Wednesday, January 17, 2007

NPS: A Chasm in Understanding

Bush, our beloved government, and a lack of separation of church and state. I love Bad Astronomy.

That's where I heard about this little mess. It actually started by PEER with this premise: The National Park Service sells a book that says the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's Flood and park rangers aren't allowed to say it was created geologically for fear of offending religious nuts.

After that whole story bled through the consciousness of the internet world, some more careful reading was done, and it wasn't exactly as it seemed. PEER starts to look a little shady because of misleading the public on what rangers are and are not allowed to say. But the Park Service still looks shady because there is a book (excellent reviews) and it is still for sale.

And there is movement. Oh, More of a shuffle. Bad Astronomy again with the alert, Northstate Science with more details. ParkRangerX rails at the tenacity of the story and the audacity of PEER. Hell, even Doonesbury's in on the act. The book stays, but in the "inspirational" section that was created for it.

There is a valid story here. A National Park, funded by our tax dollars, is selling a book that attributes a fantastic natural phenomenon to Judeo-Christian lore. Despite switching its label or location in the store, it is still a religious book backed by public funds. And why this fundamentalist drivel is still being backed after all the press is an outrage.

What else is an outrage? PEER. Why the hell would they deliberately taint the story that's already got legs? This is state funded religion already, you asses. You made Trudeau look like an asshat. Feed the clean story to a couple of blogs and ...wait a second. I see what you're doing.

Wait. No.

You're just not that smart.

On this day, the NPS and PEER share the WTF award!