It's funny you should mention the dinosaurs, as a young lad growing up in a fiercely fundamentalist Pentecostal environment, I as many young boys at
one time wanted to be a palientologist (not sure if I spelled that right, but the progression went, Palentiologist, Astronaut, doctor, and I never
became any of the three). I remember sitting in Sunday-school and asking the teacher why there were no dinosaurs in the Bible. The expression on the
lady's face was hilarious, it was like I had three heads spinning around with a fountain of sparks flying out of each.
She didn't offer
anything helpful (surprised I was not). It wasn't until I started studying comparative religion that it started to make sense. I was always a guy
who valued science, and I still am now. That being said I have no problem reconciling notions of spirituality/metaphysics with what we can grasp of
science at our current stage of evolution (yes I said evolution,
). What I want to add here is that according to Judaism, Genesis (or Bere# in the
Hebrew) seems to begin with our particular creation, i.e. the "Adamic" race. There are references to previous creations, races and civilizations in
Genesis, that mention them more in passing and do not explain much. When you delve into the commentaries and other sacred literature that are
peculiar to Judaism, you start to see unfold a wider and vastly different picture than was being painted for me when I was a confused lad sitting in
Sunday school reading questionable english translations. Apparently there were other worlds created before our own, and some of them were more
beautiful than our own, but they had to be destroyed, for reasons that are a matter of contested opinion and there is no scholarly concensus. Nowhere
in the Torah/Tanahk/Bible does it say we were the first life, indeed the angels were created before human-kind according to the creation story in
Genesis. Now I am not insinuating that the dinosaurs were angels, but not unlike, say, Atlantis (which is mentioned in Midrashic sources) these
things are no longer existant and no longer factor in to the current Creation. When you go to the sources it's interesting the things you find
there, things like unicorns and centaurs, dragons and pheonixes, and even short nose-less gray individuals of dubious inclinations. You have to know
where to look, but it is amazing and even a little unsettling when you see that there is truely "Nothing new under the Sun" as King Soloman himself
said. The point there is that all of these aspects of the past are not relevant to us now, according to the tone and spirit of the brief passages
which describe our creation. What was said is that "And God saw it was good, very good" which is in reference to our reality of creation.
Apparently it was good enough that the Torah mentions it twice. So to me, within the context of our prevailing mythology/theology/whatever you want
to call it, there is not and has never been any question or conflict with regards to the existence of such creatures. It just took me going outside
of the narrow scope of the theology I was born into to see how the dots connect, in a manner of speaking.
And on a side note, I think if an outside observer was there for the happenstance that is described in the beginning of Genesis, calling it a "big
bang" is totally understandable, if a little anti-climatic.
reply to post by Enlightenment247