Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

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K Graham
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

Chap wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 8:39 am
Fifth Columnist wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 1:40 am
The nail in the coffin of the missing scroll theory was put in place by Andrew Cook and Chris Smith. They showed there was barely any missing papyrus and certainly not 42 feet (or whatever John Gee said it was).

It would be great if RFM or Mormonism Live did a show dissecting the papers that were produced on this topic.
Cook and Smith's original paper (link)
Gee's Response (link)
Cook's response to Gee (link)
Yup. Those exchanges were the kicker. I remember working through the math myself, and it became clear that Gee simply didn't have the ability to deal with that kind of calculation. But there really was no way out for him, given the known measurements of the surviving scrolls and of the separation of the folds that showed the length of the layers of spiral winding.

Those were the great days, when large herbivorous apologists roamed the plains, and offered an easy target for the hungry hunters of this board. Alas, the species has been pretty well driven to extinction. What remains is hardly worth the effort of pursuit.

This is spot on. And it is also the reason I pretty much dropped out of the "great debate" roughly a decade ago. There really was nothing left to say. All of the apologetic responses had been thoroughly decimated. Wade Englund and Will Schryver retreated in shame. Paul Osborne, Kerry Shirts and I all left the faith over this issue. Hell, even Brian Hauglid and David Bokovoy were persuaded by our arguments. All that is left over there now is the discredited John Gee and Kerry Muhelstein who has shown to be little more than Gee's lapdog.

Does anyone remember the time when a world famous Egyptologist commented on Kerry's work as pseudo-scholarship and expressed astonishment that he actually got a degree from a reputable institution? I'm trying to remember her name but it escapes me at the moment. Which is sad because I was the one who contacted her via email and posted her remarks.
Last edited by K Graham on Sat May 14, 2022 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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K Graham
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

Kishkumen wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 11:22 am
This whets my appetite for reading Dan Vogel’s book on Book of Abraham apologetics. That said, I think it is curious that people continue to be interested in debunking the missing scroll theory and Joseph Smith’s non-ability to translate ancient Egyptian.

I suppose we all need hobbies.
Dan's book was Ok as a synopsis for newcomers, but didn't really get into the meaty details that we've seen play out in epic debates over the years. But yes, it is curious how more and more people tend to jump onto this issue. I think it is because how significant it truly is and the implications that flow from the critics being right. I mean, if Joseph Smith couldn't translate ancient documents then really, in what sense is the Church "true." In some ways, that was the whole premise for the Church's existence.

For many decades critics rejected Mormonism because the Book of Mormon had anachronisms, and apologists could always fall back on the fact that we didn't have the gold plates that could verify or falsify the translation. Well, with the Book or Abraham we have the original document. And compared to the "divine translation" it pretty much proves Joseph Smith was a con. The only way to maintain belief is to force yourself into a drastic paradigm shift, which isn't something most believers are prepared to do.
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hauslern
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by hauslern »

I think Karen Cooney.

Hello
I hope you do not mind me writing to you from the land down under. I did comment on your blog. As you know LDS (I am not one) claim Smith's interpretation of Facsimile 3 is correct. I have been in correspondence with Tamis Makis who kindly provided me with a copy of his theses on hypocephalus.

An LDS apologist provided me with a link to a MA theses on Fac 3 which was checked by John Gee and Muhestein.
https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/vie ... Ioxrnr9ZyU

Regards
Noel Hausler
Australia

Kara Cooney <cooney@g.ucla.edu>
Jan 27, 2021, 10:00 AM
to me

Hi Noel,

Thanks for sending. I consider this religious studies and not archaeological or historical work. Interesting to see how these MA theses work and what the agendas and expectations are...

Kara

Kathlyn M. Cooney
Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture
Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
University of California Los Angeles
Last edited by hauslern on Sat May 14, 2022 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
K Graham
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

hauslern wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 1:03 pm
I think Karen Cooney.

Hello
I hope you do not mind me writing to you from the land down under. I did comment on your blog. As you know LDS (I am not one) claim Smith's interpretation of Facsimile 3 is correct. I have been in correspondence with Tamis Makis who kindly provided me with a copy of his theses on hypocephalus.

An LDS apologist provided me with a link to a MA theses on Fac 2 which was checked by John Gee and Muhestein.
https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/vie ... Ioxrnr9ZyU

Regards
Noel Hausler
Australia

Kara Cooney <cooney@g.ucla.edu>
Jan 27, 2021, 10:00 AM
to me

Hi Noel,

Thanks for sending. I consider this religious studies and not archaeological or historical work. Interesting to see how these MA theses work and what the agendas and expectations are...

Kara

Kathlyn M. Cooney
Professor of Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture
Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
University of California Los Angeles
Thanks for that! It allowed me to search for this old thread:

https://www.discussmormonism.com/viewto ... 4&start=20
by _Kevin Graham » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:37 pm

This was an email I got from Kara Cooney some years ago:

“I watched the three videos, and I don’t agree with any of it. The ancient Egyptians had no concept of Abraham, so I don’t know where he gets these comparisons… And No, most Egyptologists do not agree, despite what Kerry says. I know Kerry, but I do not have much respect for his work. Now I have even less. The fact that he is digging in Egypt is even more worrisome… This PhD was awarded before I arrived at UCLA, although I know that Kerry finished his text based dissertation after only two years of Egyptian language training, which is rather laughable.”

“Have you read Robert Ritner’s work about this in Journal of Near Eastern Studies? It’s the best out there… Kerry is just spinning out the same Mormon rhetoric. What is different is: Mormons are funding PhDs in Egyptology and Biblical Studies and then funding positions at BYU and elsewhere and passing these people off as experts, when they are only ideologically driven researchers, not experts interested in actual evidence.”
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K Graham
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

..
"I am not an American ... In my view premarital sex should be illegal" - Ajax18
Philo Sofee
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by Philo Sofee »

K Graham wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 1:00 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 11:22 am
This whets my appetite for reading Dan Vogel’s book on Book of Abraham apologetics. That said, I think it is curious that people continue to be interested in debunking the missing scroll theory and Joseph Smith’s non-ability to translate ancient Egyptian.

I suppose we all need hobbies.
Dan's book was Ok as a synopsis for newcomers, but didn't really get into the meaty details that we've seen play out in epic debates over the years. But yes, it is curious how more and more people tend to jump onto this issue. I think it is because how significant it truly is and the implications that flow from the critics being right. I mean, if Joseph Smith couldn't translate ancient documents then really, in what sense is the Church "true." In some ways, that was the whole premise for the Church's existence.

For many decades critics rejected Mormonism because the Book of Mormon had anachronisms, and apologists could always fall back on the fact that we didn't have the gold plates that could verify or falsify the translation. Well, with the Book or Abraham we have the original document. And compared to the "divine translation" it pretty much proves Joseph Smith was a con. The only way to maintain belief is to force yourself into a drastic paradigm shift, which isn't something most believers are prepared to do.
I suspect part of the reason for the continual regurgitating of the lost scroll is because more and more Mormons became informed as well, those who simply at one time didn't know. Now that they know a bit more, they get all eager and excited to share the good news - there is HOPE! A scroll is missing! I can't tell you how many times someone has brought it up to me since I left apologetics, so perhaps that is in partial the reason for it. I also think it fascinating that as some of the rest of us finally begin to grasp the overall total picture now that apologetic thinking is out of our skulls (yeah...me for instance)... one of the massive issues that piques the interest is the biblical provenance given to the papyri by Smith and the Mormons. That, once it is entirely thought through, just decimates as a railroad spike - a pikestaff even in the coffin. And it is to the credit of an apologist, Muhlestein, none other, who gets the credit of bringing it home! Reel and RFM last Wednesday has shown the other pikestaff is the excellent work of Don Bradley on the Kinderhook Plates - again, unintentionally, showing both the missing scroll/scribes did it, and the catalyst theory is actually and truly DOA. It's an amazing ending to it all that the final evidences were conveniently brought to us by apologists - even one of the defending "Egyptologists" of Mormonism!
The one actually eye opening, most powerful lines I found that truly convinced me was actually your argument with our dear old Wade Englund in 2011-2012 when he though he had you by the short hairs asking oh? you think the witnesses describe the papyri we have do you? Well what about the size? The color of ink? Jacob's Ladder? (THAT is the one that totally convinced me incidentally, your graphic was absolutely stunning to me when I saw it!!!), etc. You systematically showing him physically with the remaining papyri each and every single witness description was available in what we have right now was the most magnificent take down of an apologist I have ever seen, and then the cherry on top was wiping out Gee using the Charlotte Haven account with Caswell. God that just made me tingle and marvel for days. I went through that over and over when the implication hit me from your masterful response. Thanks for all that work and patience with Scriver as well. My gawd I had no idea he was so dense. Back then it was all over my head because I was still an apologist and I couldn't grasp your points. Today it is absolutely some of the best reading I can still do.
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

Philo Sofee wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 1:51 pm
The one actually eye opening, most powerful lines I found that truly convinced me was actually your argument with our dear old Wade Englund in 2011-2012 when he though he had you by the short hairs asking oh? you think the witnesses describe the papyri we have do you? Well what about the size? The color of ink? Jacob's Ladder? (THAT is the one that totally convinced me incidentally, your graphic was absolutely stunning to me when I saw it!!!), etc. You systematically showing him physically with the remaining papyri each and every single witness description was available in what we have right now was the most magnificent take down of an apologist I have ever seen, and then the cherry on top was wiping out Gee using the Charlotte Haven account with Caswell. God that just made me tingle and marvel for days. I went through that over and over when the implication hit me from your masterful response. Thanks for all that work and patience with Scriver as well. My gawd I had no idea he was so dense. Back then it was all over my head because I was still an apologist and I couldn't grasp your points. Today it is absolutely some of the best reading I can still do.
Wade's greatest attribute was his willingness to humiliate himself. He did this frequently, but I think the one incident that sent him truly off the rails and prompted his continued leave of absence, was when he challenged me to prove I wasn't misrepresenting John Gee's 2010 argument about character sequencing, presented to FAIR by Will Schryver. After a half dozen pages of accusing me of misrepresenting his argument, I finally provided screenshots of the presentation proving I wasn't misrepresenting anything. Of course Schryver could've easily told him I wasn't misrepresenting it and saved him the embarrassment, but for some reason decided to let him self implode. Hell, Schryver himself ended up abandoning that argument because he realized it was so weak.

These epic defenders of Mormonism's claims gradually started dropping like flies, and so who is really left to argue with? That's when I started to shift my interests elsewhere.


Thanks for the compliments.

ETA: I should add that one of the most informative Book of Abraham debates online took place at MAD when we were discussing GAEL, and my friend Clinton Bartholomew, "George Miller" proved to be a very astute student of the GAEL and provided some truly insightful commentary. I wish I could find that thread.
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by K Graham »

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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by Shulem »

Kishkumen wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 11:22 am
This whets my appetite for reading Dan Vogel’s book on Book of Abraham apologetics. That said, I think it is curious that people continue to be interested in debunking the missing scroll theory and Joseph Smith’s non-ability to translate ancient Egyptian.

I suppose we all need hobbies.

Do it. We will pin a medal on your chest.

Bear in mind that you will find much of the material rather dry and somewhat monotonous but wade through it anyway and get the facts. There are sections and whole chapters that are very fascinating and you'll be really glad to read those. The overall idea expressed in the book is that Smith couldn't translate Egyptian and all of his linguistic work with the Egyptian language is an absolute fraud. Smith devised a house of cards built within the fantasy of his own mind. The whole story of the Book of Abraham including the text about Egyptus discovering the land under water and the Abrahamic sacrifice on the lion bed was made up just like the things Smith said about Facsimile No. 3 and when comparing those Explanations with the actual content of Facsimile No. 3 we can we sure that Smith was making everything up.
Chap
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Re: Missing Scroll Theory & Catalyst Theory in light of Mormonism Live

Post by Chap »

Shulem wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 3:37 pm
Kishkumen wrote:
Sat May 14, 2022 11:22 am
... I think it is curious that people continue to be interested in debunking the missing scroll theory and Joseph Smith’s non-ability to translate ancient Egyptian.

...

... when comparing those Explanations with the actual content of Facsimile No. 3 we can we sure that Smith was making everything up.
That's basically why people home in on the Book of Abraham. There is no credible way that the book and its associated paratexts can have come into being without a pretty deliberate attempt to make stuff up. And that is the thirteenth striker of the clock for a very well-known if not widely accepted religion whose whole basis is the credibility of Joseph Smith.

It's not usual for a religion to take a punch to the gut like that. Even more fascinating is the fact that when that happens to a religion, it can apparently continue for many years with no major defection on the part of its followers.
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