I have been following your column over the past couple of weeks with interest because I am curious about Judaism’s views on the beginnings of life.
I would like clarification about something you said in your May 11 column. Regarding the age of the universe, when describing the mainstream interpretation of the six days of creation, you mention that “God created the world with its oil fields, and the decayed life needed to bring them about.”
With regard to this statement, I bring up an incident that happened to my son five years ago. In his day school here in Dallas, a question arose about how to reconcile the date on the Jewish calendar with the age of dinosaurs. His secular studies teacher was unable to answer the question, and called in the head rabbi (no longer affiliated with his school) to help. The rabbi’s answer was that dinosaurs never existed. He went on to explain that Hashem simply planted dinosaur bones in the earth to test our faith.
So my question to you is, according to the Jewish point of view you are presenting, did dinosaurs exist or not?
I have trouble reconciling my reading of Genesis with current scientific theory. When I read the creation story it seems clear that according to the Biblical version God created the world and universe whole, complete. Physics, however, maintains that there was a primordial speck which exploded in what is now known as the Big Bang and from its expansion the universe and world came to be. This is a far cry from the world being created complete! Is there a way to integrate the two contradictory versions of the story?