Government stops blocking Christian geologist from studying Grand Canyon to settle lawsuit
Critic says he’s not pursuing ‘valid science’
A highly educated scientist who dissents from the mainstream scientific community on the age of the earth has won his battle against the government for access to Grand Canyon National Park.
Andrew Snelling has a doctorate in geology from the University of Sydney and 45 years of geological field and lab experience, but the National Park Service allegedly kept him from doing research because of his religious views.
Following more than three years of hurdles from NPS to study four sedimentary structures thought to be 245 million years old, Snelling filed suit this spring. The government quickly caved, and Snelling’s lawyers at the Alliance Defending Freedom voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.
“They came to realize my research proposal was acceptable and in line with scientific practice and wanted me to clarify some details,” Snelling told The College Fix in a phone interview.
Later this summer he’ll begin his field work and start collecting samples.
‘They never looked at the science of the question he was asking’
Snelling is a self-proclaimed creationist who works for Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics group that investigates geological phenomena from a literal biblical perspective.
The group claims the earth is 6,000 years old, citing biblical genealogies, rather than the mainstream scientific view of billions of years old. “As a creationist I believe the biblical record is an eyewitness account given to us by God, and we can test it,” Snelling told The Fix.
He’s also the editor of the organization’s research journal, and the Grand Canyon – where he has led river-rafting tours – is his specialty. Snelling believes the vast expanse is evidence of the biblical flood of Noah.
He claimed in his May 9 suit that NPS violated Snelling’s First and Fifth Amendment rights to free exercise of religion and due process in its treatment of his research request.
The geologist’s saga started in November 2013, when he sought a permit to investigate four specific Paleozoic folds in the Grand Canyon to see when the folding actually occurred. The NPS asked Snelling to submit two additional peer reviews, which he said had not been requested on his previous three trips to the Grand Canyon.
To vet Snelling’s request, NPS itself sought geological peer reviews from the University of New Mexico’s Karl Karlstrom, University of Wyoming’s Peter Huntoon and Northern Arizona University’s Ron Blakely.
All three reviews were critical of Snelling’s scientific claims, and the following March, NPS denied Snelling a permit, telling him he could find those type of sediments outside of the Grand Canyon.
Read the rest at: Christian Geologist