Episode 63

Gospel Topics Essay Series: DNA and the Book of Mormon with the Backyard Professor

On another collaborative episode in The Gospel Topics Essays Series with The Backyard Professor, Rebecca and Landon dive into the Gospel Topics Essay, "DNA and Book of Mormon Studies" with special guest, anthropologist Dr. Thomas Murphy. Mormons of a certain age all grew up knowing that the Book of Mormon was a record of the Nephites and Lamanites who were the "principle" ancestors of the Native Americans today. In the last few decades, new DNA evidence has disputed this claim and caused the LDS church to make changes to this centuries old narrative. We are now told that the people of the Book of Mormon were "among" the ancestors of Native Americans today. This very informative episode delves into DNA studies of indigenous populations, migration patterns, the church's ever changing narrative, and more. It was amazing to have this discussion with two scholars as knowledgeable as The Backyard Professor and Dr. Thomas Murphy.

In Laman's Terms Video:


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Links to Published Articles by Thomas Murphy:

Murphy, Thomas W, Simon Southerton and Angelo Baca, "Science and Fiction: Kennewick Man/Ancient One in Latter-day Saint Discourse." : https://www.academia.edu/88679212/Science_and_Fiction_Kennewick_Man_Ancient_One_in_Latter_day_Saint_Discourse

Murphy, Thomas W and Angelo Baca. "DNA and the Book of Mormon: Science, Settlers, and Scripture.": https://www.academia.edu/60074444/DNA_and_the_Book_of_Mormon_Science_Settlers_and_Scripture

Murphy, Thomas W and Angelo Baca, "Rejecting Racism in Any Form: Latter-day Saint Rhetoric, Religion, and Repatriation.":


Murphy, Thomas W, "Sin, Skin, and Seed: Mistakes of Men in the Book of Mormon.":


Murphy, Thomas W, "Simply Implausible: DNA and a Mesoamerican Setting for the Book of Mormon.":


Murphy, Thomas W, "Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics." :


About the Podcast

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About your hosts

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Rebecca Bibliotheca

Rebecca Bibliotheca is a mother or three boys, co-founder of "The Good Book Club," a virtual reading group for post and nuanced Mormons, cohost of "Mormon Media Reviews," and leader of the "Mormon Stories Book Club." She has a Masters of Library and Information Science from BYU and worked for many years at the BYU Library. She and her husband, Tom, also founded a youth theater program that is in its 19th year. Rebecca loves the theater, reading, film, spending times outdoors, church watching and iced coffee!
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Landon Brophy

Landon Brophy is the proud father of four children, two grandchildren, three ATVs and a boat. He's a former military officer, the co-founder of The Good Book Club, a reading group for post and nuanced Mormons, ann international manager for a global defense contractor, and a worldwide traveler. He and his wife founded "Utah Wanderers," an online travel guide to exploring Utah. Landon loves the outdoors, ATVing, boating, flying, reading, observing the "ongoing restoration" and second Saturdays!