Cocaine Mummies

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slavereeno
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Cocaine Mummies

Post by slavereeno » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:02 am

So I can't have a normal conversation with my family without getting barraged with this stuff.

Apparently, a German scientist tested some ancient (3000BC) mummies for drugs, and found Cocaine and Nicotine, two substances from New World plants found in old world mummies.

We are at a family birthday gathering and I am trying to discuss some history stuff with my sister, World War II and Europe etc. I am attempting to keep it light and was avoiding anything that would be tied to the church, but mentioned Neandertals. She then offers the above info about the drugs found in mummies and says something along these lines: "This has really upset the field of archeology, it proves there was more travel and contact with the ancient world than previously thought. In time, we will find that Joseph Smith was right about a great many things when science catches up to the revealed truth."

In case you were wondering, this is why I end up obsessing about Mormonism, because I can't hold any conversation with most of the people I know WITHOUT everything getting tied back to the church and how is true!

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jfro18
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by jfro18 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:36 am

From wikipedia:
This result was interpreted by theorists and supporters of contacts between pre-Columbian people and ancient Egyptians, as a proof for their claims. Nevertheless, two successive analysis on other groups of Egyptian mummies and human remains, failed to fully reproduce Balabanova's results, showing in fact positive results only for nicotine.[7][6]

After these experiments, even assuming that cocaine was actually found on mummies, it is possible that this could be a contamination occurred after the discovery or, more likely, evidence of a fake mummy, since passing off corpses of the recently deceased as ancient mummies was a thriving tourist scam in Egypt during the Victorian era. The same argument can be applied to nicotine but, in addition, various plants other than tobacco are a source of nicotine and two of these, Withania somnifera and Apium graveolens, were known and used by ancient Egyptians.
But more to your point - this is why the church sucks, and why the whole "You left the church, why can't you leave it alone" is such an unfair argument. Unless you're lucky enough to leave with your family (which most are not), it's never really over... every time you talk about something you have to think if it's going to be taken as a shot at the church, or when others try to teach you something you're wondering if they're trying to lure you back in.

If the cocaine mummies story was true, you'd see ever rebuttal to the CES flooded with it since it would give some possible connections... just like that dude that forged the ancient tablets with 'reformed egyptian' characters, this seems to be another story that doesn't hold up.

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Just This Guy
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Just This Guy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:44 am

It's interesting looking at the archeology behind this. They first found nicotine, cocaine and THC in mummies in the mid 90's. This is an example of basically looking at the ancient world though an modern, & American centrist lens. Since then it has basically become a nonissue to scientists. It's only a thing for people who don't stop to think about it.

Nicotine
Today, we get nicotine primarily from Nicotiana Rustica and Nicotiana Tobacum which are both native to North America. However that does not mean they are the only sources of it. The Eggplant has a small amount of nicotine in it. Then there is Nicotiana Africa a tobacco plant native to Africa, primarily the Namibia area. It is a poor tobacco compared to the American versions, so it isn't used much today, but there is plenty of evidence of it being traded in ancient times. Additionally, there is the possibility of contamination from tobacco smoke and the use of "tobacco water" as a common cleaning agent in the 1800's.

Cocaine
This one is actually even easier to explain. In the Americas, we get out cocaine from Erythroxylum Coca or Erythroxylum Novogranatense which are both native to South America. Africa uses their sources. There are 10 different species of plants that are native to Africa that are used to make cocaine. Two more exist in the islands around Madagascar.

THC
This one is easy by far. Hashish is native to the middle east. There is no question they used it in Egypt. It's only when you look at it though a modern view where people are used to marijuana being the primary source that there is any question about it.

Summary
This is a case of people starting with the conclusion and working back from there to make the evidence fit the conclusion. There is plenty of evidence that supports a more benign explanation if people are willing to think outside their current assumptions.

*Insert meme of Ancient Aliens guy here*

Source:
https://ahotcupofjoe.net/2018/05/new-wo ... d-mummies/
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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slavereeno
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by slavereeno » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 pm

Awesome, thanks to both of you, its nice to have an answer for the next time this gets shoved in my face.

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:02 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:02 am

Apparently, a German scientist tested some ancient (3000BC) mummies for drugs, and found Cocaine and Nicotine, two substances from New World plants found in old world mummies.
So they are trying to use the Cocaine Mummies as BOM evidence? Wow, that's way more than a stretch. Shove the DNA studies back in their face. Oh, but if JS never had sex with his polygamist wives, perhaps the traveling new world mummies never had sex with any locals when they went to S. America to get their drugs from the Nephite...er sorry, Lamanite cartels.
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Palerider
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Palerider » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:11 pm

slavereeno wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 pm
Awesome, thanks to both of you, its nice to have an answer for the next time this gets shoved in my face.
Please forgive me if I'm stepping where I shouldn't here. I'd just like to be helpful and if I'm not, feel free to disregard anything I've written.

It occurs to me that when you impart information that is unsupportive of the church to your tbm family or friends, they have no problem dismissing it (and you by implication) out of hand. And you are kind of expected to eat that dismissal with a smile.

But when they impart supportive info to you, both they and the info have to be taken with great gravitas. Automatic credibility.

It seems to me that the next time somebody presents you with "evidence" supporting the church, it would be appropriate to say something to the effect of, "That sounds interesting but I'd have to fact check that for validity before I could give it any weight."

It's a way of turning the tables without directly challenging the person themselves who are giving you the info. Plus it gives you time to verify the info. Being a skeptic can be a healthy and mature thing at times.

Maybe you already do this. If so I salute you!
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Hagoth » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:42 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:02 pm
So they are trying to use the Cocaine Mummies as BOM evidence?
This is a major flaw in apologetics that I fell for time and again when I was struggling with my testimony. The truth is that they could find a fleet of Egyptian ships buried in the Caribbean sand, a chamber filled with Roman swords, a vault full of metal plates written in ancient Phoenician... and none of it would prove anything about the Book of Mormon. It would help to demonstrate the feasibility of a Book of Mormon style ocean crossing but it would not provide any actual evidence for it.

BUT

I'm in my 4th year of university classes in archaeology, anthropology, and ancient history and the only definitive evidence of pre-Columbian contact I have come across consists of:

1) Chicken bones in South America that are of Polynesian genetic origin and date long after the BoM

2) Viking artifacts in Nova Scotia, likewise centuries later than the BoM
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Palerider
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Palerider » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:16 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:42 pm
RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:02 pm
So they are trying to use the Cocaine Mummies as BOM evidence?
This is a major flaw in apologetics that I fell for time and again when I was struggling with my testimony. The truth is that they could find a fleet of Egyptian ships buried in the Caribbean sand, a chamber filled with Roman swords, a vault full of metal plates written in ancient Phoenician... and none of it would prove anything about the Book of Mormon. It would help to demonstrate the feasibility of a Book of Mormon style ocean crossing but it would not provide any actual evidence for it.

BUT

I'm in my 4th year of university classes in archaeology, anthropology, and ancient history and the only definitive evidence of pre-Columbian contact I have come across consists of:

1) Chicken bones in South America that are of Polynesian genetic origin and date long after the BoM

2) Viking artifacts in Nova Scotia, likewise centuries later than the BoM
This is exactly right.

The only hard evidence would be to find something archeological in the Americas that was written in "reformed Egyptian" or even some other language or glyphs that could be independently translated and spoke of Nephi, or some other identifiable BOM characters and events and where they took place.

Or the BOM gold plates themselves and have them dated and independently translated.... although the dating might not be possible with all that angel dust effecting the process. 8-)
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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moksha
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by moksha » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:24 am

Those explanations might pass muster in higher academic circles, but how do you explain the traces of fry sauce and lime green Jell-O? Clearly, those ancient mummies attended an after Church potluck dinner.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Just This Guy
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:15 am

Palerider wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:11 pm
slavereeno wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 pm
Awesome, thanks to both of you, its nice to have an answer for the next time this gets shoved in my face.
It occurs to me that when you impart information that is unsupportive of the church to your tbm family or friends, they have no problem dismissing it (and you by implication) out of hand. And you are kind of expected to eat that dismissal with a smile.

But when they impart supportive info to you, both they and the info have to be taken with great gravitas. Automatic credibility.

It seems to me that the next time somebody presents you with "evidence" supporting the church, it would be appropriate to say something to the effect of, "That sounds interesting but I'd have to fact check that for validity before I could give it any weight."

It's a way of turning the tables without directly challenging the person themselves who are giving you the info. Plus it gives you time to verify the info. Being a skeptic can be a healthy and mature thing at times.

Maybe you already do this. If so I salute you!

'He who makes the claim must provide the proof.' 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.' This is something that many people struggle with today, especially within the church. This plus a failure to apply Occum's Razor leads to the thinking like Slavereeno's sister. What is more likely: Ancient Egyptians traded across the world without any evidence or that they used local, easily obtainable plants to get the same effect?

In a way, Mormonism conditions people to jump to the former conclusion. When you are in a religion that claims historical accuracy but has no actual proof, it opens their thinking to this kind of jumping to conclusions in a desperate attempt to justify their church.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Hagoth
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:04 pm

This kind of disconnected parallelism seems to be the life blood of BoM apologetics.

Here's another great example. The crowd-funded archaeological project at one of the proposed Bountiful sites in Oman uncovered some ancient architecture that they concluded was a temple built by Lehi. Their reasoning was that it was the general shape, size and layout of some ancient buildings that were believed to be temples.

The problems:
1- The shape was rectangular, which describes just about every building since the beginning of agricultural settlement.
2- There's nothing special about the size. Many structures fell into that general size range.
3- Layout: 4 walls with a door in the middle of one wall - again nothing special.
4- Even if it was a temple f some sort, there was no evidence that it was a temple to Yahweh.
5- A Jew would NEVER presume to build a temple. There was ONE temple, it was the one and only house of God (that goes for Nephi too).
6- If I remember correctly, they had no evidence dating it to the time Lehi would have been there.
7- Most importantly - of all of the things the Book of Mormon says about Bountiful, it does NOT say the Lehi built a temple there.

Everything about this discovery adds up to a whole lotta nothing, but it is presented so enthusiastically as evidence for the Book of Mormon that people simply add it to the list of 'bulllseyes' in that help to prop up their testimony.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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dogbite
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by dogbite » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:14 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:04 pm

4- Even if it was a temple f some sort, there was no evidence that it was a temple to yahweh.
5- A Jew would NEVER presume to build a temple. There was ONE temple, it was the one and only house of God (that goes for Nephi too).
The Jews built multiple temples. The exclusivity claim for Jerusalem was a naked power grab.

There are known Jewish temples at these locations.
  • Megiddo
    Arad(tel-arad, dedicated to jahweh and asherah),
    Lachish,
    Beersheba,
    elephantine,
    leontopolis also called Onias. Ruins at Tell Al yahudi
I think the one at elephantine shared jhwh duties with a local Egyptian god. The Jews were much more and adaptive flexible than the OT suggests.

I suspect more will be discovered.

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Linked
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Linked » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:32 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:04 pm
This kind of disconnected parallelism seems to be the life blood of BoM apologetics.
Image

But for the TBM it comes so naturally. I remember doing this with all sorts of random crap.
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deacon blues
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by deacon blues » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:40 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: Great cartoon.
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Palerider
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Palerider » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:28 pm

dogbite wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:14 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:04 pm

4- Even if it was a temple f some sort, there was no evidence that it was a temple to yahweh.
5- A Jew would NEVER presume to build a temple. There was ONE temple, it was the one and only house of God (that goes for Nephi too).
The Jews built multiple temples. The exclusivity claim for Jerusalem was a naked power grab.

There are known Jewish temples at these locations.
  • Megiddo
    Arad(tel-arad, dedicated to jahweh and asherah),
    Lachish,
    Beersheba,
    elephantine,
    leontopolis also called Onias. Ruins at Tell Al yahudi
I think the one at elephantine shared jhwh duties with a local Egyptian god. The Jews were much more and adaptive flexible than the OT suggests.

I suspect more will be discovered.
Some Jews might have built unauthorized temples but as far as Jehovah was concerned there was only one place that He would put his name and that was the great temple in Jerusalem.

2Chron. 33:7

"7....... in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:"

I haven't studied all of the buildings you have mentioned but I have studied the one at Elephantine.

The Jews there wrote to the authorities in Jerusalem for permission and I believe financial aid in building a temple in Elephantine. Their request was soundly rejected for the reason stated above. Apparently they raised the money themselves and erected a "temple". But the fact that they shared the temple with other gods underscores the reason why temples outside of Jerusalem were given a thumbs down. The temple rites could not be secured by the Levite and Aaronic authorities.

This was the same issue that created the rift between Judah and Israel (Ephraim). Israel at large didn't want to have to go all the way to Jerusalem to worship and do their sacrifice.

Why not just build a mini-temple (or "Grove" as they put it) and worship at home? It's the Pres. Hinkley plan.

But Israel was prone to idol worship and before long they'd be doing orgies and whatnot in their mini-temples.

One may term it a power grab but it is more likely a way to preserve the correct worship of Jehovah.

I'd have to research the rest of the buildings you mention but I suspect that they were either unauthorized or they were permitted by corrupt authorities in Jerusalem. Corruption did take place among the authorities themselves as is well evidenced in New Testament times.

The upshot is, if Lehi had been a good Jew then, no, he wouldn't have been caught dead building a temple.

Edited for clarity.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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dogbite
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by dogbite » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:22 pm

Your view assumes a linear authorized writing that was never rewritten. I think the evidence of Bible origins and timing don't support that view.

But there is no evidence of an Exodus, a Canaanite conquest or a general external settling of Canaan. Canaan collapsed over a period of 1000 years and Israel slowly assembled itself from the local leftovers.

I think the first book of the OT written was Deuteronomy in the 650-600 era BCE. The others were assembled from related traditions and harmonized generally but edits for political and priestly purposes continued into second temple times.

Rather than the Jews tending toward pagan practices readily, yhwh was an existing pagan deity that Hezekiah gave monolatrist support for in the pantheon. Monotheistic Judaism appears to have first originated in the Exile and been refined in second temple times. Jewish monotheism is a late development, not an early one.

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2bizE
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by 2bizE » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:27 pm

Dont forget tobacco seeds in birds in Utah 12000 years ago.
http://westerndigs.org/12000-year-old-c ... gist-says/
~2bizE

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Hagoth
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Hagoth » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:59 pm

dogbite wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:14 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:04 pm

4- Even if it was a temple f some sort, there was no evidence that it was a temple to yahweh.
5- A Jew would NEVER presume to build a temple. There was ONE temple, it was the one and only house of God (that goes for Nephi too).
The Jews built multiple temples. The exclusivity claim for Jerusalem was a naked power grab.

There are known Jewish temples at these locations.
  • Megiddo
    Arad(tel-arad, dedicated to jahweh and asherah),
    Lachish,
    Beersheba,
    elephantine,
    leontopolis also called Onias. Ruins at Tell Al yahudi
I think the one at elephantine shared jhwh duties with a local Egyptian god. The Jews were much more and adaptive flexible than the OT suggests.

I suspect more will be discovered.
You're right dogbite, in reality the Israelites appear to have been polytheists until pretty late in the game and a number of such temples have been found, but in the context of the Book of Mormon's understanding of the Israelite religion Lehi would not have recognized those temples as valid. Remember, he was getting his marching orders from the Hebrew Bible, as inscribed on the brass plates, which tolerated only one House o' God. Even the Northern Kingdom's shrine had to be ground to powder because it violated the one temple rule. In reality there wouldn't have been such a thing as a Bible either, but we're playing by the Book of Mormon's rules here.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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moksha
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by moksha » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:56 pm

dogbite wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:14 pm
There are known Jewish temples at these locations.
  • Megiddo
    Arad(tel-arad, dedicated to jahweh and asherah),
    Lachish,
    Beersheba,
    elephantine,
    leontopolis also called Onias. Ruins at Tell Al yahudi
Didn't Alexandria have an Einstein's Bagel near the Library?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Kishkumen
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Re: Cocaine Mummies

Post by Kishkumen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:39 am

Just This Guy wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:44 am
It's interesting looking at the archeology behind this. They first found nicotine, cocaine and THC in mummies in the mid 90's. This is an example of basically looking at the ancient world though an modern, & American centrist lens. Since then it has basically become a nonissue to scientists. It's only a thing for people who don't stop to think about it.

Nicotine
Today, we get nicotine primarily from Nicotiana Rustica and Nicotiana Tobacum which are both native to North America. However that does not mean they are the only sources of it. The Eggplant has a small amount of nicotine in it. Then there is Nicotiana Africa a tobacco plant native to Africa, primarily the Namibia area. It is a poor tobacco compared to the American versions, so it isn't used much today, but there is plenty of evidence of it being traded in ancient times. Additionally, there is the possibility of contamination from tobacco smoke and the use of "tobacco water" as a common cleaning agent in the 1800's.

Cocaine
This one is actually even easier to explain. In the Americas, we get out cocaine from Erythroxylum Coca or Erythroxylum Novogranatense which are both native to South America. Africa uses their sources. There are 10 different species of plants that are native to Africa that are used to make cocaine. Two more exist in the islands around Madagascar.

THC
This one is easy by far. Hashish is native to the middle east. There is no question they used it in Egypt. It's only when you look at it though a modern view where people are used to marijuana being the primary source that there is any question about it.

Summary
This is a case of people starting with the conclusion and working back from there to make the evidence fit the conclusion. There is plenty of evidence that supports a more benign explanation if people are willing to think outside their current assumptions.

*Insert meme of Ancient Aliens guy here*

Source:
https://ahotcupofjoe.net/2018/05/new-wo ... d-mummies/
TBM hat on -

What do you know, JTG - You're just some guy who thinks he knows it all. Occam's Razor - The simplest answer is usually best. Which sounds simpler: Ancient Egyptians traded goods with Ancient Americans and JS was right all along OR all that goobly-gook anti-mormon so-called facts you listed above? I explained it in 1 sentence, it took you 4 paragraphs. Church is true, I win.

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