Pharyngula

Or maybe it’s just guilty of bad journalism. Look at this story they ran: it’s about a creationist who claims that Arizona sandstones are proof of Noah’s flood. It’s a remarkable piece of crap. The creationist, Greg Morgan, is a nuclear safety engineer, not a geologist, and his argument consists entirely of pointing at some swirly sandstone formations and saying they look flowy, like they’d been formed in water. That’s it. It got published in Answers in Genesis magazine, though!

They gave this nonsense 35 paragraphs. The surprising thing is that nowhere in it did they consult an actual geologist — I guess “he said she said” journalism only applies when you’re talking about science. If it’s creationism, just “he said” is enough. The journalist, John Trumbo, did make the effort to call Andrew Snelling in Kentucky to get a second creationist’s opinion, but could not trouble himself to call the UW or WSU to find out what the opinion of a real geologist might be.

I’m not a geologist, not even close, but I’ve traveled through Utah and Northern Arizona and have seen a lot of these spectacular formations, and even I know the answer: these were formed by aeolian processes, built up and carved away by the wind. I can even lift my fingers and consult the BLM via Google and get a fairly thorough explanation.

The Jurassic Navajo Sandstone is 1200 feet thick in Paria Canyon and is the most prominent formation. It is composed of crossbedded eolian sandstone deposited over millions of years as huge sand dunes migrated across a large desert broken only by an occasional oasis. Where the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch have cut through the Navajo Sandstone, slot canyons have formed. The Navajo Sandstone is very resistant in this desert environment and forms sheer cliffs and conical hoodoos.

John Trumbo did not make the slightest effort to evaluate the bullshit Greg Morgan is spouting, or if he did, he ignored it. John Trumbo is an incompetent journalist. John Trumbo is a creationist. Why is KOMO news supporting him? They did issue a statement on their facebook page.

Folks, please note that we shared this story on our Facebook page because it is currently one of the most popular stories on our website. We are not promoting any agenda, including “young-earth creationism.” Thank you.

No, they are promoting creationism. They published a completely credulous story with no fact-checking at all that parrots a totally bogus explanation of a well-understood geological phenomenon.

That’s promoting a young earth creationist agenda.

Hey, KOMO. How about issuing a correction and consulting a competent geologist to get some goddamned truth in your news?

(Also on FtB)