Monday, August 30, 2010

A God Awful Question

The precise causes of the dinosaur population’s extinction have long been a subject of scientific conjecture. A consensus opinion has held that a humongous asteroid crashed into Earth’s terra firma multiple millions of years ago and did quite a number on these gruesome creatures and their sources of sustenance. However, a recent study intimates that it may very well have been more than one big bang that cast asunder these celebrated masters of the prehistoric planet.

I will admit to never having been a fan of dinosaurs. Maybe that’s because I knew they weren’t warm and fuzzy like Dino, Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s faithful household pet. Even as a boy attending Catholic grammar school and weekly Sunday Mass, the dinosaur years didn’t quite jibe with my religious tutelage. I recall wanting to ask God, or at least a church elder, a very pertinent and, yes, perplexing question: Why dinosaurs? It seemed to me a rather circuitous and convoluted creation route. In fact, with the exception of some flighty sorts, apparently we have absolutely nothing in common with Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus.

Dinosaurs literally roamed the earth for millions upon millions of years, evolving along the way. Did God Almighty conclude: "These creations of mine really suck. It's time for me to go back to the drawing board and get it right. So, I'll riddle Earth with meteorites and start anew." I don't know. Maybe Frank Sheed was on to something in explaining dinosaur's protracted existence. He wrote, “God knew that the discovery of such fantastical creatures would fascinate and delight us, and perhaps this was reason for their creation.” True, without dinosaurs, there would be no Barney. It's all one big mystery.

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