Friday, August 11, 2017

Calling the Kettle Black

It always amazes us when we get information or comments that are so far outside reality or take such license with available factual data that it boggles the mind.
The first-ever drawn map of a separate Asia, by Sebastian Münster in 1550 A.D., taken in part from the travels of Marco Polo in 1275 A.D., whivh changed Europe’s ideas and views of Asia—like all maps of its time, the cartographer extends the continent off the eastern edge of the map, so as not to commit on whether Asia was or was not connected with North America, despite his own map of America showing it as a separate land mass. Note the large island in red, which is Sumatra, and to its right, the Peninsula of Malay (Malaqua);Java to the right of Sumatra is shown separate, as are numerous other islands in Indonesia

One of our readers in a long running  debate that has been going on for many weeks wrote: “This is what I don't understand about you. You can look at something that is one thing and say it is another…What puzzles me is how you can look at one thing and say it is another, and then claim that your skewed view is proof that others are wrong.”
    Now, when I was young, my mother used to tell me, “That’s the pot calling the kettle black,” meaning of course that someone was guilty themself of what they were accusing another of doing. It is beyond belief that this reader can make this statement with a straight face—twice—when, in fact, he has ignored just about every point we have shown to him and yet act like they don’t even exist, and then counter with information from theorists rather than non-involved researchers and experts.
    Most of what has been sent us, which we always check out, is information, drawings, etc., from the very people who promote his ideas. One might wonder if he can tell the difference between information from people who have an axe to grind or irons in the same fire, and those who are not involved with the Book of Mormon, LDS Church, or any of this type of philosophy, but who research, study, and perform in a strictly academic world--it is hard to know since almost no checkable references or support data is included in his speculative statements.
    And despite these absolute denials (without any support at all), that Madagascar, as we outlined once in a rebuttal to a point of the Malay Peninsula being an island, was anciently referred to by historians as the Island of Malay, not the peninsula, and also throughout history, to separate the peninsular Malay from the Malay on the island of Borneo, the latter was referred to as the Island of Malay.
Reader’s submitted site showing an unreadable and unverified map as his proof the Malay Peninsula was once an island

In addition, in checking out the recent reference he sent (above), it typically does not provide any useful information toward any type of discussion. The sight, (, is simply a cloud storage/deposit/sharing site and as such, has no credibility toward any source material placed on it, such as the image the reader submitted, which is merely an enlarged triangular island in the midst of the sea (shown above) without a single word readable in all five written blocks and on the land mass itself. A lot of good such a link is to send.
An actual map of this island, shown with south at the top, and located off the coast of Indiae Pars, that is, the country of India. The island is clearly labeled “Taprobana,” which is the name often given to ancient Sri Lanka. Note the clarity of the map available—one can only wonder why a map of this island was sent to us (referred internet address) that was unreadable (Mare Indicum is the term for the Indian Ocean, and Mare Di India means Sea of India and Indiae Pars means Part of India) 

In fact, there are good maps available showing this “claimed” island in the Arabian Sea or Indian Ocean, however, there is a lot of controversy over it, but when taken as a whole, it first appeared on Ptolemy’s map from 150 A.D. in which it is, according to the vast majority of historians, etc., a mis-drawing of the island of Sri Lanka, referred to by Ptolemy as Taprobane, a name first reported to Europeans by the Greek geographer Megasthenes around 290 BC., and first appears on a map by Eratosthenes (276 to 196 BC) and was later adopted by Ptolemy (139 AD) in his geographical treatise to identify a relatively large island south of continental Asia.
    To be complete, on this, there are those who claim Taprobane was a large island that collided with India around 690 A.D. to become the sub-continent’s lower section. There are also those, like Javan hydro engineer Dhani Irwanto, who claims that the ancient island was really Kalimantan, known today as Borneo, an island upon which the main part of Malay is located (not peninsular Malay, which is on the Malay Peninsula). But despite all the hyped confusion about this ancient island, none have claimed it was the Malay Peninsula unconnected to the mainland.
    Also there are far better maps showing this particular separation.
Ptolemy’s 150 A.D. map; Top: Yellow Circle around the Malay Peninsula; Bottom: Blow-up of the area, showing not only the Malay Peninsula (called Aurea Chersonesus by Ptolemy) but also the famed island our reader claims is the Malay Island, when in fact, it is Sri Lanka (what used to be called Ceylon, and by Ptolomy, called Taprobane—printed above the lower orange line). Note that India (printed above top orange line) is clearly listed on the map above Taprobane, which distorts considerably Sri Lanka’s size and placement, but is that island in Ptolemy’s map

On Claudius Ptolemy’s world map (above) shown in Ptolemy's Geography (circa 150 A.D.) indicating "Sinae" (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of "Taprobane," which is Ceylon (oversized) and the "Aurea Chersonesus" (Southeast Asian peninsula), which is the Malay Peninsula. This term Χρυσῆ Χερσόνησος, Chrysḗ Chersónēsos; Latin: Chersonesus Aurea, means the Golden Peninsula, the name anciently used for the Malay Peninsula by Greek and Roman geographers in classical antiquity, including Ptolemy’s famed Geography (Geographical Guidance), also known by its Latin names as the Geographia and the Cosmographia, which is a gazetteer, or atlas, and a treatise on cartography, compiling the geographical knowledge of the 2nd Century Roman Empire. It was originally compiled by Ptolemy in Greek at Alexandria around 150 A.D., and was a revision of a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre (a Hellenized Greek geographer, cartographer and mathematician who founded mathematical geography; and in addition to Ptolemy, was cited by the Arab geographer al-Mas’ūdī) and using additional Roman and Persian gazetteers and new principles, including his careful study of the works of his predecessors and the diaries of travelers.
In fact, there are several maps of the area available from ancient sources—not modern claims, and they all show not only the peninsula of Malay connected to the mainland, but also geological maps show that the land beneath the surface extends out several miles in all directions and that this ancient land area was much larger! Ptolemy’s map (the earliest actual map found in any ancient atlas (or set of world maps drawn anciently) of around 150 A.D. shows the Malay peninsula connected to the mainland as do all the others including those claimed to overlap the Nephite period.
As we stated above, it is interesting that theorists love to point the finger at other people’s opinions and ideas and dismiss them as not knowledgeable or uninformed, when in reality they forget the other three fingers are pointing back at themselves. Theories based on supposition, speculation, opinion, belief is rarely going to trump ideas based on independent facts that are supported by numerous people who study, research and write in the fields under discussion. It is one of the reasons we try to give sources to most of what we write to show the backing such ideas have in the scientific communities under discussion. As an example, one might want to check out J. T. “Han” van Gorsel, Bibliography of the Geology of Indonesia and Surrounding Areas, 5th Edition, 2013, The first chapter of the bibliography contains 212 pages with over 2100 titles of papers on the regional geology of Indonesia and adjacent southeast Asia-Pacific, including Indonesia Regional Geology, SE Asia Tectonics, Paleobiogeography, Volcanism, Volcanic rocks geochemistry, Modern environments, Oceanography, Carbonates, Coral Reefs, and Indonesia Regional Geology)


  1. Del, After looking at a nice atlas of Malay I think it is quite clear that you have Unknown(Jay) caught in his own trap. For if he wants to claim Malay to be an island then the island is only about 200 miles wide by 400 miles long with no narrow neck. The shape of the land of promise is hour-glass shaped. There is no place for the Jaredites to live separately from the Nephites north of any narrow neck.

    There are so many problems with this stinky model and this is just one of them. So, if you want to concede the island idea for the sake of argument, it completely destroys his lousy model anyway. Ira

  2. "And despite these absolute denials (without any support at all), that Madagascar, as we outlined once in a rebuttal to a point of the Malay Peninsula being an island, was anciently referred to by historians as the Island of Malay, not the peninsula, and also throughout history, to separate the peninsular Malay from the Malay on the island of Borneo, the latter was referred to as the Island of Malay."

    Madagascar was often mistaken for Malay. The unidentified island in question was called Komor-Malay. Malay of course would refer to the Malay Peninsula and Komor would refer to an unidentified island that some believe was Madagascar and others believe was the Malay Peninsula or Sumatra. Here is one source of many to support this claim:

    "One of the places comprising [the Rajah's] dominions was called “Komar,” or Comar, which Sir E. Tennent identifies with Comar in the Deccan, or Cape Comorin, and extends his rule also to Ceylon; but it will be seen that Komor and Komor-Malay were terms variously applied by the Arabians to the peninsulas of Malay, Cambodia and the island of Madagascar, which they seem to have confounded with each other.”

    "Ceylon: A General Description of the Island, Historical, Physical, Statistical, Asian Educational Services, 1994 - Natural history - 880 pages"

    So yes, Madagascar and the Malay Peninsula shared a name...Komor-Malay, and Komor-Malay was believed to be an island. I have many sources to back this up and have shared before, but you have made it clear that you don't accept references that aren't in English, so I will not bother hunting those down again.

    1. Make it an island the Jay. WHERE IS YOUR NARROW NECK?

    2. Well darn it Jay I looked at the place at about lets say 6-degrees North Lat as the landing place in this beautiful tropical rainforest. That means then if you want to use this spot then the entire land of promise is a total of about 400 miles going to the north. The narrow neck would have to be at 10-degrees north lat. So we can't have an island. The area is far too small to put two great civilizations. You would have to make an island beginning at Bangkok Thailand and that is not what the maps show. So the very basic geography does not add up.

      So lay out what you think is your model because I think now we've found the real problems with the thing and we can discount it from any further consideration given all the problem it has.

      By the way, I think you should rename the model the floating garbage Malay theory. I think that fits pretty good - don't you?

    3. No, Ira, I don't think that fits. That's pretty much the last offense I'm going to take from you. I'll step away now. All the best.

  3. My point was and is that Malay as an island has been confused down through history as being in three different areas, as you and your source as verified. That type of historical factor does not bode well for claiming the actual peninsula was an island. In addition, and this is most important: Your reference stated above is from The University of Sri Jayewardenepura (also referred as Jayewardenepura University or USJP) is a university in Sri Lanka. It is in Gangodawila, Nugegoda, near Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, the capital city. It was formed in 1958 out of the Vidyodaya Pirivena, a Buddhist educational centre which was founded in 1873 by Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera
    According to Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain), the University of Sri Jayewardenepura is ranked 3365th in the world overall, and 3625th in the world in Academic Excellence (far behind five other Sri Lanka universities which rank no higher than 2116th and 1792nd), and with a world impact ranking of 7285th in education. By comparison, Harvard University ranks 1st in the world, 1st in Excellence, 2nd in impact; Stanford ranks 1st in both categories, and 2nd in impact; while M.I.T. ranks 3rd in the world, 11th in Excellence and 1st in impact.
    In fact, the top six rankings are U.S. universities, and 34 of the top 40 are U.S., with University of Oxford 6th, and Cambridge 10th, University of Toronto 18th and University College London 19th, and the University of British Columbia 27th, and Swiss FIT 34th. In fact, 47 of the top 60 are U.S. Universities, with Canada having 4, England 3, China 2, Swiss, Japan, Singapore and Australia having one each. The University of Utah, by the way, ranks 61st in the world, 94th in excellence and 51st in impact, while BYU ranks 259th in the world, 569th in excellence, and an impact ranking of 92nd. It is interesting that 17 country universities are in the top 100, and 22 countries in the top 200 universities; 30 countries in the top 300; 35 in the top 400; and 39 countries in the top 500 schools.
    Meaning no disrespect to any institution or individual is intended here, but we are talking about credibility and the point is, which I hope is not lost on you, that when you quote university studies, information or as sources, you might want to re-think using such sources that would be the laughing stock of the academic world. The University of Sri Jayewardenepura in Ceylon a University founded in the mid-twentieth century, simply has no credibility as a resource of information supporting a singular and fringe concept. As an example, the first ever science and technology department, the first for any Sri Lanka University was established only in 2013, and Professor P.B. (Prashantha Bandula) Mandawala, appointed head of the History and Archaeology department was an architect, and only has a P.G. diploma (Postgraduate diploma) which is not even equivalent to an English Master’s Degree. In Mandawala’s schooling, he did not have to do a dissertation for his P.G. certificate, only exams and coursework, and according to Postgrad Courses, it is a shortcut to an academic degree, and has shorter qualifications than a master’s degree (a certificate being only 60 credits), and is usually obtained because of a lack of interest in doing in-depth research required for a dissertation.
    As we have stated numerous times, information without creditable source references and support are basically meaningless and border on pure speculation, assumption and opinion. No one in a serious discussion will be taken seriously without creditable, understandable and checkable sources.

  4. Del- with all due respect to Jay I'm weary of the redundant Malay discussion. Maybe Jay can provide a reference to a blog about Malay for those who are interested and we can leave this blog for those interested in learning more about South America. With all that is going on with new archeological finds in Peru, I'd be far more interested in those topics. With all due respect Jay and Ira maybe you guys can exchange personal email addresses and continue your debate privately.

    Del you've given adequate arguments against the Malay model in my view. Let's move on please.

    1. Very well. I'm rather weary myself. All the best to Del and the readers here. I'll move along. Thanks.

  5. I agree Dave, far too much time has been spent on this thing.

  6. David: I agree. I think there is another blog article coming tomorrow already written and posted, but the next one is on maps and on with the blog. While not all questions and comments we receive come through the blog, we do get more information from time to time on other theories that we respond to from various people who, for some reason, do not want to comment in the comment section. But these we mostly save up and handle through a series or articles every so often. Personally, there is not much to warrant many of the theories cropping up from time to time, but there seems sufficient money behind these ideas that they grow in popularity from time to time. While most of our readers are not aware of it, we have a large following in Russia, Germany, India, Indonesia, and other areas and we try to tailor our articles from time to time to meet such interests. But you are right, the main emphasis here has always been South America, and will continued to be so.