There are a couple of killer questions that you're never quite prepared for when they issue from the mouths of babes. So, on Wednesday I could deal with the "where do babies come from?" clanger from the 4-year-old. But the one that threw me was Thursday's, "Mum, do you believe in God?" Okay, so maybe when you're 7 these things really play on your mind, but I'd done my perseverating on Creationism versus Evolution many decades before and hadn't really given it much more airtime since.
Right, I thought, I'll go through the logistics first. I'm going to give him the facts and let him work it out for himself. I tell him about what the scientists say about the Big Bang Theory and Darwinian Survivial of the Fittest. At this point I'm struggling a bit having ditched Science in Year 11. But I'm sounding pretty erudite (to The Youth anyway) and Mr 7 is nodding sagely, taking it all in.
But when it comes to the Creationist theories I'm struggling a little. The more I talked about how some 'being' created the entire universe and every living thing in it in 7 days, the more Mr Back Seat is looking like I'm spinning him some sort of crapola. "What!", he says. "Invented EVERYTHING...in SEVEN days." In the rear vision mirror I see that he looks supremely unconvinced and starts shaking his head. "No", he declares. "That doesn't sound right." I'm not sure at this point whether he's doubting my credentials as a reliable source of fact or whether the whole God Theory isn't washing for him. After an interminable silence he pipes up from the back. "I'm an Evolutionist", he says. I nodded my head in agreement. Do you think it's too early to introduce him to Richard Dawkins?