Geologist Suing National Park Service over Religious Discrimination

Dr. Andrew Snelling is a world-renowned geologist who has filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service on charges of religious discrimination. He has filed applications to conduct geological research in the Grand Canyon, but has been repeatedly denied. Andrew believes that the reason his application for research was denied is because of his young-earth biblical creationist views which are contrary to the godless evolutionary belief of the National Park Service.

Andrew is a dear friend and former colleague who, over the years, has proved sound scientific evidence to challenge the billions of years age of the earth paradigm of evolution. Currently, Andrew works for Answers in Genesis, who issued the following statement concerning the lawsuit:

“The complaint argues that because of his ‘Christian faith and scientific viewpoints informed by his Christian faith,’ Dr. Snelling’s application for a research permit was unconstitutionally rejected by the GCNP. The lawsuit highlights Dr. Snelling’s impressive academic background, which includes writing many articles in peer-reviewed mainstream geology journals, earning a doctorate in geology from the University of Sydney (ranked in the top 100 universities throughout the world), and conducting ‘substantial field and laboratory experience relating to numerous aspects of theoretical and practical geological research.’ The lawsuit also points out that in 25 years of canyon study, ‘Dr. Snelling has successfully completed 3 prior research projects without complaint from any NPS official within the Grand Canyon’.”

Perhaps one of the reasons that led to the National Park Service Grand Canyon officials denying Andrews research application is a June 2006 article he wrote titled The Fallacies of Radioactive Dating of Rocks. In that article, Andrew showed how the standard radiometric dating methods used today are inaccurate inconsistencies in dating the Cardenas Basalt lavas in the Grand Canyon. In this article, Andrew wrote:

“These radioactive dating methods have been used to calculate an absolute age of 1,103±66 million years for the Cardenas Basalt lavas. (The number after the ± symbol refers to the error margins in the ‘age’ determination so that 1,103±66 million years means that the age is between 1,037 and 1,169 million years.) So it would seem! However, a closer examination of the results from all such studies reveals the fallacies of the radioactive dating methods.”

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“The claimed age of 1,103±66 million years was obtained using the rubidium-strontium isochron method with 10 samples and has been regarded as the best radioactive dating result for any Grand Canyon rock unit. Nevertheless, potassium-argon model “ages” for each of 15 individual Cardenas Basalt samples range from 577±12 to 1,013±37 million years, while the potassium-argon isochron “age” obtained using 14 samples is only 516±30 million years. This is less than half the rubidium-strontium isochron ‘age’ of 1,111±81 million years obtained using 19 samples. It is also less than the claimed Cambrian age of the Tapeats Sandstone that sits on top of, and well above the Cardenas Basalt lavas (Figure 4). Worse still, the samarium-neodymium isochron ‘age’ obtained using 8 samples is 1,588±170 million years—more than three times the potassium-argon isochron ‘age’ of 516±30 million years!”

“So what is the correct “age” of the Cardenas Basalt lavas?

  • (a) 516±30 million years (the potassium-argon isochron age)
  • (b) 1,111±81 million years (the rubidium-strontium isochron age)
  • (c) 1,588±170 million years (the samarium-neodymium isochron age)
  • (d) None of the above”

“How can we know for sure which is the correct age when there is no independent cross-check?”

Another study that Andrew and Dr. Steve Austin conducted found that a basalt flow deep in the Grand Canyon dated, via standard techniques, to be at least a million years older than a more recent basalt flow at the top of the Grand Canyon. This study literally turned the secular dating of the Grand Canyon upside down.

Some of Andrew’s other scientific research clearly demonstrated just how erroneous radiometric dating methods are. In one study and subsequent scientific paper, Andrew showed that lava taken from a 1954 volcanic eruption was dated using the standard potassium-argon (K-Ar) method used by most geologists, and showed dates of the lava anywhere from less than 270,00 years old up to 3.5 million years old.

In yet another one of Andrew’s old-age breaking studies, he wrote:

“Fossilised wood found entombed in a Tertiary basalt flow at Crinum in central Queensland was identified as probably Melaleuca, and yielded a 14C ‘age’ of about 37,500 years BP and a δ13CPDB value of –25.69 ‰ consistent with terrestrial plant organic carbon, and ruling out contamination. A nearby leaf imprint in the basalt was identified as probably Lauraceae. The olivine basalt yielded an averaged K-Ar ‘model age’ of 47.5 Ma, excessively older than the expected ‘age’ of 30 Ma due to excess 40Ar*.”

In layman’s terms, a piece of fossilized wood found encased in a basalt flow dated to only 37,500 years old and the basalt surrounding the wood dated to 47.5 million years, showing an obvious error and inconsistency in the dating methods used to justify a belief in millions and billions of years.

The Grand Canyon National Park still teaches that the Grand Canyon is millions of years old and was largely created by years of erosion. Over the years, they have reduced the number of millions of years as new research shows the older age to be inaccurate. In other words, what they teach as fact continually changes as new facts are found. This means that their facts are not facts but only theories based upon a BELIEF in millions and billions of years. Dr. Snelling’s continued scientific work has continually questioned and challenged that belief system and this is why the National Park Service has denied his applications for further research. Is it any wonder that the National Park Service doesn’t want Andrew to conduct any further studies in the Grand Canyon as they will undoubtedly provide more scientific evidence pointing a much younger Grand Canyon than they believe?


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