July 1, 2015

John Gee has been commenting on some relevant issues on his blog.  See: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/06/types-of-evidence.html http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/06/some-other-pseudo-sciences.html http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015/06/is-numismatics-academic-discipline.html Read more

June 30, 2015

The phonetic pronunciation of many, perhaps most, of the Maya proper names in glyph inscriptions is generally uncertain, and often unknown. When phonetic data is provided in the glyphs, their ancient pronunciation is often an educated based on modern Maya pronunciation.  (There are many dialects of modern Maya, and there is no reason to assume that ancient Maya was not pronounced as differently from modern Maya as Old Anglo-Saxon was pronounced differently from modern English.)  Hence, the Preclassic pronunciation of… Read more

June 30, 2015

Whenever anyone demands “objective evidence” for historical questions you know your dealing with a hermeneutical and epistemological misunderstanding or naiveté.  History–in the sense of the actual human past–does not exist.  It cannot be directly observed.  You cannot experiment upon it by giving Napoleon an extra division of infantry to see if he could win the battle of Waterloo.  History is a non-empirical discipline.  And anything that is non-empirical cannot be objective.  There is, of course, in the study of the… Read more

June 29, 2015

There are around 50 Maya emblem glyphs found in Classic Maya inscriptions. (Of course more could be discovered.)  They are symbolic of a city-state or land, generally attached to the title Maya ajaw (pronounced aha), meaning lord/king  Some of these cities are known from glyphs alone; their precise location is unknown.  Some are logographic (purely symbolic), others have a phonetic component.  Several emblem glyphs seem to be mythical.  Perhaps half a dozen are attested before 400 AD (end of Book… Read more

June 29, 2015

A couple more short comments from Jenkins.  I have added responses from me in Blue ======== I don’t think I can pose this question in simpler or more straightforward terms. 1. Do you believe that any or all claims about the New World in the Book of Mormon are supported by any form of objective, verifiable evidence? Of course there is.  It is not an ontological problem.  It is an epistemological one. What are the criteria by which we can distinguish a… Read more

June 29, 2015

From Prof. Jenkins (My comments added in blue) ============== Following a moment of insight amounting to a conversion experience, I have decided that Dr. Hamblin’s argument is (mainly) correct, and that I am near total agreement with it. What I doubt, though, is whether believers in the Book of Mormon wish to hear that. Let me explain. When our exchanges began, I expected that he would be producing supposed historical or archaeological proofs of the objective reality of the Book… Read more

June 29, 2015

Several short comments from Prof. Jenkins from over the weekend. ============= As you say, a parody. Now, as to that evidence you are not producing? You write, “I think we first need to discuss questions of presuppositions, methodology and epistemology in order to understand what would constitute evidence and how it can be interpreted properly.” Um, why would that be? We are both grown ups, we are both published historians, we know these issues extremely well. I have lived with… Read more

June 27, 2015

In his #12, Jenkins asks: Um, exactly. So if the great Book of Mormon civilization is there, why is it not producing hundreds and thousands more inscriptions, in Hebrew, Reformed Egyptian, etc? It sort of suggests that civilization isn’t there, right? Again, alas, methodological naiveté.  First, to say: “why isn’t there more evidence?” is a silly question.  First, the evidence is what it is.  It is not what you think it should be, nor what you wish it might be…. Read more

June 27, 2015

And here we go again. What Dr. Hamblin does here is precisely what I expected and predicted, namely to give me reasons why he cannot produce evidence to support his case, rather than actually giving me the evidence. What he is trying to do is to start a debate in which I accept his presuppositions about the lack of evidence, with the goal of losing track of the central theme: why can’t he produce any evidence whatever?   He also… Read more

June 27, 2015

In his #11, Jenkins asks: Why would that [importance of a methodological discussion] be? We are both grown ups, we are both published historians, we know these issues extremely well. I have lived with these issues for forty-plus years, and I am guessing that your track record is similar. We are not trying to run a senior history seminar for undergraduates. First, Methodology is important because other people are reading this besides you and me.   Second, it is important… Read more

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