Because the Bible Tells Me So?

They deride the notion that anything so complex as the human eye could be the result of random mutations, or that the scales of a fish could over millions of years become teeth.

"This is a fairy tale, " Jack declared to the children. "How do they know your teeth evolved from scales? Everybody, try that with me, how do you know?

"How-do-you-know?" the kids repeated in unison.

At another exhibit, Carter pointed to a fossil of a giant fish found in Kansas and said, "Who likes to fish? Who would believe you could catch a fish this big in Kansas ?"

The tours are tolerated but not sponsored by the museum.

"They selectively ignore the vast majority of science in their presentation," said paleontologist and Chief Curator Kirk Johnson.

Johnson, who was raised in a creationist household and taught to believe that the world was only 6,000 years old, said that personal observation and a long education have taught him that evolution is the only way that biology makes sense.

"All of science understands that evolution is a central tenet of biology," Johnson said. "That's how biology makes sense. That's how we make better medicines. That's how we understand food crops.

"If you want to map out life through time, the fossil record is really great for doing that," he continued. "There's a really nice record of what happened on this planet from the first real life forms we know of about 3.4 billion years ago until today."

Out on the museum floor, Jack and Carter stopped the group in front of a window display that contains samples of sandstone that have ripples created by water and fossils of ancient life. Bill Jack asked his group, "How do they date the fossil? By the layer in which they find it. They date the layer by the fossil and the fossil by the layer," he said. "That's circular reasoning."

In the next moment he stepped past and turned his back to a display on radiometric dating, the method by which scientists determine the age of rocks through the rate of decay of their natural radioactivity.

When later asked why he skipped the display, Jack said simply, "We can't cover everything."

Inside the museum's expansive bone and fossil storage room, Johnson said, "They have no clue about how accurate it is … Now it's plus or minus a tenth of a percent."

Preaching to the Choir

Jack and Carter are usually preaching to an agreeable audience. Many of their customers also are creationists, some looking for ways to further instruct their children or bolster their own beliefs.

Stacia Martin, who brought her 14-year-old son Shawn, said she had learned how to defend her faith in Jesus Christ.

"I learned that when you look at exhibits, don't take them at face value just because they're exciting looking or because they're interesting," she said.

Her son Shawn said he thinks the world is 10,000 years old, "Because the Bible says that."

According to Johnson there are benefits to the BC Tours, even if children are given a message diametrically opposed to what the museum presents.

"Regardless of what the tour guide is saying, some of those kids are going to start thinking for themselves," Johnson said.

Jack and Carter said that's exactly what they are teaching: that people should think for themselves, but think within a framework of Creationist belief. They say that life makes sense if you believe that God created all life, and man in his own image.

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