From Publishers Weekly
From the time of its publication in 1830, both the Book of Mormon and its translator, Joseph Smith Jr., have been the focus of admiration as well as criticism. The book's account of pre-Christian journeys from the Middle East to the Americas and subsequent identification of North American indigenous populations with Israelite tribes was not uncommon among Smith's contemporaries. Southerton, an Australian molecular scientist, explores these claims from a scientific standpoint and concludes that there is no evidence of Israelite descent among American Indians, Polynesians or others identified as ancestors of Book of Mormon peoples. Discussions about genetics and heredity can be a bit impenetrable to the nonscientist, but these constitute only part of the book. The author, raised Mormon but no longer a believer, uses the DNA issue to launch an attack on both bad science and what he perceives as widespread racism in the LDS Church. He blames the Book of Mormon for what he calls the church's "insidious view of a superior white race." Southerton proffers a book that is part scientific exploration and part anti-Mormon polemic, so it's likely to be closely studied by the Mormon apologetic community. Readers will decide for themselves how credible his arguments are.
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About the Author
Simon G. Southerton is Principal Research Scientist in the Applied Biotechnology and Genomics area of the Commonwealth Scientific laboratories (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia. His Ph.D. is from the University of Sydney. He has published in New Phytologist, Plant Journal, Plant Molecular Biology, and Plant Physiology. He served an LDS mission to Melbourne in the 1980s.