James- I see your point regarding a lot of what you've said, with the exception of the first line of your answer "if it obviously doesn't make historical or scientific sense, then it must be something to be taken as an illustrative, non-literal story" The problem is that history isn't over and we don't know the answers to all science related questions. Yesterday Pluto was a planet, today a gathering of scientists have voted and declared it not to be. A few hundred years ago, the earth was flat and it made no scientific sense for it to be round, but.... If in a few centuries some archaeologist should excavate the remains of any currently modern city they may determine that in this era we all worshipped electronic devices because they had shrines built for them in the main living quarters, and every other room in the house would that make scientific sense? (okay, well maybe to some degree!) Anyway, the point here is that we can only know what we know at the time we are currently in, and we can't necessarily "prove" everything based on that. We are an impatient and curious species and we want to know everything NOW! I believe it's part of God's plan to keep us learning more all the time and bringing us closer and closer to knowing Him. Eve and Adam wanted to know it all in an instant and we still haven't learned from their mistake (original sin) that we need to wait.