Just read your article about DNA and the Book of Mormon. Wow … Compelling “proof” you’ve got there.

So, basically, you’ve got a population of humans with Middle Eastern heritage that migrate to Siberia, and then subsequently migrate to the Americas (via the Bering land bridge that you seemingly disparage… ).

Seems pretty straightforward. So why, exactly, does this “prove” that this population was comprised of the three tribes in your holy book?

Pretty weak sauce…

Show me the DNA evidence that you can trace to the planet Kolob, and maybe THEN I’ll allow the term “Mormon science” to enter the lexicon…


3 Responses to “Just read your article about DNA and the Book of Mormon….”

El Santo Gringo
December 23, 2013

Hi friend. I’m so happy you posted your comment about my recent article. I can tell by the way you failed to leave your email address that you have a sincere desire to engage in a meaningful conversation on this topic.

Here at AllAboutMormons.com, we’re dedicated to improving people’s lives by introducing them to new ways of thinking. Usually, this involves introducing interested people to our Mormon faith. I get the feeling that you’re not too interested in joining our church, but I am thrilled to be able to introduce you to another blessing that, while not quite a sweet as Mormonism, can nevertheless enrich your life in ways you previously thought impossible: reading comprehension.

Grammatical constructions to aid reading comprehension

Reading comprehension is incredible, and I think you’ll find it’s useful on sites all over the interwebs. Here’s how it works. You look at a webpage, and you notice many “words.” These words are strung into sentences and paragraphs. Based on the words chosen, and the structure and organization of the sentences and paragraphs that contain those words, you can deduce the author’s “meaning.” The key is, you can’t assume you know what the author “means” until you’ve carefully parsed the text he’s produced. That’s the “comprehension” part of reading comprehension.

So, for example, consider the thoughtful comment you just posted on my website, where you suggest I think DNA evidence “proves” the historicity of the Book of Mormon. If you’ll actually take the time to read and comprehend my text, you’ll notice that I nowhere make that claim. I suggest this new evidence supports the Book-of-Mormon narrative.

As English may not be your native tongue, let me provide an illustrative example to help you distinguish between “prove” and “support.” Suppose I leave a cooked turkey on my kitchen counter overnight. When I wake up, I notice that it’s been ripped apart, with chunks of the delicious flesh strewn about the kitchen. I immediately suspect my dog might be culpable, since she’s not a very obedient pooch. I’m consequently not too surprised when I see little paw prints leading from her doggy door to the kitchen. Do these paw prints prove my dog attacked the turkey? No. It could have been another dog. My dog might have approached the turkey only to smell it. A cat wearing dog-paw-shaped booties could have entered my home. But does this evidence support the theory that my dog ripped into the turkey? Yes! Now you know the difference between “prove” and “support”! I hope this knowledge blesses your life, just as it’s blessed my life and the lives of millions of others who have accepted it with open hearts!

There are some other things you mentioned in your insightful comment that might also be even better illuminated under the light of reading comprehension. For example, if you’ll examine my text carefully, as well as the text of the original Nature paper (another opportunity to practice reading comprehension!!!), you’ll notice that neither of us actually claim with absolute certainty that a population from the Middle East migrated to Siberia and then on to the Americas. Our focus instead is on the genetic markers found in a recently discovered ancient Siberian population, which strongly suggest that modern Native-American populations are the product of at least two independent founding populations, one from Eurasia (Europe/Middle East) and one from East Asia.

Gumdrops = genes

Perhaps another illustrative example is in order. Say there’s a lake called “Lake America” that is purple as a plum. Scientists analyze the lake and discover it’s purple because it has LOTS of red and blue gumdrops in it. They want to figure out where all these gumdrops came from, obviously!

There are two lakes nearby, Lake Eurasia and Lake East-Asia, that also have red and blue gumdrops in them. How did both kinds of gumdrops end up in Lake America? Well, it could be that a river from Lake Eurasia flows into Lake East-Asia, which then empties into Lake America. Or it could be that a river from Lake East-Asia flows into Lake Eurasia, which then empties into Lake America. Or it could be that Lake Eurasia and Lake East-Asia both empty independently into Lake America through two different rivers.

What did the scientists discover? Well, there’s no red gumdrops in Lake Eurasia (it’s entirely blue), and there’s no blue gumdrops in Lake East-Asia (it’s entirely red). So Lake America must be getting its red and blue gumdrops from these two lakes through two independent rivers.

Now, say I go to Lake Eurasia and take a sample of the water on its eastern shore. It has blue gumdrops in it! Does that mean the blue in Lake America also came from that very spot in Lake Eurasia? No. All of Lake Eurasia is blue, and Lake America’s blue gumdrops could have come from anywhere in Lake Eurasia.

These lakes represent continents, the gumdrops represent genes, the rivers represent migrations, and the spot on the eastern shore of Lake Eurasia represents Siberia. I invite you to use your new passion for reading comprehension to see now how your “Middle East to Siberia to the Americas” theory of migration is only one possible (albeit reasonable) explanation that fits the available data. The Book-of-Mormon narrative, interestingly enough, fits the available data equally well. That’s why we Mormons are all aflutter!

I liked how you used the word “disparage.” Good for you! That’s one of those words that makes people look really smart! Efforts to look smart are enhanced even further when words are used correctly. “Disparage” means “to regard something as being of little worth.” Now, take a look at my text again. Do I actually say that I think the Bering Strait played no role in the peopling of the Americas? No… In fact, it’s almost certain that at least some of the founding members of modern Native-American populations arrived here via the Bering Strait.

Holy moly, your Kolob joke had me rolling on the ground in laughter! You are clever! Do you know how few people mention Kolob when poking fun at the Mormons? It’s such an underexploited source of ridicule. Where do you get such a unique and creative sense of humor? Your little joke was especially funny because it was so entirely unrelated to the topic at hand. It didn’t seem like you were artificially injecting an unrelated “dig” in desperate hopes sounding superior at all.

You know, having given it some thought, I’ve decided you’re totally right after all. The idea of Mormonism and science harmonizing is absolutely bogus. You’re not going to believe this, but there are these old people at this “prestigious” “institution” of higher learning I once attended who sit in their Ivory Tower handing out PhD diplomas like candy. They even gave me one that had “Biomedical Sciences” written on it. But obviously an anonymous internet troll is way more qualified to comment on this kind of thing than I am…

El Santo Gringo Big Fan
December 24, 2013

Here, here to your answer El Santo Gringo!

December 27, 2013

Better watch out there, Webmaster… This “anonymous internet troll” apparently has the power to allow or disallow English words and terms into the global lexicon. Wouldn’t want to upset the person who has THAT power! Sheesh.

El Santo Gringo: Yeah, I did find his thoughtful comment pretty intimidating. Fortunately, he hasn’t tried to contact me again. Anyway, it was good to hear from you again. Hope all is well!

Leave a Comment

(Your email will never be published)

characters remaining