This is actually a good question. Here’s how I would answer it.
`Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind.’"
(Matthew 22:37, NIV)`
God gave us intelligence and the license to use all of it (our mind/intelligence) to love Him, and that would include interpreting scripture. I believe that we are well equipped to ascertain which parts of the bible are meant to be taken literally and which parts aren’t.
Regarding the bible, let me get out the way the fact that I don’t believe that Moses wrote Genesis (or even most of the Pentateuch). I do hold that it was in some way inspired by the Holy Spirit, so I do believe it’s true, but just not in a literal/historical/scientific sense. The bible is a collection of books, which consist of poems, songs, wise sayings, genealogies and doxologies, letters, history, lists of Kings, traditions and prophecies. There are different literary genres in scripture as well so there are plenty of parts of the bible that were not to be taken literally. If Genesis 1 is an origins tradition, then it isn’t, “false”. It is using the worldview of the time to relate it’s theological message, stated in a form that the people of the time would understand.
In addition, it was written on 3 continents in at least 3 languages over ~1,500 years, so I don’t see a need to throw the boulder of 21st century precision on it.
The Genesis 1 roof is not an atmosphere, those are 2 different things, it’s the sky, and you’re leaving out the important detail that it is holding up water:
And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate
water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water
under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God
called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was
morning—the second day. (Genesis 1:6-8)`
The raqia, "separated the water under the vault (ocean) from the water above it.". This is not an, "atmosphere, it’s a structure that separated and holds up water. Since there is no water above the sky, the raqia is something that doesn’t exist. From Job and other places we know the Israelites understood that rain was from the clouds, so it’s not talking about rain, but most likely is the water from the, “floodgates of heaven” from Genesis 7:11: “and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.”, which describes the flood. So, there simply is no way to concord the raqia with modern science.
I think we can say it’s not true scientifically, because it simply isn’t! If we are true to the descriptions of Genesis 1 (the meaning is a different story), then there is no possible way to concord modern science with the text. However, our differences run deeper than a few different interpretations of a biblical text. Because you hold to a strong form of biblical inerrancy, to which I don’t, and use the historical-grammatical interpretive framework, where I am a historical-critical exegete, we are looking at the bible totally differently. You’ve already decided that Genesis 1 must contain scientific/historical truth, and interpret the chapter wearing those glasses. I don’t assume anything, and the fact that the plain descriptions are so far from what we know to be true scientifically that they simply cannot be historically/scientifically true.
Actually, we use the stork, the tooth-fairy, Santa Clause, etc. Are we lying to our kids with those?
More to the point, noone asked God to explain anything, He inspired 2 people to write 2 different creation narratives (that disagree on details) for His own theological purposes. God could have also relayed historical and scientific information if He wanted to, but He didn’t, presumably because that wasn’t important for us to know.
I’ll end off with a summary of why it’s impossible to concord Genesis 1 with science.
Nobody would have known for 3,500 years that the science in Genesis 1 isn’t literal.
No two concordances are alike.
-Science is constantly changing and so have the resultant concordances
-Even using the same scientific data, no two concordances are exactly alike
Exodus 20:11 and 35:17 make clear that we are to think of days of Genesis 1 as normal, 24-hour days (there is other evidence pointing to that conclusion also)
The physical worldview of Genesis 1, that of the 3-tiered universe, describes physical structures that don’t exist in reality
Contradictions between the 2 biblical creation narratives make it hard to hold that either of them are, “literal” accounts of creation.
Interpretive gymnastics to get around the mistakes in the order of evens in Genesis 1