PETERSBURG, Ky. -- At most public schools in America, students are taught the theory of evolution. But many Christian parents are teaching their kids the biblical view of creation.
And they're finding new ways to back up their beliefs with scientific fact.
One major mission of the new Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, is bolstering the faith of kids who believe in creationism, but have that belief bashed by their schools and teachers.
From dinosaurs to DNA to carbon dating, kids of faith have questions these days. They're struggling to put together what their schools teach about science and what their beliefs are.
For evolution to be true, the earth must be billions of years old, with life-forms on it evolving slowly over hundreds of millions of years.
That seems to contradict the biblical version of creation, with God making the earth and its many life-forms rapidly...and probably not all that long ago.
I brought my boys Austin and Ryan -- both public school students -- to investigate these opposing viewpoints with the Creation Museum's Dr. Jason Lisle.
How Old Are Dinosaurs?
Upon seeing the many dinosaurs in the museum, the boys asked if evolutionists are right saying the dinosaurs lived tens of millions of years ago.
"They like to believe that dinosaurs are millions of years old and that the earth's billions of years old," said Lisle, creation scientist.
But Lisle says material has been found in dinosaur remains that could last -- at the most -- thousands of years.
"You know, we actually find dinosaur soft tissue -- things like red blood cells -- and can you imagine that lasting millions of years? It even looks fresh," he said.
Ryan asked, "do fossils support creation?"
Lisle said creationists love the fossil record because it shows no evolving of species.
"What we don't find is a continual sequence of one kind of organism changing into another kind -- what they would call 'transitional forms.' You ought to have millions of those things if evolution were true," Lisle said.
What about DNA?
Austin said, "My teachers say human and ape DNA are so alike it proves evolution."
Lisle pointed out their DNA does have many similarities, but so what?
"We actually have a lot of the same DNA as a banana," Lisle said. "But that doesn't mean we evolved from a banana, does it?"
But the boys wondered about all that dating of objects science does that seems to prove they're millions of years old.
Lisle pointed to Mount St. Helens, where scientists radiometrically dated some of the brand-new rocks just created by the volcano's eruptions in the 1980s.
And Carbon Dating?
"And they came out hundreds of thousands to millions of years old -- on rocks that we know are just a few years old," he said.
"So you see, Mount St. Helens demonstrated that radiometric dating gives ages that are much older than the true age."
Lisle said the volcano backs creationism in so many ways, we went to Washington state to check it out.
Lloyd Anderson of the Seven Wonders Creation Museum in nearby Silver Lake told us of the wild fury released by the volcano's monstrous explosion May 18, 1980.
"This blast went sideways. 17 miles out it killed trees. 13 miles out it killed people. Destroyed 240 square miles of forest in three minutes," Anderson said.
It was a long, hard slog to get up to the 8,400 foot high rim of the volcano, but we made it after an arduous six hour hike and climb.
Canyons Take Millions of Years to Form, Right?
Before Mount St. Helens blew, it was about a thousand feet taller than this. But after that massive explosion in 1980, when all the smoke cleared away, there was a whole new world of wonders for scientists to study.
Anderson told us the explosion covered the huge valley area below the mountain with landslide material some 600 feet deep.
Then two years later came another massive eruption blasting right through that 600 foot deep material.
"In the afternoon hours as the crater becomes an oven, large amounts of water pour out of the crater with big pieces of volcanic rock, and gouges out first of all channels, then they deepen to ravines, then they deepen to canyons. By the end of the day, there's an entire enormous canyon system on the valley floor...all in one day," Anderson said.
The results can be seen in photos from "Footprints in the Ash," a creationist book about Mount St. Helens.
Before that day, scientists claimed it would take tens of millions of years to gouge out such canyons.
And they stated it took a 100 million years to form the many layers in the walls of Arizona's Grand Canyon.
But a massive eruption in June 1980 laid down 25 feet of many complex layers in just three hours.
"Well, when it was all over, it had put down at least 200 layers in 190 minutes. That's better than a layer a minute," Anderson said.
Scientists will sometimes come upon many layers of fossilized forests piled up on top of each other and say it proves the ancient age of the earth.
Noah's Flood Could Have Changed the Whole Earth?
But what Mount St. Helens' first big blow did in nearby Spirit Lake had a big surprise for them.
The catastrophe created a miniature of what the world probably looked like in the time of Noah and the Flood -- the massive mudflows, the rapid erosion, the gigantic wave that would have swept Spirit Lake's waters up over those slopes, bringing back over a million logs into the water.
A surprising thing about these logs in Spirit Lake is that the heavier ones sank to the bottom first -- standing vertically -- then lighter ones on top of that and lighter ones on top of those until it looked like thousands of years of forest upon forest, but really created in just several years."
Now imagine how a violent worldwide flood accompanied by volcanic activity all over the earth would radically and quickly alter everything on the planet.
"The earth can change quickly with a vast catastrophic event. We immediately go to the biblical Flood because it would have changed every square foot of the face of the earth in a more radical condition," Anderson said.
Back at the Creation Museum, Dr. Lisle summed up why the volcano has been such a boon to creation scientists.
"Mount St. Helens demonstrated that a lot of things creationists claimed can happen in a short period of time, really can," Lisle said.
And Lisle went on to point out to Austin and Ryan one thing after another that made the biblical creation seem a lot more realistic to them than the chaotic, evolved universe theorized by the evolutionists.
WIth resources like the Creation Museum in Kentucky available, Christian kids can head back into the public schools with their heads held high, knowing that what's in their Bible and what science says don't have to contradict each other.