This article at Time.com starts off talking about a park run by creationists that adopts the 6000 year old view of how life came to be and the belief that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is false. Which I guess is acceptable since it is a private park run by creationist.
But then comes the bombshell of the changes in the National Park Services, specifically the Grand Canyon National Park.
Two-thirds of the way across the continent, some four million people annually visit Grand Canyon National Park, marveling at the awesome view. In National Park Service (NPS) affiliated bookstores, they can find literature informing them that the great chasm runs for 277 miles along the bed of the Colorado River. It descends more than a mile into the earth, and along one stretch, is some 18 miles wide, its walls displaying impressive layers of limestone, sandstone, shale, schist and granite.
And, oh yes, it was formed about 4,500 years ago, a direct consequence of Noah’s Flood. How’s that? Yes, this is the ill-informed premise of “Grand Canyon, a Different View,” a handsomely-illustrated volume also on sale at the bookstores. It includes the writings of creationists and creation scientists and was compiled by Tom Vail, who with his wife operates Canyon Ministries, conducting creationist-view tours of the canyon. “For years,” Vail explains, “as a Colorado River guide, I told people how the Grand Canyon was formed over the evolutionary time span of millions of years. (Most geologists place the canyon’s age at some six million years). Then I met the Lord. Now I have a different view of the Canyon, which according to a biblical time scale, can’t possibly be more than a few thousand years old.”
An attempt by Joe Alston, the Grand Canyon National Park superintendent, to block the sales of the book was overruled by NPS headquarters under the premise that a high-level policy review of the matter would be launched and a decision made by February 2004, but that never happened:
According to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), an organization that includes many Park employees, papers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that no review has ever taken place. Indeed, PEER claims that the Bush Administration has already decided it will stand by its approval for the book and that hundreds more have been ordered. “Now that the book has become quite popular,” explained an NPS flack to a Baptist news agency, “we don’t want to remove it.”
Additionally, the Grand Canyon National Park no longer offers an official estimate on the age of the canyon, the publication of guidance for park rangers that reminds them of the lack of a scientific basis for creationism has been blocked, and the National Park Service has allowed the placment of bronze plaques bearing Psalm verses at Grand Canyon.
PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch is indignant, “If the Bush Administration is using public resources for pandering to Christian fundamentalists, it should at least have the decency to tell the truth about it.”