More on the Grand Canyon

Contributed by
Jan 17, 2007

Note: I meant to publish this post last week, but somehow it slipped between the cracks. It should have gone up before this post for sure. Sorry about this.

Through Northstate Science comes the tip that Kurt Repanshek has posted about the PEER press release on creationism at the Grand Canyon on his blog, National Parks Traveler.

If you don't know about this issue, you can read what I wrote here and here (though maybe in reverse order would be better).

Kurt has a rather devastating list of evidence against the PEER group, showing the press release to be pretty far off the mark. I disagree with one conclusion though:

Now, one piece of PEER's release that comes pretty close to standing up is the group's claim that the Park Service has failed to review the propriety of the park's bookstores to sell "Grand Canyon: A Different View." This book, by Tom Vail, claims that the Grand Canyon was created by the great flood that forced Noah to take to his ark. PEER would like it banned from the park.


Now, I say the claim "comes pretty close" to being true because the book has indeed been discussed within the agency but no final, official, decision has been reached by the agency's Office of Policy.

I think that part of PEER's release is dead on. The NPS has taken three years to review this problem, which is too long even for the government to move. This is not a difficult problem to understand or to solve. In fact, there are several solutions:

  • Remove it from the store.
  • Sell it, but under the "myth" section.
  • Put a sticker on it saying "The contents of this book are speculative, and in fact are indeed provably wrong. The authors are not well (or, apparently, at all) versed in the scientific method, the best way through which to test the nature of reality. The authors put their personal beliefs ahead of facts. In case you are still not clear, this text should be thought of as a religious tome and therefore cannot be endorsed by any branch of the U.S. Government."

You get the idea.

However they wanna do it, they could do something. Stalling is not the answer, and in fact will bite them on their collective butts. The nibbles have already begun.

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