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Young-earth creationists are people who sincerely believe that our planet is 6,000 to 10,000 years old and that it was created as-is by the Christian god. They’re only off by about four billion five hundred thirty-nine million nine hundred ninety-four thousand years or so. So close! Keep trying, bros!
Despite the fact that they’re obviously wrong about basically everything they hold dear, young earth creationists just keep on trying. And so this month, a young earth creationist has filed a lawsuit alleging religious discrimination against the Grand Canyon. When I first saw that headline I assumed he was suing it just for existing. After all, the Grand Canyon is one of the most obvious, unavoidable signs that we live on a planet that has changed drastically over the course of billions of years. You can visit the Grand Canyon and literally see layers of rocks that range from two billion to 200 million years old, all neatly stacked up. You don’t even need to work to see it. You can take a helicopter down there and look. I did it, it was awesome.
You can see fossils, you can see ancient lava flows, you can see the impact of ice ages and you can even see the footprints of itty bitty lizards that lived millions of years ago.
So the mere existence of the Grand Canyon is, in and of itself, religious discrimination.
But the young earth creationist, a YouTube “scientician” named Andrew Snelling, is suing because he wants to take 50 or 60 rocks from the Grand Canyon to desperately try to prove that the entire thing is a lie, possibly created by Satan to test our faith. He applied for a research permit, but because that isn’t actual research, the National Parks Service said “no.” They only approve about 80 studies to take place in the Grand Canyon, and all of those are actual scientists doing actual science. So Snelling got rejected
And they were right to do so! Some people think that we should coddle young earth creationists, because denying them permits just makes them cry about censorship, and after all, science is about remaining open to new ideas. But young earth creationism isn’t new, and it can hardly even be called an “idea” at this point. It’s an old, stupid tenet held by idiots. The NPS has no obligation to let them cart off rocks and take up valuable park resources just to tilt at their windmills, just like the Hubble space telescope is under no obligation to grant time to members of the Flat Earth Society so they can do their “research” to prove that the Earth is sitting on the back of a giant turtle.
So here’s hoping that a federal judge knocks some sense into Snelling. Well, let’s be honest, that’s probably impossible at this point. So let’s just hope a judge is able to explain in simple, monosyllabic terms why Young-Earth Creationism isn’t science — it’s religion. And the National Park Service has every right to discriminate against religious crusades.