Over at the BioLogos blog, philosopher Michael Ruse makes an interesting point:
I personally think the Noah story is pretty good also, not as an exercise in shipbuilding and navigation, but because of the bit at the end, where Noah is found drunk in the tent and his kid makes fun of him. To me, the whole story shows that simplistic solutions – let’s wipe out humankind and start again – just don’t work.
While this is very good, I think it goes deeper.
The consistent theme that runs throughout the Bible, culminates in Christian theology, and is supported by massive empirical evidence is this – we are in need of salvation. The “simplistic solution” in that case was to wipe away evil from the Earth and, if you think about it, thus represents the response to the demand of those who pose the Argument from Evil as a challenge to God’s existence. The Noah story (and all the follows) teaches us that you cannot “poof!” evil out of human experience and humanity cannot escape evil – it is part of our nature and identity. And we cannot save ourselves from this situation. Those who subscribe to scientism would disagree, arguing that reason, science, and education will eventually save us. I think their faith is a delusion.