The latest one involves volcanoes. "Has the volcano responsible for the destruction in 3 Nephi been located?"
We have an ongoing dilemma with Dan's nonsense. Unchallenged, he just makes Mormonism look more and more ridiculous, but he has his followers whose bias confirmation is so strong, they don't think critically. They evangelize Dan's "interpretations" and M2C continues, unimpeded.
If you dare to point out how ludicrous his pontifications are, he'll lash out by playing the victim and his followers will accuse you of apostasy. (One of his minions--who I think is actually Dan himself under an alias--has an anonymous blog named after me, in a classic example of the ad hominem logical fallacy that Dan made famous at FARMS. You can expect some outrage theater from Dan and his alter ego in response to this post.)
Dan has posted several times about a book by an M2C-believing volcanologist. Fair enough. I have no problem with anyone mentioning a topic of interest. I'm all in favor of promoting someone's book. The book appears sincere and earnest, so I'll discuss it briefly below.
The problem here is two-fold. First, the book's author, at least for the volcano portion, employs the same type of apologist argument that Dan and his follower have produced for years; i.e., circular reasoning based on bias confirmation.
Second, in the comments, Dan and his followers double down on these apologist arguments. Plus, after making a series of logical fallacies themselves, Dan ends up criticizing comments with his usual victim posturing and condescension:
and this fun one:
Here's the form of the argument. "Joseph Smith couldn't have known about X (in this case, volcanoes) therefore the Book of Mormon is true." As usual, this form of apologist argument relies on mind-reading assumptions about what Joseph could or could not have known. It is transparent bias confirmation of the worst kind.
The problem arises when faithful LDS actually fall for this apologist argument.
Critics simply have to point out that Joseph easily could have known about X (in this case, volcanoes) and the apologist argument disintegrates. Those who fell for the apologist argument then feel like they've "lost," when the real problem was the fallacy of the apologist argument in the first place.
This is one of those times when I don't want to point out the logical and factual fallacies of a guy's testimony. It's an ongoing concern for me. A lot of faithful LDS have wrapped their testimonies around M2C. The situation is getting worse all the time as CES and BYU enforce M2C in curriculum, the Church historians accommodate M2C by changing Church history in the Saints book, etc.
Not content with indoctrinating young LDS, Book of Mormon Central and the rest of the citation cartel are making a concerted effort to bind testimonies to M2C by engaging in "outreach" to faithful members of the Church in Central America. This creates a "wheat and tares" problem. You can't uproot M2C tares without uprooting some of the wheat.
I consider this academic abuse. The M2C promoters (the "credentialed class" of self-appointed experts) know there are alternatives to M2C. They acknowledge that the Church is "neutral" on the issues. Yet they insist that M2C is the only viable explanation for Church history and Book of Mormon historicity. They censor alternative views, lobby Church leaders, solicit millions of dollars from Church members, and aggressively promote M2C exclusively, all in an effort to persuade Church members to believe them instead of the consistent, persistent teachings of the prophets about the New York Cumorah. (The key element of M2C is the 2C part, which insists the prophets are wrong and that the "real" Hill Cumorah is somewhere in southern Mexico. Whether non-Cumorah events took place in Mesoamerica, the midwestern U.S., or elsewhere, has never been declared as a fact the way the New York Cumorah has.)
The book Dan is referencing is a good example of the outcome of M2C ideology. Although I've never met the author, he is undoubtedly an awesome, faithful member of the Church. (There are two authors of the book, but I'm referencing the blog post that discusses the volcano argument.)
When the author employs techniques such as this (from the blog), you know it's pure confirmation bias: "For “vapor of darkness” substitute “volcanic ash” and everything falls precisely into place." https://www.ldsscientist.com/