May 31, 2008

Lost tribe settled around Great Lakes?

Raiders of the lost Book of Mormon DNACritics of the Book of Mormon tout DNA studies that concluded that American Indians belong to the Asian group. These studies use more precise categories of DNA markers called haplogroups; the American Indians usually have some combination of DNA from haplogroups called A, B, C or D. There is no room in the critics' story for American Indian DNA to come from any other source than Asia.

Meldrum, however, was intrigued by recent studies that showed another haplogroup appearing in American Indian populations. This haplogroup is identified by the letter "X." The curious thing for researchers is that X is one of several known European haplogroups. It is not Asian.

Although the studies are still preliminary and the exact source of the X haplogroup hasn't yet been determined, Meldrum became excited. If X was European that meant it was also possible it came from ancient Jerusalem--just as the Book of Mormon recounts.
And:Meldrum knows most LDS scholars think the events of the Book of Mormon took place in a limited area in Central America. Common conceptions among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including artists from Arnold Friberg to Walter Rane, imagine the events of the Book of Mormon in a lush tropical environment.

"I was fully expecting to find this European DNA amongst the Mayan people," Meldrum said.

Although there are some traces of the X haplogroup in Brazil, Meldrum found no traces of X in Mayan populations. Instead, he found that the highest concentrations of X were in North America--particularly around the Great Lakes region.


Anonymous said...

This is the second article in the Deseret News by reporter, Michael De Groote on DNA and the Book of Mormon. The first was an interview with Scott Woodward who just finished a DNA research project on modern people living in South America. Interestingly or obviously Woodward’s staff found African, European and “Hebrew” DNA among modern people of South America. Within the context of the discussion of the Book of Mormon peoples woodward throws out this statement: “But it probably has nothing to do with the Book of Mormon -- at least not directly.”Groot fails to report on the nature of Woodwards research, or site the research which is found on the Sorensen Molecular Genealogy website, then Groot proceeds to chid scholars by asking “So will Murphy and other critics use this new evidence of Hebrew DNA markers to prove the Book of Mormon is correct? Probably not. But neither should anyone else.”

It’s almost madness.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Obviously, 'Kennewick Man' is to be found nowhere in The Book Of Mormon 'cause Creation ostensibly took place 8,000 years ago and K-Man is older than 12,500 years. But hey, you can't judge such epic mythmaking by disparate groups of EuroMen too harshly, even if their studies of other people wind up being mostly about EuroMen themselves...
All Best
Russ Bates

Beverly said...

I know very little about DNA and markers, but wouldn't most native people have some European markers? How many native people, as with Hawaiians,can claim to be 100% native. There has been so much intermixing of bloodlines with Europeans,since the 1600s, wouldn't that account for the X marker? Isn't that another explanation, and by the way, wouldn't the lost tribe be Arabic Hebrew, which is another racial group? People who want to believe in something will always make the facts support it.

Rob said...

I don't know much about DNA and markers either, Beverly. But I think researchers can tell between recent and ancient markers. It has to do with the amount of genetic change over time.

For more on what Mormons believe, see Mormon Leaders Made a Mistake and Mormons Modify Indian Origin.