Transoceanic Crossings

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(This is an excerpt from Mormon's Codex by John L. Sorenson.)

According to the dominant interpretation of New World history, claims for transoceanic voyaging and diffusion are at best treated as “dubious and debatable.” In this light, how is it possible to consider the Book of Mormon, which reports three ocean-spanning voyages, to correspond with scholarly findings in any way? Most American archaeologists have been obtuse in recognizing and evaluating evidence that civilization in the New World might have originated in part from stimuli that came from the historical Old World. This chapter will show that the generally accepted or scientifically orthodox view is out of date and that recent research has robbed the American-isolationist paradigm of its credibility.

The new evidence for voyages between the continents falls under four categories: (1) flora and fauna transfers, (2) disease transfers, (3) traditions about voyaging, and (4) ancient watercraft capability. A fifth category, linguistic evidence, is treated separately in chapter 10, and a sixth, based on cultural comparisons, is discussed especially in chapter 20.

What we learn from each category is that the evidence for voyagers crossing the ocean to and from America is abundant, although unacknowledged by conventional scientists. When the evidence is taken as a whole, it is now conclusively established that ancient voyagers were not only capable of making trips across the oceans, they actually did so with some frequency. The three cases of transoceanic crossings recorded in the Book of Mormon fit in this category of correspondences.

(John L. Sorenson, Mormon’s Codex [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013], 150–51).

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