Is the Grand Canyon showing its age?

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2013-04-22

It might be one of the best studied geologic features in the country, and it's certainly one of the most striking, but a scientific debate continues to rage over the Grand Canyon. Specifically over what's typically considered an impolite question: how old is it?

Many geologists estimate that the Colorado River began to carve the canyon we see today between five and six million years ago. But in December, a paper published in Science presented evidence that the western portion of the canyon might have been carved close to the present depth by 70 million years ago.

This week, Science hosts two comments challenging the ancient canyon proposal and a defense of the controversial paper from its authors. This is science in action—researchers debating a 65 million year conflict between evidence from traditional geological methods and new dating technology.

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