The Grand Canyon is a creationist’s nightmare. Not that there’s any form of science that doesn’t help prove that the world is 4.5 billion years old, mind you, but this famous 1.84-billion-year-old landmark is a ginormous geological slap in the face for those of such a contrarian conviction.
Nevertheless, Answers in Genesis, a nonprofit run by Ken Ham – a man who has built a museum depicting humans cohabiting with various predatory dinosaurs – has long considered the Grand Canyon to be a wonderful showcase of the Biblical account of the manufacturing of Earth.
One of its top acolytes, Andrew Snelling, has been attempting to gather rock samples from this particular National Park and, being prevented from doing so, he’s decided to sue the Grand Canyon’s guardians.
Andrew Snelling is actually a scientist; he has a doctorate in geology from the University of Sydney and has published peer-reviewed research in academic journals. He is also, somehow, an ardent creationist.
Being a scientist and a creationist is incredibly difficult. Believing that the world is merely thousands of years old, that humans magically appeared, and Darwinian evolution is a crock of shit is in direct conflict with almost every single scientific field out there.
A geologist who is also a creationist, however, is an example of cognitive dissonance par excellence. Everything you are taught as any kind of geoscientist disproves every aspect of creationism so thoroughly that you simply have to choose a side – you cannot fight for both. Doing so would be akin to a physicist that considers gravity to be mythological.
So it’s deeply disappointing, really, that Dr Andrew Snelling is trying to gather samples to attempt to disprove all of geology. It’s not going to happen, whether he gets the samples or not.
He seems pretty angry that the park administrators won’t let him chip away at this protected landmark, however, which is why he’s taking them to court with the overzealously named legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom.