Yup, today I had to field that one.
“Daddy, there’s something that doesn’t make sense. Did dinosaurs come before Adam and Eve, or after? I thought dinosaurs came before people showed up on Earth, but then how did God make Adam and Eve first?”
Yikes! What do I answer? Do I tell him that the second chapter tells a slightly different story than the first chapter of Bereshit (Genesis)? Do I tell him that scientists date dinosaurs millions of years prior to the arrival of homo sapiens, and while that doesn’t conflict with the first chapter in Genesis if one assumes that by “day” the Torah means “millions of years,” it conflicts with a literal reading of the chapter and any reading of the second chapter? Do I tell him that the Torah was written by men and this is a creation story with its roots in mythology?
He obviously believes there’s a God and is trying to make sense of what this means. He also clearly believes in biblical stories, just as he believes what his science teacher tells him about dinosaurs. But I’m afraid that if I tell him what I believe, I will damage his confidence in the Torah and in God.
Oh yeah, last week he asked, “Daddy, what happens to us if we don’t eat kosher?”
I’m clearly not smart enough to be a father.