A friend alerted me to the following graphics from the FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research):
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (OK, I admit it. I laughed). As long as I can remember, Mormon apologists have been making rather ridiculous claims about how much support, if any, there is for the Book of Mormon as an ancient document. Years ago, Mormon archaeologists were sure they would find Nephite cities and artifacts among the ruins of ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations. After decades of fruitless searching and dubious claims, Mormon apologists decided to try “to find Mesoamerica in the Book of Mormon rather than the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica” (Brant Gardner, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 1:4, 2007). Generally, this means drawing parallels and declaring “points of convergence.” Probably the best example of such a convergence-oriented apologetic is John Clark’s “Archaeology, Relics, and Book of Mormon Belief.”
The problem, of course, is that even the strained parallels they find don’t work (see my response to Clark here), and people like Brant Gardner are left insisting that the technologies, weapons, foods, and animals described in the Book of Mormon don’t mean what we think they mean. Despite all their best efforts, the Book of Mormon just does not work in an ancient American setting.