Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

  1. #1
    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dancing on your grave!!!!
    Posts
    9,131

    Default DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted

    DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture. The church says the studies are being twisted to attack its beliefs.

    By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer (L.A. Times)

    February 16, 2006

    From the time he was a child in Peru, the Mormon Church instilled in Jose A. Loayza the conviction that he and millions of other Native Americans were descended from a lost tribe of Israel that reached the New World more than 2,000 years ago.

    "We were taught all the blessings of that Hebrew lineage belonged to us and that we were special people," said Loayza, now a Salt Lake City attorney. "It not only made me feel special, but it gave me a sense of transcendental identity, an identity with God."

    A few years ago, Loayza said, his faith was shaken and his identity stripped away by DNA evidence showing that the ancestors of American natives came from Asia, not the Middle East.
    "I've gone through stages," he said. "Absolutely denial. Utter amazement and surprise. Anger and bitterness."

    For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the church regards as literal and without error.

    For those outside the faith, the depth of the church's dilemma can be explained this way: Imagine if DNA evidence revealed that the Pilgrims didn't sail from Europe to escape religious persecution but rather were part of a migration from Iceland — and that U.S. history books were wrong.

    Critics want the church to admit its mistake and apologize to millions of Native Americans it converted. Church leaders have shown no inclination to do so. Indeed, they have dismissed as heresy any suggestion that Native American genetics undermine the Mormon creed.

    Yet at the same time, the church has subtly promoted a fresh interpretation of the Book of Mormon intended to reconcile the DNA findings with the scriptures. This analysis is radically at odds with long-standing Mormon teachings.

    Some longtime observers believe that ultimately, the vast majority of Mormons will disregard the genetic research as an unworthy distraction from their faith.

    "This may look like the crushing blow to Mormonism from the outside," said Jan Shipps, a professor emeritus of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, who has studied the church for 40 years. "But religion ultimately does not rest on scientific evidence, but on mystical experiences. There are different ways of looking at truth."

    According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an angel named Moroni led Joseph Smith in 1827 to a divine set of golden plates buried in a hillside near his New York home.

    God provided the 22-year-old Smith with a pair of glasses and seer stones that allowed him to translate the "Reformed Egyptian" writings on the golden plates into the "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

    Mormons believe these scriptures restored the church to God's original vision and left the rest of Christianity in a state of apostasy.

    The book's narrative focuses on a tribe of Jews who sailed from Jerusalem to the New World in 600 BC and split into two main warring factions.

    The God-fearing Nephites were "pure" (the word was officially changed from "white" in 1981) and "delightsome." The idol-worshiping Lamanites received the "curse of blackness," turning their skin dark.

    According to the Book of Mormon, by 385 AD the dark-skinned Lamanites had wiped out other Hebrews. The Mormon church called the victors "the principal ancestors of the American Indians." If the Lamanites returned to the church, their skin could once again become white.

    Over the years, church prophets — believed by Mormons to receive revelations from God — and missionaries have used the supposed ancestral link between the ancient Hebrews and Native Americans and later Polynesians as a prime conversion tool in Central and South America and the South Pacific.


    "As I look into your faces, I think of Father Lehi [patriarch of the Lamanites], whose sons and daughters you are," church president and prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said in 1997 during a Mormon conference in Lima, Peru. "I think he must be shedding tears today, tears of love and gratitude…. This is but the beginning of the work in Peru."

    In recent decades, Mormonism has flourished in those regions, which now have nearly 4 million members — about a third of Mormon membership worldwide, according to church figures. "That was the big sell," said Damon Kali, an attorney who practices law in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is descended from Pacific Islanders. "And quite frankly, that was the big sell for me. I was a Lamanite. I was told the day of the Lamanite will come."

    A few months into his two-year mission in Peru, Kali stopped trying to convert the locals. Scientific articles about ancient migration patterns had made him doubt that he or anyone else was a Lamanite.

    "Once you do research and start getting other viewpoints, you're toast," said Kali, who said he was excommunicated in 1996 over issues unrelated to the Lamanite issue. "I could not do missionary work anymore."

    Critics of the Book of Mormon have long cited anachronisms in its narrative to argue that it is not the work of God. For instance, the Mormon scriptures contain references to a seven-day week, domesticated horses, cows and sheep, silk, chariots and steel. None had been introduced in the Americas at the time of Christ.

    In the 1990s, DNA studies gave Mormon detractors further ammunition and new allies such as Simon G. Southerton, a molecular biologist and former bishop in the church.

    Southerton, a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia, said genetic research allowed him to test his religious views against his scientific training.Genetic testing of Jews throughout the world had already shown that they shared common strains of DNA from the Middle East. Southerton examined studies of DNA lineages among Polynesians and indigenous peoples in North, Central and South America. One mapped maternal DNA lines from 7,300 Native Americans from 175 tribes.

    Southerton found no trace of Middle Eastern DNA in the genetic strands of today's American Indians and Pacific Islanders.

    In "Losing a Lost Tribe," published in 2004, he concluded that Mormonism — his faith for 30 years — needed to be reevaluated in the face of these facts, even though it would shake the foundations of the faith.

    The problem is that Mormon leaders cannot acknowledge any factual errors in the Book of Mormon because the prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed it the "most correct of any book on Earth," Southerton said in an interview.

    "They can't admit that it's not historical," Southerton said. "They would feel that there would be a loss of members and loss in confidence in Joseph Smith as a prophet."

    Officially, the Mormon Church says that nothing in the Mormon scriptures is incompatible with DNA evidence, and that the genetic studies are being twisted to attack the church.

    "We would hope that church members would not simply buy into the latest DNA arguments being promulgated by those who oppose the church for some reason or other," said Michael Otterson, a Salt Lake City-based spokesman for the Mormon church.

    "The truth is, the Book of Mormon will never be proved or disproved by science," he said.

    Unofficially, church leaders have tacitly approved an alternative interpretation of the Book of Mormon by church apologists— a term used for scholars who defend the faith.

    The apologists say Southerton and others are relying on a traditional reading of the Book of Mormon — that the Hebrews were the first and sole inhabitants of the New World and eventually populated the North and South American continents.

    The latest scholarship, they argue, shows that the text should be interpreted differently. They say the events described in the Book of Mormon were confined to a small section of Central America, and that the Hebrew tribe was small enough that its DNA was swallowed up by the existing Native Americans.

    "It would be a virtual certainly that their DNA would be swamped," said Daniel Peterson, a professor of Near Eastern studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, part of the worldwide Mormon educational system, and editor of a magazine devoted to Mormon apologetics. "And if that is the case, you couldn't tell who was a Lamanite descendant."

    Southerton said the new interpretation was counter to both a plain reading of the text and the words of Mormon leaders.

    "The apologists feel that they are almost above the prophets," Southerton said. "They have completely reinvented the narrative in a way that would be completely alien to members of the church and most of the prophets."

    The church has not formally endorsed the apologists' views, but the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints http://www.lds.org cites their work and provides links to it.

    "They haven't made any explicit public declarations," said Armand L. Mauss, a church member and retired Washington State University professor who recently published a book on Mormon race and lineage. "But operationally, that is the current church's position."

    The DNA debate is largely limited to church leaders, academics and a relatively small circle of church critics. Most Mormons, taught that obedience is a key value, take the Book of Mormon as God's unerring word.

    "It's not that Mormons are not curious," Mauss said. "They just don't see the need to reconsider what has already been decided."

    Critics contend that Mormon leaders are quick to stifle dissent. In 2002, church officials began an excommunication proceeding against Thomas W. Murphy, an anthropology professor at Edmonds Community College in Washington state.

    He was deemed a heretic for saying the Mormon scriptures should be considered inspired fiction in light of the DNA evidence.

    After the controversy attracted national media coverage, with Murphy's supporters calling him the Galileo of Mormonism, church leaders halted the trial.

    Loayza, the Salt Lake City attorney, said the church should embrace the controversy.

    "They should openly address it," he said. "Often, the tack they adopt is to just ignore or refrain from any opinion. We should have the courage of our convictions. This [Lamanite issue] is potentially destructive to the faith."

    Otterson, the church spokesman, said Mormon leaders would remain neutral. "Whether Book of Mormon geography is extensive or limited or how much today's Native Americans reflect the genetic makeup of the Book of Mormon peoples has absolutely no bearing on its central message as a testament of Jesus Christ," he said.

    Mauss said the DNA studies haven't shaken his faith. "There's not very much in life — not only in religion or any field of inquiry — where you can feel you have all the answers," he said.

    "I'm willing to live in ambiguity. I don't get that bothered by things I can't resolve in a week."

    For others, living with ambiguity has been more difficult. Phil Ormsby, a Polynesian who lives in Brisbane, Australia, grew up believing he was a Hebrew.

    "I visualized myself among the fighting Lamanites and lived out the fantasies of the [Book of Mormon] as I read it," Ormsby said. "It gave me great mana [prestige] to know that these were my true ancestors."

    The DNA studies have altered his feelings completely.

    "Some days I am angry, and some days I feel pity," he said. "I feel pity for my people who have become obsessed with something that is nothing but a hoax."
    .................................................. ..................................................
    Mormonism saves your soul AND whitens your skin!

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

  2. #2
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    31,675

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    And we think Scientologists are nutters...........
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  3. #3
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,359

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    I love that.

    "here's incontrovertible proof your religion is a complete crock"

    "Blasphemy! tool of the devil! I refuse to believe it because it doesn't reinforce what i think!"

    Idiots. I hate religion. i really do.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  4. #4
    Gold Member moocow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    I'm personally not surprised.. I lived in a community for a little while that was densely populated with Mormons. I had a close friend at the time who was Mormon. Some of the things she explained to me made me wonder how she accepted it. I know, it's faith. But it's like.. the book of Mormon was written by someone much the way that Dianetics was written by L Ron. And then everyone believed.

    Well, except that Joseph Smith was supposed to have gotten his teachings from angels.

  5. #5
    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    pretending to be a lurker but I'm not quiet enough
    Posts
    15,515

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    I lived with a Mormon family when I was doing homestay in NZ. They were weird but not this weird. Well, they didn't have a TV or a microwave. They didn't drink anything with caffein, not even tea, no alcohol, of course and the dad was kinda dumb like Homer Simpson. That's about it.

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,359

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    sounds... charming.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  7. #7
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    31,675

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    For some reason New Zealand (total pop. 4m) is FULL of Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, etc. Almost every small town has a Mormon Temple, Kingdom Hall, various obscure Christian evangelical congregations.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    943

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    They needed a DNA test to figure this out? Native Americans are clearly from Asian descent not Hebrew. There are similiarities in the bone structure. Maybe doing my family tree through their organization is a bad idea
    If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning

  9. #9
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    31,675

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    The Mormons have the very best genealogical database in the world because they obtain all the birth and death certificates for everyone who was ever born or died and 'convert' them to the church. Gee thanks guys.
    If all the women in this place were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be surprised - Dorothy Parker

  10. #10
    Elite Member muchlove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6,241

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.

    I've never understood how someone can believe this stuff.

    I'm going to start a church that worships Barney the dinosaur. I'm going to "find" the scripture that only I can understand that explains how the Great Purple One was delivered to us to save mankind.

    Any donations would be appreciated.

  11. #11
    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Dancing on your grave!!!!
    Posts
    9,131

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

  12. #12
    Elite Member muchlove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6,241

    Default Re: DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture.





    No, I've never seen that, but that's hilarious.
    I need to turn his Anti-Christ image around with my new church. Millions of children will worship at his feet!!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 12
    Last Post: May 10th, 2006, 07:23 AM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: March 16th, 2006, 10:40 AM
  3. 'Cyber Storm' tests US defences
    By twitchy in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 12th, 2006, 05:54 PM
  4. Mormon Missionaries
    By UndercoverGator in forum Laughs and Oddities
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: October 19th, 2005, 03:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •