I have always wondered why there no consensus among scientists regarding the age of the Grand Canyon. Some of the scientists claim that it is as old as 70 to 80 million years while others assert that it is as young as 6 million years old. The debate regarding the age of this magnificent natural feature in the United States has festered for the last 150 years. The debate has been refined by new discoveries on how to date rocks and the development of new theories and hypotheses regarding the canyon and the Colorado River. The feature was gouged by the Colorado River. Still, some geologists claim that there must have been another river that used to flow in the opposite direction of the Colorado River that did the work before the Colorado came into being.
The differing ages of the canyon depend of the material used by the geologist to estimate the age of the feature. The geologists that use rocks from the canyon estimate it to be more than 70 million years old. The other group of geologists use the sediments of the river, which give the canyon a much younger age. A section of geologists has speculated that the Colorado River came into being after the canyon had been gouged out by another ancient river. That ancient river became extinct due to the movements of the San Andreas Fault. Who should be trusted? Whose explanation of the age of the Grand Canyon should be believed? When will the debate regarding the age of the Grand Canyon be settled? Will geologists in the future come up with more accurate tools to estimate the age of geographical features?