Grand Canyon: The Creationist Tour
Thursday, February 01, 2007
It seems that any American landscape can be turned into a battleground in the culture wars.
“In August 2003,” according to a news release from the Public Employee for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), “Park Superintendent Joe Alston attempted to block the sale at park bookstores of Grand Canyon: A Different View by Tom Vail, a book claiming the Canyon developed on a biblical rather than an evolutionary time scale. NPS Headquarters, however, intervened and overruled Alston. To quiet the resulting furor, NPS Chief of Communications David Barna told reporters and members of Congress that there would be a high-level policy review of the issue.”
However, “a recent NPS response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by PEER, no such review was ever requested, let alone conducted or completed.”
Meanwhile, if you're interested in finding out just how wrong the scientific community is about the age of the Grand Canyon, Tom Vail regularly organizes rafting trips through the canyon during which, presumably, he preaches the eight evidences that support a catastrophic formation of the Grand Canyon, a global Flood, and a young earth.
And in one of these trips, a reporter from The New York Times tagged along.
So what we want to find out now is: how can landscape architects better design places wherein lies, hate, and idiocy can be disseminated with great success?
How does one, for instance, turn a Floridian seaside development into a seemingly eternal paradise, unblemishable by coastal erosion, sea-level rise, and hurricanes? Is there some sort of street configuration or a planting scheme that will make residents go: “If global warming is true, well, it's not that a big of a deal, and it's not gonna come here! Just look at this place!”
And how does one regrade a community park, or for that matter, the sacred precinct of Central Park, into an effective propaganda tool against homosexuality and same-sex marriage? Might this involve walking tours and buggy rides along reconfigured paths, freshly coated with porous asphalt and punctuated with carefully structured picturesque garden views of heterosexual couples and their strapping, handsome kids in familial bliss, complemented with scenes of equally heterosexual deers, birds and bunnies?
The national historic homesteads of America's founding fathers turned as headquarters in the crusade against the separation of church and state?