Officials: "Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood&qu

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Officials: "Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood&qu

Postby Peshmerga » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:05 am UTC

Washington, DC ? 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).


http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801



Oh man. This is bad.
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Postby Lani » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:10 am UTC

I have no words to describe my disgust at this.
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Postby aldimond » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:40 am UTC

Hm. Selling of the book? As long as it's up to the high standards of the park bookstore; I won't attempt to decide that, having not read it, nor any of the other books they sell, nor any of the ones they've rejected. Or even maybe if it's not as good as some of the others if it provides some diversity of opinion, as long as it's a truly excellent book and doesn't constitue state religion. Again, haven't read it, and haven't heard many opinions on it either, so it's hard to judge.

But prohibiting park officials from talking about the age of the canyon? That is insane.
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Postby Hawknc » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:00 am UTC

To be technically correct, they're not stating that the Grand Canyon was created by the flood - they're not allowed to give ANY sort of estimate or reason. It's insanely stupid, to borrow a phrase from an ABG commenter. Mind you, I've given up on logic in the US government by this point.

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Postby Lani » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:03 am UTC

I am getting so bloody tired of religion being forced into science. Religion is not falsifiable and does not follow the freaking scientific method, and it does NOT belong in bloody textbooks. This sh*t really pisses me off. I'm disgusted that we even have to have these conversations, about ID being taught as an alternative to evolution, and the rest of that crap.

Enough of this 'War on Christmas' crap - there's a bloody war on science.


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Postby rockintom99 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:21 am UTC

That... wait, what? People actually believe old testament?

...That's almost as hard to believe as the old testament itself ;)
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Postby Verysillyman » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:29 am UTC

I believe the old testament. Either that or I like to fly in the face of common opinion.

...created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces,...

Wouldn't a worldwide flood count as geologic forces? Or would it come under something else like meteorological? (Genuine question, not just stirring)

I'll check bac later maybe once i've done ore research to argue properly.

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Postby hrryank » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:49 am UTC

Someone's pulling a reverse WoC here...
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Postby mwace » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:08 am UTC

lani wrote:I have no words to describe my disgust at this.


I concour; these are trying times indeed. If anything is to be learned from this, its that majority conensus is fucking incompitent.

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Postby Nomic » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:59 pm UTC

If somebody makes a book where he describes his opinion that the Grand Canyon was caused by the biblical flood, fine by me but if somebody ese phorhibits the park officials from measuring the geologucal age of the canyon (Which has previously been mentioned t be a few hundred million yeras old), then something is WRONG! Religion is religion. Sience is sience. One is based on beliefs, other on facts or theories thta can be proven to be the most likely option (and these theories ave to eb based on some factual evidence). Religion is NOT sience, and never will be. Stupid Americans allways try to mix them together, without realising they can exist mutually but nto exist as one thing.

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Postby starvingartist » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:35 pm UTC

Nomic wrote:Stupid Americans allways try to mix them together, without realising they can exist mutually but nto exist as one thing.


I hope you mean stupid Americans, not as a generalization, but to describe the actually stupid ones who do this.

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Postby Jesse » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:53 pm UTC

I'm sure he does, since intelligent Americans would be intelligent enough to not do it.

People like this exist worldwide, it's just more prevalent in the USA because there's an awful lot of them. Even if it totalled a quarter of the population we're still talking the size of England just there.

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Postby Belial » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:05 pm UTC

And a quarter of the US believes that the second coming of jesus will be in 2007, so....

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Postby Peshmerga » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:06 pm UTC

Why 2007?

Seems arbitrary.
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Postby Pathway » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:01 pm UTC

Peshmerga wrote:Why 2007?

Seems arbitrary.


Seems now. It's the most likely time for Jesus to come if you believe we're living in the end times. Too many people do.

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Postby fredxor » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:55 am UTC

Belial wrote:And a quarter of the US believes that the second coming of jesus will be in 2007, so....


Holy crap! You read that article too!? \(O_o)/

I don't know where to find the article, but the polling company who took those stats is highly used. Even though they're popular, it's hard for me to believe that that many Americans believe that. I'd just chock it up to a small sample population or a really bad random sample.

-----

Anyways, I'm appalled at the fact that the park service is prohibited from meerly stating the scientifically proven age of the canyon.

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Postby dragonfrog » Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:27 am UTC

starvingartist wrote:
Nomic wrote:Stupid Americans allways try to mix them together, without realising they can exist mutually but nto exist as one thing.


I hope you mean stupid Americans, not as a generalization, but to describe the actually stupid ones who do this.


I think that's Stupid Americans, as opposed to North Americans, South Americans, or Central Americans. From Stupid America, like.

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Postby Hawknc » Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:38 am UTC

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It seemed appropriate.

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Postby Fluff » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:42 am UTC

lani wrote:I am getting so bloody tired of religion being forced into science. Religion is not falsifiable and does not follow the freaking scientific method, and it does NOT belong in bloody textbooks. This sh*t really pisses me off. I'm disgusted that we even have to have these conversations, about ID being taught as an alternative to evolution, and the rest of that crap.

Enough of this 'War on Christmas' crap - there's a bloody war on science.


<<< is feeling very pissy at the moment



I agree wholeheartedly.

Things like this really make my blood boil.

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Postby fjafjan » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:55 am UTC

But science was wrong in the past!

Maybe it is wrong now too?

*ducks flying debree*

*flees*

:lol:
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Postby aldimond » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:04 am UTC

fredxor wrote:I don't know where to find the article, but the polling company who took those stats is highly used. Even though they're popular, it's hard for me to believe that that many Americans believe that. I'd just chock it up to a small sample population or a really bad random sample.


Another possibility is that the way the question was asked, the sequence of questions leading up to it, or just the mere fact that it was asked caused a misrepresentation of people's beliefs.

If the question was asked, "When, if ever, will Jesus' second coming occur?" I would guess a lower proportion of people would answer, "2007," than would answer, "Yes," to the question, "Will Jesus' second coming occur in 2007?"
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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:29 pm UTC

As far as I figure it, there's at least 20-ish years left.

Back on topic, What part of "Erosion by Arizona river" is not understood? Even I know THAT much about geography.

I mean, yes, there was undoubtedly a big flood a long time ago (almost every culture in the world has stories about a Big Flood), but a Flood forming a canyon? That's like saying carpet bombing is the same as shooting a pistol, or that covering a sheet of paper with powdered graphite is the same as drawing a squiggly line.
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Postby Natalie » Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:50 pm UTC

The ID/creationists annoy me as much as the next person, but this seems to be an overreaction on PEERs part more than anything else.

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.


And yet, straight from the park's
FAQ:
How old is the Canyon?

That's a tricky question. Although rocks exposed in the walls of the canyon are geologically quite old, the Canyon itself is a fairly young feature. The oldest rocks at the canyon bottom are close to 2000 million years old. The Canyon itself - an erosional feature - has formed only in the past five or six million years. Geologically speaking, Grand Canyon is very young.


That sounds like an official estimate of geologic age to me.

Now, don't get me wrong -- there's no doubt in my mind that keeping the book on the shelves is directly motivated by Creationist ideas. But the only other references to the "controversy" I can find online all cite the PEER report -- and ONLY the PEER report. There's no direct quotes from anyone else anywhere. They're blowing this way out of proportion so they have something to complain about.

Also from the PEER link:
Interpretive and educational programs must refrain from appearing to endorse religious beliefs explaining natural processes. Programs, however, may acknowledge or explain other explanations of natural processes and events.


PEER added the bolding, I added the italics.

You know what annoys me more than Creationists?

Muckraking. You want me to get behind your cause? Give me both sides and let me make my own decision -- I'll be much more passionate about it that way.

(Also, check out the NYT and Arizona Daily Star for more (and more balanced) info.)

OK. I'll shut up now.

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Postby Teaspoon » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:18 am UTC

fjafjan wrote:But science was wrong in the past!

Maybe it is wrong now too?


One of the exciting differences between science and religion is that when science gets it wrong the response is "Oh. Damn. Maybe it's..." and the theory is replaced with a better one that copes with the new evidence. When religions get it wrong they claim it must have just been a misinterpretation or mankind was being tested or something and go on insisting that their theory is correct.

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Postby Belial » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:53 am UTC

I mean, yes, there was undoubtedly a big flood a long time ago (almost every culture in the world has stories about a Big Flood),


Actually, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and at the risk of starting a BIG FREAKING TANGENT....

I don't think the presence of a flood story in a lot of different cultures' mythologies is actually proof that the world ever experienced a big fuckall flood in human history. I think it's actually just symptomatic of the way human societies form.

When you're a fledgling human society, just coming in from your hunting and gathering and trying your hand at agriculture, you tend to look for a few key things in a permanent residence:

-Good soil
-Appropriate climate for the type of crops you know how to grow

and.... ::drumroll::

-Proximity to a RIVER

Now, funny thing about rivers: they flood. For most rivers, this happens extremely erratically. You'll just be minding your own business and then it starts raining and then *bam* you're up to your neck in water and your livestock is floating away.

And the rivers most prone to extreme floods are also the ones surrounded by the most fertile lands, as the flood drops rich silt in its course. So those same rivers were the most likely to attract successful societies.

Given that, is it really that strange that most human cultures that have successfully passed through their "agriculture-based" stage have this big "flood-to-end-all-floods" horror story lurking in their collective unconscious?

Now, let's consider an exception to this rule: Egypt.

Ancient Egypt, like most budding agricultural societies, sought out their fertile land, their appropriate climate, and their river so that they could start farming. But the Egyptians chose a rather interesting river.

The Nile, unlike many rivers, had a very *regular* flood cycle. It came like clockwork, every year. (I use the past tense because damming projects have somewhat changed things in the modern era) Egyptian farmers just incorporated it into their routine. Around the beginning of flood season, they stop tilling their fields (in the flood path), and just stay in their house (conveniently uphill from the flood path). When the floodwaters recede, the farmers return to their fields (which are now coated in a rich, luxuriant layer of silt) and begin planting the next year's crop.

For the Egyptians, the flooding of the Nile was a *blessing*. It was a signal that the gods *loved* them and wanted them to be rich and happy.

So do the Egyptians have a flood story?

Nope.

But they *do* have a disaster story, and it follows the same sort of formula: God (in this case, Ra) gets angry; God sends disaster; Most of population dies; God decides not to kill *everyone*; Humans, suitably chastened by the display of power, repopulate and remember not to be so impolite to the gods next time.

Except with the Egyptians, the disaster story took the form of a huge Desert Lion (Actually the transformed goddess Hathor) that ate nearly all the humans on the earth before she was subdued and dragged back to A'aru.

So it looks, to my admittedly untrained eye, that the whole "Flood Story" trend is actually an attempt by early cultures to fill some "Vengeance of the Gods Story" niche, and just using one of their biggest and most ever-present fears to fill in the gaps. It just happens that most early societies happened to have the same collective fear.

/musing
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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:36 pm UTC

So now the question is, why does every culture in the world HAVE a "Vengeance of God" niche?
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Postby Lani » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:49 pm UTC

Agreed, Belial. Good post.
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Postby Agentstinky » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:09 pm UTC

mwace wrote:
lani wrote:I have no words to describe my disgust at this.


I concour; these are trying times indeed. If anything is to be learned from this, its that majority conensus is fucking incompitent.


If anything is to be learned from this, it's that you can't fucking spell.

But yeah, I agree with you.
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Postby Peshmerga » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:15 pm UTC

Agentstinky wrote:
mwace wrote:
lani wrote:I have no words to describe my disgust at this.


I concour; these are trying times indeed. If anything is to be learned from this, its that majority conensus is fucking incompitent.


If anything is to be learned from this, it's that you can't fucking spell.

But yeah, I agree with you.


Woah woah, woah.

Calm down.
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Postby Lani » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:45 pm UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:So now the question is, why does every culture in the world HAVE a "Vengeance of God" niche?


Probably in reaction to the feeling of lack of control over one's world.
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Postby Belial » Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:43 pm UTC

Indeed. In fact, the extreme fickleness and danger of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is thought to be a major contributing factor to the Mesopotamian Pantheon being so....malevolent.

You could probably make the same statement about the entire Amazon rainforest as it relates to South American pantheons...
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Postby Underscore » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:58 pm UTC

What's with all the blood boiling? You're treating science like it is a religion, getting all upset and defensive when there's somebody defying it.

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Postby Belial » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:31 pm UTC

Someone? Whatever.

The Government? That's a problem.
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Postby Ronfar » Sun Jan 07, 2007 5:06 am UTC

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Postby Hawknc » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:59 am UTC

Well played, Ronfar.

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Postby no-genius » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:48 pm UTC

Pathway wrote:
Peshmerga wrote:Why 2007?

Seems arbitrary.


Seems now. It's the most likely time for Jesus to come if you believe we're living in the end times. Too many people do.


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