By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
In the beginning, the Big Bang created the heavens and the earth. The Big Bang, not God. Also, camels and lions were never immortal, and neither were humans, who actually used to be monkeys. Oh, and get this: The Earth is billions of years old, not six thousand, like the Bible tells us.
Tyson Thorne bit his lip to keep from laughing while listening to his seventh-grade science teacher drill such heretical gobbledygook into the young, impressionable minds of Thorne's classmates at Lakewood's Creighton Junior High School.
The year was 1983, and Thorne wasn't buying this Big Bang bullshit for a second.
"I grew up in a home that was very well-based in the Bible, and my parents did a good job of discussing with me what I learned in school that day, and if there were problems with what I was taught, they corrected those problems," he says.
"They instructed me to learn my lessons and to be respectful in class, but to always know in my heart that science isn't infallible; the word of God is."
When it came time to take his mid-term exam in science, however, Thorne faced a dilemma. Below the first question on the multiple-choice test -- "How did the universe begin?" -- he did not find among the five possible answers that which he knew to be true: God did it.
"I didn't want to fail the exam, but I didn't want to lie, either," he remembers. "So I circled the answer I knew she wanted, which was the Big Bang theory, and then I just wrote her a little note in the margin that said, 'Well, I know what you've taught us, so this is what I circled, but I know better, because God created the universe.' And that's what I did all the way down the test. I circled the answers I knew she wanted me to believe, and then I wrote the true answers next to every question."
Thorne passed the test, but his teacher pulled him aside a few days later and suggested that he try to avoid taking science classes in the future. "She didn't get real weird about it or anything; she just told me I wasn't cut out for science," he says.
Seventeen years later, Thorne wears a white lab coat to work. And he's still scribbling God's truth in the margins.
Thorne's not a scientist: He's a tour guide with Denver-based B.C. Tours. The B.C. stands for "Biblically Correct," and B.C. Tours conducts between 100 and 150 biblically correct tours of major Colorado attractions every year.
Over a three-day period in May that coincided with the Christian Home Educators of Colorado's "Day at the Capitol" conference, B.C. Tours shepherded more than 1,000 home-schooled children through the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, also known in a B.C. Tours pamphlet as the "Temple of Doom."
Divided into dozens of small groups, the kids listened as Bible-thumping tour guides in white lab coats detailed a defiantly alternative, fundamentalist-Christian view of the museum's exhibits -- one in which every word in the Bible is taken as the literal truth, not instructional myth.
The children learned that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time and that a Tyrannosaurus rex may have frolicked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They learned that radiometric- and carbon-dating methods are a fraud, that evolution is a lie and that when God says in the Bible that He made our world in six days, He means just that: six 24-hour days.
The B.C. Tours guides also denounced scientific creationism -- the middle-ground concept that evolution occurred roughly as modern science says it did, but only by virtue of God designing the Earth's system software and then booting it up on the cosmic mainframe. The men in white lab coats instructed the children that scientific creationism is an unholy alliance of incompatible beliefs.
"You have a key misunderstanding of the character of God if you believe in any form of evolution as a Christian, because everything that evolution purports to be true is pretty much the opposite of what the Bible tells us really happened," explains Thorne. "According to evolution, life began in the sea. According to the Bible, it began on land. According to evolution, it took billions of years for this world to develop. According to the Bible, it took six days. Evolution tells us that the Earth was originally all land, that it was molten rock, and that it had to rain for hundreds of thousands of years until we had oceans and streams and rivers. The Bible says that, in the beginning, the Earth was all water."
Genesis:1:2: The earth was without form, and void: and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
"See, right there from the beginning, there's a total difference," says Thorne. "It simply doesn't make any sense to try and fit science and creationism together. To make a case for scientific creationism, you have to pick and choose your way through the Bible, deciding as you go along what's true and what's poetic allegory. That angers me. Because who are you to set yourself up in judgment over the word of God?"