Apparently, the watchdog group called PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Research) that originally put out the press release I linked to in the original post (see below) was either not being totally honest or there is some miscommunication somewhere.
Skeptic magazine reported on this story but when they started looking into it further, they figured out they were "duped" by PEER. Read statement from Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, here.
A reader of Skeptic who contacted PEER had this to say:
"When I challenged that PEER guy to show me some evidence and provided him evidence to the contrary, he didn’t have much. I would say PEER did more than jump the gun. I’d say they are spreading misinformation."
It is really unfortunate that PEER had to do this. From their website it appears they do some important, relevant, and honest activism. Unfortunately, this kind of tom-foolery really takes a bite out of their credibility as a "watch dog".
ORIGINAL POST (1/21/2007):
Please read this regarding the unsettling happenings within the National Park Service (NPS) and how to inform park-goers how old and by what processes the Grand Canyon formed.
“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 Research (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 presence of the book for sale in the visitor center bookstore that lays out (presumably) how Noah's flood was responsible for both the deposition of the ancient sediments exposed in the canyon AND the carving of the canyon is bad enough.
What's funny is how this administration made a big deal last year about the 'American Competitiveness Initiative' to help increase the quality of science and technology-related education. This is how they do it?! How does promoting this absolute fantasy enable Americans to be more competitive?
“As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan,” Ruch added,
Here's the letter from the park employees to the NPS director expressing their distaste for this non-scientific malarkey.
Thanks for the link, KS
Photograph above taken by me in summer of 2006.