U.S. News


Lawsuit Dropped After Grand Canyon Allows Creationist To Collect Rocks

A creationist has dropped a lawsuit against Grand Canyon National Park after the park issued him a research permit.
Posted at 10:15 PM, Jul 03, 2017

Andrew Snelling disagrees with most other geologists on the origins of the Grand Canyon. But now he'll get the chance to back his claims up with evidence.

For a few years, Snelling has been trying to get permission to collect rocks in the park. But the park denied him a permit, and Snelling says it's because of his religious beliefs.

So, back in May, Snelling sued the federal government. The National Park Service has confirmed it issued a permit for Snelling's trip, and the lawsuit was dropped.

Snelling's request for a permit didn't mention his beliefs or his association with the young-Earth creationist group Answers in Genesis. It wasn't until after the park service sought the opinions of geologists that they learned of his beliefs.

In a press release, Snelling's lawyer thanked National Park Service officials, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Trump administration for no longer "blocking access to data based on a researcher’s religious faith."

Snelling also works in the canyon as a tour guide for Canyon Ministries, a group that takes tourists to places they see as evidence of Noah's flood in the canyon.

Snelling will have an uphill battle. There's plenty of scientific evidence that the canyon — and the Earth for that matter — are pretty dang old.