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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  04:47:42  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Seems as though the Park Service has no opinion as to the age of the canyon. It further seems that this asinine policy has come down from the top, or near it.
quote:
The Grand Canyon is not a few thousand years old

Long time readers may recall a story I first started following three years ago, in January 2004, about a controversial religious book approved for sale at the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, the issue still isn't resolved.

First, a little background. In August 2003, the National Park Service approved a creationist text, “Grand Canyon: A Different View,” to share bookshelves with legitimate books at park bookstores and museums. In this case, the “different view” meant an unscientific approach, touting a literal reading of scripture to explain the Canyon's formation. The book argues, for example, “[A]ccording to a biblical time scale, [the Canyon] can't possibly be more than about a few thousand years old.”

The decision to promote the book didn't go over well. Scientists who work at the Grand Canyon were outraged, as was the academic community — the American Geological Institute and seven geo-science organizations sent letters to the park and agency officials asking that the book be removed. Their objections were rebuffed; the book stayed.

Three years later, the problem appears to be slightly worse.

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 National Park Service promised a high-level policy review of the issue three years ago. Apparently, that never occurred. What a surprise.

What a suprise indeed..... Lemmee see if I've got this straight: My tax dollars (and yours) are going toward a deliberate program to promote myth, legend, and outright lies over the geological sciences? And park employees are forbidden to comment.

The religious fundalmentalists be damned! If the truth is offensive, then let 'em be offended! Perhaps, with a change in government and in a year or two, Grand Canyon: A Different View will be consigned to that lunatic rubbish heap containing such works as Mein Kamph, and anything by Ann Coulter and L. Ron Hubbard.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  06:31:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I recall reading about that book a few years back. I remember ending up being under the impression that, the Bush bunch having been caught in the act of raping science and the First Amendment, the issue was being resolved. I guess that was the idea: Leave that impression, and leave the book, too. Lying, conniving bastards!

Now the NPS is supposed to take a "neutral" position on the age of the Grand Canyon? Nature's most spectacular example of millions of years stacked clearly one upon the other?

(This is as though the National Park Service in Pearl Harbor were to take the position at the USS Arizona memorial that they have no idea why that ship is laying down there underwater, but they'll sell you your choice of books, saying the Japanese done it, or that it was always down there. Gotta be neutral.)

Maybe if they are forced to remove the religious excuse for geology, they would the close the Canyon itself, since it takes such an obviously materialistic, naturalistic, and pro-science stance itself. Either that or fiberglass over half the canyon, and rename that part, "Grand Deluge Erosion Ditch." Fucking lying bastards, the officials, and the fundy leaders behind them! This anti-scientific, unAmerican, unconstitutional crap ought to be a hanging offense.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  13:57:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy
The religious fundalmentalists be damned! If the truth is offensive, then let 'em be offended! Perhaps, with a change in government and in a year or two, Grand Canyon: A Different View will be consigned to that lunatic rubbish heap containing such works as Mein Kamph, and anything by Ann Coulter and L. Ron Hubbard.


In the meantime you'll have to endure being the laughing stock of the entire civilised world.

I don't envy you.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2007 :  15:51:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

quote:
Originally posted by filthy
The religious fundalmentalists be damned! If the truth is offensive, then let 'em be offended! Perhaps, with a change in government and in a year or two, Grand Canyon: A Different View will be consigned to that lunatic rubbish heap containing such works as Mein Kamph, and anything by Ann Coulter and L. Ron Hubbard.


In the meantime you'll have to endure being the laughing stock of the entire civilised world.

I don't envy you.

That's not exactly one of the good things about it. The present state of affairs here is way off the right end of history's Bell Curve, even by US standards. But it's going to improve.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  00:47:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message
There is an intersting example of Americans holding contradictory beliefs (saying Genisis is a literal description and dinosaurs existed millions of years ago) in this Skeptics Guide to the Universe Interview with Bob Park

As I recall, after a newspaper conducted a survey that indicated a majority of the respondents believed Genesis to be a literal description of the history of the Earth, Bob Park persuaded them to ask a different question, something along the lines of "Did dinosaurs live millions of years ago?" A majority responded "yes" to this question. I suspect the number of people who would be offended by Parks employees saying the Grand Canyon is millions of years old is fairly small.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2998 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  07:15:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
quote:
who would be offended by Parks employees saying the Grand Canyon is millions of years old is fairly small.


True, but those type of people are the ones with a stranglehold on the executive branch of our government and the Republican Party.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2007 :  11:44:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
Political correctness be damned!

Damn I hate PC. We need to be fair to the sensitive? Really? How about No! Let's be honest and accurate no matter whose feelings it hurts. A geological monument should have materials that show the geological consensus views and evidence. Is that really a leap?

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  13:14:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
"Twould appear that I have jumped the gun. Again, and the source I referenced is likely bullshit. That's what happens when you get in a hurry and don't research the source itself. Here's the latest:
quote:
God, Geology, and the Grand Canyon

Talk about a story that will make a reporter drool.

Allegations from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility about what Park Service rangers can and can't say about the geologic age of the Grand Canyon arrived like a late Christmas present during the notoriously news-dead week between Christmas and New Year's.

"How Old is the Grand Canyon? Park Service Won't Say," crowed the headline pasted atop the group's press release that was distributed Dec. 28. If that wasn't enough to attract attention, the sub-head would: "Orders to Cater to Creationists Make National Park Service Agnostic on Geology."

Then, to truly set the hook, the first sentence of PEER's release stated that: "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."
This would be like shooting fish in a barrel to any reporter who likes to skewer the current administration. I was already rearranging my day to plunge into this baby.

But then a funny thing happened: I couldn't immediately confirm the gist of the release to my satisfaction. A few days later I stumbled across an even worse conclusion: It wasn't true.

Do we go a little too far in considering what the fundies and their enablers are capable of? Unfortunatly, their behavior makes that all too easy.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  13:26:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Our behavior sometimes needs review as well... Clearly this was intentional, which is worse than what we accused them of.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  13:26:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Heh, not as timely as it could have been, but:






"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  16:58:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
So he's off by three orders of magnitude. At least, he knows it's old.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2007 :  22:19:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
OK skeptics. Tsk tsk, believing something without checking because it supports your beliefs about the current Bush interference in everything else. I belief I also hold, mind you.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Don't Believe Everything You Read
quote:


A number of blogs have lambasted the National Park Service after Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) authored a press release claiming Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) is under orders to "cater to creationists" and is not permitted to get an official estimate of the geologic age of the Grand Canyon.

I was skeptical, and after reading PEER's press release, I called the contact listed on the release. On January 3, I spoke with Executive Director Jeff Ruch who told me he talked with unnamed interpretive staff and park rangers. His complained mainly about lack of guidance for rangers on what to say when asked about the canyon's age. Ruch's comments seemed random and unfocused and his claims unsubstantiated. He focused on a book, Grand Canyon: A Different View, sold in the GRCA bookstore that offers a creationist view of the canyon's formation. Ruch stated that since 2003, GRCA has avoided releasing a draft from the geologic services division (I'm not aware of such a division) that gives guidance to park rangers. Incidentally, GRCA started selling the aforementioned book in 2003.

I received an email from GRCA staff which contained the NPS's official response. It reads in part,

"If asked the age of the Grand Canyon, our rangers use the following answer. The principal consensus among geologists is that the Colorado River basin has developed in the past 40 million years and that the Grand Canyon itself is probably less than five to six million years old. The result of all this erosion is one of the most complete geologic columns on the planet. The major geologic exposures in Grand Canyon range in age from the 2 billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner Gorge to the 230 million year old Kaibab Limestone on the Rim."
[Link the entire response.]

Ruch clearly doesn't want the Grand Canyon Association (GCA), a private, non-profit organization, to carry the book and is upset with the NPS for approving its sale. I think he has fabricated wild claims that CRCA is not allowed to give an age for the canyon and won't allow interpretive rangers to answer the question. He's done this to draw attention to the book's sale, which he opposes......


And the official website still contains the statement, "Geologic formations such as gneiss and schist found at the bottom of the Canyon date back 1,800 million years. "


Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/05/2007 22:22:50
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2007 :  14:11:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
The BA also has a retraction on this claim on his blog.


Edited by - beskeptigal on 01/07/2007 14:12:15
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