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Ear to the Ground

Dogma National Park

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Posted on Jan 1, 2007
Grand Canyon
wwp.las-vegas-us.com

If you’ve been thinking about a vacation to the Grand Canyon but worried someone might try to assault you with information, fear not. Park employees are not allowed to reveal the true age of the formation for fear of offending Christians, and the bookstore features a manuscript claiming the canyon was created during Noah’s flood.


Largest Minority:

How old is the Grand Canyon? A knowledgeable geologist would say that the canyon itself was formed within the past 5 or 6 million years. Fairly young by geological standards, but far too old for those who think Jesus’ life was similar to a Flintstones cartoon. Of course, anyone who watches the Colbert Report knows that the facts are not to be trusted. When it comes to geology, such accepted information is downright offensive to Bush administration appointees at Grand Canyon National Park. “In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Executive Director Jeff Ruch.

This denial of reality has extended far beyond the personal beliefs of park officials, affecting all employees and visitors. Employees of the park are not permitted to give an official estimate of the canyon’s geological age, and are instead required to reply with “no comment” if posed with the question. A pamphlet providing guidance for staff in making distinctions between science and religion when speaking to park visitors about geologic issues has also been suppressed since 2002 by Bush appointees.

As if that weren’t idiotic enough, a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than geological forces has been on sale at the park for over three years now. In August 2003, Park Superintendent Joe Alston attempted to block the sale of the inaccurate biblically-based book, only to have his decision overruled by National Park Service (NPS) headquarters. Records also show that during the same year, Grand Canyon officials rejected 22 books and items from the bookstore while only approving the sale of the one creationist book. Executive Director Ruch added, “this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan.”

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By fern, April 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I lived in Page AZ I worked there Illegally but always left after six months thus not an illegal alien. The Grand Canyon has always impressed me and the same question arises even now. “What are we?”, seeing a triple rainbow over the canyon and laughing saying out loud to myself I should never mention that in Brussels were I live, they’d put me in a nut house.
Entering Page from Flagstaff the road goes up and it is called “Church road”, the dam was built in 1957 and in these days all the churches invested in commercial representation, I mean building a church, one closed in 1986 while I was there, then there was the Harley Davison club of Flagstaff they terrorized Page once a year with their action “toys for tots”, some of these guys looked scary but were as good and soft as butter and their operation was a success and got the front page of the Page Chronicle.
God? Ah yeah! Well no one ever mentioned God to me, or prayer, being Roman Catholic (upbring only)seeing and comparing the church in Page and one in Brussels built about a 1,000 years ago I can’t help but think that God is suffering a worse recession than the one Mr. Obama is facing.
Have a good day.

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By Tom, March 29, 2007 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TruthDig should be truthful! This is a bogus story - the NPS website carries the text below:
Did You Know?
The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently set the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.

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By Lefty, January 6, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great response Mimi!

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By Mimi, January 4, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a volunteer interpretive guide at a Nature Conservancy preserve near the ocean in Florida. I am often asked to give tours to community groups. One such group was made up of 4H’ers…  who I later learned were mostly home schooled, so as not to be contaminated by non biblical teachings.

Early in my tour, I began talking about the age of the limestone rock formations along the shore, which have been dated to some 150,000 years. As spoke about how they’d been formed over thousands of years, and all the fossil mollusks embedded in the rocks we would see… I was interrupted by the 4H leader and told to “stop talking about that mythology, as it will confuse the kids.” Huh?

Turns out the group were all creationists and they simply would not tolerate my speaking of the science behind the formations.  I hadn’t known that creationism was now the primary and accepted belief system of 4H clubs.

Luckily, The Nature Conservancy is not under the thumb of the religious fundamentalists who control the current administration in Washington. I was able to tell the group leader, quietly and discreetly, that as a scientifically trained naturalist,  I based the narration of my tour on the best science and most current information available. I suggested that perhaps they’d prefer to just walk around on their own, and collect some seashells, because I was not comfortable omitting information and changing my narration just to suit their religious bias. I told her it would be a betrayal of MY beliefs to do so.

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By shur, January 4, 2007 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone knows that the Grand Canyon was ploughed out by Paul Bunyan and his blue ox Babe.

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By Former NPS employee, January 3, 2007 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I used to work for the NPS as a firefighter. I had heard about the manuscript some time ago. I was curious about the facts and called the Park. I spoke with a woman named Leah (I was transeferred to her the second I said, “I have a question about an article I read recently.”) She told me that the interpretive staff at the Park talk about the geologic age of the park and have never been asked not to.
While working at a park in southern Utah, I once told visitors that dinosaur fossils had been found just a few miles away. They told me, “We don’t believe in that.” I was not sure how to respond, but said that they were certainly entitled to their opinion.
I am not sure what to believe, but I wish the writer of this article would have included comments from the Park itself.

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By Paul, January 3, 2007 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just for entertainment sake and the sake of any geology science types out there…, Lets hit it.  The grand canyon and surrounding canyons are eroding rapidly.  Please get the size of this folks.  The amount of silt carried by the Colorado river before the dams were built was enough to fill the Lake Powell Res. entirely in about 30 years.  Doing just a touch of simple math this means that the whole canyon erosion set could be done in just 1 or 2 thousand years.  I am not suggesting anything by these numbers just reporting them.

If you want to get further entertained go looking for the eroded silt.  When the river hits the ocean, it is going to drop all that silt and sand right there in the delta.  The Colorado River Delta is far too small to account for the amount of material in the erosion set for the canyon lands of the Colorado River.  Again Just reporting the facts folks.

There are a whole lot more data sets that do not match up in the canyon area.  Honestly nobody knows how old the canyon is or even for sure if the canyon isn’t the product of other processes than erosion.  Of course if it isn’t the product of erosion as the delta data says, then we are dealing with a real question set.  Have fun folks I am sure somebody out there will reconcile the facts but for now, saying we know much of anything about the canyon is foolish. 

I can safely say that the Grand Canyon is 2 canyons. The large upper canyon shares no erosion history with the lower canyon. The lower canyon is eroded by the Colorado river.  It is about 1800 feet deep and a very narrow notch canyon.  The Upper Canyon was not created by erosion and has some other cause.  (Geologic Rift?  Cosmic Discharge Machining?  Who knows but it wasn’t eroded by water.) The material for the large canyon is missing from the earth if it was eroded.

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By Socrates, January 3, 2007 at 2:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is difficult to express how intense a feeling it is to walk through such a landscape and truly begin to understand the vast expanse of the passage of time and events, the unfolding history of Earth revealed like reading a book right before your eyes, one that will blow your mind! For the national park service to withhold or inhibit this opportunity for visitors is very sad, indeed.

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By Lefty, January 2, 2007 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have no problem offending Christians. In fact, it’s a favorite pastime.  Here’s what I told Truthdig resident troll, Hondo, on another thread that I think is apropos here:

“Hondo,

“Christianity is a cancer, and you are a metastatic malignant tumor, just like your fascist putative President, G.W. Bush.  The sooner the false religion, Christianity, is dumped upon the scrapheap of mythology, where it belongs, the better the world will be for it. 

“Conservatism is the product of ignorance, stupidity and cowardice.  Fear, superstition, paranoia and hate are the conservative stocks in trade.  That’s why Christianity and conservatism are so fundamentally compatible.

“A conservative Christian is a sub-human ape lacking in the capacity for reason or logic . . . a monkey with no hope of he or his offspring ever evolving into real men.”

Ahhhhh, that felt GOOD!

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By Bluestocking, January 2, 2007 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With all due respect, this is by no means breaking news.  Anyone who’s been paying attention to the liberal and/or progressive blogs has known about this for at least the past year, if not longer.

As if the book attributing the creation of the Grand Canyon to the Great Flood weren’t bad enough, this book supposedly has been officially approved and/or endorsed by THE WHITE HOUSE.  What this effectively means is that President George W. Bush endorses the book not in his private capacity as an American citizen with conservative Christian religious beliefs, but in his public capcity as President of the United States.  To my way of thinking, this is entirely inappropriate because I think someone would be hard pressed to argue persuasively that such an endorsement does NOT represent a conflict of interest with the First Amendment concerning freedom of religion.  It may not be an outright violation of the amendment in that an official endorsement is not equivalent to creation of a law.  However, the fact that the President apparently chose to endorse the book in his official capacity instead of as a private citizen suggests that he is using his governmental office to promote a specific religious view.  At least in my opinion, this is seriously pushing the envelope on the First Amendment, stretching the boundaries to their utmost without technically breaking them—but the step from there to passing laws legislating conservative Christian morality is not as big as most people might like to believe.

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By Manila Ryce, January 2, 2007 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Clay Ritchie
This story has been making the rounds on several respectable blogs (C&L, Huff Post, Daily Kos, etc) and even made it to a few news sites. If you go to the PEER site (peer.org), you’ll see that they still have a petition up to change the NPS policy. My guess is that enough people were indeed able to pressure the NPS to post scientifically accurate information. Perhaps the new director of the Park Service also had something to do with it.

Then again, unless we visit the Grand Canyon today, all we know is from their website. Their site may say one thing to visitors while rangers at the park say another. For the sake of the world, let’s hope they actually did change their policy.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 2, 2007 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The religious right already has stolen our government and now they want the Grand Canyon, too?  Isn’t that greedy?  A deadly sin?  Typical of the hypocrisy of the RR.  Tell you what, you take the Grand Canyon if you get all your trappings out of my government.  Trees and lights, In God We Trust, God bless this and that, swearing on how-to books, hymns at state funerals, preachers and chaplains, grace at state meals, all of it. GET IT OUT. IT OFFENDS, EMBARRASSES AND ANGERS ME!!!

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By Clay Ritchie, January 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Not fer nuthin’ but if all that is written is true, why then can one go to the NPS website featuring the Grand Canyon and find in the FAQ that the estimated age of the Grand Canyon is between 5 and 6 million years old?
It is also stated that the rocks in the canyon date back as far as 2000 million years.
Not to mention it also states that the canyon is a direct result of erosion.
Is there indeed any proof to the claims of science being given over in favor of religion by the NPS?

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By Lawrence, January 2, 2007 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘One thing is apparent: The progress of the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon is not as rapid as men to error.’

That’s a fantastic line. Bravo.

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By Don Albert, January 2, 2007 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing is apparent: The progress of the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon is not as rapid as men to error.

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By George S Semsel, January 2, 2007 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This used to be a good country.

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By Jamie Berry, January 2, 2007 at 11:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it’s time we consider the possibility that there are TWO groups of good, truth-seeking people in this country: 1) those who call the other side “religious fanatics,” and 2) those who call the other side “tree-huggers.” One then comes to the possibility the ruling elite has separated these groups so as to make both groups impotent. If they ever got together, the power of the resulting truth would bring down the system!

On icr.org you can find “Creation and its Critics:...” in which Henry Morris, Ph.D. stated: “There are thousands of bona fide scientists today who have become creationists ... [P]ractically all of these scientists were indoctrinated in evolutionism throughout their training. To become or remain creationists, they have had to study and think themselves through the evidences and arguments for both models, all on their own initiative, and usually against the opposition and ridicule of the majority of their scientific and educational colleagues.”

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By rae2, January 2, 2007 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fortunately the majority of the world’s sentient beings are not so brainwashed/mentally addled as to take this [expletive deleted] seriously.

If America’s leadership wants to convert the country’s image from the “Land of the Free and the Brave,” to the La-la Land of Air-headed Nincompoops, then so be it.

The rest of us get a good laugh out of it.

Hopefully this little 8-year gambit into fundamentalist lunacy will end when SHRUB goes out to pasture.

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By Stephen Smoliar, January 2, 2007 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is a modest proposal:  Take the Grand Canyon out of the National Park system and privatize it.  It can probably be run by a consortium of environmentalists and physical geologists with more than ample funding from the oil corporations, given how dependent they are on those physical geologists to locate and harvest the resources they bring to market.  Then, following a tradition that has already begun, the faith-based community can build its own (intelligently designed?) theme park with a simulation of the Grand Canyon (the Disney folks seem to have a knack for doing this sort of thing) at which they can proselytize their belief system to their hearts’ content!

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By Cuthbert, January 2, 2007 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is really scary.

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By ib, January 2, 2007 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who wonder why companies must hire H1 visa personnel.  Hire is your answer.

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