How old is the Grand Canyon?  Park Service won't say, deferring to creationists

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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.’”

In a letter released today, PEER urged the new Director of the National Park Service (NPS), Mary Bomar, to end the stalling tactics, remove the book from sale at the park and allow park interpretive rangers to honestly answer questions from the public about the geologic age of the Grand Canyon. PEER is also asking Director Bomar to approve a pamphlet, suppressed since 2002 by Bush appointees, providing guidance for rangers and other interpretive staff in making distinctions between science and religion when speaking to park visitors about geologic issues.

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Tara Andrea Lawrence-Stuart - 1/10/2007

I was appalled to read that article. What do staff of other parks--say, Meteor Crater--tell their visitors? Why should anyone showing a billions-of-years-old Natural Wonder want to worry about offending fundamentalists or anyone for that matter? It should not be a religious issue--only a geological one. Surely more visitors who are not creationists visit these sites. It would be like telling someone on Mt. Palomar that they can't divulge or speculate on the age of galaxies in the Universe! It is ludicrous to say the least. They're wearing blinders.