Rodney Meldrum recently published a book Rediscovering the Book of Mormon Remnant through DNA. In this book he promotes the idea that the X haplogroup, a rare DNA lineage found among Native Americans, may be evidence of Israelite DNA in New World populations, a claim that supports the Book of Mormon. Rodney's book can be purchased at his website. Accompanying the book are these especially bold claims:
"Not since the long-lost Joseph Smith papyri burst upon the scene in 1967 has there been news of this magnitude and import regarding the physical corroboration of Latter-day Saint doctrine and scripture." said Ed Lauritsen, Ph.D. This is the book that many have been awaiting for their further study of the genetic evidences that supports the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the prophetic calling of the Joseph Smith.”
—The Firm Foundation
Jake Hilton, the Youth Educational Instructor of the FIRM Foundation, recently stated "What makes Haplogroup X2 DNA so significant is that it is only found in one other location on the planet: Among Jewish populations of Europe and the Middle East".
The degree of variation in the X lineage family is about the same as the other 4 lineages, strongly suggesting that the X lineage was present in the first Americans and accompanied the other four founding lineages across the ancient land bridge. The data strongly suggests that all Native American mtDNA lineages have a most recent common ancestor that lived at, or soon after, the last glacial maximum (Figure 3.1). This is also strong evidence that all five Native American mtDNA lineages arrived in the New World at the same time. The separation between New World and European X lineages is estimated to have taken place even farther back in time, over 22,000 years ago (Reidla et al. 2003).
“…I have read Ugo Perego's paper in Current Biology … and understand where he is coming from, although when it comes to the dating, I am in disagreement with him based on scriptural timelines as I understand them.”
“My impression is that you believe I am 'cherry-picking' evidence I like and rejecting out of hand all other information. Simon, this is not the case. I am rejecting portions of theories that I feel cannot be reconsiled (sic) with the revealed word of the Lord in the scriptures.”
— Rodney MeldrumUgo Perego is a Mormon scientist who has published several important papers on the molecular genealogy of Native Americans. Perego disagrees with the way Meldrum has interpreted his research findings. Like all other experts in the field Perego doesn't believe that the X lineage arrived recently in the Americas. In spite of his claim that he isn’t, Rodney Meldrum (who is not a scientist) is most definitely cherry picking the scientific evidence. Consider these words in the introduction to Rodney's book.
"My position as the author of this work is that when there is an inferred conflict between scientific theories and scriptural truths, the scriptures will always be demonstrated true, and the theories of men, put forward through science, will eventually conform to the truths of the gospel, not the other way around. Of course error can be made in the interpretation of scripture; however when they (the Scriptures) are clear and supported by prophetic or revelatory understanding, and if they cannot be reconciled with the current theories of science, then it should be understood that eventually the scientific theories will be altered to comply with God’s truth, even if that means waiting until the next life. The theories (beliefs) of men that don’t harmonize with the truths (facts) of God are in error and are subject to alteration."
— Rodney Meldrum, 2009Here, Meldrum admits that his conclusion is fixed from the outset. He is merely gathering facts that suite his purposes. Anyone with these views in mind will think they have full license to dismiss out of hand any scientific ideas that challenge their beliefs. Meldrum uses DNA evidence he likes (X lineage present in Old and New World) and ignores evidence he dislikes (New World X2a lineages pre-date the existence of Israel by about 25,000 years) because it doesn’t fit his already fixed faith-based views.
Volume 35.5, September/October 2011Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History - Part One: An Alternate Reality
Volume 35.6, November/December 2011
Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History - Part Two: False Messages in Stone
Volume 36.1, January/February 2012
Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History - Part Three: Real Messages in DNA
The third in the series focusses on the DNA evidence and gives an excellent critique of Meldrum's X lineage claims. The scientists conclude that "there is no credible archaeological or genetic evidence to suggest that any Old World peoples migrated to the Americas after the initial incursion from Siberia prior to the tentative forays of the Norse beginning at around 1000 CE other than limited contacts between Siberia and the American arctic".
Brown, M. D., Hosseini, S. H. and Torroni, A et al. 1998. MtDNA haplogroup X: an ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America? American Journal of Human Genetics 63:1852-61.
Malhi, R. S. and Smith, D. G. (2002) Brief Communication: Haplogroup X Confirmed in Prehistoric North America, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 119, 84–86.
Quinn M. (2005) The Ancient Book of Mormon as Tribal Narrative Sunstone 137:67.
Reidla, et al. (2003) "Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X," American Journal of Human Genetics 73, 1178-90.
Smith, D. G., Malhi, R. S., Eshleman, J. et al. 1999. Distribution of MtDNA Haplogroup X among Native North Americans, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 110, 271-84.
Shlush, L. I. et al (2008) The Druze: A population genetic refugium of the Near East. PLoS ONE, 3 , p. e2105.