Pharyngula

The Grand Canyon is how old?

At this point, it’s safe to say the National Park Service is stonewalling. There is a book called The Grand Canyon: A Different View, written from a young earth creationist perspective, which the NPS has approved for sale in its bookstores. It is a truly appalling piece of crap; I wrote about in in July of 2004, and you can read excerpts from it online. One might argue that the appearance of the book is simply due to a lack of discrimination by the Park Service, which just shovels the gimcracks and gewgaws into their stores to make money, but apparently they try to exercise some due consideration in product placement.

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.

The book is clearly in violation of the standards the Park Service sets for itself; this excellent letter from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility cites the explicit directive from the director of the agency that lays out the criteria.

Historical and Scientific Research. Superintendents, historians, scientists,
and interpretive staff are responsible for ensuring that park interpretive and
educational programs and media are accurate and reflect current
scholarship…Questions often arise round the presentation of geological,
biological, and evolutionary processes. The interpretive and educational treatment
used to explain the natural processes and history of the Earth must be based on
the best scientific evidence available, as found in scholarly sources that have
stood the test of scientific peer review and criticism.

This is a no-brainer. The book should not have been approved in the first place. It should be removed from their catalog immediately. The Park Service should approve and implement training for their staff (which should hardly be necessary; they shouldn’t hire idiots in the first place) to make sure that they are presenting accurate geological information to the public.

“No comment” is not good enough. This disgraceful controversy has been stewing long enough that the continued inaction of the Park Service administration constitutes an implied endorsement of anti-scientific nonsense.

Comments

  1. #1 the Dude
    December 30, 2006

    And folks wonder why I have finally come out of the closet as an atheist. This is just f@#king out of control. I am so sick of obviously stupid people.

    Dawkins is right: tolerating these idiots only encourages them. We should be pointing out the ridiculousness at every turn.

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