Note that much of the evolutionary action does not involve entirely new structures. New structures are hard to develop. We would all like to see a horse develop wings and fly, but that's unlikely to happen. Plenty of evolutionary mileage can be obtained by modifying and changing the existing structures. For example, most of the mammals have the same basic body plan. Giraffes and humans have the same number of vertebrae in their necks (seven). We have the same bones, but the sizes and shapes are different. The large differences that we see in the animal kingdom can be achieved through small, incremental, useful change.
The theory of evolution sounds pretty good as science, especially the enhancements that were made after Darwin, and are still being made based on continuing research and discoveries. The geological and fossil record shows change over a long period of time. We have a long history of changing life forms. Bugs adapt to poison. Moth populations change color. People get taller. Dogs breed into forms that look much different than the original. In general, the theory sounds pretty reasonable. We can observe evolution happening during our own time in small amounts.
However, it is still a evolutionary puzzle how microevolution relates to macroevolution. When do we get stasis, and when do we get change? The old Darwinian idea, that microevolution can be simply be extrapolated to macroevolution over long periods of time, is probably not correct because it is too simple:
The term microevolution is used to refer to change at the species level or lower. Macroevolution refers to higher-order changes that cause , or morph into an entirely new species. I do not accept the creationist argument that the small changes we see in microevolution cannot add up to macroevolution under the right conditions. This argument is not even logically reasonable unless a "change barrier" is proposed around every species, and I have heard of no such proposal. Indeed, it is true that microevolution does not prove macroevolution, but it certainly supports it.
Oct. 7: USSR launches a 1RB rocket with dogs Mishka and Chizhik to the altitude of 88.7 kilometers, whose cabin then parachutes safely back to Earth after experiencing an acceleration of 5.5 g during the ascent.
Everything else in the Bible that's out of the ordinary is a bona fide miracle. A miracle is God's temporary suspension of natural laws in response to human need. The turning of water into wine by Jesus is reported as a miracle, so let's believe it that way. We can also believe that God could stop the sun for Joshua and Hezekiah without causing enormous tidal waves. It's okay to believe that the "extra water" of the Flood came from the hand of God, and then returned to His hand when the Flood was over. The , the stopping of the Jordan River, the destruction of Jericho - enacted by God Almighty.
I am not bold or arrogant enough to conclude that "the Biblical statement that 600,000 Hebrew fighting men is wrong." I wasn't there. I will only say that it sounds suspicious against other Biblical accounts, archaeology, and other historical sources. An Egyptian account of the Exodus story that confirms the Biblical number could be found tomorrow.
The first 11 chapters of Genesis do contain some historically verifiable facts. We know of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. We know the mountains of Ararat in Turkey. The Tower of Babel is similar to Babylonian ziggurats. The contrast is with the rest of the Bible. In Hebron today you can stand within 50 feet of Abraham's bones at the Cave of Machpelah (the Tomb of the Patriarchs)! In Jerusalem you can visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and decide if you prefer it to the Garden Tomb. You can read the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and review his testimony about Jesus Christ. You can carbon-date to the time of Christ a fishing boat excavated from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee, and match certain of its design features to the Gospel account of Jesus calming a storm. It is only against this high level of verified history that the first part of Genesis seems a little strange.
Sept. 19: During a Tsiolkovsky memorial conference in Kharkov, Ukraine, a local jet propulsion study group launches its second solid-propellant rocket Mirazh-2. A group also works on a "stratospheric" rocket scheduled for construction in 1941.
If those are the only problems, then the accuracy of the Bible after Genesis 11 compares favorably with other ancient literature (the Iliad). The examples cited above are trivial and are not important to Salvation. The point is, if those three are all the inaccuracies we can complain about, then the Bible after Genesis 11 is rock-solid as a historical source.
The occurrence of an extremely unlikely event that serves human need can also be viewed as a miracle. The birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah in their old age was a miracle (Genesis 21:1-7). However, one had better be very sure that the probabilities have been evaluated correctly, or risk disillusionment later when a more likely mechanism is discovered. I think that Fred Hoyle's estimate of the likelihood of a cell forming "by chance" (1 in 10^40) is not correct because he does not include intermediate steps. It is certainly difficult to flip 133 coins and have them all come up heads - unless you work on the first one, the second one, and then the third one, and so on until you have 133 heads (this process took me only nine minutes). The arising of life on earth is indeed a miracle, but we don't need to base our faith on a flawed mathematical analysis.
My objection to the Biblical story is that I don't see how this could have happened without leaving some geological trace, and without the Book of Jashar mentioned in Joshua 10:13 I don't have enough details for a good analysis.