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by Tyler Livingston
DNA and the Book of Mormon has always been a big seller for Rod Meldrum and the heartland theory. He attempts to make a strong case which implies that ancient Israelites existed among the Hopewell but there are countless problems with his idea. First, it should be noted that Meldrum is not a geneticist, let alone a population geneticist. He has never studied population genetics nor has he even taken a class on population genetics which has caused him to make several amateur mistakes that are easily caught and avoided by actual geneticists.
What do the experts say?
As a courtesy, both LDS and non-LDS scholars have attempted to correct Rod Meldrum and the mistakes he had made. However, instead of taking the correction in stride and improving his information or even addressing the evidence they brought forth, he chose to personally attack these scholars and accuse them of not following the Prophet Joseph Smith, questioning their faith and even accusing them of being atheists. Several LDS geneticists and other scholars, many of whom do not follow a Mesoamerican setting for the Book of Mormon nor care where Book of Mormon events took place, have shown Meldrum that he is incorrect in the foundational claims of this theory which leads to false conclusions. They were ignored, so several of them published papers through the Church owned University explaining why he is incorrect.
What is the Church’s position on DNA and The Book of Mormon?
The Church has taken notice and also made an official statement on DNA and the Book of Mormon. If the DNA could be used as evidence for the Book of Mormon as Rod Meldrum claims, then this would be one of the greatest evidences for the Book of Mormon in existence and worthy of the greatest amount of exposure possible. However, when the Church released their official position on DNA and the Book of Mormon, they did not contain ANY of the evidence or research done by Rod Meldrum in their statement. They also did not even quote any of his research in this study. As a matter of fact, what was mentioned actually seemed to speak out against Rod Meldrum and his theory. The Church stated that there are “defenders of the Book of Mormon” who use DNA arguments in its behalf, but these arguments are “speculative,” and that “DNA studies cannot be used decisively to either affirm or reject the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.”
The Church even goes one step further. In addition to not promoting his work, not quoting his work and speaking out against using DNA as evidence for the Book of Mormon, the Church reiterated exactly what the LDS scholars have been saying for years and trying to teach Rod Meldrum, for which they were attacked. The Church took the same position as that taken by BMAF, Fair Mormon, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute and the several geneticists who have looked into this argument.
What is even more astonishing is Meldrum's reaction to the Church's official statement. During several podcasts Meldrum said the Church is wrong and accused the Church of being hoodwinked by those who disagree with him. Instead of taking a hint from having every geneticist, population geneticist, and even the Church itself saying that Meldrum's information isn't what it's cracked up to be, Meldrum instead makes the absurd claim that everyone else is wrong and he is right.