“The first rule of historical criticism in dealing with the Book of Mormon ... is, never oversimplify. For all its simple and straightforward narrative style, this history is packed as few others are with a staggering wealth of detail that completely escapes the casual reader. The whole Book of Mormon is a condensation, and a masterly one; it will take years simply to unravel the thousands of cunning inferences and implications that are wound around its most matter-of-fact statements. Only laziness and vanity lead the student to the early conviction that he has the final answers on what the Book of Mormon contains.”In the six decades since Nibley made these comments, Mormon scholars have indeed found a “staggering wealth of detail” in the Book of Mormon that “completely escapes the casual reader.” The result has been a steady contraction of the claims of LDS scholars regarding the scale and geographical footprint of the Israelite presence. Most Mormon academics now believe that the events of the Book of Mormon took place in Mesoamerica. Only in Mesoamerica are there ruins of civilizations of the magnitude evident in the Book of Mormon. In spite of this scholarship, most lay Mormons still believe the Book of Mormon events were played out across both New World hemispheres.
— Hugh Nibley, 1952
* Other includes 9 European (6HV, J, 2T, U), 3 African ( L ) and 3 uncharacterised lineages.
References for Table 2.2
Bortolini MC et al. (1998) Diversity in protein, nuclear DNA, and mtDNA in South Amerinds - agreement or discrepancy? Ann. Hum. Gen. 62, 133-145.Only sixteen individuals among the Mesoamericans possess a mtDNA lineage that didn’t originate in Asia. 99% belong to the four major lineages (A, B, C or D) which are derived from Asia. Of the sixteen non-Asian lineages, three are clearly African L lineages, and three were not fully characterised. The remaining 10 lineages are all lineages found at high frequencies in European populations. There were 6 H lineages, one U, one J and two T lineages. These lineages are found in European populations in the following frequencies: lineage H/V (54%), lineage U (16%), lineage J (10%) and lineage T (8%). By comparing these lineages to the thousands of mtDNA sequences in global databases, the scientists found exact matches for the U and one T lineage among individuals from Western Europe, namely Spain, Portugal and Poland (Salas et al. 2009). Meanwhile, the most abundant female lineages in Middle Eastern populations are lineage K (32%) followed by lineage H (26%).
González-Oliver A et al. (2001) Founding Amerindian mitochondrial DNA lineages in ancient Maya from Xcaret, Quintana Roo Am. J Phys. Anthrop 116, 230–235.
Kemp, B. M. et al. (2005) An analysis of ancient Aztec mtDNA from Tlatelolco: Pre-Columbian relations and the spread of Uto-Aztecan. Biomolecular Archaeology: Genetic Approaches to the Past, ed Reed DM (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL), pp 22–46.
Kemp BM et al.(2010) Evaluating the farming/language dispersal hypothesis with genetic variation exhibited by populations in the Southwest and Mesoamerica. PNAS USA 107, 6759-6764.
Lorenz JG & Smith DG (1996). Distribution of four founding MtDNA haplogroups among native North Americans. Am. J Phys. Anthrop. 101, 307-23.
Merriwether DA et al. (1994) Genetic variation in the New World – ancient teeth, bone and tissue as sources of DNA. Experientia 50, 592-601.
Sandoval K et al. (2009) Linguistic and maternal genetic diversity are not correlated in Native Mexicans. Human Genetics 126, 521–531.
Schurr TG et al. (1990) Amerindian mitochondrial DNAs have rare Asian mutations at high frequencies, suggesting they are derived from 4 primary maternal lineages. Am. J Hum. Gen. 46, 613–623.
Torroni A et al. (1994a) Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms in 4 Native American populations from Southern Mexico. Am. J Hum. Gen. 54, 303-18.
Torroni A et al. (1994b). Mitochondrial DNA 'Clock' for the Amerinds and its Implications for Timing Their Entry into North America. PNAS USA 91, 1158-62.
Salas A et al. (2009) Mitochondrial echoes of first settlement and genetic continuity in El Salvador. PLoS ONE 4(9): e6882. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006882
Gorostiza et al. (2012) Reconstructing the history of Mesoamerican populations through the study of the mitochondrial DNA control region. PLoS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0044666
“Ten centuries ago a handful of Norse sailors slipped into Newfoundland, established small colonies, traded with local natives, then sailed back into the fog of history. In spite of the small scale of their settlements and the brevity of their stay, unequivocal evidence of their presence has been found, including metalwork, buildings, and Norse inscriptions. Just six centuries earlier, the Book of Mormon tells us, a climactic battle between fair-skinned Nephites and dark-skinned Lamanites ended a millennial dominion by a literate, Christian, Bronze Age civilization with a population numbering in the millions. Decades of serious and honest scholarship have failed to uncover credible evidence that these Book of Mormon civilizations ever existed. No Semitic languages, no Israelites speaking these languages, no wheeled chariots or horses to pull them, no swords or steel to make them. They remain a great civilization vanished without a trace, the people along with their genes.”
—Southerton, Losing a Lost Tribe, 2004
Where are the seed of Lehi who are to be restored to a knowledge of "their fathers" and to receive the Gospel? The Book of Mormon was specifically written to the Lamanites.
Perhaps the most important question the apologists need to answer is why people should trust them over the prophets.