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

  1. Jan 3, 2007 #1

    EL

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    http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

    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?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I want to rant but I don't even know where to start!!!
     
  4. Jan 3, 2007 #3
    Ah, but can you PROVE it wasn't created by Noah's Flood?!

    Otherwise, geology is just a theory...:uhh:
     
  5. Jan 3, 2007 #4

    verty

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    Suspend its belief in geology, huh? These scientists and their beliefs, they're so irresponsible.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2007 #5

    Janus

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    To quote the Simpsons:

    There is no emoticon to express my outrage!
     
  7. Jan 3, 2007 #6
    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
     
  8. Jan 3, 2007 #7
    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.
     
  9. Jan 3, 2007 #8
    Oh, and I like how no less than four people responded angrily, without even considering veracity!
     
  10. Jan 3, 2007 #9
    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.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2007 #10

    Evo

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    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.
     
  12. Jan 3, 2007 #11
    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

    (3) "pressure from Bush employees"
    (no source)
     
  13. Jan 3, 2007 #12
    This isn't subtle. Something bad happened, and an organization embellished it rather dishonestly. Can't I be angry at both of those things?
     
  14. Jan 3, 2007 #13

    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
     
  15. Jan 3, 2007 #14

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  16. Jan 4, 2007 #15

    EL

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    Thanks Rach3, I think you summed it up pretty good:

    Your link clearly contradicts the impression one gets from the PEER-article.

    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:
    Together with
    (http://www.time.com/time/columnist/jaroff/article/0,9565,783829,00.html)
    it seems clear there must be some nuts in charge over NPS.
     
  17. Jan 4, 2007 #16
    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:
    Source History and Culture

    On the Nature and Science page:
    Source Nature and Science

    On the Natural features and Ecosystems page:
    Source Natural features and Ecosystems
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2007
  18. Jan 18, 2007 #17

    EL

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  19. Jan 18, 2007 #18

    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.
     
  20. Jan 18, 2007 #19

    BobG

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    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.
     
  21. Jan 18, 2007 #20

    EL

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    Wow, is it really true less than 50% of US population accepts human evolution?:eek:
     
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