Grand Canyon Redux

The controversy over the sale of the creationist anthology Grand Canyon: A Different View in the bookstores in Grand Canyon National Park is back in the headlines.

On October 13, 2004, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility -- "a national non-profit alliance of local, state and federal scientists, law enforcement officers, land managers and other professionals dedicated to upholding environmental laws and values" -- issued a press release accusing the National Park Service of failing to carry out its promised high-level review of the policies governing the selections of books for sale in the bookstores overseen by the NPS. The press release also stated that the NPS failed to respond to complaints from the heads of seven geoscience societies about the book and to a scathing memorandum from the chief of its own Geologic Resources Division. PEER's executive director Jeff Ruch commented, "Promoting creationism in our national parks is just as wrong as promoting it in our public schools."

A spokesperson for the NPS told the Washington Post that the policy review was previously expected to be completed in February 2004, but now is expected not to be completed until some time after that. "It's difficult on where to draw the line on these issues," she contended: "We are moving very carefully and very cautiously."

NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott told the Post, "The science presented is substandard, inaccurate and greatly at variance with the mainstream scientific view presented at Grand Canyon National Park," adding, "Nobody is saying this book should be taken out and burned. But it should not be sold at this bookstore."

(Story in the Washington Post)