And I Suppose Mount Everest Was Formed When God Got a Stiffy

From Holden:

Yet another in an unending series of reasons to dump Bush:

[Former director of the National Park Service Roger] Kennedy has not seen “Grand Canyon: A Different View,” but others who have, including geologists on the Park Service staff, say it does not meet that test. A compilation of photographs, biblical quotations and essays published last year by Master Books, the book says God created the heavens and the earth in six days, 6,000 years ago, and that the canyon formed in a flood God caused in order to wipe out “the wickedness of man.” The geology of the canyon proves it, the books’ contributors say.

Actually, the universe formed billions of years ago, Earth formed billions of years later and the Grand Canyon was shaped by millions and millions of years of hydrology, chiefly the action of the Colorado River. Other ideas, however dearly held, are myths. Or, as the Geologic Resources Division of the Park Service put it in a memo, “The book purports to be science when it is not. The book repudiates science.”

Nevertheless, it is for sale at the six bookstores at Grand Canyon National Park.

Brad Wallis, executive director of the Grand Canyon Association, the nonprofit group that runs the stores, said the association did not market the book as science. The association decided to stock it, he said, because it is a professionally produced presentation of “a divergent viewpoint.” In the main store, the only one large enough to have separate sections for different kinds of books, “the book was placed in the inspiration section, and we never moved,” Mr. Wallis said. “It was never in the science section.”

Last December, a few months after the book appeared in Grand Canyon shops, the presidents of seven geological and paleontological organizations wrote to Joseph Alston, superintendent of the canyon, to urge that the book be removed from stores there, lest visitors get the impression that the park endorsed its contents.

Now the issue rests with the solicitor’s office of the Interior Department, which has been reviewing the issue for almost a year, said Elaine Sevy, a spokeswoman for the Park Service.

Asked what the review consists of and why it is taking so long, she said, “It’s resting with the solicitor’s office.”

Until its ruling, the book remains on sale.