Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

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Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#1  Postby crank » Aug 05, 2015 8:47 am

From The Guardian:

The Mormon church’s push toward transparency about its roots and beliefs took another step forward with the first published pictures of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate a story that became the basis of the religion.


Image

Rather resembles a nut. Imagine that.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#2  Postby kennyc » Aug 05, 2015 11:43 am

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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#3  Postby Macdoc » Aug 05, 2015 12:06 pm

or a coprolite....even more apt ;)
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#4  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 05, 2015 1:40 pm

I've seen a few coprolites in my time, but I've never seen a striped one.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#5  Postby Scot Dutchy » Aug 05, 2015 1:43 pm

Ah but this is a very special stone. :crazy:
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#6  Postby Bubalus » Aug 05, 2015 2:09 pm

Calilasseia wrote:I've seen a few coprolites in my time, but I've never seen a striped one.


Try the Zebra diet :lol:
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#7  Postby Animavore » Aug 05, 2015 2:26 pm

I wonder if going for a shit in front of a few rods will make your shite striped.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#8  Postby John Platko » Aug 05, 2015 2:35 pm

crank wrote:From The Guardian:

The Mormon church’s push toward transparency about its roots and beliefs took another step forward with the first published pictures of a small sacred stone it believes founder Joseph Smith used to help translate a story that became the basis of the religion.


Image

Rather resembles a nut. Imagine that.


This describes how the stone worked. Interesting!
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#9  Postby NamelessFaceless » Aug 05, 2015 2:42 pm

I didn't realize they still had it. I thought he had reburied it, along with the golden plates. Do they still have the Urim and Thummin?
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#10  Postby The_Metatron » Aug 05, 2015 3:31 pm

NamelessFaceless wrote:I didn't realize they still had it. I thought he had reburied it, along with the golden plates. Do they still have the Urim and Thummin?

Sheldon has one:

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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#11  Postby NamelessFaceless » Aug 05, 2015 3:33 pm

:lol:
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#12  Postby John Platko » Aug 05, 2015 4:45 pm

How do we know it's the real deal and not a fake? I don't think Carbon dating is going to help much here.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#13  Postby Onyx8 » Aug 05, 2015 5:07 pm

How would one tell the difference between a rock which never did anything and a rock which still does nothing?
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#14  Postby John Platko » Aug 05, 2015 6:05 pm

Onyx8 wrote:How would one tell the difference between a rock which never did anything and a rock which still does nothing?


Dough ball divination comes to mind.

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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#15  Postby crank » Aug 05, 2015 7:49 pm

II managed to googleup a pic of my family's early 60s Seer sTones, it was real 'hi-hi', or so it said.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#16  Postby Onyx8 » Aug 05, 2015 7:53 pm

lol
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#17  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 05, 2015 8:42 pm

John Platko wrote:How do we know it's the real deal and not a fake? I don't think Carbon dating is going to help much here.


It doesn't look at first sight as if it actually contains any carbon, which would rule out carbon dating right from the start.

It looks like a striped agate stone. Agates are layered composites of silica and chalcedony, the latter being in effect an allotrope of silica with a different crystal structure (monoclinic instead of trigonal). The layers are sometimes subject to intrusion by impurities, imparting colours to the layers, but the different crystal structure means that the impurities penetrate the layers differentially, enhancing the banding. Most of those impurities tend to be strongly coloured transition metal salts (such as the oxides of nickel and iron that lead to the green and brown colours of chrysoprase and carnelian respectively).

The problem with igneous and metamorphic minerals of this sort, from a dating perspective, is that they either contain only stable elements, or if they have acquired radionuclides, those radionuclides tend to be long lived, such as 238U or 232Th, which are useless for dating recent material because of the vast timespan encompassed by their half-lives. A quick perusal of Kaye & Laby's Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants reveals that the principal elements found in such rocks, are either stable, have isotopes with uselessly long half-lives, or isotopes with uselessly short half-lives. Silicon itself has either stable isotopes, or isotopes with half-lives measured in minutes, as does sulphur (rendering sulphide inclusions useless). In the case of chlorine in chloride ions, most unstable isotopes again have half-lives measured in minutes, with one exception, namely 36Cl, but this has a half-life of 30,000 years, and even if some 36Cl materialised in the rock by neutron absorption from a nearby source, it would only tell us how long the rock had been in existence since that neutron absorption event, which could have been 10,000 years or more prior to it being unearthed.

The common d-block transition metals are no use either. Scandium, titanium, vanadium and chromium, all have unstable isotopes with half-lives measured in minutes at best, microseconds at worst. In the case of manganese, 53Mn has a half-life of 3.74 × 106 years, and is again useless for determining recent ages if it is detected for the same reason as 36Cl. Iron again has short-lived isotopes, with the exception of 60Fe, which has a half-life of 1½ million years. Cobalt has an isotope, 60Co, with a half-life of 5 years, and might be useful for dating objects up to 100 years old, but there's one problem - the principal known source of this isotope is man-made, namely the fallout from nuclear weapons testing. Nickel suffers from the same problem as iron, in that the only relatively long-lived unstable isotope, 59Ni, has a half-life of 76,500 years. Copper has only short-lived radioisotopes, with half-lives of the order of 30 seconds or so, and zinc again has mostly short-lived isotopes, with two hilarious exceptions: 64Zn and 70Zn, but these have half-lives that are a whopping 1016 years' duration.

As for some of the other d-block elements, their rarity alone makes their use for any purpose difficult, and if you find an appreciable accretion of rhodium in a rock sample, that accretion of rhodium will be worth a small fortune on the precious metals market. Of the three elements ruthenium, rhodium and palladium, only 107Pd is long-lived amongst the radioisotopes (half-life 6.5 million years), the rest having half-lives again measured in minutes, or in the worst case, 119Rh, as short as 150 nanoseconds.

You can have fun exploring the known radionuclides here.

Even if you find a radionuclide with a half-life that is compatible with measuring the age of something between 1 and 2 centuries old, you then have the fun of explaining how that isotope appeared within your sample, in quantities large enough even to be measureable with an accelerated mass spectrometer. Plus, a radionuclide with a half-life of this duration would be a serious radiological hazard. The shorter the half-life, the more energetic the emitted radiations tend to be, with a few well-documented exceptions. 14C has the advantage of being a relatively low energy beta emitter, the electrons emerging at around 156 keV, but something like 12B, with a half-life of 20 milliseconds, throws out its beta particles with an energy of 13.5 Mev - not the sort of ionising energy you want your precious DNA to be exposed to if you can help it. 13B, with a half life of around 13 milliseconds, throws out a 3.5 MeV gamma ray in addition to an energetic electron. This is one of the reasons nuclear fallout is bad news for biological systems - the energies of the emitted radiations from the isotopes therein are of the order of 1 to 25 MeV, and that much ionising energy coursing through your cells will inflict a lot of damage in a short space of time, even upon brief exposure. A chronologically useful isotope with a half life of 1 to 2 centuries would probably have radiation emissions close to 1 MeV, not the sort of entity one would usually wish to encounter outside of a special laboratory with closed systems and plenty of lead shielding. Which in turn leads to the question of how Joseph Smith would survive long term exposure to such an isotope. :)
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#18  Postby Onyx8 » Aug 05, 2015 8:48 pm

He would be fine, he kept it in a stovepipe hat.
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#19  Postby frack me » Aug 06, 2015 2:27 am

So what I want to know is, why can't anyone else put their face in a hat with this rock and get a translation revelation from God Father for their trouble? Couple of hundred years and it's just been sitting around?

One of the highfalutin Mormon grand poobahs should be getting some holy mileage out of it, because, frack me, it really is about time we got some fresh news from On High, don't you think? The New and Improved Book of Mormon, perhaps?

"[We've] got this thing and it's fucking golden!"

But, no. Article says, "The stone will remain in the vault." Boring!
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Re: Revealed: the stone that 'translated' the Book of Mormon

#20  Postby John Platko » Aug 06, 2015 2:37 pm

frack me wrote:So what I want to know is, why can't anyone else put their face in a hat with this rock and get a translation revelation from God Father for their trouble? Couple of hundred years and it's just been sitting around?



It seems that you need special biology for this kind of thing to work. As I understand it, you need the right genetic code, and you need for that code to develop under the right conditions for "face in hat with rock" like skills.

This dude has it all figured out:

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