First, read or listen to the NPR piece:
Christianity does not hinge on the literal existence of a first man and woman nor on a literal moment-in-time fall from grace. The brokenness of our world and our glimpses of joy are evidence enough that we were created for perfect relationship with God and other humans and that we’ve screwed it up beyond repair. Christianity hinges on the concept of our original purpose of glorifying God; on our choice of sin; and on our redemption by God. This little garden-of-eden-to-end-of-the-age is acted out in our hearts every day–and God still wins us back.
Shifting gears: when Paul mentions Adam as a literal man, he’s writing under the interpretation of Genesis that was accepted in his day. If God is as incomprehensible as we say he is, what’s to stop him from inspiring a man to write an epistle under a cultural interpretation that may not be literally true? He is still our Maker, our Lover, our Forgiver, and our Judge, and I will still follow him even if he allowed something like that in the writing of the New Testament. Is this a copout to a self-created image of God? Perhaps–but in the realm of the infinite, the game changes.
The alarming thing is that those who resist current trends in science are acting out of fear, not out of faith. Read Romans 14 and judge for yourself whether I’m taking the final words out of context, but the chapter ends with “whatever is not from faith is sin.” Hardcore denial of current scientific research reflects a lack of faith that God could go beyond the boxes we were taught to put him in. That’s not to say that current research is correct–I don’t know if it is, because it’s changing all the time; but I do think it’s incredibly fearful of evangelicals to torch scientific disciplines that seek to understand the immense complexity of the world God made.