rationalists throughout time--generally among the educated elite. But with education expanding to the masses over the past century (remember that compulsory education is little more than a century old), we're beginning to see a growth in movements like the humanists. Change begins at the periphery.



Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:34 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
ginof wrote:
KayR wrote:
Churches haven't yet figured out how to deal with a science-based culture like we have today.

Respectfully, I think some Churches do a pretty good job of embracing science based information. The ones that do so have given up their dogmatic past and expect that what we know about the world changes. I'm thinking of the more humanist based ones like Ethical Culture, Untiarian Universalism and others. My guess is that your comment was really focused on the more main stream religions, but I wanted to point out that they are not ALL like that.

Just ruminating on that beautiful Freudian slip - 'untiarian'. Does that mean people who untie the bonds of past delusion?

But seriously, I think religion has a long way to go to become scientific. Fantasy is so hardwired in at the centre of faith that clear analysis is beset by rampant prejudice on all sides.

The best example in my view is the existence of Jesus Christ. People simply cannot imagine psychological delusion on the scale required to invent Jesus, but the available evidence, for example the apparent non-existence of Nazareth until after about 50 AD, indicates that fictional invention is the most plausible scientific hypothesis for the emergence of the Gospels.

The level of fantasy in religion is a continuum from Mormonism and other traditional creationist dreams at one end, through liberal faith in the middle, to scientific atheism at the other end. This problem of assessing religious faith by scientific methods is a fertile field for research, especially in regard to seeing the role of shared stories in building community.


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Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:45 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
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KayR wrote:
Well, the Pope excommunicated Galileo--facts have always been given short shrift when they get in the way of theology


And not just the Pope; many othe denominations attack science and rational thought as well. Pat Robertson recently said that God works miracles in Africa but not America, because the Africans have not been contaminated by science, and will believe in them (miracles). And here in my own state (Texas), about one and one-half hour's drive southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, near the town of Glen Rose, lies Dinosaur Valley State Park, with some of the best fossil footprints ever found. Just outside the park (on private property), is the Creation Science Museum, with its displays that "prove" that evolution is a fallacy, and that man and the dinosaurs co-existed.


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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
nonsence



Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:45 am
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Post Re: Ch. 10: Lying in Ruins: Problems with Mormon Archeology
zerig wrote:
nonsence


Hello zerig. That is a magnificent first post. Did you know that nonsense is spelled with two s's? What are you talking about?


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