FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice.
Book of Mormon/DNA evidence/Jaredite influence
Jaredites' influence on New World DNA
Jump to Subtopic:
Question: What influence might the Jaredites have had on New World DNA?
The Jaredites are complete genetic unknowns: They cannot be Israelites, since they pre-date Israel
The potential influence of the Jaredites on Nephite and Lamanite DNA is often overlooked. Most assume (as in the hemispheric models type 2 and type 3) that the Jaredites can have contributed nothing of consequence to the Lehite DNA picture.
Some LDS have believed in a total eradication of the Jaredites, others have argued that Jaredite remnants survived and mixed with the Lehites
But, it is not clear that this must be the case. Some LDS scholars have believed in a total eradication of the Jaredites, others have argued that Jaredite remnants survived and mixed with the Lehites. Bruce R. McConkie, while believing that the majority of Amerindian descent was from Israel (i.e. Lehi, Ishmael, and Mulek) nevertheless wrote:
The American Indians, however, as Columbus found them also had other blood than that of Israel in their veins. It is possible that isolated remnants of the Jaredites may have lived through the period of destruction in which millions of their fellows perished. It is quite apparent that groups of orientals found their way over the Bering Strait and gradually moved southward to mix with the Indian peoples. We have records of a colony of Scandinavians attempting to set up a settlement in America some 500 years before Columbus. There are archeological indications that an unspecified number of groups of people probably found their way from the old to the new world in pre-Columbian times. Out of all these groups would have come the American Indians as they were discovered in the 15th century. 
The Jaredites are complete genetic unknowns. They cannot be Israelites, since they pre-date Israel. Some authors, such as Hugh Nibley, long ago argued that they were of Asian origin. 
Articles which discuss the relevance of Jaredite issues:
- John M. Butler, "A Few Thoughts From a Believing DNA Scientist," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 12/1 (2003): 36–37. off-site wiki
- Bruce R. McConkie, "American Indians," in Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 33. GL direct linkGL direct link
- See, for example, Hugh W. Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, the World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites, edited by John W. Welch with Darrell L. Matthew and Stephen R. Callister, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1988),153–following. GL direct link