Quarrel over age of Grand Canyon
A group calling itself "Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility" (PEER) reports,
Washington, DC — 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. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces , more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
While I think that it is wrong to bar giving an official estimate of the geologic age of the canyon, I also think that it is wrong to request censorship of the book. PEER is no better than the fundies in this regard.
The PEER report also says,
Park officials have defended the decision to approve the sale of Grand Canyon: A Different View, claiming that park bookstores are like libraries, where the broadest range of views are displayed. In fact, however, both law and park policies make it clear that the park bookstores are more like schoolrooms rather than libraries.
Good grief -- now they're saying that park bookstores are more like schoolrooms than like libraries. How can a bookstore and a schoolroom be compared? The visitors to a bookstore are not a captive audience. There is no "peer pressure" to buy or examine the creationist book.
Records released to PEER show that during 2003, Grand Canyon officials rejected 22 books and other products for bookstore placement while approving only one new sale item — the creationist book.
This information is not of much use without descriptions of the other 22 books and/or the reasons for rejecting them.
More information and discussion are at:
National Center for Science Education: here (gives a good history of the controversy) and here
Panda's Thumb: here
Uncommon Descent: here
Question: In Zion National Park is a canyon called the Zion Narrows. It has vertical walls, is 16 miles long, up to 2000 feet deep, and at times only 20-30 feet wide. Anyone have any ideas as to how this canyon might have been formed by natural erosional forces?
Selling the book does not imply National Park Service endorsement -- otherwise the sale of a book by any bookstore would imply endorsement by the bookstore. BTW, there is a law that requires NPS Civil War battlefield sites to endorse and promote the idea that slavery was the primary if not the sole cause of secession and the Civil War. We shouldn't have government-endorsed versions of history (except that the events at a particular battlefield can be presented factually and objectively).
Labels: Grand Canyon's age