Hope you are doing well. I am sending a copy of a recent question asked by Tommy and a partial answer from you to Tommy.
I researched the question and thought maybe you might find the following helpful. Maybe not.
THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
STATEMENT REGARDING THE BOOK OF MORMON
1. The Smithsonian Institution has never used the Book of Mormon in any way as a scientific guide. Smithsonian archaeologists see no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.
2. The physical type of the American Indian is basically Mongoloid, being most closely related to that of the peoples of eastern, central, and northeastern Asia. Archaeological evidence indicates that the ancestors of the present Indians came into the New World–probably over a land bridge known to have existed in the Bering Strait region during the last Ice Age–in a continuing series of small migrations beginning from about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago.
3. Present evidence indicates that the first people to reach this continent from the East were the Norsemen, who briefly visited the northeastern part of North America around 1000 A.D. and then settled in Greenland. There is no evidence to show that they reached Mexico or Central America.
4. None of the principal Old World domesticated food plants or animals (except the dog) occurred in the New World in pre- Columbian times. This is one of the main lines of evidence supporting the scientific premise that contacts with Old World civilizations, if they occurred, were of very little significance for the development of American Indian civilizations. American Indians had no wheat, barley, oats, millet, rice, cattle, pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, or camels before 1492. (Camels and horses were in the Americas, along with the bison, mammoth, and mastodon, but all these animals became extinct around 10,000 B.C. at the time the early big game hunters traveled across the Americas.)
5. Iron, steel, glass, and silk were not used in the New World before 1492 (except for occasional use of unsmelted meteroic iron). Native copper was worked in various locations in pre- Columbian times, but true metallurgy was limited to southern Mexico and the Andean region, where its occurrence in late prehistoric times involved gold, silver, copper, and their alloys, but not iron.
6. There is a possibility that the spread of cultural traits across the Pacific to Mesoamerica and the northwestern coast of South America began several hundred years before the Christian era. However, any such inter-hemispheric contacts appear to have been the results of accidental voyages originating in eastern and southern Asia. It is by no means certain that even such contacts occurred with the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, or other peoples of Western Asia and the Near East.
7. No reputable Egyptologist or other specialist on Old World archeology, and no expert on New World prehistory, has discovered or confirmed any relationship between archeological remains in Mexico and archeological remains in Egypt.
8. Reports of findings of ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, and other Old World writings in the New World in pre-Columbian contexts have frequently appeared in newspapers, magazines and sensational books. None of these claims has stood up to examination by reputable scholars. No inscriptions using Old World forms of writing have been shown to have occurred in any part of the Americas before 1492 except for a few Norse rune stones which have been found in Greenland.
9. There are copies of the Book of Mormon in the library of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
References “What Mormon archeologists say” are provided at the end of the article, the gist of which is that Mormon archeologists, as well as all others, have found no definitive evidence of a Book of Mormon archeology..
Dear F Clark,
Here we go again. If I had time, it would be fun to explore with you each of the paragraphs of archaeological and other scientific information that you cite. However, 1) time will not permit it, and 2) it would bore me out of my skull, as I’ve been over it all so many times.
However, the kernel of the argument comes down to this. In the last analysis one must put one’s faith in the words of that segment of today’s scientists who claim to refute the Book of Mormon or put one’s faith in the Holy Scriptures, the Prophets of God, and the witness of the Holy Spirit that establish and verify that there was indeed a Nephite civilization, and that the Book of Mormon is a record of the dealings of God with that people, in much the same way that the Bible is a record of the dealings of God with His people in the Old World.
If God reveals something to man, what He reveals is eternally and unalterably true. It is beyond question and above refutation. However, and this may surprise you, there is not one single proclamation of science that can be proven to be true–and that is by the very nature of science itself. So when I said, as you quoted, “I would be most interested in your source of such unimpeachable, factual information,” that statement, “unimpeachable” precluded any findings of science. So your recourse to archeology, anthropology, paleontology. etc. is in a very fundamental sense quite meaningless.
Not to belabor the point, but to make just a couple of statements on which the foregoing is based—-
Every scientific discipline, without any exception, is based on a priori premises. These are the fundamental, defining statements that form the basis for each discipline, AND THEY ARE ACCEPTED AS TRUE WITHOUT PROOF. Hence, a priori (before the fact).. If you have such faith in scientific methodology, and believe me, acceptance of scientific dogma is every bit as much an act of faith as is the acceptance of any religious creed, I would strongly suggest that you read a rather short work written by an eminent scientist, Thomas S. Kuhn, professor emeritus of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, entitled “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” University of Chicago Press, 1962. This book has become a classic and is considered to be one of “The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War,” by the Times Literary Supplement. This book will demonstrate to you the tenuous and relative nature of all science.
Now, from the other side of the fence, let me quote you a very short passage from the scriptures in support of the above—
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness (1 Cor 3:19).
God withheld the knowledge of the existence of American continent from Old World until its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492 for the very purpose of preserving it until it could be prepared for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ as the restoration of the fulness of times, never again to be taken from the earth until the Lord comes to initiate His great millennial reign. The Book of Mormon, revealed by angelic messengers to the Prophet Joseph Smith, is key to that restoration process, and has been declared by God’s prophet “to be the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.”
There is a very fundamental reason why Book of Mormon archeology has not yet been discovered, and it is related to the reason why the American continent was not discovered until very recently in the earth’s history. The great value in the Book of Mormon is related to the principal of faith in work of God the Father in bringing to pass the restoration of the gospel. If the Book of Mormon is accepted to be true as an act of the faith of the inquirer it will invite the witness of the Holy Spirit to reveal to the inquirer the KNOWLEDGE that the book is indeed true. That knowledge, inspired by faith, brings with it a commitment to obey the gospel principals that are announced and developed in the book. On the other hand, were it to be demonstrated to be true by scientific investigation it would merely join the ranks of all the other scientific literature, and carry with it no moral commitment of compliance with the principles reveal therein.