A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

May 22, 2017

By Sarah Zhang

“How did the Grand Canyon form?” is a question so commonly pondered that YouTube is rife with explanations. Go down into the long tail of Grand Canyon videos, and you’ll eventually find a two-part, 35-minute lecture by Andrew Snelling. The first sign this isn’t a typical geology lecture comes about a minute in, when Snelling proclaims, “The Grand Canyon does provide a testament to the biblical account of Earth’s history.”

Snelling is a prominent young-Earth creationist. For years, he has given lectures, guided biblical-themed Grand Canyon rafting tours, and worked for the nonprofit Answers in Genesis. (The CEO of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, is also behind the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter theme park.) Young-Earth creationism, in contrast to other forms of creationism, specifically holds that the Earth is only thousands of years old. Snelling believes that the Grand Canyon formed after Noah’s flood—and he now claims the U.S. government is blocking his research in the canyon because of his religious views.

Last week, Snelling sued park administrators and the Department of Interior, which administers the national parks program, because they would not grant him a permit to collect 50 to 60 fist-sized rocks. All research in the national park is restricted, especially if it requires removing material. But the Grand Canyon does host 80 research projects a year, ranging from archaeology digs to trout tracking.

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5 comments on “A Creationist Sues the Grand Canyon for Religious Discrimination

  • This title made me think he was actually talking to the Grand Canyon and was insulted.
    Figures.
    Let this idiot have his rocks and go on his way. He needs them for his head.
    I’m just not sure about giving any christians fist sized rocks. You know what happens next.



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  • @Op – Snelling believes that the Grand Canyon formed after Noah’s flood—and he now claims the U.S. government is blocking his research in the canyon because of his religious views.

    Ha! ha! ha! –
    The concept of a dedicated flood-myth proponent being capable of doing “scientific research”!! 🙂



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  • alf1200 #4
    May 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    @OP – All research in the national park is restricted, especially if it requires removing material. But the Grand Canyon does host 80 research projects a year, ranging from archaeology digs to trout tracking.

    Alan, I’m curious to see what kind of nonsense he would come up with.
    Always entertaining……….

    I would think in any application he would have been asked to outline the new information his studies were seeking, and an outline of the scientific methodology he was planning to use!

    One can only presume that YEC attempt at this, would be an epic fail, due asking simplistic questions which have already been answered, and a failure to cite relevant earlier peer-reviewed research, which already covered the topic!

    Preconceptions in religious views are not a criterion or basis for scientific geological research, although they may be in archaeology studying indigenous peoples!



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