Preface: This article/post was written by me and by our son Dr. Brian M. Dale and has been submitted for possible publication in The Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture. Brian uses Bayesian statistics a great deal in his professional work. When I began writing this post, I was not well-acquainted with Bayesian analysis. So I am very grateful for Brian’s suggesting Bayesian statistics as a way to approach the problem of evaluating the evidence for (and against) the Book of Mormon, that “book of books”.
If the Book of Mormon is, as it claims to be, an actual historical record of God’s dealings with some of the ancient inhabitants of the American continent, then it ought to contain specific points of evidence by which this claim can be tested. In this article we use Bayesian statistical analysis to compare one hundred and twenty separate correspondences (i.e., connections, parallels, points of agreement, congruences) between facts stated in the Book of Mormon and facts summarized in The Maya (9th Edition) by Michael D. Coe and Stephen Houston. Bayesian methods provide a rational framework for updating our prior beliefs in the light of new evidence. Using the Bayesian approach, we apply a strongly skeptical prior assumption of a billion to one that the Book of Mormon is not an actual historical record. Following the analysis, we find that the cumulative weight of these one hundred and twenty correspondences changes our skeptical prior assumption. We reach an enormously stronger posterior conclusion that the Book of Mormon is an actual historical document with physical, political, geographical, religious, military, technological and cultural roots in ancient Mesoamerica.
Article: The historicity of the Book of Mormon is a subject of debate and discussion. Among the skeptics of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is Dr. Michael D. Coe. Dr. Coe is the Charles J. McCurdy Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University (1). In an article in Dialogue many years ago, Dr. Coe summarized his opinion regarding the historicity of the Book of Mormon in these words (2) “The picture of this hemisphere between 2,000 B.C. and A.D. 421 presented in the book has little to do with early Indian cultures as we know them, in spite of much wishful thinking.”
Beyond this article in Dialogue, Dr. Coe does not seem to have written anything else about the Book of Mormon. An extensive review of his published papers and books using Google Scholar found only this 1973 article in Dialogue dealing with the Book of Mormon. However, in a set of three podcast interviews with Mr. John Dehlin in 2011, Dr. Coe strongly reinforced his essentially negative view of the historicity of the Book of Mormon (3). According to Dr. Coe, 99% of the details of the Book of Mormon are demonstrably false.
Obviously, Dr. Coe cannot be accused of being a partisan advocate for the Book of Mormon.
This fact makes Dr. Coe’s synthesis of Mesoamerican archaeology an excellent test of the historicity of the Book of Mormon. Coe’s book The Maya (Ninth Edition, 2015) makes a number of factual statements about the physical, political, geographical, religious and cultural aspects of ancient Mesoamerica and some ancient Mesoamericans, principally the Maya, Olmec and Aztecs (4).
There are strong reasons for suspecting ancient Mesoamerica as the physical location of Book of Mormon events (5). If so, Dr. Coe’s book should be consistent with at least some of the factual statements given in the Book of Mormon, taking into account that the Book of Mormon is a religious document whose intent is to bring all to Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is not primarily about the history, wars, geography, culture, and so forth of the Book of Mormon peoples. In the same way, we should not expect a book about Italian cuisine to tell us very much about Italian architecture or the politics of Roman Empire.
Dr. Coe’s book does not purport to be a complete representation of all Native Americans, nor does it claim that all Native American groups were identical. The Book of Mormon also makes many statements, purported to be factual, about physical, political, geographical, religious and cultural aspects of at least some ancient Native Americans. Likewise, the Book of Mormon does not claim to be a history of all Native American peoples.
If the Book of Mormon is not an historical document, then it is a work of fiction. Some person or persons in the early 1800s in upstate New York made it up. If the Book of Mormon is fiction, then when the author made a statement of fact, he (or she) was guessing. If the writer of the Book of Mormon was guessing, then the guesses ought to be distributed among right and wrong guesses. The distribution of correct and incorrect guesses should be apparent through statistical analysis and provide evidence about whether the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction or an actual historical document.
Basic Bayesian Statistical Methods
For those who may be unacquainted with this branch of mathematics, statistics describes the probability (likelihood) of events occurring within a given “population”. A population is a set of related items or events that are of interest for some experiment or test to be performed. In this case, the set of related items (the population) we wish to test is the factual statements given in the Book of Mormon and corresponding factual statements in the book The Maya. We wish to determine whether or not the Book of Mormon agrees in a statistically significant way with what is known about ancient Mesoamerica as summarized in Dr. Coe’s book The Maya.
One of the simplest illustrations of probability is given by rolling dice. The statistical population of interest here is the possible values (1 through 6) on the six sides of the die. Since a die has six possible values, then there is a one in six chance (16.66666…% of the time) that the value “1” will turn up when the die is cast, and the same probability exists for each of the other values 2 through 6. If two dice are thrown, then each die is independent of each the other die and there is still only a one in six chance that any given value will turn up for that die when it is rolled.
Here is a key point for statistical analysis: probabilities of individual events must be multiplied to calculate the probability of all the individual events occurring simultaneously.
The probability of each individual die coming up with a “1” is 16.666% (out to as many “6s” as you want). But the probability of rolling “snake eyes” or both dice coming up with a “1” on the same roll (simultaneously) is not 16.6% but 16.6% (0.0166) times 16.6% (0.0166) or about 0.02756 or approximately 2.76% of the time. So roughly three times out of a hundred times that you roll two dice at the same time you will get snake eyes. Going on further, if we want to roll three dice at the same time, what will be the probability of rolling three “1s”? By the formula, it is 0.166 x 0.166 x 0.166 equals 0.00457 or about 5 times in a thousand. If we roll four dice together, what is the probability of rolling four “1”s simultaneously? It is 0.000761, or about 8 times in ten thousand rolls of the four dice.
How about three different events, each with different individual probabilities, all occurring together? Let’s say that the first event has a probability of 1 in a hundred (0.01), the probability of the second event is one in a thousand (0.001) and the third is one in ten (0.1). What is the probability of all three of these events occurring simultaneously if they are part of the same population? It is 0.01 x 0.001 x 0.1 = 0.000001 or 1 in a million. The probability that all of these events will not occur together is 1.0 minus the probability that they all will occur together. In this example, it is 1.0 minus 0.000001 or 0.999999, or 99.9999%, or 999,999 to 1.
In the real world, we usually don’t experience the kind of mathematically well-defined probabilities that rolling dice offers. Instead, we usually deal with “odds” or “probabilities”, many of which are somewhat subjective. By “subjective”, we mean that the individual person performing the test must decide for himself/herself what constitutes strong evidence, what evidence is positive, and what evidence is supportive but not particularly strong.
Bayesian statistics provides one approach to this kind of problem and is well-explained in this introductory article (6). In fact, Dr. Coe’s book refers to the use of Bayesian statistics to weight and thereby include or exclude specific pieces of archaeological data (7). In the Bayesian approach, the strength of each piece of evidence is the likelihood ratio, which is the probability of the evidence assuming that the hypothesis is true divided by the probability of the evidence assuming that the hypothesis is false.
We can assign a likelihood ratio or “Bayes factor” to each of the statements of fact given in the Book of Mormon and compare them with corresponding statements in The Maya. This likelihood ratio is the strength of each statement as a piece of evidence. It is calculated as the probability that the statement is true given the assumption that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon was guessing divided by the probability that the statement is true given the assumption that the Book of Mormon is an historical document. The likelihood ratio expressed in this way therefore represents the strength of the evidence in support of the hypothesis, i.e., against the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Once we have decided on the likelihood of guessing correctly about each individual fact, we then multiply the likelihoods of guessing right about each of these specific facts. The number obtained by multiplying all of those individual likelihoods together is the strength of the total body of evidence that whoever wrote the Book of Mormon was guessing about the facts contained in the Book of Mormon.
Now, here is another key point about Bayesian analysis. The Bayes factor or likelihood ratio, is the weighted strength of the evidence, and it tells us how much we should change our prior beliefs based on the evidence. We thus start with some prior odds, representing our beliefs about the hypothesis before seeing the evidence. In order to be rational and intellectually honest, once we have seen the evidence we must update our beliefs accordingly to obtain our posterior odds, or the odds that the hypothesis is true after accounting for both the strength of the new evidence and our previous beliefs.
This Bayesian approach to data is frequently used in medical tests.
For example, if a disease is somewhat rare then a randomly selected individual might have “skeptical prior odds” of 1:1000 against them having the disease. If the test has a likelihood ratio of 100 (a good medical test for screening) then our posterior odds following a positive test for the disease would be 1:1000 x 100 = 1:10 for them having the disease. In other words, the individual piece of evidence given by the test changed our minds substantially (from 1:1000 against to 1:10 against) but because we were initially quite skeptical (1:1000) that the person had that particular rare disease, we still think it is more likely that they do not have the disease (1:10). A rational doctor would then call for a more definitive test to give additional information, and we would continue to update our opinion as we received new information.
For the subject of this article, the historicity of the Book of Mormon, we choose to start with an extremely “skeptical prior odds” that the book is an actual historical document. We allow only a 1:1,000,000,000 (one in a billion) prior odds that the Book of Mormon is an historical document, and start with odds of 1,000,000,000:1 (a billion to one) that the statements of fact in the Book of Mormon are just guesses.
This means that even before we look at the new evidence, we are very confident that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. We would require supporting evidence with a likelihood of 0.000000001 (one in a billion) in order to change our beliefs to the point where we would consider “even odds” (1:1) that the book is an actual historical record, and evidence even stronger than that to consider it likely or be confident that the Book of Mormon is not a work of fiction, i.e., that it is an accurate historical record.
It is a common mistake to consider only a few pieces of evidence when examining the truth or falsity of a given hypothesis. It is another common mistake to consider some pieces of evidence as having infinite or unlimited weight compared to other pieces of evidence.
But these practices are neither rational nor intellectually honest. We must consider all relevant evidence if we hope to make rational decisions. Also, no piece of evidence has infinite weight. There are always limitations on the strength of any piece of evidence. Bayesian statistics provides a disciplined, formal way of bringing all the available evidence to bear on a given question, and weighting that evidence according to its probative value. The question of interest to us in this analysis is the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
Now, let’s apply this Bayesian approach to some of the statements of fact and other factual features in the Book of Mormon.
Since we have decided to be very skeptical of the historicity of the Book of Mormon, we choose a skeptical prior hypothesis of a billion to one. In other words, we decide ahead of time that the odds that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction are one billion to one. So it is going to take a lot of evidence to convince us that the Book of Mormon is an actual historical document.
To perform our analysis, we assign one of three different likelihood ratios to testable facts or “correspondences” between the Book of Mormon and Dr. Coe’s book. The facts are taken from Dr. Coe’s book and compared with statements of fact or factual features in the Book of Mormon.
Thus we quantify (assign a number to) the quality of the evidence for (or against) the hypothesis using these three values 2 (0.5), 10 (0.1) and 50 (0.02) as follows.
- Specific (or strongly suggestive) correspondences: 2 (0.5) The writer of the Book of Mormon could perhaps have learned this fact by study, but it is not by any means an obvious fact, for example, that people eat food. We aren’t impressed by the statement that someone has had dinner, but if we know that they ate a very specific kind of food on a specific day as a religious observance, then that has value as proof. The writer of the Book of Mormon would have had to be a good guesser to have inserted these facts into the Book of Mormon. One example is the practice of repopulating old or abandoned cities as attested in Dr. Coe’s book and also in the Book of Mormon. Such evidence is supportive, but considered to be “not worth more than a bare mention” (8)
- Specific and detailed correspondences: 10 (0.10) Facts that we choose to assign likelihoods of 10 to 1 (or 0.1) are those that the writer of the Book of Mormon might have been able to reason out, given time, study and expert knowledge, but which to us seem unlikely for the writer to have guessed. These correspondences are both quite specific and also provide some important details. One example is the existence of highlands and lowlands within the relevant geography. Dr. Coe’s book repeatedly emphasizes the importance of highland and lowland populations of Native American peoples in Mesoamerica. The Book of Mormon also repeatedly uses the words “go up” and “go down” in reference to moving geographically in the book. From its very beginning, the Book of Mormon likewise employs going “up” and going “down” to movements to and from Jerusalem, which sits at a higher elevation than most of the surrounding geography. Thus we assume that that phrase means to ascend or descend in elevation. Such evidence is considered to be “positive” (8)
3) Specific, detailed and unusual correspondences: 50 (0.02) Facts with a 2% likelihood (one in fifty chance) we believe are essentially impossible to guess correctly, given any reasonable amount of knowledge or study available to the writer of the Book of Mormon. But, once again, to make a really rigorous test of the Book of Mormon’s claims to historicity, we assume that the writer had a 1 in 50 chance of guessing these correctly, even if we think the odds are more like 1 in a million or less. Such evidence is considered to be “strong” evidence (8). One example is the very good description of a volcanic eruption and associated earthquakes given in 3 Nephi Chapter 8. Mesoamerica is earthquake and volcano country. But upstate New York where the Book of Mormon came forth is not. If it is a work of fiction, how would the writer of the Book of Mormon know how to correctly describe a volcano and earthquake from the point of view of the person experiencing the event?
We assume that a piece of evidence is “unusual” if it relates to detailed facts that very probably could not have been known to the writer. This writer was a person living in upstate New York in the first few decades of the 19th century, when virtually nothing of ancient Mesoamerica was known. We assume that the writer’s religious knowledge came from the Bible, his cultural/social knowledge came from his (and his family’s) own cultural/social experiences as relatively poor, less-educated working farmers typical of their time, his political knowledge from American and British political institutions existing in the early 19th century, and his knowledge of Native Americans from his own knowledge of Native Americans of his time and place (northeastern North America). At that time, facts that could not have been obtained from those sources could only have been guesses by a writer of a work of fiction.
Again, the writer’s general knowledge of ancient Mesoamerica and ancient Mesoamerican Indians was exactly zero—which was the case for essentially everyone in the world at that time. We must not attribute to the person who wrote the Book of Mormon almost two centuries ago a degree of knowledge and sophistication about cultural, social, physical, geographical and other characteristics of ancient Mesoamerica that some educated people have now in the early 21st century. Fortunately for the purposes of this article, our analysis is likely to be conservative because we have a natural tendency to overestimate Joseph Smith’s likely knowledge of the ancient Mesoamerica, and thereby underweight evidence in favor of the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
To start with, we examine three separate statements of fact in the Book of Mormon; a book which claims to be a real historical record. Either these statements were just guesses, or indeed the Book of Mormon is an accurate historical book. There are no other choices open to us.
What is the likelihood of getting all three of these guesses right?
- The practice of repopulating old or abandoned cities (0.50)
- The accurate description of Mesoamerican geography as composed of highlands and lowlands (0.1)
- An accurate, quite detailed description of a simultaneous volcano/earthquake (0.0.02)
The product of these three likelihoods equals 0.001 or likelihood of one in a thousand.
But that is not enough. Our “skeptical prior” is a billion to one that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. And a billion to one (1,000,000,000) times one in a thousand (0.001) is still a million to one. So even after this evidence we are still quite confident that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction, that someone made it up, but we are less confident than we were prior to examining the evidence due to our rational and intellectually honest assessment of these new pieces of evidence.
However, there are many more facts mentioned in Dr. Coe’s book that we can test against corresponding statements of fact in the Book of Mormon. We divide these correspondences into six separate categories. These categories include: 1) cultural/social (30 correspondences), 2) political (22 correspondences), 3) religious, (23 correspondences), 4) military-warfare (12 correspondences), 5) physical-geographical (13 correspondences) and 6) technological-miscellaneous (20 correspondences) for a total of 120 correspondences. Each of these six categories is given its own table. The page(s) in Dr. Coe’s book where each correspondence is mentioned is listed next to the chapter(s) and verse(s) in the Book of Mormon where the same correspondence appears.
Further, we assign one of three different likelihoods to each correspondence. The Bayes factors (likelihoods) assigned to each correspondence are based on our assessment as to whether the correspondence is specific or “supportive” according to Bayesian nomenclature (0.5), specific and detailed, or Bayesian “positive” (0.10) or specific, detailed and unusual, or Bayesian “strong” (0.02), as described above.
Results of the Analysis
The product of all the likelihoods for each correspondence in each of the six tables (all the numerical entries in the “Likelihood” column for each table) is given at the bottom right corner of the respective tables. The products at the bottom right corner of each of the six tables are all multiplied together. The resulting number is the overall Bayesian likelihood that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. The final result of multiplying together these 120 Bayesian likelihoods summarized in six tables is 1.7 x 10-137. This is roughly 0.0…1 where there are 136 zeros between the decimal point and the one.
This product represents the likelihood (probability) that all of the correspondences in each of the six categories of comparison between the Book of Mormon and The Maya are the result of a long series of consistent lucky guesses. To check our calculation, we note that in the six tables provided, there are 27 occurrences of a likelihood of 0.5, 42 occurrences of a likelihood of 0.1 and 51 instances of a likelihood of 0.02. Recall that to estimate the likelihood of all of these “guesses” being correct simultaneously is the likelihood of each guess being correct multiplied by all of the other “guesses”.
Therefore, using the correspondences between facts cited in Dr. Coe’s book and factual statements given in the Book of Mormon, we find that the overall likelihood that the Book of Mormon is work of fiction is 0.5 to the twentieth power times 0.1 to the forty-eighth power times 0.02 to the fifty-second power or 0.527 x 0.142 x 0.0251 equals 1.7 x 10-137, thereby checking and confirming the calculation above.
Recall that according to Bayesian analysis, our skeptical prior odds were a billion to one that the Book of Mormon was an historical document. Thus we started our investigation by assuming that the statements of fact in the Book of Mormon were actually just guesses. We must multiply one billion times 1.7 x 10-137 to determine the degree to which the evidence changes our opinion. The result is 1.7 x 10-128.
Despite our strong prior belief that it is a work of fiction, our new opinion, rationally weighing the evidence of these 120 correspondences, is that the odds that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction is less than one in a billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. Our initial strongly skeptical prior hypothesis of a billion to one against the historicity of the Book of Mormon gives way to an enormously stronger posterior hypothesis in favor of the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
In statistical analysis, it is common to do a “sensitivity analysis” whereby the effect of changes in the assumptions on the results of the analysis are determined. For example, if we give to these 120 correspondences the largest likelihood ratio of 0.5 (i.e., skeptically considering each individual correspondence to be Bayesian “supportive” but nonetheless relatively weak evidence), the overall strength of the evidence is then (0.5)120 equals 7.5 x 10-37. We then multiply this number by one billion (109) and find that the odds that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction is less than one in a billion, billion, billion. Once again, by rationally considering the whole body of evidence, our strong skeptical prior hypothesis of a billion to one against the historicity of the Book of Mormon gives way to a much, much stronger posterior hypothesis in favor of the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
We started with a very strong skeptical prior hypothesis of a billion to one against the historicity of the Book of Mormon. However, to this point, we have only entered data in support of the historicity of the Book of Mormon, i.e., in support of the converse hypothesis. What about data in support of the hypothesis, that is, that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction?
There are surprisingly few data points offered in support of the hypothesis that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. For example, in his 1973 Dialogue article and in the 2011 podcast interviews, Dr. Coe mentioned ten specific facts to support the hypothesis. These include horses, chariots, wheat, barley, metallurgy, elephants, steel, asses, silk and cattle, which the Book of Mormon says existed in among the Book of Mormon peoples and which archaeology currently says did not exist in Mesoamerica during the relevant Book of Mormon times.
We do not accept Dr. Coe’s objections to “coins” and a “seven day week” which were also raised as points of evidence in the podcast. The text of the Book of Mormon does not include the word “coins” in the Nephite monetary system described in Alma Chapter 11. While the word “week” does occur in the Book of Mormon, the book does not say that a Nephite week consisted of seven days. Thus these two data points are not admitted to evidence; they are not facts actually asserted by the Book of Mormon.
Also, it is clear that metallurgy and refined gold and silver did exist among ancient Native Americans in northern South America, but apparently they did not exist in Book of Mormon period among the Maya or in Mesoamerica generally. The Book of Mormon does not claim that the Maya are the Book of Mormon peoples, but in this article we are comparing the Book of Mormon with The Maya, a book centered in Mesoamerica. So we will admit this objection to the presence of refined gold and silver in the Book of Mormon as a datum in favor of the hypothesis.
We have searched elsewhere for specific objections to the Book of Mormon based on fact. There appear to be six more such objections (9). These include the lack of evidence for the presence of sheep, goats, swine, iron, a hybrid Hebrew/Egyptian writing system and the supposed DNA evidence (or lack thereof). Including the lack of evidence for gold/silver in Mesoamerica during the time period of interest, and Dr. Coe’s ten facts cited above, this makes a total of seventeen data points for the hypothesis, that is, against the historicity of the Book of Mormon. To enable a very severe, but nonetheless fact-based test of the historicity of the Book of Mormon, we grant to these seventeen pieces of evidence cited by Dr. Coe and others each a weight of 50 (“strong” evidence) against the historicity of the Book of Mormon.
To be clear, we do not think these seventeen pieces of evidence actually merit this strong evidentiary weight. According to our data weighting scheme explained above, at most these seventeen facts qualify as specific and detailed, for a weight of 10 each, but they are not particularly unusual. Evidence for the presence of these seventeen items might not as yet have been found by archaeology, or evidence might be available but still scarce. Nonetheless, for the sake of intellectual honesty we admit all seventeen of them at the maximum evidentiary strength considered in this article.
Thus we must multiply 1.7 x 10-128 by (50)17 to recalculate the odds of the hypothesis by accounting for the seventeen data points provided by Dr. Coe (and others). The result is that the likelihood that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction is about 1.3 x 10-99, less than one in million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion.
Just how small a number is this?
There are literally no easily-grasped comparisons that can be made. The mass of the smallest known particle, the neutrino, is about 10-36 kg while the mass of the observable universe is on the order of 1052 kg. Thus the ratio of the mass of the neutrino to the mass of the entire universe is approximately 10-88. This ratio is still 100 billion times greater than the odds that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction.
Dr. J. B. S. Haldane, the great British biologist, once said that prejudice is an opinion arrived at without considering the evidence. Book of Mormon critics generally ignore a very large body of evidence that is available to them by simply reading the Book of Mormon carefully. Unfortunately Dr. Coe falls in this category. Dr. Coe has read the Book of Mormon just once, while preparing for his 1973 Dialogue article (10).
He apparently missed a few things.
There are at least one hundred and twenty correspondences between Dr. Coe’s book and the Book of Mormon. In this article, we have cited 149 out of the 299 pages of his book. Thus at least half of the pages of his book contain facts that correspond to facts referred to in the Book of Mormon. Contrary to Dr. Coe’s opinion “The picture of this hemisphere between 2,000 B.C. and A.D. 421 presented in the book (i.e., the Book of Mormon) has little to do with early Indian cultures” we find that early Mesoamerica has a very great deal to do with the Book of Mormon. The cumulative weight of these correspondences, analyzed using Bayesian statistics, provides overwhelming support for the historicity of the Book of Mormon as an authentic record set in ancient Mesoamerica.
- Coe, Michael D. n.d. “Michael D. Coe at Yale University.” Accessed October 22, 2017. http://anthropology.yale.edu/people/michael-coe[10/22/2017 4:36:40 PM].
- Coe, Michael D. (July 1973). “Mormons and Archaelogy.” Dialogue: 40-48.
- http://www.mormonstories.org/michael-coe-an-outsiders-view-of-book-of-mormon-archaeology/[10/22/2017 6:13:27 PM]
- Coe, Michael D. and Stephen Houston. 2015. The Maya (ninth edition). New York: Thames and Hudson, Inc.
- Sorensen, John L. 2013. Mormon’s Codex: An Ancient American Book. Salt Lake City. Desert Book
6.. Wikipedia. Bayes Theorem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes%27_theorem#Bayes.E2.80.99_rul
- Coe and Houston. op cit. p. 7.
- Robert E. Kass & Adrian E. Raftery (1995). “Bayes Factors” (PDF). Journal of the American Statistical Association. 90 (430): 791. doi:10.2307/2291091
- Wikipedia. Archaelogical Objections to the Book of Mormon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
- Email from Dr. Michael Coe to Dr. Bruce Dale, December 1, 2017.