Because of the head-banging belief by members of the Bishop Usher Fan Club with comments like this:
I thought I would dig out this old fossil ….
‘That was a very interesting sermon the vicar give us this morning, didn’t you think?’
Bert had dozed off half-way through Reverend Steven Wilkins monologue so he merely grunted in a half-hearted fashion and took another sup of his pint.
‘Refresh my memory?’ he said.
‘About all the animals being vegetarian once upon a time,’ Reg said.
‘They were?’ Bert replied somewhat bemused.
‘Oh yeah! ‘S a fact, too.’
‘Is this according to the Rev or…’
‘The Bible, of course,’ said Reg.
‘Of course,’ intoned Bert, in the tone of one who wanted to be left alone to enjoy his pint before going home for Sunday lunch.
‘Apparently, it’s all to do with sin y’see.’
‘Sin,’ Bert echoed.
‘Right. After Eve ate Adam’s banana—’
‘Banana?’ Bert interrupted.
‘Wasn’t it a banana?’ said Reg.
‘Always thought it was an apple, to be honest,’ opined Bert. ‘That’s what we learned as kids, at any rate.’
‘Well, whatever fruit it was, apple or banana, after she ate it everything went pear-shaped, didn’t it?’ Reg continued.
‘Oh, yes, indeed it did!’
‘How come?’ Bert asked, getting sucked in to the wake of Reg’s profound theological knowledge in spite of himself.
‘Well, it was God, see. He’d told Eve not to eat the fruit and ‘cos she did they were now sinners and thereafter humans became meat eaters.’
The cogs began to clunk along in Bert’s mind as he tried to piece this amazing revelation together.
‘So … let me see if I’ve got this right. We were all vegetarian, right?’
‘Right!’ Reg acknowledged.
‘And because Eve ate fruit, God said they were sinners and made them become meat eaters.’
‘For eating fruit,’ Bert said again.
There was a pause as Reg considered this.
‘Er … yes. ‘
‘Because fruit isn’t a vegetable, I suppose?’ said Bert.
Grateful to be thrown a lifeline Reg grabbed it immediately.
‘So what about dinosaurs then?’ Bert asked.
‘Well, they were originally vegetarian too,’ Reg said.
‘You mean fruit-eaters, surely?’
‘Um … yes, must have been,’ Reg agreed.
‘And the bones and fossils they’ve found and all the sharp, pointy teeth they had that just might suggest they were meat-eaters all along; how does the Rev explain this?’ Bert asked with a sly smile of one who knows he has his opponent on the ropes.
But Reg was not to be outdone. He knew all about Creation and how dinosaurs and humans used to live together.
‘Oh, that’s easy to explain,’ he said.
‘It is?’ Bert asked.
‘Yeah, That’s ‘cos of evolution!’ Reg replied.
‘Ah …’ Bert nodded. ‘Your round I think.’