jueves, enero 11, 2007

La edad del Gran Cañón del Rio Colorado

...que pasa por Colorado y New Mexico, conocido cariñosamente como el Gran Cañón o Grand Canyon
Para que veais que para denunciar algo hay que conocerlo a fondo:

In response to the email and web page on the age of the Grand Canyon I would like to share my experience at the Grand Canyon this summer. I was part of the Geological Society of America’s GeoCorp program that places geologist in National Parks for 3 month terms. I was selected to work on the new Yavapai Point Museum at the Grand Canyon Nation Park, South Rim. The museum will focus exclusively on the geology of the Grand Canyon. GSA paid me a stipend for the first 3 months I worked there and I was considered a volunteer by the National Park Service (NPS). My stay was extended for a month and a half and during this time I was hired by the NPS as an interpretive park ranger and was paid a salary by the NPS. I was part of a 4 person team that worked on the museum exhibits including writing the text. At no time was I told what to say or not to say to park visitors by either my supervisors or any member of the team. In the museum’s exhibits the age of the canyon is discussed as well as the age of the rocks both relative ages and radiometric ages. No mention is given to creationism or an alternative non-scientific age to the canyon. The exhibit’s text cites the age of the canyon ~ 6 million years old. There is a section on how the carving of the canyon is dated by the 11 to 6 million years old Hualapai Limestone (no river gravels) and the 4.41 million year old Sandy Point Basalt (resting on top of river gravels). There are small exhibits on relative dating, radiometric dating, and fossil correlation. There is an exhibit with the title “A Look into Deep Time” that uses an encyclopedia with 1 page equal to 1 million years as its center piece. The encyclopedia is 4,540 pages thick. The exhibit should be installed during May 2007.

I attended many ranger lectures, evening programs, and trailside tours and most of them mentioned the age of the canyon and rocks even if the talk was not about geology. EVERY geology talk I attended mentioned the age of the Canyon and its rocks. Some ranger talks mention local Indian beliefs about the canyon and its formation but it was not presented as a scientific theory. Most rangers took questions from the audience and I never heard a ranger answer “no comment”. Two rangers (one with a Masters of Science degree in geology) published a 3 page pamphlet on the age of the canyon and its formations and also published and have for sale in the parks gift shop a meter stick/ time stick with the age of the Earth and age of the Grand Canyon and its rock formations.

The Grand Canyon National Park is also working with the University of New Mexico on a Trail of Time that will have brass tick marks (1 meter apart) imbedded into the main rim trail that runs between the hotels and the new geology museum. Each tick mark will represent 1 million years and at key points small plaques will be placed identifying times when different geological processes occurred. In Summary I did not see any attempt to conceal from the public the age of the canyon or how it formed.

Paul Mayer. University of Wisconsin - Madison (pmayer@geology.wisc.edu)

From: Theropod Reply-To: "A listserver system for paleontologists."
To: PaleoNet Subject: Paleonet: Debate over the age of the Grand Canyon. Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 11:02:03 -0700

Dan Chure: The following story may be of general interest to earth scientists. More details can be obtained at the website http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=801

*HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY* — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

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).
“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”
In a letter released today, PEER urged the new Director of the National Park Service (NPS), Mary Bomar, to end the stalling tactics, remove the book from sale at the park and allow park interpretive rangers to honestly answer questions from the public about the geologic age of the Grand Canyon. PEER is also asking Director Bomar to approve a pamphlet,
suppressed since 2002 by Bush appointees, providing guidance for rangers and other interpretive staff in making distinctions between science and religion when speaking to park visitors about geologic issues.
In August 2003, Park Superintendent Joe Alston attempted to block the sale at park bookstores of Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail, a book claiming the Canyon developed on a biblical rather than an evolutionary time scale. NPS Headquarters, however, intervened and overruled Alston. To quiet the resulting furor, NPS Chief of Communications David Barna told reporters and members of Congress that there would be a high-level policy review of the issue.
According to a recent NPS response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by PEER, no such review was ever requested, let alone conducted or completed.
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 onlyone 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,” Ruch added, pointing to the fact that previous NPS leadership ignored strong protests from both its own scientists and leading geological societies against the agency approval of the creationist book. “We sincerely hope that the new Director of the Park Service now
has the autonomy to do her job.”

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