AIG’s Grand Canyon Lawsuit May Fizzle Out

You probably remember our recent post: AIG Creation Scientist’s Grand Canyon Lawsuit. All the background information is there.

Now we have a follow-up from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum. It’s titled Major Newspaper Carries Story About Dr. Andrew Snelling’s Discrimination Lawsuit.

Hambo doesn’t have much to say, but here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

On May 9, 2017, we announced that Alliance Defending Freedom (a pro bono religious liberties group) had filed a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Andrew Snelling, a geologist and researcher here at AiG.

Yes, we know about it. Andrew Snelling, one of AIG’s creation scientists, has sued the US Department of Interior, the National Park Service, and a few individuals. Then Hambo says:

Many news outlets have picked up this story, and we have been pleased to see that many of them have been fair (unlike the very biased coverage of the Ark Encounter that often paints this highly successful project in a poor and untruthful light).

Well, virtually anything will get better treatment in the press than a $100 million “replica” of Noah’s Ark. Then he tells us about one news story:

For example, the Washington Times recently ran a good article on Dr. Snelling’s rights being violated. I encourage you to read this article that appeared on the front page in the print edition.

This is the article Hambo is gushing about: Geologist’s lawsuit claims discrimination at Grand Canyon over biblical beliefs. It doesn’t say anything new, but go ahead and read it if you like.

Hambo finally gets around to giving us some news:

As a brief update on the court case, we are encouraged to learn that the park service has responded to ADF [that’s Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm representing Andrew Snelling].

There’s no link to that “response,” and it’s a bit early for the defendants to have filed a response to the complaint. It sounds to us as if lawyers for the defendants are talking to Snelling’s lawyers. According to Hambo:

ADF is providing officials at the park service a period of time to reconsider Dr. Snelling’s request to have continued access to the canyon for field research, to ensure his equal treatment as a credentialed scientist, and to resolve the permit issue.

That’s rather vague. Our guess — based only on Hambo’s cryptic post — is that when the government lawyers contacted ADF, they started chatting about a settlement. It’s possible that the government said they’re willing to reconsider Snelling’s request for rocks, and Snelling’s lawyers said that while that’s going on, they agree to a delay in the time for the defendants to file a response to the complaint.

Why do we even imagine such a conversation occurred? Well, the government lawyers aren’t looking for more work to do, and if ADF is representing Snelling on a pro bono basis, they’re not looking for a lot of work to do either. So if they can work things out quickly — and if Snelling can claim a victory — then why drag the thing through the courts for a couple of years?

This is the rest of Hambo’s post:

We appreciate your prayers on this important religious freedom case.

Well, dear reader, we don’t know what’s going on, but Hambo’s post strongly suggests that Snelling may get his rocks and we won’t have a creationist lawsuit to blog about. But all is not lost. We’ll still have fun when Hambo claims the settlement — if there is one — is some kind of cosmic victory. And of course, we can all look forward to the results of Snelling’s research — described as “the truth the government tried to conceal!”

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “AIG’s Grand Canyon Lawsuit May Fizzle Out

  1. Creationists often claim that they use the same data, they just “interpret” it differently.

    And occasionally, when one slips and is accidentally honest, they admit that any scientific evidence which contradicts the bible is irrelevant, as the bible is “the word of god” and takes precedence over anything else.

    I’m talking about how a Bible believer has to go about this, and knowing that the Bible is God’s own revelation is prior to all else, so this mindless refrain about having to start from some other evidence is totally absolutely irrelevant.

    That’s a direct quote from a YEC creationist on another website.

    That’s not interpreting the data differently. That’s flat-out ignoring any inconvenient scientific data in favor of old tribal myths.

    And that’s why creationists can’t be trusted to do science; and that’s why we can rightly claim that they are in fact anti-science.

  2. Maybe AG Sessions personally intervened in the case as it might have seemed incredibly important to him.

  3. Dave Luckett

    As I said before, this is a heads I win, tails you lose game that AiG is playing. Deny Snelling his samples for any reason and he’s a great man of science censored and obstructed by the evil Darwinists in desperate defence of their Satanic religion. Let him take them, and one more set of lies gets added to the Gish gallop, using the propagandist’s surest advantage – it takes more time and information to refute a false assertion than it takes to make the assertion. As Terry Pratchett put it, “A lie can circle the Earth before truth can get its boots on.”

    Ah, but as someone said once, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. As far as Ken Ham is concerned, that’s one more strike against the truth.

  4. A lie can circle the Earth before truth can get it boots on.
    The source of this famous adage has been discussed at The Quote Investigator
    It seems to have gradually grown over the centuries.

  5. As I’ve said before, stand up against science haters and protect the best canyon on the entire planet from defacement.

  6. From the previous post it sounds like Snelling wants to collect samples of the deformed metamorphic schists and gneisses exposed at the bottom of the canyon. I say let him — on the condition that he carries out all samples himself, no mules or aides allowed.

    It’s obvious from Snelling’s creationist writings (as opposed to his scientific papers) that these rock samples are intended for religious purposes as opposed to scientific purposes. Nonetheless, the amount of rock he can carry out is inconsequential, especially when compared to the propaganda value AiG will reap if Snelling’s request is denied.

  7. I can sympathize with park officials that might want to settle the case and let the baby have his bottle. After all, the value of 30 lbs of rocks is negligible, compared to the cost of a lawsuit. But I submit they shouldn’t settle, for the simple reason it would set a very bad precedent. The obvious fact that the rocks would become show pieces in a creationist museum somewhere also needs to be addressed.
    The case should hinge on the fact that Snelling isn’t going to use the material in his capacity as a legit PhD, but in his capacity as a young Earth creationist.

  8. So it’s a “religious freedom” issue? Wow. I throught Creations Science was about Science. Silly me.

  9. Keep in mind that although Snelling is trained as a geologist he is employed not as a scientist, but as an apologist.

  10. @Anonymous
    The creationists could argue thus:
    Even though creation science is science, and not religion, the anti-creationists try to paint creation science as a religion, and use anti-religion actions against it. The government is prohibited from using anti-religion action, while it is not prohibited from using anti-science action. Therefore, the only avenue available to creation scientists is to point out the anti-religion nature of the actions.
    I have no idea whether the creation scientists have used this argument.

  11. Eric Lipps

    I’d think Ken Ham would be careful about citing anything from the Washington Times,, a paper funded by the creepy Rev. Sun Myung Moon and still owned by the Loonies, I mean Moonies, er, that is, the Unification Church.

  12. Here’s a related article from the Phoenix News Times:

    http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/christian-group-sues-grand-canyon-for-banning-creationist-andrew-snellings-research-project-9316506

    Me, I say “Give ’em enough rope.”

    If a settlement IS reached, maybe the NPS could insist that the settlement agreement include appropriate language proscribing any commercial or “non-scientific research” use of the samples taken.

  13. From The Atlantic:

    “Geology as a profession has struggled with what to do with young-Earth creationists, whose beliefs are contradicted by literal mountains of scientific evidence. Shut them down, and you get cries of censorship—like this lawsuit. ‘This just so plays into their hands,’ Newton says about the national park’s treatment of Snelling’s application. Newton favors letting creationists do their research and then arguing on the merits of their science. But allowing them to present at scientific conferences, others say, is lending creationists legitimacy.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/05/grand-canyon-creationism/526467/?utm_source=Pew%20Research%20Center&utm_campaign=25e6879b7d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-25e6879b7d-399907321