Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
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08-08-2015, 10:34 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
a DNA approach does not decisively and definitively fill in our void of knowledge of the happenings on the American continent during the time frame of the Book of Mormon. Both critics and apologists utilize speculations and assumptions to support their views. However, both sides of this controversy fail either to support or reject the authenticity of the Book of Mormon on the basis of DNA.

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08-08-2015, 10:36 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
Stating that DNA evidence stands as the conclusive proof that the Book of Mormon is a fabricated historical account is not a convincing argument.
Scholarly studies indicate that the majority of DNA observed in Native Americans has a common [Page 244]origin or ancestry with Asian populations, thus suggesting an ancient split between Paleo-Indians and their Eurasian source population sometime before the Last Ice Age. These population studies do not consider, however, the possibility of other migrations that could have taken place between the first entries of the early ancestors of Native Americans and the more recent documented European colonization after 1492.

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08-08-2015, 10:40 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
The concept of additional, small-scale contacts and migrations to the Americas throughout the millennia is not dismissed by scientists. In fact, in recent years, genetic data was successfully sequenced from hair belonging to a well-preserved, 4,000-year-old, Paleo-Eskimo individual belonging to the Saqqaq culture discovered in Greenland.8 This research has contributed greatly to the current understanding of events that led to the peopling of the Americas. The authors concluded that the genetic makeup of the ancient Saqqaq individual was very different from that of Inuit or other Native American populations. Instead, he was closely related to Old World Arctic populations of the Siberian Far East, separated from them by approximately two hundred generations (roughly 5,500 years).

These data suggest a distinctive and more recent migration across Beringia by a group of people who were not related to the first ancestors of modern-day Amerindians. In an interview, one author emphasized that the lack of genetic continuity between the ancient Saqqaq individual and the modern population of the New World Arctic stands as a witness that other migrations could have taken place that left no contemporary genetic signals.9In commenting about the findings of this project, population geneticist Marcus Feldman from Stanford University said that “the models that suggest a single one-time migration are generally regarded as idealized systems, like an idealized gas in physics. But there may have been small amounts of migrations going on for millennia” (emphasis added).

[Page 245]He went on to explain that “just because researchers put a date on when ancient humans crossed the Bering Bridge, that doesn’t mean it happened only once and then stopped.”10 This concept has also been included in the volume The Origin of Native Americans by Michael H. Crawford, molecular anthropologist at the University of Kansas. In his lengthy review of data supporting the ancient Asian origins of the Amerindians, he stated that “this evidence does not preclude the possibility of some small-scale cultural contacts between specific Amerindian societies and Asian or Oceanic seafarers” (emphasis added).11

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08-08-2015, 10:45 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
(08-08-2015 10:32 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 10:23 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  [Image: icDAkh.jpg]

Congrats, you can copy-paste word salad from an apologist's website.

Now explain that question in detail, how it is at all relevant to the matter at hand, and then we may deign to supply you a coherent answer (provided of course you can provide a coherent understanding of your own fucking question, which I highly doubt).
You don't understand this question? which part of it you do not understand?

The better question is, and the one that I wanted you to demonstrate first, is which part of the question do you understand?

Until I'm convinced it's anything more than a bullshit copy-pasta job off of some ignorant fucktard's apologist website where liars-for-Jesus pretend to talk like they know anything about science, I'm going to treat it like the superfluous spam that it looks like.



TL;DR

Answers in Genesis isn't science, and that looks like more AIG tripe, and until you can show otherwise, it will be treated as tripe.

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08-08-2015, 10:57 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
What Does Science Say About the DNA of Native Americans?

The early 1990s marked the beginning of the genomic era with regard to the study of human diversity and the elucidation of the relationships and origins of different world populations. With the best technologies available in those early days, scientists for the first time were able to analyze segments of the female-inherited mitochondrial genome and to identify small but important genetic markers uniquely linked to specific populations.

[Page 247]Subsequent to this novel use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), new technologies ushered in the study of genetic markers found on the male-inherited Y chromosome and the autosomes, giving sometimes distinct insights into populations origins and migrations. With regard to mtDNA, the first samples analyzed came from Native American populations. The data showed that nearly all the mtDNAs could be clustered into one of four groups, which were initially labeled A, B, C, and D, and later groupings identified in other populations proceeded through the subsequent alphabetical nomenclature.13

These earlier studies utilized a small section of the mitochondrial genome, often limited to just a few hundred DNA bases. Among others, three significant findings were published during the 1990s based on mtDNA diversity with some implications to our understanding of Native American origins:
1.The highest level of mtDNA variation was observed in sub-Saharan African groups, thus indicating that all humans shared a common female ancestor from Africa and that human colonization of the planet started from there;
2.Lineages A, B, C, and D were observed in the Americas as well as in modern Asian populations, thus supporting the theory that the ancient maternal ancestors of Native Americans were Paleo-Indians of Asian origins who survived the Last Ice Age on the continent-sized land-bridge called Beringia that once connected northeast Siberia to Alaska;14
3.A fifth lineage was observed in Native American populations from the Great Lakes area and in a few [Page 248]other North American groups. This new mtDNA was termed X, and differently from the previously known Native American mtDNA lineages, it was also observed in many modern European, African, and Middle Eastern populations15 as well as in a small region of Central Asia.16

These three points have strong implications with respect to the Book of Mormon debate, but the most emphasized in early disputes was point 2 — the common presence of lineages A, B, C, and D in both the Asian and American continents. Each of these three findings deserves its own treatment in detail.

The existence of a common maternal ancestor from Africa for all mtDNA lineages has many significant implications; of relevance for the current question is the fact that this woman was not the only female alive at that time, but merely lucky in perpetuating her genetic lineage through millennia to the present time. (This was due to several factors, including her own success and the happenstance successes of her descendants.) The phenomenon of chance transmissions will be addressed in detail when we introduce the population genetic principle of genetic drift. For the current discussion, it is sufficient to realize that the genetic variation present in modern populations does not give a complete picture of the variation that existed in the past.

The second relevant principle is the presence of mitochondrial DNA lineages labeled A, B, C, and D on both sides of the Bering Strait. As explained earlier, based on data from different disciplines, including genetics, archaeology, and linguistics, it has been postulated that anatomically modern humans were trapped in the landmass that once connected [Page 249]Siberia to Alaska during the Last Ice Age.17 These Paleo-Indians most likely came from other source populations in Asia during the spread of hunter-gatherers thousands of years ago. By following and hunting large mammals, they reached the continent-sized land-bridge Beringia but were eventually trapped there due to the worsening of climate conditions and the build-up of glaciers on either side.

During the following millennia, they probably survived in natural enclaves, living in a manner similar to modern-day Arctic natives. Population growth was probably halted because of scarcity of resources. They were physically separated from their source population, thus gradually developing their own unique linguistic, cultural, and genetic characteristics.18 Eventually, the climate began to improve again, and the large glaciers started to withdraw.

As sea-levels began to rise again, gradually submerging Beringia and most of the world’s coastlines, at least one, perhaps two entryways became available to the ancestors of American natives moving eastward into a pristine and empty continent.19 Lack of competition for resources allowed a quick spread southward, reaching the tip of South America’s southern cone (a distance greater than that from Portugal to Japan!) probably in as few as 1,000 years. Populations began to grow, and by the time the Europeans arrived after 1492, at least 20 million people lived in the Americas.20 This summary reflects the knowledge based on genetics, archaeology, and other disciplines to the proposed understanding of the first and most significant expansions into the Western Hemisphere.

Although genetic diversity in Asia is much higher than that observed among the indigenous people of America — and [Page 250]also includes significantly different lineage frequencies — it is notable that those who survived the Beringia “imprisonment” were but a few compared to the larger Asian population of that time.

Once the two populations were separated, never to be reunited — first because of the deteriorating climate conditions and then by the Bering Strait — gene flow between the populations was interrupted, and their genetic histories diverged. Once populations become physically separated in this manner, powerful forces play a role in how the genetic dynamics of different populations develop over time. Even holding geographical and climate conditions constant, events that influence the genetic shaping of a group play out in a distinct story for every population.

Genetic drift and perhaps to some degree natural selection with regard to DNA transmission, gender (based on the inheritance of Y chromosome or mitochondrial DNA), and variation in number of offspring, etc., give shape to the resulting genetic profiles of populations as they develop over time. Often, if the group of founding migrants is small, the effects of drift that persist into future generations are accentuated, as the loss of even a single individual from the small founding group, or a female bearing no children or children of just one gender, will cause the loss of genetic variability at an early stage of the colonization process. For example, when considering mtDNA passed on only by females to their children, if an original founding group is composed of four women, each carrying a different mtDNA lineage, and one of them bears only male children, 25% of the mtDNA variation in the founding population will be immediately lost from all subsequent generations.

Although the founding group of ancient Paleo-Indians trapped in Beringia for thousands of years would have included more than four women, this process can occur in subgroups of a population and could result in lost lineages that are still found among Asians but that are not currently found among Native Americans. Additionally, the separation of Paleo-Indians [Page 251]from their source population for such a long period resulted in the rise of novel mutations that were exclusively found in the ancestors of Amerindians.

From a strictly mitochondrial DNA point of view, a Native American mtDNA lineage is so distinct that it is easily distinguishable from those of any other world population. In fact, the level of discrimination allows clear discernment of Asian and Native American types that are relatively closely related but that have both amassed enough unique features since their divergence to give a strong degree of differentiation between the two. For example, if an mtDNA profile carrying the key mutations classified as Native American is found in Europe, one obvious argument is that early European colonists brought back indigenous women from the Americas to the Old World, whose descendants persist to the current day. These lineages are clearly not European, but neither are they Asian. They are Native American.

The opposite is also true. If mtDNA lineages are observed in the Americas, even in tribal groups considered deeply indigenous who belong to mtDNA groups known to be African, European, or even Asian, the argument most readily given is that they have been introduced more recently, after the rediscovery of the New World by Europeans.

Therefore, going back to the question posed above, a Native American lineage is an mtDNA profile that has accumulated a unique set of mutations that, although showing evidence of common ancestry with Asian populations, is different enough to be ascribed exclusively to the Americas and not to Asia. In other words, Native American mtDNA lineages are, for the most part, nested within the large family of Asian mtDNAs, and are distantly related to them (or showing an affinity) but not identical.

An increased understanding of the dynamics that characterized the mtDNA origin of Native American populations was achieved during the past decade through the analysis of complete mtDNA genomes — the highest level of mtDNA molecular resolution attainable. The original A, B, [Page 252]C, and D mtDNA lineages observed in the Americas were eventually renamed A2, B2, C1, and D1 to distinguish them from their Asian “cousins.” Lineage X became X2a, and to this day it has been found only in North America, although there is still some uncertainty regarding its origin. These five lineages constitute the majority (approximately 95%) of all Native American lineages observed in the Americas, although in recent years, additional rare lineages also have been identified as Native American.21

At the present time, thanks to the complete sequencing of large numbers of mtDNA genomes, scientists performing research of worldwide populations are dissecting individual mtDNA lineages to discover important details missed in the past. This microgeographic approach is revealing a number of peculiar situations that, for the most part, are still not fully explained. For example, mtDNA lineage C1 has six known sublineages, called C1a-f. They all share a common maternal origin, but their geographic distribution is very specific: C1a is found exclusively in Asia, C1b, C1c, and C1d are found only in the American continent,22 and C1e and C1f are two new lineages found recently in a limited number of living individuals from Iceland23 and in ancient remains retrieved in Western Russia,24 respectively.

The natural question is, how did the four geographically distinct clusters end up in the locations where they were observed? A possibility is that they were all in Beringia at some [Page 253]point, and following the Last Ice Age, carriers of the C1a and C1f mtDNA returned to Asia,25 whereas C1b-C1d and possibly C1e moved eastwards in the Americas. Eventually, either through an Atlantic crossing along the north ice cap or, more recently, through Viking voyages,26 a Native American female (or females) carrying the C1e lineage ended up in Iceland, where successful progeny have persisted into today’s Icelandic population. However, any C1e left in the Americas either failed to perpetuate its lineage by chance due to lack of female posterity or became extinct following the massive population reduction caused by the arrival of Europeans.

Another possibility for its sole distribution in Iceland hinges on its extreme rarity as a mtDNA type, and therefore scientists have not encountered it yet on American soil.

In summary, the recent discovery of C1e in Iceland, its pre-Columbian mtDNA age, and its apparent absence among modern Amerindian groups poses some interesting questions that can be applied to the Book of Mormon debate. Would it ever have been known that an additional C1 lineage existed in America’s past if it were not found in Iceland? This situation demonstrates a possible scenario in which a Beringian lineage of Asian origin could have become extinct in the Americas, and detection of the genetic type could have been accomplished only due to its having had more time to spread to outlying geographies, causing it to be external to competition with the abundant contemporary mtDNA Native American lineages.

Similarly, a more recently introduced mtDNA lineage from the Old World, as in the Book of Mormon scenario, would have been even more likely to disappear or escape detection when introduced to a large gene-pool. We will discuss this further in the section about genetic drift.

A far more puzzling story surrounds the origin of the fifth Native American lineage, called X2a. This group of mtDNAs is found exclusively in North America, with its highest [Page 254]modern-day concentration in the Great Lakes region.27 While Native American mtDNAs A2, B2, C1, and D1 are clearly nested within Asian clades, lineage X2a has a hypothesized ancient Old World origin, probably in the Middle East.28

Although a small number of X2 samples have also been observed in Central Asia,29 they most likely represent a recent migratory event to that region. In an mtDNA tree, the Asian X (called X2e) contains more recent mutations than the Native American X2a, and therefore it is not ancestral to the latter. Although it cannot be completely excluded that ancestors of X2a once lived in Northeast Asia and then became extinct, at the present time the closest relatives of the Native American X2a lineage have been identified in a single sample from Iran30 and in Bedouin groups from Egypt.31

The potential connection between New World and Middle Eastern mtDNA X types could be seen by some as a candidate for Book of Mormon DNA in the Americas. However, some data confounds this hypothesis, as the mtDNA molecular clock32 — the estimated average number of years before a mutation is expected to appear — dates X2a at about the same time as the arrival of all the other Asian-like lineages to the Americas [Page 255](toward the end of the Last Ice Age). Data from ancient DNA studies on pre-Columbian specimens presumably belonging to lineage X are, for the most part, also inconclusive.33

As an additional cautionary note, mtDNA dating is concerned most with the age of divergence between two lineages sharing a common ancestor and not necessarily the location of the shared ancestral sequence. In other words, the coalescence time of X2a,34 or of any other mtDNA lineage for that matter, reveals only how far back in time the split from the ancestral node took place, not where the split occurred and does not account for the geographic locations of these lineages today.

As seen with the C1e example, there could have been closer relatives of X2a in other parts of the world, but either they became extinct or have not yet been found. The Egyptian and Iranian X2* samples share one of the three coding region mutations that define X2a in the Americas. Their existence indicates that potential “relatives” of the X2a lineage could be found elsewhere, assuming they still exist in contemporary individuals.

However, in this particular example, it is important to note that the Old World X2* haplotypes share additional mutations that would increase the genetic distance between the Amerindian and Middle Eastern branches of X2, even with the shared common conservative mutation. The story of X2a is a likely example of an mtDNA lineage found in the Americas that to this date cannot be completely ascribed to an Asian origin and is a subject worth further investigation.

Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by scientists is to be able to assign clearly and unequivocally any European or African lineage found in the Americas to the pre-Columbian era. The generalized view among population geneticists is that after the initial arrival of Paleo-Indians toward the end of the [Page 256]Last Ice Age, no other migrations took place until the discovery of the double-continent by Europeans in 1492.

Together with a drastic indigenous population reduction (addressed in detail in the section dealing with the effect of population bottleneck), first the European and later the African gene-pool were introduced to the Americas, thus altering forever the original genetic landscape of the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, the common consensus, whenever any DNA is found that does not fit with the classic Native America genetic types, is an automatic assignment of such DNA to the post-Columbian migration wave of European or African migrants.

Although this assignment may be accurate in most instances, few tools are available to test the assumptions underlying this assignment; this means that even in the unlikely scenario that a few genetic lineages survived to modern times from additional migrations that occurred in the pre-Columbian era, they would not be strongly differentiated from contemporary DNA profiles found in modern Europe and Africa.

This is a critical and often overlooked limitation in using DNA to try to isolate a migration by a small group to the Americas in the recent past. If we take mtDNA, for example, it is correct to say that more than 95% of lineages identified are of Asian origin for the simple reason that they are similar to — but at the same time sufficiently different from — Asian lineages due to the fact that they have been separated for enough time to develop their own set of unique mutational motifs. If a modern Asian lineage were to be found in the Americas, it would most likely be assigned to a post-Columbian arrival, just like any other non-indigenous mtDNA profile. The root of this issue lies with the so-called “molecular clock” used to determine the age of lineages.

Scientists have been able to calibrate the estimated time of entry of the first Paleo-Indians based on the number of mutations that separate the Native American lineages from those found in Asia today (using molecular clocks).

[Page 257]Dating of the genetic data supporting this first arrival coincided with the geological evidence from the improvement of climate conditions toward the end of the Last Ice Age, at about 15-18,000 years ago. This molecular clock is based on the number of mutations accumulated in each mtDNA lineage, and it is calibrated on the assumed common ancestor between modern humans and chimpanzee, a split from their common unknown ancestor (the “missing link”) that would have occurred approximately 6.5 million years ago.

The mutation rate of mtDNA is roughly 3,000-9,000 years per mutation, depending on the section of mtDNA analyzed and the molecular clock applied.35 Therefore, with few exceptions, it is only possible to infer migrations and other events that occurred thousands of years ago and not more recent ones.

Moreover, scientists in general are extremely cautious to make statements based on the available data that unequivocally point to a single conclusion and leave no room for an alternative hypothesis. Nearly all scientific papers published on population migration subjects offer new clues or revisit old ones, with the objective of furthering scholarly work by contribution of new perspectives and data that other researchers will utilize in their own work.

However, this is often not the case when the same information is then represented by the media or by others with a specific agenda, as they tend to sensationalize such discoveries in order to attract greater attention from the public. Unfortunately, as with any sub-specialized topic, a relatively small percentage of the population has the necessary background to fully grasp the original scientific work, and therefore they often have to rely on how this information is interpreted and propagated, and this includes all the involved biases.

In summary, it is an oversimplification to assert that all DNA in the Americas is provably Asian. The large majority shows Asian affinity simply because it is similar enough [Page 258]to demonstrate a more recent shared ancestry with Asian populations than other worldwide populations but has enough accumulated differences to be distinctively identifiable as Native American DNA. Based on scientific investigation, this main genetic component was introduced in the Americas at the end of the Last Ice Age thousands of years ago.

A particular lineage called mtDNA X does not appear to be of Asian origin: it is more closely related to ancient Near Eastern lineages, but there is not enough evidence to link it definitively to Book of Mormon people. Unless retrieved from ancient specimens, any other unusual DNA types found in the Americas are generally ascribed by scientists to later colonization events. However, as the following points will clearly show, the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions (lex parsimoniae) based on the principles of populations genetics is that any unusual DNA types that arrived in a recent small migration to the Americas would most likely not be detectable in our present time.

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08-08-2015, 11:00 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
(08-08-2015 10:45 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 10:32 PM)Alla Wrote:  You don't understand this question? which part of it you do not understand?

The better question is, and the one that I wanted you to demonstrate first, is which part of the question do you understand?
Every part. Now your turn, which part you do not understand?
P.S. what was you major?

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08-08-2015, 11:07 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
.
from Henry C. Harpending, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. When asked, “If a group of, say, fifty Phoenicians (men and women) arrived in the Americas some 2,600 years ago and intermarried with indigenous people, and assuming their descendants fared as well as the larger population through the vicissitudes of disease, famine, and war, would you expect to find genetic evidence of their Phoenician ancestors in the current Native American population? In addition, would their descendants be presumed to have an equal or unequal number of Middle Eastern as Native American haplotypes?”

Professor Harpending’s reply was, “I doubt that we would pick up [evidence of the Phoenicians] today at all, but it does depend on how they intermixed once they were here. If they intermixed freely and widely, and if there were several millions of people here in the New World, then the only trace would be an occasional strange stray haplotype. Even if we found such a []haplotype we would probably assume it was the result of post-Columbian admixture.”40

The natural process of DNA markers disappearing in populations over time is called genetic drift.

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08-08-2015, 11:09 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
(08-08-2015 11:00 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(08-08-2015 10:45 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The better question is, and the one that I wanted you to demonstrate first, is which part of the question do you understand?
Every part. Now your turn, which part you do not understand?
P.S. what was you major?

Fuck you, you're doing nothing but copy-pasting.

Copy-pasting does not show any understanding on your part.

That's called spam, and that shit will get you kicked and/or banned.

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08-08-2015, 11:09 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
It is important to remember that genetic drift is a natural a phenomenon that is central to study of the population genetics of all organisms. It is not exclusive to the Book of Mormon discussion. It affects all genetic markers: mtDNA, the Y chromosome, and autosomal DNA. A powerful example of the effect of genetic drift on a population was described in a classic study of the Icelandic people, where genealogical and historical records have been available for the past three centuries, providing opportunities for comparison to the genetic data ]observed in the modern population.43 This study demonstrated that the majority of individuals living in the 18th century did not have any living posterity, whereas a small percentage of the population during the same time period is responsible for nearly all living Icelanders today. The findings gleaned in the Icelandic study can be extrapolated to any population around the world, including Native Americans, keeping in mind that genealogical and historical records are often not available elsewhere. The impact of the European conquest in the shaping of the genetic dynamics and demographics of the New World would have exponentially accentuated and aggravated the effects of genetic drift in the Americas.

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08-08-2015, 11:12 PM
RE: Discussion on the invalidity of Mormonism
molecular anthropologist Michael H. Crawford added, “The paucity of samples from North America and from coastal regions made it hard to claim a complete picture of early migrations has been attained.”59 These and other comments from experts in the field of ancient American history provide further evidence that DNA is a valid tool to study ancient and modern populations, but they also remind us to be careful about drawing absolute conclusions based on the genetic data.

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