Park rangers were not pressured to lie about the age of the Grand Canyon, as an earlier press release claimed. Mike Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, tracked down the story and concludes as follows:
PEER is an anti-Bush, anti-religion liberal activist watchdog group in search of demons to exorcise and dragons to slay. On one level, that’s how the system works in a free society, and there are plenty of pro-Bush, pro-religion conservative activist watchdog groups who do the same thing on the other side. Maybe in a Hegelian process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis we find truth that way; at least at the level of talk radio. But journalistic standards and scholarly ethics still hold sway at all levels of discourse that matter, and to that end I believe we were duped by an activist group who at the very least exaggerated a claim and published it in order to gain notoriety for itself, or worse, simply made it up.
For those keeping score I count this as the second time that I have picked up a bogus press release without realizing that I’ve been had. Is that a good record? Poor? Who knows. I doubt most bloggers keep count.