How old is Grand Canyon? Park service won't say.

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EL
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http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801 [Broken]

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).

“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.’”
The problem with creationism in US still seems to be alarming.
Is the situation this bad in general?
What should be done to solve this problem?
 
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Ivan Seeking
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I want to rant but I don't even know where to start!!!
 
Archon
Ah, but can you PROVE it wasn't created by Noah's Flood?!

Otherwise, geology is just a theory...:uhh:
 
verty
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Suspend its belief in geology, huh? These scientists and their beliefs, they're so irresponsible.
 
Janus
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To quote the Simpsons:

There is no emoticon to express my outrage!
 
Rach3
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.
The article is rubbish. The "source" they interviewed is a spokesman for their own organization - they distorted information and quoted themselves as source!

The official website certainly does not hide the geological ages involved:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/naturalfeaturesandecosystems.htm

The kernel of truth in this is that the NPS is currently selling creationist literature in their tourist store, alongside all the reasonable stuff. While this is grossly inappropriate, it hardly constitutes an "official statement"; the 'PEER' article is a severe distortion.

Get the facts here.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/the_grand_canyon_is_how_old.php [Broken]
 
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Rach3
It's funny how they give no evidence or source for the "Bush employees" claim - I haven't seen that in mainstream media. Must be another embelishment.
 
Rach3
Oh, and I like how no less than four people responded angrily, without even considering veracity!
 
Rach3
I skimmed through some of the other PEER articles, seems none of them give citations were they would be obviously useful. Especially the really wierd stuff, like "EPA spraying dangerous pesticides on children" - um, source please?

This thread and its responses are a TEXTBOOK example of how even the smartest internet users have no concern for the precision or veracity of news sources.
 
Evo
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Get the facts here.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/the_grand_canyon_is_how_old.php [Broken]
From Rach's link

"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.
 
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Rach3
Apples:

(1) NPS sells creationist literature in violation of their own policies (and common sense).

Oranges:

(2) "NPS is not allowed to say how old the grand canyon is." -PEER
contradicted by
http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescienc...ecosystems.htm [Broken]

(3) "pressure from Bush employees"
(no source)
 
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Rach3
This isn't subtle. Something bad happened, and an organization embellished it rather dishonestly. Can't I be angry at both of those things?
 
Evo
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Faith-Based Parks?

From Time Magazine

Faith-Based Parks?

Creationists meet the Grand Canyon

"At a park called Dinosaur Adventure Land, run by creationists near Pensacola, Florida, visitors are informed that man coexisted with dinosaurs. This fantasy accommodates the creationists’ view that the Earth is only 6,000 years old and that Darwin’s theory of evolution is false. Among the park exhibits is one that illustrates another creationist article of faith. It consists of a long trough filled with sand and fitted at one end with a water spigot. Above the trough is a sign reading “That River Didn’t Make That Canyon.” When visitors open the spigot, the water quickly cuts a gully through the sand, supposedly demonstrating how the Grand Canyon was created, practically overnight, by Noah’s flood. That’s nonsense, of course, but what else would you expect at a creationist park? Certainly, one might think, this couldn’t be acceptable at, say, a National Park, right? Think again."

" “For years,” Vail explains, “as a Colorado River guide, I told people how the Grand Canyon was formed over the evolutionary time span of millions of years. (Most geologists place the canyon’s age at some six million years). Then I met the Lord. Now I have a different view of the Canyon, which according to a biblical time scale, can’t possibly be more than a few thousand years old.”

http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,783829,00.html [Broken]
 
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russ_watters
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This isn't subtle. Something bad happened, and an organization embellished it rather dishonestly. Can't I be angry at both of those things?
We've discussed this story before, though I don't feel like digging around for it. This article has a new date, but the issue isn't new. Perhaps it first got airtime in 2003 as they mentioned. Whenever it was, at the time I first read it, I was disturbed but not particularly surprised, but I must admit I didn't feel strongly enough about it to investigate it for myself. :redface: But I guess that's the point of such things: if people think they are plausible they are not inclined to question them and when it comes to the Bush admin, people are inclined to think a lot of things are plausible. But there are enough legitimate issues with the Bush admin's science/religion stance that people shouldn't need to make up/embellish things to make their point. When people figure out their scam, it just destroys their credibility.
 
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EL
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Thanks Rach3, I think you summed it up pretty good:

Oranges:

(2) "NPS is not allowed to say how old the grand canyon is." -PEER
contradicted by
http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescienc...ecosystems.htm [Broken]
Your link clearly contradicts the impression one gets from the PEER-article.

(3) "pressure from Bush employees"
(no source)
I was also wondering about PEER's claim about "pressure from Bush administration appointees". It seems "a bit" far-fetched, so to say...and since no source is given, that comment doesn't make much sense.


However, this is really disturbing:
Apples:

(1) NPS sells creationist literature in violation of their own policies (and common sense).
Together with
NPS has allowed the placing of bronze plaques bearing Psalm verses at Grand Canyon overlooks.
(http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,783829,00.html [Broken])
it seems clear there must be some nuts in charge over NPS.
 
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Without giving an opinion on the validity of the references above, a quick survey of the website of the Grand Canyon by the NPS proves otherwise:

On the History and Culture page:
Archeological Resources
The oldest human artifacts found are nearly 12,000 years old and date to the Paleo-Indian period. There has been continuous use and occupation of the park since that time. Archeological remains from the following culture groups are found in Grand Canyon National Park: Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Basketmaker, Ancestral Puebloan (Kayenta and Virgin branches), Cohonina, Cerbat, Pai, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, and Euro-American. The park has recorded over 4,800 archeological resources with an intensive survey of nearly 3% of the park area.
Source http://www.nps.gov/grca/historyculture/index.htm" [Broken]

On the Nature and Science page:
The Cambrian seas of the Grand Canyon were home to several kinds of trilobite, whose closest living relative is the modern horsehoe crab. They left their fossil record in the mud of the Bright Angel Shale over 500 million years ago.
Source http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/index.htm" [Broken]

On the Natural features and Ecosystems page:
Geologic formations such as gneiss and schist found at the bottom of the Canyon date back 1,800 million years. This geologic incline creates a diversity of biotic communities, and five of the seven life zones are present in the park.
Source http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/naturalfeaturesandecosystems.htm" [Broken]
 
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EL
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Evo
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I've got to say I agree they need to pull that book by Vail off the shelves. A National Park is no place to be selling books on creationism and fundamentalist religious beliefs. It's a National Park. Still that's no excuse for using slimeball tactics.
 
BobG
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How Skeptic magazine was Duped by an Environmental Activist Group:

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-01-17.html
At least they owned up to their mistake.

I don't know much about Skeptic magazine, but if their article on Religious Beliefs and Societal Health are any indication, they might be susceptible to be duped by any author that supports their views. The article seems to lean toward the idea that religion either leads to dysfunctionality in a nation or at least flourishes in dysfunctional nations. Personally, I look at their charts and the only conclusion I draw is that the US has a high murder rate, and a high pregnancy rate among teens (which, in itself, could lead to the high abortion rate among teens in the US). Toss out the US and I don't see much of a trend line on their charts. If he instead took the slant that religion has little to no affect on a country's societal health, he'd probably have a more valid point.
 
EL
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BobG said:
Religious Beliefs and Societal Health
Wow, is it really true less than 50% of US population accepts human evolution?:eek:
 
Gokul43201
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Personally, I look at their charts and the only conclusion I draw is that the US has a high murder rate, and a high pregnancy rate among teens (which, in itself, could lead to the high abortion rate among teens in the US). Toss out the US and I don't see much of a trend line on their charts. If he instead took the slant that religion has little to no affect on a country's societal health, he'd probably have a more valid point.
How could you possibly conclude that of the abortions data? Even if you took out the US from that set, and fit a regression line to the first plot, it would have a positive slope with the span in y (~7 per 1000) over the x-range where data exists far exceeding the RMS deviation in y (<1 per 1000). If the RMS deviation of y was assumed to be normally distributed about the trend line, this is better than a 99.9% confidence level that a positive trend does exist.
 
russ_watters
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BobG
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How could you possibly conclude that of the abortions data? Even if you took out the US from that set, and fit a regression line to the first plot, it would have a positive slope with the span in y (~7 per 1000) over the x-range where data exists far exceeding the RMS deviation in y (<1 per 1000). If the RMS deviation of y was assumed to be normally distributed about the trend line, this is better than a 99.9% confidence level that a positive trend does exist.
True, but I still don't put much stock in it. Look how many countries were dropped off the chart. In fact, all four of the other countries with a high 'believe in God' percentage were dropped off the chart. Ireland, Spain, and Portugal were left off for a good reason. Abortion is illegal in Ireland except to save the life of the mother. Most Irish have to go to England to get an abortion, which makes reporting abortion rates difficult. Spain and Portugal also have restrictive abortion laws, making any figures misleading. Italy's abortion laws are similar to the US and the rest of Europe and they could have been included. Their abortion rate would be the lowest on the chart.
 
J77
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Wow, is it really true less than 50% of US population accepts human evolution?:eek:
The "Cabbage Patch Kid" Generation :biggrin:

On a more global note: all religions should be banned - they're all rubbish.
 
The "Cabbage Patch Kid" Generation :biggrin:

On a more global note: all religions should be banned - they're all rubbish.
prove it :wink:

Only in America is all I can say, Creationists are a minority religious group who should have no influence whatsoever over politics or anything else for that matter, you don't see me lobbying parliament because people keep exposing me and my familly to creationist propaganda. Or marching down the street saying God hates x(really chrsitian by the way :rolleyes:) I have no problem with religion, it's self righteous drivel that p's me off.:mad: if you want to believe in God or the Invisible pink unicorn, knock yourself out, so long as I don't have to acknowledge your views in any way as being right. Now what did we do with all those proto-fundementalists-creationists over in Europe oh yeah :wink: :approve: and don't come back. Creationism, givng fundementalism a bad name since circa 6000BC.
 
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