Wilkins reveals that our good ol’ US military is planning to use a major fossil site as a bombing range. This is a brilliant move by the evangelicals who are exercising greater and greater dominance of the armed forces. The obvious result is that rare, one-of-a-kind fossils will be pulverized and lost forever—a direct and positive result.

Realistically, though, the bombs won’t destroy that many fossils. The real gain will come when persistent, pesky evolutionists insist on some future date on trying to find the heretical material testimonies against our Lord and Savior, and discover instead the surprising joys of unexploded munitions. Not only will they be unable to corrupt our children’s minds with their “facts” and “evidence” and “logic”, but they themselves will briefly learn the truth of our loving God and Creator in the instant before He flings them down into a fiery pit for an eternity of torment.

And, best of all, the atheistical Darwinists, knowing that their immortal souls face damnation and therefore cling in their cowardly fashion to life on this tainted, sin-filled, evil world, will be reluctant to even explore land that has been sown with the sacred deadly armaments of God’s Own Army. Win win win!

I think we need to take an extra step and sprinkle anthrax over every fossil bed we can find. Hey, you know what, this solves the problem of evil, too! God made those horrible, dangerous, death-dealing organisms so good Christians can use them to slaughter the heathen!

(Sorry, I’ve been reading too much Answers in Genesis in the last few days.)


  1. #1 forsen
    May 29, 2007

    This is quite tragic. Reminds me of the tons and tons of fossils lost to science after being pulverized as “Dragon bones” and used for alleged medical effect in China throughout the centuries. We’ll never now what we might have found either there, or in that fossil site.

  2. #2 Laelaps
    May 29, 2007

    While the fossils are certainly an issue, farmers and other land-owners are pretty pissed that so much space is going to be gobbled up for an even larger military base. I blogged about this a little more than a month ago, and to the best of my understanding that military hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with what exactly their plan for obtaining and using the land is going to be.

  3. #3 Sonja
    May 29, 2007

    Those pesky evolutionists are always pointing to the layered order of the fossil record as more evidence that life has evolved over time. But what if all the fossils were on the same layer — you know, like they were before the great flood?

    Bombing fixes just about everything…


  4. #4 Chaoswes
    May 29, 2007

    I live here in Colorado and several of my customers are from that area. Apparently, the hunting is good there and the locals feel that they are “stealing” the land so the generals will have a place to kill deer and elk. The local papers are covering the story and the level of irritation is beginning to build. Most of the protest,so far, is coming from the universities all over the state. I plan on calling the number given in the link and despite long distance charges so should all of you. Some times all it takes is to pester those bastards so much that it is no longer worth it.

  5. #5 CCP
    May 29, 2007

    I’ve been reading too much Answers in Genesis in the last few days.


  6. #6 Andre
    May 29, 2007

    Talk about making their own gaps in the fossil record!

  7. #7 Jon
    May 29, 2007

    Those damn atheistalinistic evolutionazis..

    Then again, they probably wouldn’t use THOSE suffixes. Too obvious.

  8. #8 Jeff
    May 29, 2007

    Anthrax wouldn’t last long, would it?

  9. #9 sailor
    May 29, 2007

    I would second this correspondence from the origianl article:

    Finally, how ’bout we make Ken Ham’s new museum a bombing range instead? That would solve two problems.

    Posted by: Emory Kimbrough

  10. #10 Lago
    May 29, 2007

    Now, if they truly want to bomb useless places, I know of this recently opened Creationist Museum they should give a try…

  11. #11 Lago
    May 29, 2007

    Sailor beat me to it..

  12. #12 John Danley
    May 29, 2007

    What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, especially the depleted-uranium fallout.

  13. #13 Martin R
    May 29, 2007

    I once dug at a Mesolithic site older than the Ussherian Creation. Should have blown the place sky high.

  14. #14 Patrick Quigley
    May 29, 2007

    PZ, your take on this story made me think of Twain’s War Prayer, but even more it called to mind Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    The Book of Armaments (Chapter 2, Verses 9-21)

    “And St. Atilar raised the Hand Grenade up on high saying: Oh LORD, bless this thy Hand Grenade that with it thou mayst blow thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the LORD did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and live…”

  15. #15 Brownian
    May 29, 2007

    Can we accuse the Armed Forces of colluding with the creationists to destroy evidence of evolution?

    “…through this nation whole generations of young people are being taught in the public schools there [are] no [transitional fossils]….”

  16. #16 PZ Myers
    May 29, 2007

    Excuse me…there’s a camera crew sitting here in my lab filming me for a documentary. And they want me to look like I’m actually doing something, so here I am typing a random comment.

    Let’s see if I can make blogging look dynamic! I’m taking my pants off and will type this will standing on my head. Exciting, right?

  17. #17 Sean
    May 29, 2007

    Every last blog on this topic is mentioning ‘bombs’ and ‘bombing range’ in conjunction with ‘army’. That should set off a few neurons. All army fixed wing aircraft are about as close to stock commercial designs as one can get. Medivacs and VIP transports rarely drop ordnance. Army rotor craft do not habitually drop freefall munitions — air to ground missiles to be sure, but then wouldn’t ‘missile range’ be a more appropriate term?

    Ahh, but the military quotes in the blog entries use the term ‘maneuver site’. Could that be what it implies? Yep. A minute of research shows a multitude of references to Pinon Canyon as being a nonlive-fire facility. No bombs. No missiles. No shells.

    Research also revealed something I did not already suspect. The maneuver site has a one of a kind Environmental and Natural Resource Program run by the military. They won the military’s first Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation.

  18. #18 Numad
    May 29, 2007

    “Let’s see if I can make blogging look dynamic! I’m taking my pants off and will type this will standing on my head. Exciting, right?”

    I think that’s what they did in Operation: Swordfish.

  19. #19 The Exterminator
    May 29, 2007


    This is a potentially BIG story about America’s attitude toward science, and I think you should use your clout to push it. If I were you, I’d contact The New York Times, the Washington Post, or the L.A. Times, identify yourself as someone who has a huge following in the scientific blogosphere as well as a column in Seed, and suggest that someone on the paper’s staff cover the situation. You could do this by phone or email.

    Alternatively, and perhaps even better, you could write and submit a serious opinion piece (keep it to around 750 words) for the op-ed page. If you do this, include a brief bio and some info about the authority of Pharyngula.

    If you’d like some more specific suggestions, feel free to email me.

  20. #20 Sean
    May 29, 2007

    Found some more.

    Access is not cutoff to existing maneuver site land. Specific references can be found online to allowing research teams and even hunters onto the site grounds.

    Portions of the site with biological or archaelogical value are designated as NONmaneuver zones.

    The specific area in question, Picket Wire Canyonland, was part of the site until 1990 when control was transferred to the Forest Service.

    Looks like the army also has agreements with at least fourteen governmental and private organizations to preserve environmental and archaelogical treasures within the site. The army even has a staff archaeologist.

    Just read this page:

  21. #21 Scrotum
    May 29, 2007

    Looks like the army also has agreements with at least fourteen governmental and private organizations to preserve environmental and archaelogical treasures within the site. The army even has a staff archaeologist.

    Well, good thing we know exactly where all the future finds are located!

  22. #22 Gary Hurd
    May 29, 2007

    I was running a small archaeological survey and monitoring job a few years ago in Oneal Park, Orange County CA. About halfway through the project, we turned up a few dozen UXOs left over from naval bombing practice in WWII and Korean War trainers. There was a historic adobe house, and that had apparently been their target.

    Kind’a stopped the science for me.

  23. #23 RH
    May 29, 2007

    The above site appears to be the major protest organization. They have a petition, legislation and contact info, and summaries of the agricultural, scientific, and cultural value of the region.

    I have personally visited Picket Wire Canyon, and found it breathtaking. There is an incredible amount of absolutely unique and FRAGILE geology, history, biology, and beauty packed into a day hike. The dinosaur tracks alone had me happy for weeks.

    This issue is currently active in both the CO and US Legislatures. Please at least look it up.


  24. #24 clucas
    May 29, 2007

    What is exactly wrong about blowing up fossils. They seem to be mean and bitter tasting. Besides you know who you are. MUHAHAHAHA!!!!!

  25. #25 Hugh Fisher
    May 29, 2007

    My reaction to this item: what the ?

    I drop in to Pharyngula for some interesting and rational scientific discussion, and instead find a conspiracy nut ranting about fundamentalist Christian preachers subverting the US military into blowing up fossils that might disprove Genesis. This is talkback radio quality material. (Next somebody will see a black helicopter using the new range…)

    I sincerely hope this is a temporary aberration.


  26. #26 Dustin
    May 29, 2007

    This is making me feel physically sick. I’ve been to Picket Wire on several occasions, and there are both archaeological sites and fossil sites there which are priceless. The dinosaur tracks themselves are extremely important, and I’m really having a hard time stomaching the idea of shells being lobbed at them.
    There’s rock art all over the canyon. Some of it’s been pillaged, but the protection has been stepped up in recent years. There’s the Delores Mission ruins, too. I’d like everyone here to sign the petition left above, and also e-mail as many representatives in the government as possible.

    The Colorado legislature isn’t going to be able to do much to stop the expansion, and it has to be dealt with at the federal level, so writing your Senators and representatives, as well as the presidential candidates, is probably the best chance we have of saving the Comanche Grasslands.

  27. #27 Sean
    May 30, 2007

    I have gone down a slightly different track. I emailed my own federal representatives as well as the Colorado bunch. The gist?

    The online world is working itself into a tizzy about the planned site expansion. Few of the people involved appear to actually have done any research and are flying off half-cocked based on misinformation. Please make your decision based on objective facts and not emotional pleas from the ignorant.

    People. Stop. Research. Compare and contrast. I can not state with absolute assuredness which side of the situation is closest to proverbial Truth. But I can state, the against expansion site’s facts correlate to third party sources of information at a much lower rate than that of the military.

    And again, Dustin, ‘shells fired’? Non. Live. Fire.

  28. #28 Mike
    June 8, 2007


    You’re the one who’s talking out of a cocked hat. Do you live here? Do you know what’s going on? I do, and I can tell you for a FACT that the Army is lying to everyone about what’s going on.

    My suggestion to you would be to actually do a little more digging at, there’s nothing on there that’s hyperbole. Unlike your own comments.

    There’s far more at risk here than the fossils and history, and the Army is hardly the most trustworthy organization in the country.

    How do I know? I’m the journalist that originally broke the story. It’s absolute truth.

    You’re right, the site was NON-live fire, until 2003 when the Army turned it into live fire. That’s just one of the promises the Army’s broken (all documented on that site). And there’s a good possibility they’re using depleted uranium ammunition too, although that hasn’t yet been confirmed (Thanks to the Army’s outright refusal to give any straight answers).

    Oh by the way, this isn’t the only site in the country that the Army is currently considering expanding. They’re also trying to expand Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, and Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona (at the same time? Hmmmm).

    The Department of Defense already owns approximately 25 million acres of property in America, and out of that the Army owns over 10 million acres (Nearly 17,000 Sq. Miles). Those are well documented FACTS Sean. Why do they need more land? Red flags are being raised and waved about, I suggest you pay attention.

    According to the U.S. General Services Administration, as of 30 September, 1999, the Federal Government owned a grand total of 630,265,626.1 Acres, or 27.7 percent of the land in the United States. Again, that’s a documented fact Sean. Where are your facts?

    If you’re so keen to urge others to do research, seems like you ought to brush up on those skills yourself. I’ve done my research.

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