Aw! C’mon guys. According to an article just published December 28, 2006 by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the “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.” Yet, the article goes on to tell us, the bookstore does have a book that explains the Grand Canyon was created by a great flood that left Noah floating in that ark.

So let me see…we can visit the official Grand Canyon bookstore and find out that the Grand Canyon was carved into the earth by a great biblical flood, but we can’t be told by park service employees that there is also some rather strong scientific evidence that actually offers a geologic age estimate? But wait! I just checked the official National Park Service website and, lo and behold, it looks like they really do have science-based info.

So it’s ok to write about it on the website, but shhhh! Don’t let visitors hear you say the words out loud. Now I’m all for religious freedom, but when employees of a national treasure of such geologic importance with so much history to tell us about are not allowed to even mention a scientific concept like geologic age to visitors, I think we have gone just a tad too far in accommodating religious beliefs.

Quite honestly, the whole thing sounds wacky. It’s on your website guys! Is this just another case of “don’t ask, don’t tell”? How did information become so scary to us as a nation? If you don’t believe it, can the words actually harm you in any way? I thought beliefs were supposed to be strong enough to stand up to mere words. Are these religious foundations the park service is claiming to protect so shaky they can’t stand hearing a few words about some science-based estimates of geologic time?

I think my friend Barbara said it best when we were 6 years old: Sticks and bones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me!

Ok. There are some words that, according to the first amendment, can cause harm.  And there was that time in 2nd grade Timmy Waterman called me a doody-head. That hurt. But really fellahs…voicing the very same words that you already have on your website can’t hurt anyone. And, if you want to be extra considerate, you could always preface the geologic info with a little statement saying this is based on science and not meant in any way to contradict personal beliefs. Now was that so hard?