"It cannot be too strongly emphasized that archaeological finds in themselves mean nothing; they have to be interpreted." (T. J. Meek)
While some sciences are more open to 'interpretation' than others, that is rather than being merely based upon the 'bare facts' of the matter, all have such an opportunity for interpretation to varying degrees. The fields of Archaeology and Anthropology seem to be high on the interpretive scale. And here in lies the dangers. Interpretation is reliant upon what one has stored up in his past experience banks and is governed by the desired objective to be achieved. In short, interpretation is prone to the prejudices of the interpreter. If one is highly religious and believes the Bible, such would be prone to interpret archaeological finds in terms of such Biblical compliance. And if one believes in Darwinism and such origins of man, to which the theories of human propagation of the planet including the bearing strait conveyance of man, then you are prone to interpret the same archaeological finds in such terms. And in today's world, 'The Church of the Ivory Tower Intellectual' accepts only the latter and denounces the former religious orientation.
In fact to obtain one's accepted credentials of science today noted by the letters P, H, and D, one has to reject all such religious based notions and be fully trained in the doctrines of 'The Church of the Ivory Tower Intellectual." One such basic doctrines states, ' that knowledge is wholly or chiefly derived from pure reason and that reason is the final principle of reality.' This basic doctrine places 'interpretation' by personal 'analysis' and 'dissection' as the basis of knowledge and reality. And the reasoning involved in such is acceptable only if it meets the theories and thesis condoned by the Church of the Ivory Tower Intellectual. Thus the findings and interpretations by the likes of Thor Heyerdahl are rejected by the main stream 'Church of the Ivory Tower Intellectual' because they do not agree with their propounded theories and thesis. And this is regardless of the facts of the matter and regardless of how objective and pragmatic the evidences which are presented.
Thus in such an atmosphere, the academic world of science has been turned into a sea of atheists, and men of faith and religion tend to be expelled regardless of their credentials unless they begin to conform to the prescribed religion of the Ivory Tower. And so schooled, if one is to excel and be accepted in such a world, the truths of religion must be rejected. Thus such truths that God created the heavens and the earth, that all humanity was created in the image of God, and we all were parented by Adam and Eve, become replaced by the theories of natural selection and the opportunities of order coming from chaos. And regardless of the truth of a matter, reality becomes based solely on the biased prejudice reasoning of the theories and thesis of 'The Church of the Ivory Tower Intellectual,' which, to coin a phrase, makes nothing put a monkey (primate) out of you. But I, myself, refuse to be such.
Instead, I align myself with 'true' religion, not false. For there is the same danger of 'interpretation' and 'reason' found in religion as there is in science. For with one Bible, all the sects of such based reasoned opinion there be, almost one for every man can be found. So for truth to be found, the logic of reason alone be damned, if it is derived without the guiding light of God and his confirming spirit. So thus the weak and meek of the earth such as God's Prophets be, and though perhaps only 'hobbyists' at best when viewed from the ivory tower, it is the better to be where truth be found.
O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. (2 Ne 9:28-29)
Truth is reason, and truth is eternal, but the reasoning of men is folly. For the pros and cons of the world are debated upon the reasoning and logic of men and no agreement found. Thus it is only by receiving of that with which God enlightens man can truth assuredly be found. And when one must chose between that taught by the Professors of Science or the Prophets of God, whom is to be listened to and accepted?Now the Prophet Nephi loved plainness, that is truth spoken pure and simple without pretext to involved rhetoric and complexity. Thus from the beginning of the restoration of the Chruch, many who have spoken of Cumorah have spoken without needful explanation, for when one said Cumorah it was understood what was meant. And it is only the rise to the compound theory which creates a second Cumorah which has added complexity to what was otherwise plain truth, pure and simple. Of such Nephi states, ". . . I am left to mourn becuase of the unbelief, . . . , and stiffneckedness of men, for they will not search knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be." (2 Nephi 32:7) Such I believe it the plainness with which we have been given the knowledge of the truth of Cumorah. To me it is as plain as word can be. Yet, based on this plainness that Cumorah is Cumorah, men will not search for further knowledge based upon this first line precept given them from God. They reject the first line precept upon which one can base a successful beginning to the search for knowledge concerning the geography of the Book of Mormon. They cast from them the one fixed point from which one might start to understand the geography of the Book of Mormon from the lips, pen, and official publications of the Chruch and its authorities. Yet they quibble that the Church does not lay it all plain before them in an official complete mapping of the lands of the Book of Mormon. God reveals to man, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. And man is expected to put forth their own effort in the matter which Oliver Cowdery did not understand, thinking that it should all just be 'given' unto him. And hence, rejecting the first line precept of Cumorah being Cumorah, men are left to contrive, decern, dissect, analyze, and reason based solely upon their own wisdom. And to such an intellectual end their personal reasoning on the matter becomes their contrived reality, and they suppose that they know of themselves after having rejected the plainness of the matter, as plain as word can be that Cumorah is Cumorah.
For a more scholarly treatise on the matter of 'The Ways of the "Intellecturals,' I would refer one to the writings of Hugh Nibly, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, Course of Study for the Melchizedek Priesthood Quorams of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1957 Lesson 26. Or one can reference the same in the book of same name published by Desert Book, 1964 Edition, Chapter 27.
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