« Benedict XVI on Doubt | Main | Doubling Down on Prop 8 »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Personally I think FAIR is spending too much time on this. While I do think groups like this (the DVD hawker) can get out of hand, and I remember lots of people getting caught up in gospel hobbyisms of this sort in the early 90's, I think the way FAIR is focusing in on it is diminishing themselves in the eyes of some.

I personally do get a bit of an 'icky' feeling when people start injecting personal revelation into public intellectual discussions though. Reminds me too much of the infamous Hyrum Page. I think the Church is pretty clear that while you can get personal revelation for anything only leaders with a particular stewardship can receive revelation for others. Once you start setting yourself up as more, no matter how sincere you are, I worry about priestcraft popping up, however unintended.

But FAIR, guys, let it drop.

On reading "The Truth Will Out at Last" one learns what the sticking point is to FAIR: They tried to offer - privately - Meldrum some ideas about his scholarship. He didn't like it and complained publicly about FAIR "persecution", giving out misinformation on the issue.

I don't believe anyone has the goods on DNA evidence, and Meldrum's general ideas *may* be right (the "devil" in the details again). It's the marketing that's off.

I, too, wish the fight would end by now. It's being ridiculed on at least some anti, ex etc. sites.

In a case of monumental if unintentional irony, today's post at LDS Voices is a 1976 BYU Devotional, "How to Know If Revelation is From the Lord" ... by Hartman Rector, Jr.

The spiel at his website with all the anti-evolution stuff was kind of hilarious as well. Isn't there something oddly weird about someone defending a geographical theory with an appeal to DNA who simultaneously rejects evolutionary science? I mean does that make any sense at all?

Isn't there something oddly weird about someone defending a geographical theory with an appeal to DNA who simultaneously rejects evolutionary science?

Well, now you are agreeing with FAIR ;)

The reason that I think FAIR is in an uproar is not because of how wrong the author might be, otherwise they wouldn't care to make such a monumental argument against the videos. I saw the same reactions from FARMS against other research of similar (although non-DNA) conclusions. Considering that FAIR has been directly and indirectly influenced by FARMS, I conclude they just don't like the North America lands as the Book of Mormon setting theories.

The reason for this is simple; both have invested all their apologia marbles in the Central America model. To distrupt that in any way can be considered devistating to years of research and argumentation. They often end up acting like the same authorities that reject or even ridicule their own ideas.

It is true that those who argue the North America model have a very long way to go for serious consideration scientifically. However, the Central American model has an equal amount of actual evidence - meaning none. That isn't to say they don't have linquistics, historical comparisons, and years of building a circumstantial case far beyond the North America model. They do and I have been fascinated by it since Hugh Nibley (who actually doesn't have a model) prodiges took to the scene. However, FARMS and FAIR still have no shred of physical evidence tying the Book of Mormon in with any location other than Saudi Arabia. I think that alone has been provable, but the tracks run cold at the Ocean.

That is why those who close off the possibility of North American or even other locations have counted the chickens before the eggs have hatched. If those who consider the North American model don't use good science or research, those who argue the Centeral American model have at best a wooden leg to stand on. I say this as someone who believes in the historicity of the Book of Mormon. We do ourselves a diservice by rejecting other possibilities before the final analysis can be determined. Worse, we become our own enemies. Let the "folk doctrine" thrive in case something shows up that is missed by dogmatic pronouncements.

I will say that the discussion about the headwaters in the FAIR thread is pretty interesting. And I can certainly see this linguistically as defending the Mississippi. However I think the Great Lakes Region Geographical Model simply doesn't have nearly the explanatory power that MesoAmerican models do. But I'm glad some people are at least thinking through the issues.

To me the most compelling case for MesoAmerica was a little paper in the old FARMS book Warfare in the Book of Mormon. There they went through the seasons when wars were fought. It was very subtle and very compelling.

The reason for this is simple; both have invested all their apologia marbles in the Central America model. To distrupt that in any way can be considered devistating to years of research and argumentation.

I don't think that true in the least. Look how quickly apologists reject bad theories when there is compelling reasons to reject them. While a lot has been done with mesoAmerica I don't think you can say they put all their marbles in one basket. Most apologetics are rather independent of the questions of geography. Plus there are lots of questions where there are very different views. The linguistic question of loose vs. tight translation being an obvious one. And the implications of what model you adopt there has huge ramifications everywhere else.

First, I agree that FAIR probably should have let things drop after their initial postings about Meldrum. The whole thing has gotten rather unseemly.

On the other hand, Meldum's website and e-mails sound major warning bells for me. I could care less about where his BofM model is located; it's his appeal to divine inspiration (particularly in the Meldrum e-mail that FAIR publishes in the second posting) and (as noted) tying his "insights" to young-earth creationism that disturbs me greatly. The fact that he's built a business around this disturbs me even more.

[Jettboy]: I conclude they just don't like the North America lands as the Book of Mormon setting theories.

Then you haven't read their posts very closely. They've offered no such attack on Theodore Brandley, who also has a North American BofM model and who defends it at length in postings to the first FAIR article linked to above. In fact, it appears that Brandley and FAIR personnel communicate back and forth on a regular basis, raising issues with each other's work but in a professional manner.

Anyone wishing to opine on Book of Mormon geography needs to spend serious time with The Geography of Book of Mormon Events: A Source Book by John Sorenson (FARMS, 1992). It presents 70 different BofM geography models, dating from the 1830s to 1992. It also lists every verse in the Book of Mormon containing geographical information, then lists all of the resulting criteria that an internally consistent BofM geographical model needs to meet.

You may dispute (as Brantley does) the interpretation or meaning of the text itself (e.g., does "head of the river Sidon" refer to its headwaters or where it empties into the sea?), but you can't simply ignore the text, or pick and choose just those selected parts that make your model work -- a mistake that Meldrum and a lot of other would-be BofM model-makers fall into. ..bruce..

The comments to this entry are closed.

Now Reading

DMI Facebook Feed

T&S Notes From All Over

Blog powered by Typepad

General Books 09-12

General Books 06-08

General Books 04-05

About This Site

Mormon Books 2013-14

Mormon Books 2012

Science Books

Bible Books

Mormon Books 09-11

Mormon Books 2008

Mormon Books 2007

Mormon Books 2006

Mormon Books 2005

Religion Books 09-12

Religion Books 2008

Religion Books 2004-07