Meldrum on Mormon Stories

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Hagoth
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Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 05, 2022 12:14 pm

I'm kind of fascinated by the Heartland BoM geography theory. On one hand, their abuse of science is infuriating, but on the other hand they are much more in line with the actual words of the Book of Mormon and other restoration scripture, and with the claims of Joseph Smith and pretty much every prophet up until the time they decided to pull heir heads into the shells of BYU apologetics and avoid questions which, according to Ballard,"there are no answers to."

Part 1 of the MS interview with Rodney Meldrum can be found here:
https://youtu.be/JoAoeUjnISc

I really appreciated how John kept digging until he got Meldrum to admit that, despite his claims of developing an accurately scientific unified theory that is better than what the atheistic scientific community offers, he will always defer to a faith-based answer in the face of conflicting evidence.

I haven't followed Meldrum very closely, but I continue to be annoyed at his insistence that the X2a haplogroup is evidential support for the Book of Mormon, although it clearly is not, and how he justifies that with radiocarbon dates taken from deposits on the outside of the Kennewick Man skeleton, rather than the dates based on material from inside the remains.

Here's a great paper, by people who actually know what they're talking about, that addresses Meldrum directly: https://www.academia.edu/17871358/Does_ ... Evaluation
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 05, 2022 6:23 pm

One thing that I find particularly tiresome is when people who abuse and cherry-pick science to support bad hypotheses defend their pseudoscience by claiming:

a) all of the experts in that field are hiding the truth because of their pride. They don't want us to realize that uneducated upstarts are making them look bad.

b) scientists are a bunch of evil atheists who just want to stop the truth from being heard.

c) graduate programs are just brainwash factories for indoctrinating people to mindlessly spew institutional lies without any kind of investigation.

d) research is only done to get money, and money can only be acquired by pushing the agendas of evil organizations intent on hiding the truth.

e) look how many times science has been wrong! Why should we trust it more than religion (or astrology or flat earth or reflexology or whatever).

Meldrum makes all of these claims; the same ones made by every crackpot out there. It's almost like they have some kind of committee handing out a playbook of pseudoscience talking points. It's almost funny how ridiculous it sounds to anyone who actually has deep knowledge of the subject.

Note to Brother Meldrum: the whole point of science is to discover its own gaps and weaknesses and expand our understanding by constantly replacing current hypotheses with better hypotheses based on imperial evidence. If science wasn't constantly declaring itself wrong we would never have any progress. When you point out that science has been wrong over and over you are merely recognizing how well it works. That is exactly what religion refuses to do. The worst kind of religion is the kind that pretends to be scientific but doesn't have the least clue about how real science works or about what a deep well of knowledge is commanded by people who have spent their lifetime learning everything there is to know about their field.

My advice to anyone like Meldrum who has nothing good to say about a scientific education is to actually go out there and get one before you claim to know better. You will be shocked to realize the degree to which you will have to actually consider a broad scope of information, rather than just picking and choosing the pieces that are convenient to your belief system.
“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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Phil Lurkerman
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Phil Lurkerman » Mon Mar 07, 2022 1:43 pm

Just as an interesting side note on this topic, I happened across an article in a science newsletter that I subscribe to called "Big Think" that includes an ongoing feature called "Strange Maps."

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/mormo ... newsletter

The article discusses the Meldrum group's ideas and details a few of the other proposed BoM geographies. Nothing new, but interesting to read from a more objective, non-believer perspective.

For even more fun, check out the Malay peninsula theory for BoM geography. No need to be confined to North or South America!

https://interpreterfoundation.org/blog- ... east-west.
I was once a cafeteria Mormon on a hunger strike. Have since found a buffet elsewhere.

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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:49 pm

Phil Lurkerman wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 1:43 pm
Just as an interesting side note on this topic, I happened across an article in a science newsletter that I subscribe to called "Big Think" that includes an ongoing feature called "Strange Maps."

https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/mormo ... newsletter

The article discusses the Meldrum group's ideas and details a few of the other proposed BoM geographies. Nothing new, but interesting to read from a more objective, non-believer perspective.

For even more fun, check out the Malay peninsula theory for BoM geography. No need to be confined to North or South America!

https://interpreterfoundation.org/blog- ... east-west.
Great stuff, Phil. Thanks.

I don't know if you heard about this, but the spot on the map that is labeled City of Zarahemla was purchased a few years ago by a Heartland group lead by Meldrum's buddy Wayne May. They used divining rods, I believe, to determine the exact location of the Zarahemla temple and then excavated for it. Of course, they found no archeological evidence of any kind of ancient occupation. I haven't bothered to find what excuses they made. Probably thwarted by Satan.
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Wed Mar 09, 2022 12:51 pm

At one point in the podcast Dehlin outlined the plan for upcoming interviews with Meldrum, one included a discussion with Simon Southerton and Thomas Murphy. Meldrum agreed but seemed reluctant. I hope that happens. It would be fascinating.
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Fri Mar 11, 2022 7:13 pm

Even with the latest technology they still can't seem to locate Zarahemla (actual photo of one of the excavations).
Image
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 12, 2022 7:31 am

Actually, these guys claim to have used magnetic tomography and $3.5 million dollars worth of LiDar to pinpoint the precise location of the Zarahemla temple. All they lacked was the knowledge and expertise to interpret that data intelligently. Maybe the lesson is that money doesn't trump education and common sense.
“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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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by wtfluff » Sat Mar 12, 2022 9:53 am

By the looks of that photo, “the gift of working with the sprout” / the gift of Aaron doesn't seem to be able to find made-up "Nephite" artifacts either... :cry:
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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 12, 2022 9:57 am

wtfluff wrote:
Sat Mar 12, 2022 9:53 am
By the looks of that photo, “the gift of working with the sprout” / the gift of Aaron doesn't seem to be able to find made-up "Nephite" artifacts either... :cry:
I have a feeling that guy would insist that he found Nephite treasure but it was either too deep or it slipped away at the last moment due to improper observance of backhoe protocol.
“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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Phil Lurkerman
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Phil Lurkerman » Sat Mar 12, 2022 11:40 am

Wow - actual dowsing rods!

It kind of makes sense though. To be a true believer in the tradition JS started, a person probably does need to accept the idea that dowsing, scrying, and other folk magic traditions have some validity. Still, it is quite a telling photo.

My guess is that Hagoth is right - they can always claim the evidence became slippery as they got closer. Worked for both JS and BY to explain away lack of success in finding treasure.
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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sat Mar 12, 2022 3:11 pm

These guys are spending a lot of donated money on this wild goose chase. I hope the donors are pissed. Or at least it helps them hone their critical thinking skill before the next milk-the-Mormons huckster knocks on their door.
“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."

Cnsl1
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Cnsl1 » Sun Mar 13, 2022 12:21 am

He seems like a nice, hard working, strong-willed guy with average intelligence and lots of ignorance, who possess a very narrow and categorical world view. He proclaims, using straw-man arguments, that his self education trumps formal education, and through the force of his personality has been able to convince a few folks, including himself, that his very tenuous and fanciful theories have merit.

I'm still listening to his podcast on Mormon Stories, so maybe I'll change my mind after I learn more about him and his ideas, but .. so far I think he's a taco short of a combination plate.

Bless his heart

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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Sun Mar 13, 2022 6:39 am

Cnsl1 wrote:
Sun Mar 13, 2022 12:21 am
He seems like a nice, hard working, strong-willed guy with average intelligence and lots of ignorance, who possess a very narrow and categorical world view. He proclaims, using straw-man arguments, that his self education trumps formal education, and through the force of his personality has been able to convince a few folks, including himself, that his very tenuous and fanciful theories have merit.

I'm still listening to his podcast on Mormon Stories, so maybe I'll change my mind after I learn more about him and his ideas, but .. so far I think he's a taco short of a combination plate.

Bless his heart
Yeah, in a lot of ways Rod is a very likeable guy. He seriously underestimates the importance of having a thorough understanding of a field of study. You can skip along the surface and only go deep on the parts that fit your belief system. That makes it easy to sideline all of those so-called experts as part of a huge conspiracy to mislead us. It's the difference between the evidence for what's there and the evidence for what you want to be there. As my non-Mormon Mayan archaeologist professor told me, "There's nothing I would love more than to find an elephant in Mesoamerica. That would make my career."
“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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Mon Mar 21, 2022 12:34 pm

I finally got up the courage to start listening to the 6-hour part 2 of this interview.

I agreed right off the bat with something that Meldrum said. When it comes to claims about the age of the earth, origin of man/species, etc. you have to choose either science or religion. As long as we're talking about fundamental scripture literalist religion, I absolutely agree. I think Meldrum has chosen poorly.

This guy is a monument to strawman arguments. He tells us that Steven Hawking said the universe came out of nothing. Hawking is the single, unimpeachable voice of science ("he IS science") and no scientist is allowed to disagree with him, so if you say the earth was made from the remnants of other planets you have demolished all scientific argument. Mike drop. For one thing, what does "out of nothing" mean? For another thing, there are many cosmological hypotheses for the origin of the universe, and a lot of physicists disagree with various statements by Hawking.

Meldrum actually agreed with Dehlin's cartoonish description of the scientific community conspiring to invent bogus science specifically to thwart religious truth. John asked him if Satan is directing science and he agreed that Satan is real and has a stake in the game but couldn't quite allow himself to overtly commit to all of scientific endeavor being a satanic plot against religion. Some sure, but some science is ok. In Meldrum's mind geology is not based on observation, but is purely theoretical.

He made one statement that he says he will back up with solid experimental evidence. Dinosaur bones only take 48 hours to fossilize.

He dropped another spoiler for an upcoming discussion: the earth is actually filled with water and the core is solid ice.

There was one question I was dying to ask Meldrum. He claims that all dating techniques are wrong by a factor of 27. So, if scientists date something to 27,000 years ago it is really only 1,000 years old. I wanted to ask him if trees in the past grew 27 rings per year and if the polar ice core recorded thousands of years that for some reason had 27 summer-winter cycles for each solar year. And why modern times did it suddenly changed to only one winter and one tree ring per year.
“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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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by jfro18 » Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:47 pm

I listened to the second day "part 3" in the background when it was happening... I think I made it maybe two hours before I had to switch because it was just so weird to listen to.

The way that Meldrum would say some science it right and then immediately trash any science he didn't like (while also throwing in the science that might help his cause without any caveats) was just really hard to listen to because he is willing to engage people so on some level he knows how far out there he is.

On one hand I hope every member hears this because it shows how ridiculous the Book of Mormon story is, but on the other hand I wouldn't wish this on anyone. :lol:

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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 22, 2022 9:59 am

I'm just a bit stunned by the arrogance of someone who claims that all of the scientists in the world, in every discipline, are 180 degrees wrong, and only he and a few of his close friends who have nothing beyond a non-objective hobby-level study of any of topics they discuss, have got it all right. And he seems to sincerely believe that.

I would love to hear him in a discussion with Ken Ham. I think he gets a lot of his "science" from Ken, but I can only imagine the total breakdown of opinion when they move on from talking about the Flood and the Garden of Eden to how all of that fits in with the Book of Mormon.
“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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1smartdodog
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by 1smartdodog » Tue Mar 22, 2022 11:05 am

Tried to listen but it was to painful. Same reason i can no longer read stories about hobbits and superheroes. Just to much fantasy for me.

I want to give Rod credit for coming on but it only works if Dehlin is nice to him. Otherwise he could never stand up to real scrutiny.

In some ways it scares me that there are so many people like this, denying the overwhelming evidence and perpetuating nonsense. They take up the oxygen in the room and waste time of so many people perpetuating belief as fact.


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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Mar 22, 2022 11:20 am

1smartdodog wrote:
Tue Mar 22, 2022 11:05 am
Tried to listen but it was to painful. Same reason i can no longer read stories about hobbits and superheroes. Just to much fantasy for me.
I’m the same way. Seemed I developed this distaste after my faith awakening. It’s ruined movies and TV but opened a whole new desire to watch documentaries and other media for learning knowledge.

However, I can still be entertained by some pretty dumb reality TV shows too.
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by moksha » Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:55 pm

Phil Lurkerman wrote:
Mon Mar 07, 2022 1:43 pm
For even more fun, check out the Malay peninsula theory for BoM geography. No need to be confined to North or South America!
I think Shulem at Discuss Mormonism has pretty much nailed the geographic location used in Joseph Smith's tale of the Book of Mormon with his Delmarva Hypothesis.

https://discussmormonism.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=154821
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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Hagoth
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Re: Meldrum on Mormon Stories

Post by Hagoth » Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:58 pm

I have a can't-look-away problem. I can ignore this stuff for the most part but when it's dangling right in front of me I can't resist punishing myself with it. Eventually it exhausts me and I walk away again for a while. I guess I'm really fascinated by the power of self-delusion, especially when it's intelligent, curious, and productive people. It's something we all do, but some people really excel. Lazy slackers I don't care about. Most members of the church don't really want to do the work; they're the real lazy learners. People like Meldrum really put effort into this stuff. I have to ask myself how dedicated he would be if there was no money in it and I really don't know.
“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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