Saturday, February 1, 2014

DNA Part 1: Putting Jesus on the dis-mantle


Almost all believing Mormons have a shelf.  On this shelf they put those pesky doubts they want to doubt, but that are promised to be answered in the next life, presumably at the same time they get their promised treasure and mansions in heaven. 

“Here,” Pearly-gate Peter says pointing to a mailbox with your temple new-name on it, “we’ve for you a chest of diamonds and a river-mountain chateau.  And there,” Peter adds gesturing to a pile of glowing books, “is GUD – the grand unified doctrine of everything.”

Some shelves sit in a closet.  Some new-order Mormon shelves sit in the open, like a mantle over the fireplace.  But all of them are getting heavier as science and academics roll forward.  Now the LDS Church is transforming that shelf into a "dis-mantle".  Let's see what dis they lay on their new mantle.  

In their latest Topic Essay on DNA and the Book of Mormon, they concede many things while actually pulling a "Does Not Answer" (DNA) anything.  Part 1 here deals with some interesting concessions and their implications.

DNA Topic Essay Concessions:
- “the majority of Native Americans carry largely Asian DNA.”
- “the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples likely represented only a fraction of all DNA in ancient America.”
- “Book of Mormon peoples were ‘among the ancestors of the American Indians.’ “

These concessions make it very clear that the LDS Church now affirms that the Americas were heavily populated before the alleged migration of the Book of Mormon clans.  The essay never directly admits that these “others” already here came 10,000 – 30,000 years ago, but says, loosely that “…people migrated from northeast Asia to the Americas by way of a land bridge that connected Siberia to Alaska.” For this claim, they reference  a paper by Ugo Perego, Mormon geneticist, which does date the migrations to older than 10,000 years ago.  

Indeed the essay references over a dozen scientific articles (several more authored by Ugo Perego) to support its discussion on why ancient American DNA studies do not discredit the claims of the Book of Mormon.  All of these references state directly or imply strongly that the DNA studies of ancient American migrations date to more than 10,000 years ago, pre-dating any events described in the Book of Mormon, or the bible and Pearl of Great Price, for that matter.

The upshot is, the LDS Church concedes that humans in America arrived before Adam and Eve were on the earth. 

Regardless whether or not the DNA of the Lamanites, Lehites, Mulekites or Jaredites are lost in the sea of population dilution, the desert of genetic drift or even the confusing city of religious myth, the LDS Church now affirms that humans lived before the “the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also” called Adam (Moses 3:4). 

This is a huge concession.  It has many implications.

Recall, Adam and Eve are taught by LDS doctrine as literally the first mortals.  Because, “if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end” (2 Nephi 2:22).  

Emphasis on all created things remaining forever in the created state.   If Adam and Eve had never fallen into mortality, then “they would have had no children” (v. 23) and no one but Adam and Eve would have existed.  Furthermore because they fell, “the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall” (v. 26).  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:22).

Either Eve “was the mother of all living” (Moses 4:26) and Adam is “the Ancient of Days and father of all” (D&C 138:38) who together “brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth” (2 Ne 2:20) and of “every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam;” (Mormon 3:20).  Or, they didn't really exist and are just allegories.

I’ll repeat the upshot:  the LDS Church concedes that humans in America arrived before Adam and Eve were on the earth.   And yet, they teach clearly that Adam and Eve are the parents of all living people.

Even if you believe in evolution, and you argue for extending the age of Adam to 100,000 years ago, or even 1 million years ago, you cannot easily dismiss the idea that before the fall, there was no death, and no birth (2 Ne 2:20-25).  Where in evolution did (human) death and birth suddenly appear?

They can’t have it both ways.  Either the DNA of the Book of Mormon people was diluted and drifted in a sea of pre-adamites, and there were no literal Adam and Eve.  Or science is wrong and they can stop trying to use it to buttress their essay on DNA.

The LDS Church wants to have its DNA cake and sequence it too.

There are staggering implications to the concession that Adam is not really the father of all.  Then if humans existed long before Adam, then there wasn’t really a Fall as taught in scriptures and in the Mormon temple endowments.  If there was no fall, then there’s no need for saving from the effects of the fall. 

Wait, I mean, we can put a lot of stuff on the shelf, but putting Jesus on the dis-mantle for the sake of buttressing the Book of Mormon?  

Did they just "dis-mantle" Jesus Christ? 

Yes, it seems so. Because, like it says in that book: “For behold, and also [Christ’s] blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam” (Mosiah 3:11)

And “For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.” (2 Ne 9:6)

And “or behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins” (Mosiah 3:16)

LDS scriptures make it clear, if there was no Adam, there’s no need for Jesus Christ.  In fact, it says there’d be no God, in the Book of Mormon,  if there were no fall, no sin, no law, “no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not” (2 Ne 2:13).  Without the fall, “the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God” (Alma 42:22)

Did the new Topic Essay on DNA just make us all disappear?  Or did it just cause God to cease to exist?

Well, I know I am here, therefore…

In a mid-blog summary, you have the following options it seems from analysis of behind-the-essay meaning:

1) Adam and Eve are literal and tied to a young earth as the first humans -- science debunks this completely.

2) Adam and Eve are literal and tied to old earth age as first humans with spirits -- stay tuned below on how that works out...

3) Adam and Eve are figurative -- then the atonement is probably unnecessary since what was introduced by God through evolution can just be dismissed with a change in evolution without a mysterious sacrifice to atone for God's oops in evolution.

4) It's all bullshit.


Other implications of the concession of pre-adamites also dismantle the universal flood of Noah, otherwise, the humans who migrated across the Bering Strait would have drowned.  LDS scriptures seem to be clear on a universal flood.  The Book of Mormon Jaredites inherited the Americas after the land was empty when the flood "waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands " (Ether 13:2).

No flood means the Pearl of Great Price errs when it teaches that “God will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh” (see Gen. 6:17;  Moses 7:34, 43, 50–52; Moses 8:17, 30 ).


How can the LDS Church stand both in science and a literal interpretation on their own scriptures regarding the fall, flood and atonement?

Let’s ask their chief scientist—who’s referenced often (in at least five of the footnoted papers) in the Topic Essay.  That would be Mormon favorite Ugo Perego, a trained molecular biologists and geneticist.  What does Dr. Perego have to say about this dichotomy?  After all, he is their leading mind on the DNA and early human matters. 

One paper or talk by Ugo Perego the LDS Church will not reference is one that Dr. Perego presented at a Mormon conference on transhumanism.
See

Or
http://signaturebooks.com/2012/09/mormon-scientist-concedes-native-american-origins/

Basically, Perego’s argument is that he believes that pre-adamites are “pre-human hominids” that existed before Adam and Eve.  Yes, “pre-human hominids” without spirits...   Quoting him: “We became children of God in the moment God decided to put the spirit of man inside the physical bodies that have a different evolutionary path”  -- than near-relatives in the animal world...

In other words, pre-adamites are inferior because they were not god's offspring. There is a bit of something very racist about the idea.

In other places, however, Perego has stated that from a genetics POV, the race 40,000 years ago are practically identical to modern humans.  Yet, he distinguishes them as pre-human hominids.   He offers no explanation on how to close the gap between the spiritual haves and have nots at the boundary of Adam & Eve.

For example, the paleo-Amerindians would have crossed into the new world long before there was an Adam who was allegedly the first spirit-based human. The same for the Australian aborigines. How does one holding the Mormon pre-adamite doctrine view the aborigines when modern Europeans (who are by their view descendents of Adam and god's children) "discovered" and mixed with the aborigines? If Adam is the father of the human race, how did spirit enter into the lives of these that were cut-off geographically?

Yeah, sounds vaguely like some form of racism, Mr. Perego—oops, I mean “Dr” Perego.  I wonder if they’ll let him keep his doctorate when they learn about his bizarre views on the different classes of hominids.  

And this lecturer of possible racism, ladies and gentlemen, is the leading expert the LDS Church relies on for its scientific understanding of DNA problems related to the Book of Mormon account.


Yes, I know, some apologists will clamor that I did a "ad-hominid" attack on Perego by implying he's racist, all the while not addressing the real issues raised by the essay, by Perego's statements and more.

You think they made a lot of problems for themselves when they disavowed their own prophets and scripture in "Race and the Priesthood" essay?   They may have disavowed racism there, but they re-opened that can of worms again with the DNA essay.  This is a whole new class of anthropological racism generated by a cross-breed of science and myth.


 In "DNA Part 2: Defense Now Amorphous – two-fisted cherry picking"  I will discuss more on the science of the Topic Essay.


27 comments:

  1. Great job David!

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  2. Mr. Twede, you failed!

    What if Adam and Eve are much older than a few thousand years? what if they lived 50,000 years ago? Just because the genealogy of the bible makes it sound like they're few thousand years doesn't mean its true. Adam and Eve could still be literally true and all the DNA science supporting the Book of Mormon can still be true. You fail!

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    1. Apparently you missed the point of even the Church's essay. They just said there is no DNA evidence supporting the Book of Mormon.

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    2. Tabatha, from the brand new D&C Seminary manual attempting to explain D&C 77:

      "It may be helpful to explain that the 7,000 years refers to the time since the Fall of Adam and Eve. It is not referring to the actual age of the earth including the periods of creation."

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  3. David T. You have become the ultimate anti-christ, trying to twist the words of the church into denying Christ and God. You are like korihor. Did Satan cause you to lie about what you know in your heart is true?

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    1. When did Korihor lie? Before or after being tortured by Alma's priests?

      (If before: why did Alma not accept or believe that Korihor's "confession" was sincere? If after: well, that pretty much speaks for itself, doesn't it?)

      JK

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    2. Ok, there's only one way to settle this, DT and NNN. All cards on the table. How many sharks with frickin' laser beams do each of you own, and let's hear an audio clip of each of you saying "magma" (WITH the laugh).

      -JK

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    3. SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! AT THE TABERNACLE ARENA!

      Two Ultimate Anti-Christs enter! One one survives!

      Buy your seat at Ticketmaster today!

      Delete
  4. Let us not forget that the Mormon church teaches that the location of the Garden of Eden is somewhere in the central United States. Meaning that ancient American civilizations had already been established.

    Awkward moment alert: That time when God told you that you were the first two people and it would be up to you to populate the earth, but then you leave Eden and run into massive civilizations.

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  5. As a believing Mormon, I find a different option than any of the 4 you gave. The garden of eden was isolated from the world, which evolved from God's help over 4.3 billion years. During that time, evolution fashioned the bodies for humans, and then God chose Adam and Eve to have the breath of the spirit enter their bodies. I don't know when that happened, whether 7,000 years ago or 300,000 years ago. But they caused the fall to happen and all of humankind transformed via their action into offspring of God. Perhaps that is like your 2nd option, but I see it differently.

    In this way, the doctrine and science can make sense together. Get over your slanderous ways, David T.

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    1. I too have taken this approach. It creates a lot of new questions though. It means that a lot of church leaders have been wrong in the specifics. If this theory is supported then there was death before the fall. The flood didn't kill all flesh and completely immerse and baptize the earth. And that means that the scriptures and prophets have been wrong.

      Kind of hard to see how the Garden of Eden is in the America's--unless it was before the continents split. And now that is going to raise even more questions about how everything matches up.

      Soon everything starts crumbling. If the scriptures and church leaders were so wrong about so many things, then what were they right about? Is this really what God is like? Giving his chosen leaders so little inspiration and letting them speak so much misdirection as to confuse everyone? Is it just a test for those that remain faithful? Well what good is this kind of test? To see if the faithful will again and again deny logical conclusions in favor of mystical conclusions?

      Well you can see where it all leads me. Everything crumbles and I'm left with a God that makes absolutely no sense in this brain of mine that He created.

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    2. You are delusional. It amazes me how TBM's like yourself make up your own doctrine to try to hold on to your belief system in the face of cognitive dissonance. Why don't you look up what Packer has to say about your own little feel good theory...- Boyd K. Packer, The Book of Mormon: Jacob Through Words of Mormon, p. 1‑31

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    3. "And, I am sorry to say, the so‑called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false. I say I am sorry because I know it is a view commonly held by good and thoughtful people who search for an acceptable resolution to an apparent conflict between the theory of evolution and the doctrines of the gospel. An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral bloodlines to beasts." -- Boyd K. Packer, The Book of Mormon: Jacob Through Words of Mormon, p. 1‑31

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  6. Goodbye LDS church! It's foundation is built on the shifting sands of doctrine and books of 19th century fiction. Its crumbling faster than it's apostles will ever admit, despite the many good mormons conditioned to doubt their own reason, pray, pay, and obey.

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  7. I remember growing being told to "tell the truth, its easier than keeping your lies straight". Seems like early church leaders told a few whoppers and now unwitting modern day members and leaders are saddled with their crap.

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  8. Are the Q15 using documents by Perego to forward their agenda? What a surprise - not that many years ago they were convinced the Mark Hoffman documents were the real deal also. That's inspiration if I've ever seen it (ha).

    I think what we have here are a bunch of frustrated, out of touch old men doing what uninspired, desperate old men do. It's one thing to shoot in the dark but . . . embracing this Perego idiot seems the Q15 are doing so while wearing blindfolds. It's humorous to watch the organization spinning out of control. They just don't "get it" even though there are fifteen of them, all who claim to be apostles, prophets, seers & revelators.

    It appears those guys are totally clueless, they can't "see" what's going in in the "information age" when people are just a few clicks away from the overwhelming amount of evidence, facts (not opinions) that prove thousands of times over and over the organization is clearly not what it claims to be.

    Oh, I really loved the comment about Korihor - seriously LOL'd on that one (thanks to whoever posted that). So, when anyone has enough sense to recognize the scam then they instantly become an "anti-christ?" LOL! Are these finger pointing, anti-christ-labeling TBM's the ones who also believe god commanded a thirty-something year old man to marry a fourteen year old girl, two sixteen year old's and women who were already married?

    In a nutshell, you can say it so many different ways, but it's always the same message: Mormons are delusional.

    Now, it's time for fajitas and beer! Woo hoo!

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  9. Being a exmormon born again Christian, this is all gibberish. Let loose of it all and follow Christ. it's simple not complicated

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  10. Perego and other commentors on here who propose that God used evolution to fashion humans, well your Prophets Seers and Revelators have considered this possibility and have explicitly ruled it out:

    "And, I am sorry to say, the so‑called theistic evolution, the theory that God used an evolutionary process to prepare a physical body for the spirit of man, is equally false. I say I am sorry because I know it is a view commonly held by good and thoughtful people who search for an acceptable resolution to an apparent conflict between the theory of evolution and the doctrines of the gospel. An understanding of the sealing authority with its binding of the generations into eternal families cannot admit to ancestral bloodlines to beasts." - Boyd K. Packer, The Book of Mormon: Jacob Through Words of Mormon, p. 1‑31

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    1. But we all know that Boyd Pack'em was speaking from his little man head, not as a profit.

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    2. His little man head?
      Is that the same as his little factory?

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  11. I think literalism is a bigger enemy to truth than intellectualism.

    Jesus taught parables that were not literal, however they revealed what some might call eternal truths.

    Today's literature and movies (some of them) are no different. They teach truth through fiction, allegory, symbolism, you name it.

    When we worry about whether Adam and Eve were real, whether the BOM is historically sound, or whether Christ really rose on the the 3rd day, we're missing the point and do ourselves (and those around us) a disservice.

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  12. It's crazy that Perego, a molecular biologist and geneticist thinks that since he has a PhD in a scientific field, he can make authoritative statements about any other scientific field. He has become a human evolutionist! Coming up next, Perego's comments on astrophysics.

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  13. Your logic is awful. I can't believe I ever wasted time reading this one. The church said nothing about dismantling their Christ doctrine. You had to stretch to china to do that one. You're pathetic.

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    1. Of course they wouldn't talk about that. They don't want their members putting 2 and 2 together. So they avoid discussing the ramifications of their latest essay.

      If his logic is so awful, then will you please explain it to the rest of us? How could humans have lived on the American continent 10,000 years ago if Adam didn't show up until ~6000 years ago?

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  14. First, the concessions:

    NO ONE is perfect and all-knowing among us. We all make mistakes and operate under false assumptions, premises, teachings, etc. Our world view is flawed. Prophets, so called, are not immune to this "fall" into ignorance, blindness, and weakness. It is part and parcel of our mortal experience. Hence, humility is in order.

    Charity covers a multitude of sins and flaws. If we have charity, we will not reject the true and good simply because it is mixed in with the false and bad.

    Was Adam (meaning "many") the first of "all flesh" on this earth? I subscribe to the belief that life was INTRODUCED / TRANSPLANTED to this sphere, NOT abiogenically produced. Mankind (as we know it) was NOT the first iteration of our species on this orb. Man has been introduced (and re-introduced) again and again. Each "reintroduction" has required a "replenishing".

    I believe the beings known as Adam and Eve (and there have been MANY couples so named) were "planted" on this earth in a place called Eden, where they grew and matured until they were capable of making moral choices -- until they "sinned" -- and were cast out to join the lot of "fallen" creatures. Their seed may have then mixed with those who were before. But those who "pre-existed" THIS "fall" were unaware of the "gospel" taught to Adam and Eve and thus were held "unaccountable" -- and thus remained unaccounted for...much as the "lamanites" existing prior to Lehi's arrival were unaccounted for. Just as Noah's flood of "the whole earth" speaks from his point of view (not to mention inflation of the story by those who inserted their own interpretations into the story). Clearly it could have rained (and snowed) for an indeterminate period of time (called "40 days and 40 nights") over the WHOLE earth. This sphere would have been "baptized" just as well beneath a millimeter as it would have been under a mile. (In fact, a millimeter is better, because there isn't a mile of water to cover the whole earth!)

    Noah's ark held the animals important and necessary to him. (Whales and other sea creatures didn't perish and were never brought on board.) All flesh did not die...merely all accountable flesh. (Well, the other flesh died, too, but who's keeping track of "those" people!) Spiritual and physical death have been conflated in the scriptural record.

    This "world" is not the FIRST generation of man traceable to the Father. He has come and gone SEVERAL times. His children have been introduced (and reintroduced) to His gospel many times (and many more to come!) until this planet spirals into an expanding sun and melts into a sea of glass, when every valley shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made plain.

    We delude ourselves in thinking we see...until we see the "bigger" picture.

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    1. Holy crap man. It all makes sense now. Seriously though, you are kidding right!?

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  15. I've literally had a Mo apologist tell me the that garden was a local place, and that Lehi or Nephi talking about "all things" meant all things that Adam n Eve were aware of, since, by his reasoning, they were unaware of anything outside of the garden.

    This neatly fits scientific data of old age evolution and a young-age race of Adam into the same box. However, that box, when shook and mixed, produces a so-called adamic-interractial society, and if Adam was a son of god and the other species outside of the garden weren't then races are inferior by their model.

    Yep, the apologists infer and indirectly support a racist model of the world. Ridiculous!

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