Book of Mormon Challenge deconstructed

Book of Mormon Challenge deconstructed


Subject: K’s Stupid Book of Mormon challenge

(K) wrote:
I dunno. Everyone around here claims that oh just anyone can, and I say in order to scientifically establish this then anyone ought to repeat the experiment instead of just saying it can be done. I mean we could say for all the rest of our lives that cold fusion can be done, but that just ain’t taking it far enough. Enough talk, lets see anyone write a Book of Mormon. Everytime I challenge with this I get all sorts of excuses as to why it is either unscientific, or irrelevant or whatever. See, the critics would much rather just talkity talk, talk talk, since that is so much easier than actually bothering to prove their theories. But it’s just fart in the wind as far as i am concerned. No reproduced Book of Mormon shows that *not* just anyone can write the thing, anyone including Joseph Smith…..

Oh God, here we go again. K, the only reason why no critics have bothered to take up the “challenge” is that it has already been done. Thousands, nay millions of times. Every day. All the time. It’s called “writing fiction”. You may have heard of it.

Secondly, most of Nibley’s “challenge” is so patently silly that only a fool would undertake it. Take, for example, point 17:

17. Thorough investigation, scientific and historical evidence, and archeological discovery for the next 125 years must verify its claims and prove detail after detail to be true, for many of the details you put in your history are still buried beneath the soil of Tibet.

What utter crap! Kindly point out where any non-LDS journal on ancient America specifically mentions the Book of Mormon as being vindicated. Nibley here is so damned short-sighted that he fails to mention that point after point of the BoM is specifically contradicted by archaeology. In fact, there is not one single archaeological dig anywhere in America that can undeniably be linked to the BoM. This is sophistry taken to the extreme.

Thirdly, the “challenge” is so carefully constructed, that even if someone were to bother to take it up, he/she could still be disqualified on the basis of “too much education”. Tell me honestly, K, if I were to undertake the challenge that Nibley described, you would instantly disqualify me, right?

Finally, this is the point that we have been beating to death for years – Nibley’s “challenge” could be applied to a dizzying array of Sacred Books, all with equal results. Muslims are very fond of pointing out that Mohammed was barely in his twenties, and functionally illiterate when he produced the Koran, a work which is still regarded as being the pinnacle of Islamic literature.

If Joseph Smith was inspired of God, by Nibley’s test, then Mohammed was doubly so. I don’t see how you can skirt this point. Basically, what I am saying is that only a Mormon would be impressed by Nibley’s challenge. Those of us who are able to think clearly will soon see what a load of horse manure it is.

Curt van den Heuvel

Other links on the same subject:
The time it took to write the Book of Mormon
5 months to write the Book of Mormon
Deconstructing the Book of Mormon Challenge
Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon?
Chris-Boy Genius