Part 2- Does the Noah's Ark story need to be 100% true for it to have meaning? Hardly, and the two (science and spirituality) can certain coexist and find common ground.
When one looks at creation stories from various cultures, one is amazed at the similarities one finds between cultural explanations. This is perhaps because there are certain common questions that people ask about the "big" questions in life, among which, creation is often predominant. It is in the nature of humans to wonder about the unknown and search for answers. At the foundation of nearly every culture is a creation myth that explains how divine inspiration created the world, nature, and humanity. Within each culture, creation mythology provides the very basis of fundamental structure -- who are we as a species? How and why were created? Is there a master plan?
One must then ask if a creation story must be factual to have meaning? Therein we come to a conundrum as well -- what is "fact" for one culture is magic for another. Arthur C. Clarke once commented that: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Imagine, if we can, how the Ancient Israelites might have described the telephone, cell phones, a flame thrower, a gun, or an aircraft? Similarly, the story of creation is told in a way that was understandable to those of the time it was told, probably as oral tradition.
In The Epic of Eden, Biblical scholar Sandra Richter gives us a chronology that means more than datable events. She believes it was not the intent to view creation in six, 24-hour period, but more of what came first, second, etc. -- more of an organizational template. The chronologies, she says, were skewed but the story of Creation functions as a way to organize the Covenant with God and provide a starting gemmological line for the House of David. (pp.49-51). "Thus we have to conclude that the Bible is not offering us a date for Eden. And, as the Bible offers no date for Eden…. We will do our best to read the genealogies of the Bible as they were intended, as a generalized chronological tool that served to highlight hey players…. And key…