Once we know what bias is being confirmed by what facts, we can compare it with our own bias and how our bias explains the same facts. We can try to be as objective as possible. Or not.
What I hope to do in this series is offer people alternative, rational, fact-based interpretations so that undecided people can make informed choices.
Today we'll look at the Mormon Stories article titled "Cultural Context Preceding the Book of Mormon," which you can see here:
This article is pretty long but if I omit any of it, we run the risk of later changes in the original and/or claims that we're avoiding issues. You might want to scan for my comments (in red).
I summarize this article by observing that it offers evidence of both composition and translation; i.e., whether Joseph composed or translated the text, the language in the text would be the same.
In my view, Joseph Smith was prepared for his role as translator through his exposure to his environment in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. This article discusses some of that preparation.
Whether or not the historical narrative in the text is an accurate account of actual history, the ensuing legends about the moundbuilders would be the same because the Europeans were observing the remains of the ancient inhabitants but had no records from the ancient people.
IOW, the ancient inhabitants of America had a history. They left behind evidence, but no written records. Because there are no historical records other than the Book of Mormon to explain that history, people have to decide whether the Book of Mormon is an actual record of those inhabitants or not.
The article seeks to portray the Book of Mormon as fiction. That's the same argument, articulated in the 1834 book Mormonism Unvailed, that Oliver Cowdery addressed in Letters VII and VIII by citing facts.
(Of course, modern LDS scholars who promote M2C make the same arguments as Mormonism Unvailed, so the analysis here addresses the M2C arguments as well.)
We have to look at other indicia to distinguish between composition and translation, a topic not covered in this article.