For over a decade, NCSE has run an annual rafting trip down Grand Canyon as a counterpoint to the numerous creationist rafting trips that use Grand Canyon as a showcase for what they claim as the “evidences” of Noah’s Flood. Our NCSE trip presents the real science of the Canyon while addressing why the claims of creationists simply do not match what we see in the rocks. 

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Deer Creek Falls

Josh Rosenau and I have just returned from NCSE’s annual rafting trip down the Colorado River and through the spectacular geology and biology of Grand Canyon. Our two motorized boats were packed with an eclectic mix of scientists, teachers, NCSE members, and people who wanted the ultimate experience in Grand Canyon in the company of those who love science.

But this year there was a twist.

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In part 1, I looked at the phenomenon of the Great Unconformity, a gap between Grand Canyon layers that spans more than a quarter of Earth’s history. Though geologists understand how unconformities like this occur, creationists have a rather different view about what formed the Great Unconformity.

Steve Austin, the dean of Grand Canyon creationist geologists, writes in the book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe:

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Visitors to Grand Canyon gaze awestruck at vermillion rock layers stacked like plates, one after another from rim to gorge, an endless parade of Earth’s history basking in the fierce Arizona sun. Beholding Grand Canyon can really make you stop and think. You think of how the expanse of time represented by those layers dwarfs the pitiful few score years we are privileged to meander the surface.

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