Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Letter: Goblin topplers are still vandals
First Published Apr 21 2014 06:58 pm • Last Updated Apr 21 2014 06:58 pm

In "Goblin topplers justified" (April 20), Earl Barnes writes that the toppling of a goblin in Goblin Valley State Park was justified "based on science."

Like Mr. Barnes, I have been working on geologic hazards for more than 20 years.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Unlike Mr. Barnes, I recognize that science is driven by evidence. No study has produced evidence that the toppled goblin was unstable under natural conditions.

I don’t know if a scientific analysis of that particular goblin would have found it safe, and neither does Mr. Barnes. In the absence of any evidence pointing toward instability, Mr. Barnes’ opinion that the toppling was justified is just that - an opinion. That opinion is not based on evidence, so it is not based on science.

Mr. Barnes mentioned in his letter that the victims of a rockfall outside of Zion National Park might have been saved if the instability of that hillside had been recognized.

Actually, the instability of that hillside had been recognized and reported before that rockfall occurred, but people continue to live there despite scientific data that document the hazard.

Rather than trying to exonerate the vandals who toppled the goblin, we geologists should focus on educating the public to avoid the geologic hazards that have been recognized by science.

Daniel Horns


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.