Retraction of Grand Canyon Story
Skeptic magazine have retracted their story about the Grand Canyon park rangers being instructed not to comment on the age of the Grand Canyon, and I am hereby doing likewise. Apparently the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) who were the source of the comment were, basically, speaking out of their asses. According to the park rangers themselves, there has been no such directive. PEER has issued a revised statement after Michael Shermer flat out accused them of lying.
According to Shermer:
Embarrassed and angered by all of this, I promptly phoned Jeff Ruch myself and inquired what evidence he has to support this claim. He initially pointed to the creationism book and the fact that the NPS has failed to address numerous challenges to the sale of same in their bookstore. When I pointed out that this is irrelevant to the claim in the press release, he then reminded me of the biblical passages that have been posted at places along the rim of the canyon. Again, I admonished, this is not evidence for his central claim. We went round and round on the phone until I finally gave up and hung up, convinced that he simply made up the claim out of whole cloth.
There was additional back and forth via email, eventually leading to Shermer asking him if he made it all up, and Rush responding that his sources wished to remain anonymous and had gone underground.
It’s a real pity that a watchdog group like PEER cannot be relied upon to watch themselves.