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Billy and the Bones

“My, what big, big things!” Billy said. He was very excited. Uncle Robert had come to visit, and he had brought Billy a picture book of dinosaurs. The pictures of dinosaurs showed huge animals with big necks that were eating something from the tops of trees.

“Where do they live?” Billy asked. He looked at Uncle Robert.

Uncle Robert looked kind of funny. “Well,” he said, “they are all dead now.”

“How did they die?” Billy asked.

“Well,” Uncle Robert said, “we are not sure.”

“When did they live?” Billy asked. He had been studying things that happened way back before he was born, even before his mother and daddy were born; and he could understand better when he knew the year that they happened.

Uncle Robert frowned. “It was before there were any people,” he said.

“Wow!” Billy said, jumping to his feet and getting his Bible from the shelf. “People were created on the sixth day.” He opened to Genesis 1:20-31. “Water animals and birds were created on the fifth day. So these dinosaurs must have been made on the sixth day because they live on the land.” Billy thought hard. “That would mean that they must have died in a very short time,” he continued, “because Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day.”

“That book doesn’t say anything about these animals,” Uncle Robert said.

“Then how do you know?” Billy asked.

“People have dug up their bones in the ground,” Uncle Robert replied. He turned to a page in the picture book and showed a photograph of people digging in a hole in the ground. Lying on the ground was a big bone. It was longer than Billy.

Billy was surprised. “How can you tell from old bones in the ground what they were like and when they lived?” he asked.

Daddy came into the room in time to hear this last question. “You can’t,” he said. “People just want to believe that they can. That is their religion.” He looked at Uncle Robert. “The religion of old bones,” he continued. “It takes more faith to believe in that than to believe the Bible.”

Uncle Robert soon left, and Billy asked Daddy why he believed in old bones rather than the Bible. Daddy looked sad. “He just wants to believe that,” Daddy said. “He thinks that everything that is alive came from little teeny, tiny animals that we call bacteria.”

“Even us?” Billy said.

“Yes, Billy! Even us, ridiculous as it sounds. He does not like to think about God or to be thankful to God. He would rather believe in this strange idea. There are a lot of people like him. They work very hard and spend their lives trying to prove that man is just an animal so that they can live just as they please.”