I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, January 05, 2007

NPS "gag rule" about Grand Canyon's age was hoax

Earlier I reported that an organization called "Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility" (PEER) issued a recent press release claiming that the park staff at Grand Canyon National Park had been instructed to not comment about the geologic age of the canyon. This claim has now been exposed as a hoax -- see this and this.

The PEER press release said,

Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees . . . .

. . . .“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”

PEER presented no firm evidence that the park "is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature" or that the NPS is "under orders to suspend its belief in geology."

Also, a letter from the PEER director to the National Park Service director, dated December 28, said,

. . . . Park Service leadership has blocked publication of guidance for park rangers and other interpretative staff that labeled creationism as lacking any scientific basis. As a consequence, NPS staff has no official guidance as to how to answer questions from the public concerning topics such as creationists' "young earth" claims. Further, media inquiries to the Grand Canyon superintendent seeking an official statement on the geologic age of the Canyon have produced replies such as "no comment" and referral of the reporter to NPS headquarters. (emphasis added)

According to the letter, the title of the "blocked publication" is "National Park Service Geologic Interpretive Programs: Distinguishing Science from Religion."

The PEER letter asks the NPS to remove the creationist book Grand Canyon: A Different View from sale at park bookstores and museums, even though the book has been removed from the science book sections at those locations (as noted here and here). At the same time, the PEER letter asks the NPS to release a "publication of guidance for park rangers and other interpretative staff that labeled creationism as lacking any scientific basis." PEER is a hypocritical fascist organization.

PEER may be contacted here and here.

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