Sane people give up what the believe, when they can prove things that contradict it.
There are more forms of proof than scientific. They may not be scientifically rigorous, but it is incredibly arrogant to assume that just because you can't think of an answer that resolves conclusion A and conclusion B, that the two simply can not both be true. That isn't to say that a burden of proof that my beliefs are wrong couldn't be met, but I've had some very solid experiences to back my beliefs that I believe defy statistical likelihood. If you have an actual mathematical proof that God does not exist, then I am open to your criticism of my assumption that both are somehow true, however when we are talking about the only parts that I don't have a way to match up are things that a) happened far in the past, b) are not particularly disprovable by science and c) fairly lacking in useful detail for scientific verification in the Bible. The key is that I never stop looking for the answers of how they fit. It isn't scientific, I realize that, because I'm going in pursuing a particular answer, but it is not insane and is still a valid pursuit of knowledge using reason. It just isn't purely the scientific method.
3. Accept that science is how and the Bible is why.
You are missing his point here entirely. The point of the Bible was never to be a book explaining how things happened. The details are vague, poetic, non-specific and visual language is frequently used. Metaphor is frequently used. The reason the events are recorded is not to answer people's scientific curiosity, but rather to show details of the character of God and answer the questions of why. It is not a scientific text book and to treat it as one is foolish. You are making the exact mistake that the OP was warning against.
Ah, yes. Omphalism: God created Adam and Eve with navals, even though they weren't born. Because, because, because... Well, it would actually have been a stupid thing for God to do, wouldn't it.
I think this is something that both the OP and I would agree with you on. It's a silly notion that we both find silly as well.
But why would you accept that, even if there was nothing contrafactual in it? Why not choose some other culture's sacred precepts for your guide?
Because, as the OP said, the science starts to align pretty damn well if you take a non-dogmatic approach to analysis. Also, due to personal experience with the religion or even simply objective philosophical consideration of the moral values (for example Pascal's wager). Reasons can vary from individual to individual. For me, a sufficient burden of proof has been met based on my personal experience with Christianity to believe it is correct unless strong empirical evidence can be presented that it is wrong. Thus far, nobody has been able to provide said empirical evidence against since I've been able to resolve (quite nicely in fact) the vast majority of scientific understanding to the Bible.
So if you're going to interpret the Bible as referencing something other that what it actually says, why believe it at all?
Maybe it uses the same technique to "reveal" spiritual principles. I.e., means anything you want it to mean, other than what it says?
This is where I agree with you, but disagree with the OP. If things were not accurately recorded, then it throws a lot more in to question. There are still alternatives in a lot of cases with outliers where something may have been improperly canonized and added after original authorship, though the flood in particular is problematic as it is referenced in both the old and new testaments and makes it hard to use the corrupted cannon argument. Another viable fallback position is that it was a regional event that was recorded by those who experienced it and they recorded it as worldwide when it wasn't. I don't particularly like this fall back position either as it still leaves some interesting questions, though not as critically as the event simply not existing at all.
Yes, he repented creating such a vile species as ourselves (so much for his purported prescience), and decided to destroy it with a Rube Goldberg mechanism that also drowned all the world's kittens, rather than just magically uncreating the evildooers. And worse, his fix didn't work: we're still as wicked as ever.
This is actually exactly why the event/story is recorded. It shows several things very clearly about God. First, he sees human life as uniquely special (personal theory is this is due to free will). As far as the Rube Goldberg complexity, why do you think it more complex than "magically" making evildoers go away? If you come from the background of myself or the OP, I hazard we both hold the view that God works through existing physical laws the vast majority of the time. (If you were going to build a complex system, would you build the rules to support doing what you want to be able to do, or would you build it so you had to break the rules any time you wanted to step in?) Which of the two approaches is really more Rube Goldberg? I'd challenge that the magically make them disappear idea is far more complex. As for why to not just start over, the point was that God won't destroy the innocent to remove the wicked. As to how wicked we are now, it's a guess how wicked we were then vs now, though I'd guess you are probably right. There are far more Christians and Jews now than there were if there were only one family then though. I realize that isn't all perfect answers, but I hope it will explain some of the viewpoint the OP and I are expressing.
Why do you keep trying to rationalize and reinterpret a mythology that's so obviously bogus? Wouldn't it make more sense to just ditch it?
Other than arrogance at your own ideas being correct, what makes it obviously bogus? As previously discussed, while the widely held dogmatic understanding seems to be pretty obviously bogus, that doesn't mean the whole thing is obviously bogus. The limitation you are trying to place is that only scientific evidence can be used to establish if something that is inherently untestable is true. Science isn't capable of answering untestable questions. The question isn't why rationalize, but can what I believe to be true be matched to what I can observe as true. Even science does this a fair bit. If evidence is found that refutes part of a theory, we don't simply throw out the entire theory, we look for ways to understand the impact of this new information and use it to enhance our understanding.
You're showing a loyalty that would be admirable, *if* it was to something that deserved your loyalty. But it's just a stupid cultural tradition, so the misplaced loyalty makes you look foolish.