BYU DNA Project Pits Science Against Lamanites - 1999

Dr Scott Woodward's massive DNA Genealogy Project is on a collision course with The Book of Mormon. Will he be able to find any real Lamanite DNA amongst the peoples of the New World?

Molecular Genealogy Research Group

In order to better understand the significance of this issue please click on the official web site of The Molecular-Geneaology Research Group at BYU. Review their fascinating study and research protocol. The Lampoon strongly suggests that you contact them and participate in the study, especially if you have any "Lamanite" blood in your veins.

The official website declares. "This database can be used to reconstruct and confirm genealogies based on traditional name-based methods. Genotypic links can also be established across different populations. This will help to determine the genetic distance between populations and verify ancient immigration and migration patterns. The genetic heritage of families can be preserved for future generations."

So we shall see if this study can confirm the "ancient immigration and migration patterns" of the Nephites, Lamanites, Jaredites and Mulekites. Would it be ironic that state of art DNA research at the Lord's own university actually disproves "The most correct book on earth", the Book of Mormon?

So far there is not a shred of evidence in the current DNA scientific journals to support the Lamanite story in the Book of Mormon. For more details about this issue click on DNA and the Lamanites.

Comments Section

What is the most likely truth? That Joseph Smith concocted the whole book to rationalize his polygamous lifestyle? Or that the DNA evidence is wrong and the Book of Mormon is genuine?

I think the answer is evident.

I would refer to linguistic studies of the book of Mormon done by objective experts who found it to be a clever aping of the Bible.... - 06/26/2004 - from Birdman143


Hang in there. All view points are important. Your research and views should not be a threat to any member that has a well founded testimony. I personally have never been threatened by view points different than mine. the church is true no matter what a research project might show. convert since 1967. - 02/21/2004 -emil lehenbauer


I almost took your advise to donate DNA to BYU but then thinking of how the church operates, how do I know what they will do with my DNA? Will they archive it and then use it to destroy me when the find out I'm an apostate? OK, so this is a bit paranoid but given the 1984 nature of the mormon church, anything is possible! - 11/16/2002 - married to a "Lamanite"


I recently submitted a letter for name removal to the LDS church. Just to be thorough I listed about 100 reasons for my leaving, DNA evidence being one of them. I recieved a letter in response signed from my LDS Bishop but obviously written by someone the the big tower downtown. They refuted three points (of 100) of my reasons for leaving. Concerning DNA they said "we would be happy to discuss with you the migration of the Jaredites through Asia before traveling to America." HUH?? I NEVER heard anything like that before. This is just more evidence that when the facts don't fit for the church they tweak their version. So look out, the Jaredite/Asia rumor is coming! - 11/16/2002 - anon


Though a firm believer in the Book of Mormon, for which I see much evidence (especially of the Near Eastern origin of its peoples), I think that Scott Woodward has bitten off more than he can comfortably chew. A sampling of 100,000 out of a worldwide population of 6 billion humans is a mere drop in the bucket. But Woodward isn't alone in making wide-sweeping claims about DNA and the Book of Mormon. Critics of the Book of Mormon misuse the various DNA studies in such an agregious way that it astounds people like me who have at least studied genetics, while laymen often seem to accept their conclusions uncritically. Comparing Amerindian DNA with Israelite (specifically Manassite) DNA is simply not possible, since we can't realistically identify any living Israelites, especially those of the tribe of Manasseh. If Koestler is right about the Ashkenazi (European) Jews being descendants of the Khazars who converted to Judaism in the tenth century A.D., then Jewish DNA isn't muc! h help either, especially when one considers the exogamy that has gone on over the last two millennia. The debate isn't over yet, so don't throw your Book of Mormon away yet. - 11/09/2002 - anon


I just got through watching Kundun, a really good film about the youth of the Dalai Lama. All through the film I was amazed at how much Tibetan physiognomy, music, dress, etc. resembled Native American physiognomy, etc. The whole time I watched I thought about our discussions here about Native American DNA and coudn't believe I have lived this long and never really seen such a strong connection between Asians and Native Americans. I have some Mayan friends, and I kept on thinking I was seeing them in this movie--exactly the same facial features, hair, and even similar clothes.

It's amazing that Mormons still use the term "Lamanite" as a common term for all indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere--it's so obvious that they have nothing to do with Jews and that they are closely related to Asians. I know my conclusion is a bit less scientific than the mitochondrial DNA links Gazelem has been giving us, but I don't think I need an electron microscope to conclude that the BofM is baloney. Maybe I'll be reconverted if I see a truly repentant Indian convert suddenly turn into a Jew (or perhaps a sinning Jew turn into an Indian--either way will work for me. Until then I'm sticking by my Asian theory. - 04/18/1999 - Jogoy


"The last day of my theory class the professor (as all professors are encouraged to do the last day of class) got up and said that some of his former students have asked him how he can study archaeology and not have it shake his testimony. He answered that the more he studies, the more his testimony grows.

It seems that when faced with a question like this, people just say that we don't know enough about that yet, and that maybe somehow Nephites only make up a small part of the gene pool today. I don't know how you could believe that, but you've got to have some kind of explanation like that to shut your brain up.

Most of the archaeologists at BYU study Mesoamerica, and many of them try to make parallels between ancient Mesoamerica and BofM. We have one Mesoamerican scholar who is not a Mormon. He gave the university forum a couple months ago about ancient Mayan religion and stated up front that he did not make the same connections that Mormon scholars make, but that he respected our right to do so. He said he found BYU to be a wonderfully open and free environment where he could acheive all his academic goals. Most professors are happy with the academic freedom, because they just figure that they would never want to do research that incriminates the Church anyway, and this guy cares little enough about the Church that it doesn't influence his work one way or the other.

I actually spoke my mind about BKP and academic freedom in class. A guy in my Social Sciences class was praising BKP's talk "The Mantle is Far Far Greater...," and I said I didn't agree with the talk. I've never heard anyone before in a BYU class say they disagreed with a GA, but I finally said I did. The guy insisted that if the goal of the Church is to spread the Gospel, it does the Church no good to print the dirt--we need to be biased like BKP says. After class I told him about the different versions of the 1st vision, and he was very surprised--especially surprised since he thought all along that I was a TBM. These are stories that never even get around BYU campus, and when someone hears about them, they just quietly act as if they never heard them and try to forget about it. It's no wonder the DNA bit doesn't get much press.

If it isn't essential to our salvation, how important could it actually be? This mentality has always been beyond me, but I learned to accept it just not to create too many problems at BYU." - 04/16/1999 - anonymous student

Latter-Day Lampoon material is mostly public domain. Check out rights and use information.