August 11, 2006

Little lost tribe of Israel?

DNA disproves Mormon fantasy about Indians being Jews


Anonymous said...

Mormonism is itself based on a particular racist conceit (now mostly forgotten) from when the settlers encountered the man-made mounds of the Central United States. Some reasoned that the Natives were inferior and incapable of so much as even making a really big pile of dirt.

(Similar racist conceits survive today. Shirley McLaine has stated that the Inca were too degenerate to be able to precisely fit stone blocks together and work with simple geometry: so she said space aliens did it.)

So who built the mounds? These settlers reasoned that members of "superior" races (read: white) built the mounds.

The issue is addressed in this web page:

One of the statements: "The same is true of the theory that a lost race built the mounds but were later destroyed by aboriginal Indians. Archaeologists now know that the Indians built the mounds and that mound-builder cultures still existed at the time of the European discovery of the New World. The theory originated in order to explain Indian inferiority and to justify the taking of Indian lands. The demise of this myth may be one of the most impressive challenges to the Book of Mormon's ancient origins."

Rob said...

Good points. Whenever people claim Indian cultures couldn't have done what they did, as in
Beer Company Suggests Atlanteans Built Wisc. Mounds
, I note it in the Stereotype of the Month contest.