I'm very tired at the moment (having an 11-day old baby will do that to you!) so please take it easy on me if I'm just plain missing something here.
But, in terms of pure chronology, isn't it obvious that dinosaurs lived and died well before the emergence of anything resembling a human being? I accept the current scientific consensus of evolution over a literal creation account. I think it's fairly well substantiated. The only problem I can see in terms of harmonizing this with "Church teaching" is this issue of death; when it happened, what it really means, etc.
It seems clear that when God says "ye shall surely die," that Adam & Even don't
die physically, so isn't God referring to the unique death that only Adam & Even could die? i.e., a spiritual
How's this for a narrative? God, in His wisdom, desiring to create a universe that is separate from Him, wherein free creatures can freely emerge and become what they will within a fruitful system that God designed for this very intent, sets creation going with the Big Bang. Eventually, homo sapiens emerges from the vast web of common life, and God chooses two of them, male and female, to breathe the breath of life into, vivifying them spiritually. Genesis picks up here.
What would be the problem with seeing things this way? Also, we know that Lucifer and his minions have been granted a certain freedom and power over the created world. Could this also not explain pre-Edenic death? Does the Church have any teaching on the chronology of when the angels fell and the creation of man?
Again, apologies for any incoherence here. Lord, have mercy