Monday, April 21, 2014

Evidence and Expectations: Knowing the Limits of Available Data for Book of Mormon Archaeology

One thing I frequently here when talking to people about Book of Mormon evidence is that the lack of archaeological evidence in the New World is totally and completely damning for the Book of Mormon. Scholars should have found Book of Mormon cities, they’ll say. Civilizations just don’t disappear, they’ll insist. Of course, when asked, very few of them can (a) define the epistemological methods by which they have determined the lack of evidence, or (b) tell me much of anything intelligent about Mesoamerica or the state of Mesoamerican archaeology. These are not trivial issues. It should be self-evident that without knowing how to define and evaluate evidence, and knowing nothing about the dataset from which evidence may (or may not) be gleaned, it is impossible to really know whether there is or isn’t any evidence, and just what that evidence may or may not entail.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Blog Update: April 2014

I has been close to a month since I last posted. The primary reason for this has been that my computer was not working. Probably about 3 weeks ago, my computer just crashed for what seemed an inexplicable reason. Not knowing what to do, and not having any money, I just let it alone and had to cope with life without a laptop! (I know, the horror!!!) At first, it seemed nice to be free, but before long I was going through withdrawals. When we got our tax return, I took my computer into CompuClinic, in Provo. Apparently, my hard drive had crashed. They were able to clone everything on my computer, replace the hard drive, and restore all my files and programs (using the clone, of course), so now I am back in business.
In addition to missing my computer over that time, I’ve also had some school and personal matters that are more important than blogging for my miniscule audience. (I know, nothing should be more important than blogging for virtually nobody to read! Where are my priorities?) With the semester winding down, school is likely to continue to be a priority for the next few weeks as I scramble to write papers and study for finals. So April maybe a slow month here.