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At the end of the last Ice Age (late Pleistocene period), lowering sea levels created a land mass between Siberia and Alaska. The 580,000 square mile land mass was called Beringia...an area about twice the size of Texas. A land bridge fifty-five mile long connected Siberia and North America for approximately 3500 years. Radiocarbon dating by Dr. Scott Elias, at the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, has shown lowering sea levels created this land bridge about 14,000 B.C. and by 10,500 B.C., rising sea water had submerged the Beringia land bridge beneath the Bering Strait. Based on plant life from sea-core samples, Dr. Ellis believes the area was covered with tundra plants and shrubs rather than an arid grassland. His findings would indicate Beringia was unsuitable for extended habitation by large grazing animals.
For many years, the Mormon Church has claimed that Native Americans were the descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel that migrated to the Americas around 600 B.C. In addition, according to Mormon doctrine, this tribe divided into two groups, the Nephites, who were whites, and the Lamanites, who became black as a punishment for worshiping idols.
However, DNA tests have contradicted the teachings of the Mormon Church. In an article written by William Lobdell and published in the Los Angeles Times on February 16, 2006, Lobdell said that the Mormon Church has disregarded DNA evidence as irrelevant.
DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture. The church says the studies are being twisted to attack its beliefs.
Mormons grow up with the belief that Native Americans are somehow related to a lost tribe from Israel. That tribe, they are told, came across the ocean about 600 B.C. to America, led by an otherwise unknown Jewish prophet named "Lehi."
To a Mormon this story is history, but to historians it is simply a fiction, concocted by Joseph Smith within his "Book of Mormon." The complete lack of any objective archaeological or historical proof to support such a story is explained away by Mormon apologists to the faithful. Mormons appear to believe that faith, makes fiction fact. But archaeologists, linguists and genetic experts, outside the subculture of Mormonism, have known for some time that Native Americans actually originated from Asia and not Israel.
Science and faith have increasingly collided as the Mormon religion continues on from its early beginnings. Confronted by historical evidence that repeatedly disproves their holy book, Mormons have long hoped for some artifact or research that would support their faith. Some felt that day might have indeed come through research at The Mormon Church-owned Brigham Young University in Provo, where genetic tests were being done during 2000.
The boats Ra and Ra II Ra II in the Kon-Tiki Museum In 1969 and 1970, Heyerdahl built two boats from papyrus and attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco in Africa. Based on drawings and models from ancient Egypt, the first boat, named Ra, was constructed by boat builders from Lake Chad using papyrus reed obtained from Lake Tana in Ethiopia and launched into the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Morocco. After a number of weeks, Ra took on water after its crew made modifications to the vessel that caused it to sag and break apart. The ship was abandoned and the following year, another similar vessel, Ra II, was built of totora by boatmen from Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and likewise set sail across the Atlantic from Morocco, this time with great success. The boat reached Barbados, thus demonstrating that mariners could have dealt with trans-Atlantic voyages by sailing with the Canary Current. A book, The Ra Expeditions, and a film documentary Ra (1972) were made about the voyages. Apart from the primary aspects of the expedition, Heyerdahl deliberately selected a crew representing a great diversity in race, nationality, religion and political viewpoint in order to demonstrate that at least on their own little floating island, people could cooperate and live peacefully. Additionally, the expedition took samples of marine pollution and presented their report to the United Nations.
Cochin Jews, also called Malabar Jews (Malabar Yehudan), are the oldest group of Jews in India, with roots claimed to date to the time of King Solomon, though historically attested migration dates from the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Historically, they lived in the Kingdom of Cochin in South India, now part of the state of Kerala. Several rounds of immigration of the Jewish diaspora into Kerala led to an ethnic, but not a linguistic, diversity: the community was divided into White Jews and Black Jews, both of which spoke Judeo-Malayalam, a form of the Malayalam tongue native to the state. The vast majority of the Cochin Jews emigrated to Israel; the number remaining in Kerala itself is minuscule, and the community faces extinction there.