Perhaps this might help. Richley Crapo is an LDS anthropologist at Utah State
(Logan). This is forwarded from Scripture-L with his permission:

My initial reference is from information provided to me by Lou Midgley at BYU, and
I also have his permission to quote him on Murphy's lack of professional
credentials, relatively speaking (he's the head of anthropology at a small NW
Washington state community college where the only other anthropology instructor is
a part-timer).

>>> [EMAIL PROTECTED] 30/11/02 13:19 PM >>>
Perhaps we have a clue as to why a 35-year-old instructor at a community
college has thusfar failed to achieve his PhD., despite having submitted
several theses on various topics.  I'll ask you the same thing I asked
Brant, Richley: do you mind if I forward this to a couple of apologetics
lists I'm on?

Richley Crapo wrote:

> Brant,
> As an anthropologist and Book of Mormon scholar, can  you comment on:
> -------
> [Richley]
> I'm not a BoM scholar, but I am an anthropologist. My assessment is
> that the essay does an excellent job as a piece of anthropological
> writing until he reaches the last three paragraphs, when the author
> misconstrues what constitutes a "scientific perspective":
> "¶42 From a scientific perspective, the BoMor's origin is best
> situated in early 19th century America, not ancient America.
> -----
> [Richley]
> So far, so good.
> -----
>      There were no Lamanites prior to c. 1828 and dark skin is not a
> physical trait of God's malediction. Native Americans do not need to
> accept Christianity or the BoMor to know their own history. The BoMor
> emerged from Joseph Smith's own struggles with his God. Mormons need
> to look inward for spiritual validation and cease efforts to remake
> Native Americans in their own image.
> -------
> [Richley]
> Here, he drops the qualification that made the first sentence okay.
> It's absence makes this part of the paragraph read as an absolute
> assertion, something that science cannot make.  So, were I on his
> dissertaion committee (and were this part of his dissertation), I
> would require that he insert the appropriate qualifiers explicitly.
> Scientific methods cannot prove that "there were no Lamanites prior to
> c. 1828."  They can merely fail to support the claim that there were.
> So saying that there were none overstates the case.
> The assertion that the BoM emerged from JS's mind (which I take
> "struggles with his own God" to mean) is, by its nature, an assertion
> that belongs to the magisterium of religion rather than science, since
> it is a claim that about the truth-value of a *religious* belief
> (i.e., that the BoM account of the origin of the Lamanites is untrue).
> The final sentence is a value judgement ("Mormons need to . . .") and
> is, therefore, inherently not a scientific statement.
> ------
>      ¶43 In 1973, after weighing the overwhelming archaeological
> evidence against an ancient origin for the BoMor, Michael Coe
>      implored Latter-day Saints:  . . ."
> -----
> [Richley]
> Here, the writer, demonstrates a lack of understanding of the
> epistemology of science.  Science does not deal with evidence
> "against" anything.  All evidence is "for" something.  Scientifically,
> the writer is only entitled to say, "the overwhelming *lack* of
> evidence for an ancient origin of the BoM  . . ."


> Jim Cobabe:
> Saturday, November 30, 2002
> A graduate student at the University of Washington says
> he likely will be excommunicated next week for articles he
> has written questioning the validity of the Book of Mormon.
> Harold Stuart:
> I've actually read this guy's paper.  It's sad ...
> _______________
> Is there a link to the AP article (or others) or to the paper
> itself?
> It is sad, but there will be questions at work this week,
> and I would like to be up to speed on this.
> Thanks,
> Larry Jackson
> ________________________________________________________________
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> //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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