Show me the Lamanites

Can anyone find me any Lamanites today?

I just found the following which seems interesting:

Some LDS scholars suggest that haplogroup X2a—found exclusively in northern North America—could be a proof of Lehi’s genetic legacy, but at this time there is not enough data to support these conclusions. Reidla and colleagues in 2003 began exploring the origin and distribution of haplogroup X among the world populations and they concluded that “phylogeography of the subclades of haplogroup X suggests that the Near East is the likely geographical source for the spread of subhaplogroup X2.” Regarding the presence of a few sequences belonging to haplogroup X found in the Altai population of central Asia, the authors commented that “under the assumption that these sequences are a random sample of the Altaian haplogroup X [they provide a] a time depth of <6700 years, and it would suggest that Altaians have acquired haplogroup X2 only relatively recently.” In other words, haplogroup X2 in modern Asian populations is NOT ancestral to haplogroup X2 found in Native Americans. Reidla and colleagues concluded that “the few Altaian and Siberian haplogroup X lineages are not related to the Native American cluster, and they are more likely explained by recent gene flow from Europe or from West Asia.

Much can still be said about haplogroup X2 in the Americas. In our paper, two sub-branches of the Native American haplogroup X2a have been classified as X2a1 with an estimated age of 9200-9400 years and as X2a2 with an estimated age of 2300-3800 years. A possible third X2a sub-branch (X2a3?) was identified among the indigenous groups of British Columbia in Canada, but there is not sufficient data at this time to confirm this hypothesis. Furthermore, we reported in this paper the discovery of a previously unidentified X2 lineage in an Ojibwa sample – which we named X2g – that has never been previously observed in Native American populations or elsewhere.

Lastly, a paper published on PLoS One in 2008 (Shlush et al.) provides important clues about the possible origin of haplogroup X: “No population or geographic region has been identified to date, in which haplogroup X and its major subhaplogroups are found at both high frequency and high diversity, which could provide a potential clue as to their geographic origin. Here we suggest that the Druze population of northern Israel may represent just such a population.”

Our paper in Current Biology does not discuss (and does not dismiss) a potential ancient origin for haplogroup X in the ancient Near East, as proposed by Shlush and Reidla (and their co-authors, including important names in population genetics such as Michael Hammer, Doron Behar, Toomas Kivisild, Richard Villems, Antonio Torroni, Alessandro Achilli, etc.), but we emphasize how this haplogroup marked a separate migratory event that characterized the history of Native American populations. Apart from anyone who believes haplogroup X to be the ultimate proof marking the arrival of Lehi’s group to the Americas (something that neither Woodward, nor myself advocate), the bottom line is that there is still much to research about the origin and dispersal of this and the other pre-Columbian lineages.

I think it is interesting that Mormon scholars are now saying haplogroup X has been found among the Druze in the Middle East and holding out hope the X haplogroup might hold the key to finding the Lamanites. The entire article can be found here:

fairblog.org/2009/02/06/current-biology-smgf-and-lamanites/

I also read today that hundreds of Native American languages are now extinct. A lot of the criticism of the Book of Mormon seems to come from those who say the mtDNA proves the Book of Mormon wrong and that linguistics don’t show any evidence of Middle Eastern Native Americans. It seems to me it would be too early to use mtDNA against Mormonism and that it would also be impossible to say that Middle Eastern languages didn’t exist in the Americas if many of them essentially have been completely obliterated.

Previously, all Native Americans and Pacific Islanders were considered “Lamanites”. With the proof against this, they’ve changed their teachings.

They’ve had to. Now they either limit the Lamanites to Central America (the Mormon “scholars”) or the Northeastern United States (the True Believers). This is one case where if anyone makes sense to me it’s the True Believers rather than the “scholars.” The “scholars” in effect destroy any belief in the Book of Mormon in any real way.

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