11/24/2005 12:11 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Thank God(?) They're Thinking

The other day, my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, while we were talking about school, remarked, "If you can think, you don't have to learn."

I wasn't too thankful for that.

A few days before that, she, her six-year-old sister and I were at the breakfast table, when the older girl asked, "Daddy, who made all the world?" Hmmm, I said, that seems like an easy question, but it's a hard one. "The world began billions and billions of year ago," I explained. "It sort of was created all at once in what we call a Big Bang."

"It must have been a very big bang," the four-year-old said, with eyes wide open.

I was thankful for that.

"Yes," I said.

"And where did the people come from?" the older girl inquired.

"Well," I said, "that took a long time. First, there were organisms--little animals--in the sea. They turned into fish. The fish turned into animals on the land. And eventually human beings came about."

"From fish?" the little one asked.

"Kind of," I said.

The older one then noted that a first-grade classmate had said that God created the world and all the people.

"Some people believe that," I said. "Some people believe it happened without God."

"Is there really a God?" she asked.

Again, I replied, some people think so, some people think God is more of an idea, and some people think there is no God.

"Do scientists know if there is a God and if God created the world?" the six-year-old asked.

No, I answered.

"Then it's only an opinion," she said.

I was very thankful for that.

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