Dave's Mormon Inquiry Weblog
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  Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Stephen Houston, a BYU linguist, and a retired Yale archeologist named Michael Coe recently criticized the research of another team of academics who claimed to have deciphered a hieroglyphic script from the mysterious Isthmian civilization, as reported here at the Cronaca weblog.  There's a longer article giving additional details in this LDS Newsline story.  Strange pairing.  Coe, you may recall, authored a 1973 Dialogue article critical of "Nephite archeology" (my term) in which he concluded that the bare facts of the matter are that nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon . . . is a historical document relating to the history of early immigrants to our hemisphere. 

Here's a short, interesting quote from a different article mentioning Dr. Houston's work:   Houston, not a Latter-day Saint, is quoted as saying that BYU is now 'one of the strongest centers in the world for the study of ancient Mesoamerica.' He formerly taught at Vanderbilt University, after becoming one of the half dozen leaders in the study of Maya hieroglyphs and civilization. 'Much to the credit of the university [BYU],' he went on, 'they've never compelled me to adopt a particular perspective on . . . interpretation.' 11:37:07 PM      

More excommunications this week in the FLDS communities of Hildale and Colorado City, according to this recent report at the Religion News Blog.  The latest excommicatees were told to leave the church and their homes, often without all of their family members.  Only in Utah do people put up with this kind of religious nonsense.  If a minister told a Montana resident to pack his bags but leave his kids behind, the reply would be a variation on "me and my AK-47 are just waiting for you to step through my front door."  A California resident would say, "Expect a call from my lawyer tomorrow."  Why are there still 10,000 people living there?  What's wrong with these people?

In another recent story, Utah and Arizona authorities returned a 17-year-old runaway girl to her home in Colorado City.  A judge dismissed a protective order the girl had obtained against her father, clearing the way for her return to home sweet home.  In fairness, the article notes that anti-polygamy activists had anticipated more runaways from the enclave, but thus far only three underage girls, including the girl recently returned, have left.  Is that because only three tried to leave or because only three made it to St. George? 11:00:56 PM      

LDS Newsline reports here that a discrimination suit against the University of Utah by a Mormon woman was sent back to federal district court for a jury trial.  The U will henceforth be known as the university that requires its students to say the F-word in class, rather than the university that didn't discover cold fusion.  Well, they made their bed, they can F-ing sleep in it.  I don't have much sympathy for snooty academics who pick on vulnerable students.  Time for parents of students (read "jurors") to remind the faculty that they are subject to the same laws as everyone else. 10:34:28 PM      

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Last update: 3/3/2004; 12:07:01 AM.