Guest / Limited Access /

Efforts by mainstream scientists to stop a book defending young-earth creationism from being sold at the Grand Canyon have backfired. Sales are growing, and the controversy is evolving into a test case for free speech.

Last summer, the Grand Canyon Association began selling Grand Canyon: A Different View (Master Books, 2003) in its six bookstores after receiving unanimous approval from a National Park Service review board. The hardback book, compiled by Christian river guide Tom Vail, combines beautiful photography with essays from scientists. They argue that the canyon was created suddenly several thousand years ago.

A park employee complained about the book. Last December, the leaders of seven national geological associations asked Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Joseph Alston to remove the book because of its "narrow religious view."

Thousands of citizens have reportedly contacted the park service, which is studying the issue before making a decision. The association continues to order copies.

Richard Jefferson of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which is representing Vail, says the real issue is free speech, not science.

"The question is, will we have state-sponsored censorship or will we observe constitutional protections for free speech?" Jefferson said.

Last year, after the American Civil Liberties Union complained, park officials removed donated plaques with verses from the Psalms posted at the canyon's South Rim. Following a public furor, officials put the plaques back up.

Related Elsewhere:

CT's coverage of Grand Canyon displays includes:

The Grand Canyon as Metaphor (Dec. 26,2003)
Officials Erode Psalm Displays at Grand Canyon (July 14, 2003)
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTime To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
TrendingChristianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards
Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
Editor's PickWhat Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
What Forgotten Christmas Tradition Should Churches Revive?
Rooting our celebration of Christ’s birth more deeply in our lives.
Comments
Christianity Today
Challenging Canyon Orthodoxy
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.