So if the great Book of Mormon civilization is there, why is it not producing hundreds and thousands more inscriptions, in Hebrew, Reformed Egyptian, etc? It sort of suggests that civilization isn’t there, right?
Hamblin proceeds to give five reasons why there are no inscriptions in Mesoamerica related to the Book of Mormon. Then he concludes with this:
Thus, while Jenkins might “expect” us to find lots of inscriptions to provide us the information we need to make a judgement on the historicity of the BOM, the reality is, we find what we find–no more, no less. Alas, the evidence is what it is, not what Jenkins expects or wants it to be. Jenkins appears to think this is irrational special pleading on my part to explain away lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon. I think it is simply the methodologically sound approach to the data.
I propose that Hamblin take his own advice; i.e., "If there is insufficient evidence for one particular line of analysis (in this case, the Mesoamerican theory of Book of Mormon geography), the methodologically proper response is to take another approach."
The other approach, of course, is to look at North America as the setting for the Book of Mormon.
Somehow I suspect Hamblin will not do so. The absence of evidence in Mesoamerica is startling, but never "insufficient" for Mesoamerican proponents, apparently. The Mesoamerican theory provides plenty of fodder for critics such as Jenkins.
In fact, Jenkins addresses a response of Hamblin's regarding falsifiability. In my view, Jenkins' reliance on peer-reviews publications is problematic: any archaeologist who dared to publish something that would support the Book of Mormon would never get his/her work through peer review. The example of ancient smelting in Indiana is just one example. Peer reviewers are notorious for maintaining the status quo, or at least consensus views; and despite Jenkins' insistence that archaeology is an objective science comparable to physics, in reality is it highly subjective, or at least relies on subjective inferences to interpret the meanings of physical findings.
And yet, I think Jenkins makes a good point about Mesoamerica: