We’re continuing our conversation from last week.  Why isn’t Middle Eastern DNA found in the Americas if Indians are descendants of Lamanites?  Is it possible that Lehite DNA simply vanished from the Americas?  Simon says no, but I’ll ask him about some other possible cases.  Last year Dr. Ugo Perego made the case that we can’t find Viking DNA in the Americas.

GT:  Well his point is we know the Vikings were here.  We can see their settlements.  We can’t find any DNA from them. So, he sees the parallel with the Lehites.  We can’t find their DNA.  So, you don’t agree with that parallel?

Simon:  Well I can see the point he is trying to make.  He is just trying to create, “Yes, we can’t find them.”  But it just bears no resemblance to the Book of Mormon account.  What we need to hear, we don’t need to hear the DNA excuses for why we can’t find their DNA.

What people need to hear from the church is an explanation, a new narrative, an explanation for the Book of Mormon narrative.  How do we fit this vanishing story with the text, the scripture?  If you read the scripture it is really quite clear that they were very significant populations of people.  So, the Nephites and Lamanites were fighting each other for a thousand years but they still referred to each other as their brethren.  How does that go on for a thousand years when you’re just a tiny little people?

I’ll also ask Simon about Rodney Meldrum’s claims to have found Middle Eastern DNA here in North America.  What does Simon think of Meldrum’s claims?

Simon:  I’ve been less critical of Meldrum than the FARMS[1] guys.  They called him a snake-oil salesman, which he is.  But he’s a salesman, he is not a scientist.  He’s a joke.  He doesn’t understand the science.  He thinks that the scientists foolishly overlooked the connection of the X-lineage to the Middle East, and his whole business is built on his X-lineage claim, and he’s wrong.  It’s completely wrong.

We heavily reference our conversation with Dr. Perego.  If you haven’t seen it, or have forgotten, I encourage you to check out our interview with Perego!

As we concluded our conversation with Simon, I was reminded that searching for answers about Noah’s flood led him to study more about DNA & the Book of Mormon.  Is there evidence for Noah’s flood?

Simon:  There was a very large deluge because the flood myth is not common to just Christianity.  There are other belief systems throughout the Middle East and Mesopotamia that all contain this flood myth.  There was—I think it was the Black Sea. There was a major deluge when rising sea levels after the Ice Age broke the entrance into the Black Sea through the Strait of Bosporus.  There is plenty of scientific evidence for major deluge that flooded the area surrounding the Black Sea.  So, there would have been devastating consequences for all of the farming communities around there at the time.  I don’t know the date of that, but it might have been 8000 years ago.  So yes, it was an event.  It just didn’t happen.

GT:  What didn’t happen?

Simon:  A global flood.

GT:  Oh, ok.

Simon: The only way it could have possibly happened would be if God had hidden all of the evidence of it, deliberately, and manipulatively hidden all of the evidence of the flood to trick everyone.

(Don’t forget to check out what Dr. Perego thinks about the flood.)

It’s important to remember that some people think Noah’s flood is a complete myth.  John Hamer told me

There was no significant flood, or rather, there is no reason to believe that is the spark of the myth.  Some people justify the Flood story as historical based on a wild hypothesis that has no historical basis — there is no reason to connect a hypothetical deluge in the Black Sea with ancient Sumer. The Noah story is entirely mythical.  Israelites who created the Noah story knew that Mesopotamians believed that there had been a great flood and so created their own version.

Note that John Hamer has a lecture on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, on which some scholars think many stories in Genesis are based.  There are certainly some striking parallels. See https://www.facebook.com/TorontoCongregation/videos/849774285199995/

Does Simon still believe in the Bible?   What are his religious beliefs?  Could he accept a non-literal interpretation of the Book of Mormon?  We’ll answer these questions in videos above…..

Some questions for you:

  • What are your thoughts about Noah’s Flood?
  • What are your thoughts on vanishing Lamanite DNA in the Americas?


—-

[1] FARMS stands for Foundation of Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.  This is an informal collaboration of academics devoted to Latter-day Saint historical scholarship.  In 2006, the group became a formal part of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, formerly known as the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, BYU. FARMS has since been absorbed into the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies.  For more info, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Ancient_Research_and_Mormon_Studies