Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Archive for December 30th, 2006

What’s 5 million years old, but was only created 6000 years ago?

Posted by metaphorical on 30 December 2006

The Grand Canyon, of course. Moreover, the rock there itself goes back about 2 billion years.

From the National Park Service’s own website:

… the thick sequence of rocks exposed in the walls of the Canyon. These rocks provide a remarkable (but incomplete) record of the Paleozoic Era (550-250 million years ago), as well as scattered remnants of Precambrian rocks as old as 2000 million years. The story these rocks tell is far older than the canyon itself….

How old is the canyon itself?

The early history and evolution of the Colorado River (of which Grand Canyon is only a part) is the most complex aspect of Grand Canyon geology and far beyond our scope here. We do know, however, that the erosion which has shaped the canyon has occurred only in the past five to six million years—only yesterday, considering the age of the rocks through which the Canyon is carved.

Nevertheless, the Park Service continues to sell a religious-based, scientifically absurd book at its visitor centers, apparently at the insistence of fundamentalist political appointees back in Washington. So reports Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, “a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals.”

Moreover, the park service employees are apparently not permitted to tell park visitors the same things the official NPS website tells virtual ones.

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).

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