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Christianity &Politics emodude on 30 Dec 2006 08:54 pm

Park Service Can’t Give Official Age Of Grand Canyon For Fear Of Offending Creationists…

The first sentence from this article says it all:

“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.”

In case your unaware, Creationists (specifically Young Earth Creationists) believe the earth to be only 6000 years old, because the Bible provides a geneology from Adam to Jesus that adds up to approximately 4000 years; thus making the world only 6000 years old.  Clearly the Grand Canyon, being formed from erosion over the last 5 to 6 million years, doesn’t fit into their timetable, so they must make up a story, such as the Canyon being created by Noah’s flood, to account for it.  As you’ll read in the article, the National Park Service sells a book at the Grand Canyon bookstore making this claim.

The US government, specifically the Bush administration, would rather use the unscientific, unproven opinions of fanatical religious fundamentalists as it’s official position on topics such as geology instead of results obtained from scientific inquiry, independently verified by hundreds of scientists.  I would hope this would make the skin crawl even for moderate Christians.

28 Responses to “Park Service Can’t Give Official Age Of Grand Canyon For Fear Of Offending Creationists…”

  1. on 30 Dec 2006 at 9:35 pm 1.B Truman said …

    You cannot prove that the Grand Canyon is 6 million years old. No one was there. No one knows for sure.

  2. on 30 Dec 2006 at 9:49 pm 2.Loi P said …

    You are using what has been used by Christians time and time again called the “brain-in-a-jar argument”. The argument goes something like this:
    “You can’t prove that we’re not all brains in a jar being fed extensive stimuli (or in this case, that the grand canyon is 5/6 million years old) therefore we are all brains in jars (therefore the grand canyon is 6000 years old).
    The problem with this argument is that there are tons of things that can’t be decided with it- You may think that your shirt is green (red, or whatever color it is) but who knows, maybe your color blind? You say that you’ve passed a color blind test? Maybe it was rigged. You’ve taken two? Maybe they’re all rigged, who knows? You can’t prove that they’re not.
    Nothing can be proved but I’m not going to spend my time worrying about whether the Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies or other unlikely creatures exist.
    In the end, all knowledge is just which is more likeable.
    You have to think of it like this:
    What’s more likely?
    A) The grand canyon is 5 through 6 million years old, supported by scientists, extensive research and state-of-the-art tools or
    B) The grand canyon is 6000 years old a theory supported by a book written by primitive men 2000/3000 years ago and a bunch of people who believe fiercly in the thing for no reason except that they’re parents told them too.
    I say A, I don’t know about you.

  3. on 01 Jan 2007 at 2:55 am 3.Mattstarrs said …

    Well I think there are a couple of other options:
    I will cut and paste and make a few parenthesised additions to your text to make my point:

    You have to think of it like this (for my arguement to work – if you think outside my box it doesn’t work):

    What’s more likely (in your opinion – given that this blog is written by and for experts in this field – lol)?

    A) The grand canyon is 5 through 6 million years old, supported by scientists, extensive research and state-of-the-art tools (all of which were trained and/or designed with a bias toward finding data which supports this theory. There would have been more diversity, but non-adherents to the common dogma were culled out through a process called “rational selection”. Its a bit like Natural Selection, but it is where only those whose research rationale supports mainstream theory get funding, and those who dare to actually think get starved out of the equation) or

    B) The grand canyon is 6000 years old a theory supported by a book written by primitive men (who cannot be shown by any research whatsoever to be any different physically or intellectually from modern men)2000/3000 years ago and a bunch of people who believe fiercly in the thing for no reason except that they’re parents told them too (Actually my parents told me to believe in evolution and don’t believe in God. My father refused to talk to me for two years when I became a Christian). (Then of course there is also all of the data that the advocates of the opposing schools of thought readily make available, but people like yourself refuse to get familiar with – after all, it is easier to write a few sneering sentences of conjecture with absolutely no substance than to actually engage in debate that has the potential to display your ignorance).

    I say A, I don’t know about you.
    (that’s because you are a slave to the ideology of the modern masses and don’t even realise that you have become the very thing that you criticise others for).

    Think a little. It’s good for you.

    Matt.

  4. on 01 Jan 2007 at 3:37 pm 4.MrMiyagi said …

    Oh, boy.

    Mattstars, science does not think inside anyone else’s boxes. The scientific principles start with every theory anyone offers being open to PEER REVIEW. Google it.

    Would you like to cite a few references to this so-called data of yours from advocates of the opposing schools of thought? At least from there we can begin this debate of yours without appealing to the gallery and starting ad hominem attacks.

    Besides, the main blog article we are referring to deals with Bush and his theocratic methods, and how far we should allow him and his ilk to carry their notions. How long will it be before we start stoning adulters? (Right there in Leviticus with the ‘abomination’ of the gay and lesbian lifestyle)

    Here’s hoping for an enlightened 2007, but I won’t be holding my breath.

    Mike

  5. on 03 Jan 2007 at 2:32 pm 5.Mushinronjya said …

    Truman – You’ve already been easily dispatched.

    Mattstarrs – Primative men did not have the science (knowledge) that we have today.
    -if you don’t know about how we have come to *KNOW* (yes, I said “know”, not “believe) the age of the planet of which we live on, you really need to study science. Please start with http://www.talkorigins.org.
    Do you even know what science means?
    Why would you choose something other than science in order to obtain knowledge? I don’t understand?
    -I can understand your father not talking to you because you became gullible and ignorant enough to believe in fairy tales, which are not supported by science in any way. I wouldn’t either. He tried to teach you right, but you never learned logic, apparently.

    Get an education, man, stop being stupid.

  6. on 03 Jan 2007 at 3:19 pm 6.Mattstarrs said …

    Thanks for that Mushinronjya

    Oh, so your a follower of the “science” cult!

    That’s the one that has had more retractions and and reversals on their beliefs than the Jehovah’s Witnesses!

    Sure, the word science is actually a synonym for the word knowledge. However the way you are applying it has a massive amount of values and assumptions attached. Not really any different to most religions. I like the way you blindly follow the blind. Most of those in your cult do. Spruking the virtues of science! Of course science is like all other human endeavours – corrupted by corrupt people, relying on all of the same logic that Marx accused religion of, becoming an opiate of the masses.

    Any good scientist will acknowledge that science is only good for measuring things than can be tested. Yet you want me to believe that the origins can be tested? Hey, let’s replicate that one and see if it’s so!!!

    So Mushinronjya, have you factored in how commonly accepted in theories about time and space (in particular, the way density of matter [which is probably compressed light] impacts on the rate of time) or is it easier for you to simply dismiss the matter without thinking about it, and call those who do learn about if uneducated and stupid?

    By the way, I have 3 degrees, 2 of which are from secular universities. Three is more than enough to know that tertiary institutions will only teach you from a limited spectrum. Different schools will have slightly divergent materials,but they all have an agenda – ie,the end product in a marketplace. You are nieve to think that all knowledge has equal value in that marketplace. Particularly when it comes to research.

    In my first degree (psychology) the Christians quickly learned that there was no tolerance of Christianity at our university. In fact one professer sets his first years a project on the topic of whether the human organism is just a body, or both a soul and a body. Very few dualists recieve a passing mark. The entire project was a culling exercise.

    On the matter of my father, he has acknowledged the positive influence that Christianinity has had on my life, and he does talk to me now. Trying to bring me up right probably wasn’t the way either he or myself would describe it (although from an early age he took my siblings and I to the national library to view screenings of doco’s on Darwinism) as his legacy saw my siblings and I involved in all manner of illegal activities. Unless you callgetting drunk and beating your wife and kids up, giving preteens drugs and committing adultery a good way to raise a family.

    On the matter of “logic”, take some time on “historical evidence” not just science. logic really needs to be informed more broadly to avoid nieve assumptions.

    Matt.

  7. on 03 Jan 2007 at 3:40 pm 7.Mushinronjya said …

    Mattstarrs-

    Um, science isn’t a “cult”.
    Are you some sort of troll? Are you saying the complete opposite for entertainment purposes? You do realize you’re not making any sense, right?

    Science is self-correcting. Science means “to know”. We find out facts and then attempt to make conclusions based on those facts. We don’t “retract facts”. We might learn more and hence change the theories, but the facts remain.. which is much more than what you have in your fairy tales.

    Science is not a religion. We use logic and reasoning. Religions do not. Do not attempt to equate the two again.
    Again, go to http://www.talkorigins.org

    Just because you have degrees, doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about. You can’t use authority as a means of making people think you’re right. You have to *actually* provide the information when you discuss something, not just fling around “I have 3 degrees” as your basis. You don’t even know what science is, so lots of good saying you have “degrees” will do for you. That’s just pathetic. Downright pathetic.

    You don’t know enough about science in order to debate the topic. Please go learn a few things, then come back after you’re educated – if that ever happens. Psychology is not going to help you with your logic, it appears.

  8. on 03 Jan 2007 at 4:43 pm 8.Mattstarrs said …

    Dear Mushinronjya

    You make me laugh! HA HA HA HA HA!

    I mentioned that I have 3 degree’s not as a reference for authority, but in response to your charge that I should get an education!

    Here in troll world I make perfect sense!

    What I think is most funny is that Loi P makes the ridiculous assumption that Christians believe because their parents told them to, and then you go the back door and criticise me for making an independant assessment and not following my parents “faith”!

    Talk about no win situations. But that is why most wordly wise christians abstain from debating with people who are militant to the point of malicious irrationalism.

    The web site you refer to looks interesting. However, it’s about as useful as me referring you to answersingenesis or a compendium on theology for the purposes of this blog. I would give you one quote from your chosen source:

    “The world of science is not a formal logical system”

    This is the point that I have been trying to make.

    When you say “You don’t know enough about science in order to debate the topic. Please go learn a few things, then come back after you’re educated – if that ever happens” I get the impression that what you mean is that you would never consider me educated unless I agree with your point of view. Hey, I think there is still room for you in the Flat Earth Society!

    Matt.

  9. on 03 Jan 2007 at 7:37 pm 9.Mushinronjya said …

    Why would you tell me about degrees you’ve gotten when my specific request for your education revolves around science – of which you have *no* education on?

    Are you dense?
    Are you going to tell me about Peter Pan when I ask you about what’s for dinner?

    And yes, you believe in this xianity garbage because your parents, or other people, told you so. If nobody was telling you so, you wouldn’t believe in it. There is no evidence for it.

    I’m not saying you’re not educated because you don’t agree with me, I’m saying you’re not educated because you have imaginary friends. Thus, that is evidence that you do not use logic to its obvious extension.

  10. on 03 Jan 2007 at 7:38 pm 10.Mushinronjya said …

    Guys, I just contacted the Grand Canyon people.
    They said that they never said or do the above.
    Their entire email is as follows:
    =========================================
    Thank you for your interest in Grand Canyon National Park. Recently there
    have been several media and internet reports concerning the National Park
    Service’s interpretation of the formation of the Grand Canyon.

    The National Park Service uses the latest National Academy of Sciences
    explanation for the geologic formation of the Grand Canyon. Our guidance
    to the field is contained in NPS Director’s Order # 6 and requires that the
    interpretive and educational treatment used to explain the natural
    processes and history of the Earth must be based on the best scientific
    evidence available, as found in scholarly sources that have stood the test
    of scientific peer review and criticism.

    Therefore, our interpretive talks, way-side exhibits, visitor center films,
    etc use the following explanation for the age of the geologic features at
    Grand Canyon. 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 1.7
    billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the Inner Gorge to the 270
    million year old Kaibab Limestone on the Rim.

    So, why are there news reports that differ from this explanation? Since
    2003 the park bookstore has been selling a book that gives a creationism
    view of the formation of the Grand Canyon, claiming that the canyon is less
    than six thousand years old. This book is sold in the inspirational
    section of the bookstore. In this section there are photographic texts,
    poetry books, and Native American books (that also give an alternate view
    of the canyon’s origin).

    The park’s bookstore contains scores of text that give the NPS geologic
    view of the formation of the canyon.

    We do not use the “creationism” text in our teaching nor do we endorse its
    content. However, it is not our place to censure alternate beliefs. Much
    like your local public library, you will find many alternate beliefs, but
    not all of these beliefs are used in the school classroom.

    It is not our place to tell people what to believe. We recognize that
    alternate views exist, but we teach the scientific method for the formation
    of the Grand Canyon.

    I hope this explanation helps.

    David Barna
    Chief of Public Affairs
    National Park Service
    Washington, DC

    Registered Professional Geologist (AIPG #6528)
    Licensed Geologist (North Carolina # 129)

  11. on 04 Jan 2007 at 2:17 am 11.Mattstarrs said …

    You said:
    Why would you tell me about degrees you’ve gotten when my specific request for your education revolves around science – of which you have *no* education on?

    Actually one of my degree’s focused very heavily on the scientific method, empirical design, quantitative measures, qualitative measures etc. Incidently, I fared well in these classes. Mostly distinctions and high distinctions. Earned a GPA in the top 2% of the Uni. Became President of the local Golden Key National Honour Society. I did miss at on a university medal however. Wasn’t really disappointed though. I just wonder what perspective you are coming from when you continually criticise my education. You wanna review my academic record?

    Yeah, you’re right. I am playing on words. Particularly the word “education” because you obviously can’t find it in the dictionary. You say “I’m saying you’re not educated because you have imaginary friends”. Well that would be a “dense” aplication of the word. If my friends were imaginary I would be delusional, not neccessarily uneducated. If I were uneducated I might have difficulty applying the word “education” correctly in my writing.

  12. on 04 Jan 2007 at 2:35 am 12.Mattstarrs said …

    Hey Mushinronjya

    I kinda let it slip by that we haven’t touched on why you are so anti. I read this recently:

    “you never learned what “logic” is, and find it so uncomfortable to discuss such matters that it would get you emotionally upset, then chances are that you are not mentally stable”

    Sound familiar? Is this a suitable explanation?

    Anyhow, at least I know now why you are so intense about education and my “lack” of scientific training. It’s not really my lack that you are upset about, is it?

  13. on 04 Jan 2007 at 10:32 am 13.Mushinronjya said …

    matts – you have to show you are educated. You can’t come around here, saying you are educated, and then think that that should be good enough in order to substantiate anything you say.

    It doesn’t work that way.

    If you want to say that “science is religion”, you need more than degrees to do so. You have to give your explanation. You didn’t. You therefore come across as a complete idiot.

    About your next post after – It’s your complete ignorance over science that is disturbing. And no, I’m not “upset”. But you can call it whatever you wish. People like you need to be put in their place. All you do is spread ignorance.

  14. on 04 Jan 2007 at 3:42 pm 14.Mattstarrs said …

    I am sorry , but I never offered my education as a defence for my arguements, only as a rebuttal of your accusation.

  15. on 04 Jan 2007 at 9:17 pm 15.Mushinronjya said …

    Then the next time you say science is a religion, give a basis for it.

  16. on 04 Jan 2007 at 9:54 pm 16.Mattstarrs said …

    Been there, done that. You didn’t like it so you changed the subject.

  17. on 05 Jan 2007 at 11:55 am 17.Mushinronjya said …

    Didn’t like what? I can talk about anything and everything. There is no way I would change a subject before finishing it. You love to play with words, don’tcha boy?

  18. on 10 Jan 2007 at 2:09 pm 18.Katie said …

    really? where in the bible does it say the exact age of the earth? does it give years? is there a timeline in the back of the bible that i somehow missed?
    what is with all these stupid arguements? WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BELIEVE? you know why so much of it is a mystery? its called faith. if it were laid down step by step for you, fact by fact, it wouldnt take much to believe it. it takes something to have faith in God when so many are trying to make you believe hes not real.

  19. on 10 Jan 2007 at 8:09 pm 19.Mushinronjya said …

    Katie:

    Faith is not a way of knowing anything.

    And we aren’t trying to get people to “believe” that gods aren’t real. We are getting people to *realize* that gods aren’t real.

    Do you know what logic and reasoning is?
    Do you realize that in order for (a) to exist, that we require evidence of (a) in order to know that?

    If you say that (a) exists, and we don’t have any evidence of (a), then how can you say (a) exists? How did you ever come into contact with knowledge of (a) existing in the first place? If you never, ever had any evidence for (a), then the simple answer is that you made up (a) to begin with!

    Now fill in (a) with the word “god”, and you should no longer be delusional.

    You’re welcome.

  20. on 11 Jan 2007 at 1:18 pm 20.Pootatuck said …

    Rational thought will not persuade delusional people.

    Some of them need to go examine their birth certificates…. they may find that their parents are siblings.

  21. on 20 Jan 2007 at 11:25 pm 21.Mushinronjya said …

    “Rational thought will not persuade delusional people.”

    You’re right, but you can always hope. :)

  22. on 21 Jan 2007 at 1:23 am 22.Mattstarrs said …

    Faith is not a way of knowing anything.

    And we aren’t trying to get people to “believe” that the statement “Education brings peace” isn’t true. We are getting people to *realize* that the statement “Education brings peace” isn’t true.

    Do you know what logic and reasoning is?
    Do you realize that in order for (a) to exist, that we require evidence of (a) in order to know that?

    If you say that (a) exists, and we don’t have any evidence of (a), then how can you say (a) exists? How did you ever come into contact with knowledge of (a) existing in the first place? If you never, ever had any evidence for (a), then the simple answer is that you made up (a) to begin with!

    Now fill in (a) with the words “the statement “Education brings peace” ”, and you should no longer be delusional.

    You’re welcome.

  23. on 21 Jan 2007 at 4:48 am 23.Mushinronjya said …

    “Faith is not a way of knowing anything.”

    You’re right, it’s not.

    “And we aren’t trying to get people to “believe” that the statement “Education brings peace” isn’t true. We are getting people to *realize* that the statement “Education brings peace” isn’t true.”

    You’re still stuck on that?
    Man, you need help.

    “Now fill in (a) with the words “the statement “Education brings peace” ”, and you should no longer be delusional.

    You’re welcome. ”

    You’re an idiot.

  24. on 21 Jan 2007 at 6:01 am 24.Mattstarrs said …

    Well it does make the point that you rely on gross hypocrisy.

  25. on 21 Jan 2007 at 11:22 am 25.Mushinronjya said …

    No, it does not.
    Your thinking is kinda messed up.

  26. on 02 Aug 2010 at 7:48 am 26.Joe said …

    What a pity. Someone here has 3 degrees and was not taught how science works. Not so good either for the institutions he/she went to.

  27. on 02 Aug 2010 at 8:51 am 27.Severin said …

    1B Truman
    “You cannot prove that the Grand Canyon is 6 million years old. No one was there. No one knows for sure.”

    You, of course, were present when god created the earth as described in the Bible, so you can eye-witness it!
    You know for it sure!

  28. on 02 Aug 2010 at 9:06 am 28.Severin said …

    3 Mattstarrs
    “…when I became a Christian”

    Which one?

    Not all christians are creationists.

    Before you debate with atheists, you should do some consensus among yourself.

    No atheist is a creationist.

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