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Old 01-02-2007, 05:44 PM   #46
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"This thread is aboiut Christian Fundamentalists run amok"

But is it really? Seems more like some politicians hoping to snag a few more votes from a large voting base....

no, not that either...

Let me get this straight -

The National Park Service sells some crazy books, CDs, posters and other stuff in their stores (i've been to them, lots of different books).

One book claims a possible link to a great flood (bibical perhaps) and PEER demands a review of the book by the Park Service (oh yeah, they probably will get right on that).

PEER releases their own press release about how SLOW the park service is to review this book and remove it. YAWN!

So, the Director of PEER claims obvious catering to this voting base.

THIS IS ALL SUCH BULLSHIT.

There, how's that for a "fundy" response.

Did you know the Bay of Fundy has the largest tidal range due to the Goddess Luna's sexual power?
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:06 PM   #47
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Originally posted by MadelynIris
"This thread is aboiut Christian Fundamentalists run amok"

THIS IS ALL SUCH BULLSHIT.

That's what, in so may words, I was gettin' at.
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:23 PM   #48
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Now we're getting somewhere. I'll wait for some cited articles in the responses.

I know I read about this very issue way back before in the LA Times. I'll have to check everything out when I'm in the Park in April.
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:23 PM   #49
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Martha,

I cited the articles. They were from the first posted article, a self released news item quoting from itself.

Articles cited. So mote it be.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:23 AM   #50
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Originally posted by Irvine511
it seems that people who don't believe in evolution, don't.

evolve, that is.

if you don't believe in evolution, you have to give back your opposable thumbs.

seriously, folks. i'm sick of this superstitious bullshit.

and that's what it is. and i find it interesting that, say, we'll get people who whine about, say, Affirmative Action, but then support the right for creationists to be included in the annals of scientific knowledge.
One can argue against affirmative action and against creationist literature being distributed by a government agency without being a hypocrite. The issue isn't that they are claiming that a Noachian flood carved the Grand Canyon; which is obviously absurd; but that it is being sold at a national park information centre. The US has enshrined the seperation of church and state in it's constitution and has maintained that division a good deal better than most other countries, the downside of not suffering under a state church of paying taxes for religion is that people aren't as put off towards faith, but that is a seperate issue.

Flood geology doesn't explain the Grand Canyon as well as the uniformitarian model; putting it in the context of Noah's flood and selling it from an outlet payed with taxes must cross into unconstitutional territory.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:31 AM   #51
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Actually the Park bookstore is owned and run by an independent organization, the Grand Canyon Association, though they apparently have an arrangement of sorts where all books they sell are formally approved (or not) by Park officials first. They also sell books presenting Native American cosmogonies of the Canyon, which like Vail's book are sold in the inspirational section, not the science section, according to what I've read. So, I don't think a case could likely be made that for them to sell the book there is unconstitutional.

Now, if there is an actual policy in place preventing park rangers from discussing the age of the canyon as determined by mainstream geology, that, IMO, is a more serious issue. However, I've read articles on this case now in the Los Angeles Times (January 7, 2004--presumably the article martha referred to), the New York Times (January 18, 2004), the Washington Post (January 20, 2004), the Albuquerque Tribune (January 27, 2004), the Arizona Republic (January 12, 2004) and Nature magazine (January 15, 2004), as well as assorted other, more "fringe" sources (bookseller newsletters, religious news services, etc.) and I have yet to find anything other than the PEER press release making that claim. According to the Washington Post article, the Park's then-public affairs officer Maureen Oltrogge said that
Quote:
The souvenir shop on park grounds is run by the Grand Canyon Association, but the National Park Service approves what may be sold there. The book, which is found in the inspiration section of park bookstores, is a "medium seller," Oltrogge said, with about 300 copies sold since August.

Park rangers are instructed to give a scientific view of the age of the canyon and how it was created, based on currently accepted geology, Oltrogge said. If park visitors raise questions about creationism, rangers are supposed to defer to science, she said. "National Park Service policy on interpretation is to teach current geological science," Oltrogge said, adding: "We also recognize there are other beliefs out there. We don't teach that. We teach current accepted geological science and history. Of course, they get questions during their interpretive sessions. You avoid confrontation."
In the LA Times article, then-NPS chief of interpretation for the Pacific Region Deanne Adams made the same assertion. I also looked at PEER's own letter to the NPS Director (.pdf) (alluded to in the press release anitram posted) and, unlike the press release, that letter does not make the accusation that rangers are not allowed to state the age of the Canyon; rather it complains that there's no official training or directives provided to rangers as to how to field questions from creationists specifically, which is quite different from what the press release suggests. (The letter is mostly about the Vail book issue.)

I couldn't find any more recent articles from major papers about the case, so I have no way of confirming whether PEER's claim about NPS interpretive policy is in fact now true. I do find it a bit strange, however, that no rangers or park officials were quoted on that (as they were by several major papers back in 2004, e.g. the quote above), and also, as I mentioned earlier, that the Park's own official visitor brochure (.pdf) as well as the FAQs section of their official website clearly state the Canyon's age. So, all that leaves by way of indirect confirmation is Axver's anecdote about what he overheard at Mammoth Cave, but I'd be kind of reluctant to make assumptions about NPS policy based on that alone, no offense Axver.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:14 PM   #52
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
[B They also sell books presenting Native American cosmogonies of the Canyon, which like Vail's book are sold in the inspirational section, not the science section,

PEER's own letter to the NPS Director (alluded to in the press release anitram posted) and, unlike the press release, that letter does not make the accusation that rangers are not allowed to state the age of the Canyon; rather it complains that there's no official training or directives provided to rangers as to how to field questions from creationists specifically, which is quite different from what the press release suggests."

Much ado about nothing then???
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:57 PM   #53
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Perhaps. Just now I came across a piece published today by a columnist named Gil Spencer. (This is not "the" Gil Spencer of East Coast journalism fame, but rather his son, who to judge from a few other pieces of his I glanced at, is a decidedly second-rate conservative writer for a decidely second-rate Greater Philadelphia area newspaper called the Delaware County Daily Times. His bio is of less interest than what he has to allege, however: )
Quote:
Is there a copy of this executive order somewhere? A memo? Has a park ranger been suspended for telling visitors the estimated geological age of the canyon? Fired? Not according to PEER. It provides no evidence that anyone has been ordered to shut up about anything having to do with the geology of the park.
...................................................
I called PEER Tuesday and talked to its director Jeff Ruch. I asked him point blank if park rangers were being punished or otherwise prevented by order of the Bush administration from informing visitors of the geological age of the Grand Canyon.

He admitted they were not. "We are not suggesting (they are) being censored...," he said. "We are not alleging censorship so much as a lack of guidance."

Guidance? If rangers need guidance they can click on the NPS’ own Web site that says the canyon contains a 2-billion-year-old rock record. If the Bush administration is attempting to sell a Bible story and suppress the canyon’s real age, it’s doing a pretty poor job.

Ruch denies that PEER intended the readers of its press release to believe park rangers were being ordered to shut up. "I can’t speak to the impression we left (to readers)," Ruch told me. "What we said was accurate."

No, it wasn’t. Here is what Ruch said in his own press release: "In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology."
.................................................
There is a decent case to be made that any book that proclaims the Grand Canyon is only 6,000 years old shouldn’t be sold on federal property. But that case should be made decently, which is to say honestly.
So...I think this piece pretty much pushes the issue into black-and-white territory. Either Gil Spencer is lying, or whoever wrote PEER's press release was lying. One way or the other--someone should be ashamed of the risks they're taking with their employer's reputation.

-------------------------------------------

ETA: And now one of the blogs that initially carried PEER's press release, Seattlest, is running a retraction, also based on having contacted PEER (and in their case, the Park's current PR rep as well).
Quote:
...Jeff Rook, who wrote the release, said that others have indeed contacted the PEER office and complained of being misled. "If they felt misled by it, we're sorry." There is no intentional obfuscation required when answering questions about the chasm's age in response to creationist queries or pressure. "At least not this week," quips Rook. Rangers and interpretive staff are free to discuss its scientific history with impunity.

The PR rep for the park service, Dave Barna (arguably, not someone PEER trusts all that much, obviously), adamantly told us that the Grand Canyon is as old as scientists say it is, and no-one who works for the park would be asked to say otherwise...
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:10 PM   #54
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My god, we live in a country with a dumb president. I thought Moses did it, or was it the meteor that killed the dino's.

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Old 01-03-2007, 05:16 PM   #55
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Where are the 20 or so folks who posted how outrageous this was?

?

This is worse than Fox news man.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:21 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Where are the 20 or so folks who posted how outrageous this was?

?
Is it still not outrageous that people believe this?


Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris

This is worse than Fox news man.
Nothing's worse.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:49 PM   #57
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What axver said was actually his experince, no piece from a news site.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:14 PM   #58
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True, and I just may get a chance to check that one out firsthand myself this spring--we live only a few hours' drive from Mammoth Cave, and were actually talking about taking our older two kids there during spring break. We did take our oldest son about three-and-a-half years ago, and they definitely talked about the geology of the cave at that time, but I haven't been there as recently as Axver has. (And their official website, too, has visitor brochures, FAQs, and curriculum materials for teachers, all of which openly discuss the age of the cave and all that.)

I am just very, very skeptical that the National Park Service, or any one individual park, would actually have an official policy forbidding rangers from stating the age of the park as estimated by geologists. I don't doubt, though, that they probably tend to opt for smiling and temporarily playing along with creationists who get confrontational with them--American public service organizations, like libraries, license bureaus and so forth, tend to train their employees in the standard American business "customer is always right" approach--and to that extent, I can see why it might be a good idea to have a clear-cut official set of answers rangers are supposed to provide such visitors, if they don't already, rather than just giving them general guidelines and leaving the rest up to individual rangers' judgment...as they apparently generally do at present, based on my reading.
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Old 01-03-2007, 11:54 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
Where are the 20 or so folks who posted how outrageous this was?

Right here. If it were true, it still would be outrageous. Fortunately, this instance of fundamentalist interference was unfounded. There are plenty other cases to be outraged about.
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Old 01-04-2007, 08:15 AM   #60
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Originally posted by Justin24
My god, we live in a country with a dumb president. I thought Moses did it, or was it the meteor that killed the dino's.

News just in, it wasn't a meteorite alone, score one for the stamp collectors (obtuse reference to a Alverez quote that was a quote of Rutherford).
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