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Top 100 Atheist Challenges

So Adam and Eve lived for 900+ years and Methuselah celebrated 930 years. Is it just me, or do these claims not strain credulity beyond its limits?

Actually, it does not. Either the people of that time were living roughly as long Genesis describes, or they weren’t. If they were, then there is obviously no problem. If they weren’t, then obviously nobody reading Genesis at the time would have believed it either (since it would have been subject to such obvious empirical disconfirmation). Thus, one may survive that if people were not living anywhere near that long, the most probable explanation for why Genesis nevertheless describes the situation that way is that it is not intended to be understood in a literal fashion (and that no one reading it would have taken it that way). In such a case, the numbers perhaps would have signified characteristics of one’s life such as fullness, or completion (or lack thereof). Thus either the accounts are meant to be taken straightforwardly (in which case they were probably accurate, and thus there is no problem) or they weren’t (in which case they would not have been understood straightforwardly, and thus there is no problem). Either way, then, there is no problem.