There's a book for sale at the Grand Canyon National Park claiming that the canyon was a result of Noah's Flood. According to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), park superintendent Joe Alston in 2003 lobbied to keep the book, titled Grand Canyon: A Different View, by Tom Vail, out of the park's bookstores; the National Park Service responded by promising a "high-level policy review" of the matter. PEER claims that three years later, a Freedom of Information Act request shows that the review wasn't even "requested, let along conducted or completed." From PEER:
Park officials have defended the decision to approve the sale of Grand Canyon: A Different View, claiming that park bookstores are like libraries, where the broadest range of views are displayed. In fact, however, both law and park policies make it clear that the park bookstores are more like schoolrooms rather than libraries. As such, materials are only to reflect the highest quality science and are supposed to closely support approved interpretive themes. Moreover, unlike a library the approval process is very selective. Records released to PEER show that during 2003, Grand Canyon officials rejected 22 books and other products for bookstore placement while approving only one new sale item – the creationist book…
Ironically, in 2005, two years after the Grand Canyon creationist controversy erupted, NPS approved a new directive on "Interpretation and Education (Director's Order #6) which reinforces the posture that materials on the "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 [and] Interpretive and educational programs must refrain from appearing to endorse religious beliefs explaining natural processes."
"As one park geologist said, this is equivalent of Yellowstone National Park selling a book entitled Geysers of Old Faithful: Nostrils of Satan," (said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch.)
Link to PEER press release, Link to a review of the book at the National Center for Science Education (Thanks, Paul Saffo!)
Previously on BB:
• The Grand Canyon is only a few thousand years old! Link
• Profile of Creation Museum founder Link
• Creationist theme park Link
UPDATE: BB reader Joseph Francis points out that the National Park Service FAQ on the Grand Canyon includes the following question and answer:
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. Link