[quoteI'm a little puzzled by your apparent insistence that evolution is somehow incompatible with the Bible. At most, it is merely incompatible with your particular interpretation of the Bible.
Of course, you're free to reach whatever conclusion you want about evolution. But you're not free to claim that it is a necessary conclusion for a Christian. In fact, it is not the position of most Christians.
Your parent church, the one that gave you your Bible, sees no inherent contradiction between faith and the science of evolution.* Neither do most of the mainstream Protestant denominations. Most Christian thinkers from mainstream traditions would say that if a strict literalist interpretation of the Bible conflicts with science and reality, that is because it is a theologically erroneous way of interpreting the Bible. Genesis was not meant to be a science manual.
This is not a modern argument. I refer you back to St. Augustine, who 1500 years ago warned that Christians who insist on an overly literal reading of Genesis make fools of themselves and other Christians:
There are many points here that I think are misleading. I do agree with your first point that, just like any interpreter of the Bible, my understanding comes from my interpretation. I also agree that there are many Christians who believe that evolution is consistent with belief in the Bible. I also agree with you that the Bible is not a science book or that Genesis was meant to be one. But here is where I begin to disagree.
First, you say that most Christians would not conclude that evolution is incompatible with the Bible. This is an extremely controversial topic in Christendom and one where all Christians of all denominations fall on both sides. There is no proof nor statistics that would hold that most Christians believe either way. So this is a misleading statement. I do believe that a Christian can hold to a form of evolution and still be a believer in the Bible, but I also believe he has to compromise many clear statements in Scripture to do so.
Next, I'm not sure what you mean by parent church, but if you mean the Catholic church, this argument absolutely proves nor means anything. First, they did not give us the Bible. The Bible is a compilation of over 5,000 manuscripts some which were preserved by the Catholic church, and others which were found in the east, such as with the Orthodox church, and even some which were held by unbelievers where there was no affiliation. The Old Testament (more than half the Bible) is a Jewish document which existed before any Christian church did. It is true that the Catholic has preserved the Scriptures well for the rest of Christendom but this does not inherently make them authoritative, as can be seen by the Reformation where thousands broke away from the church based on disagreement with its interpretations of various text (mostly those based on salvation). As for your statement about most Protestant churches not finding evolution to be inconsistent with faith, this is begging for a reference for most that I have been involved with would disagree. You cannot just say things like "most of" without showing polls and statistics. This may be true for many more liberal Christians, but these would have problems with many other orthodox teachings and usually use modern schema to interpret Scripture by reading into Scripture instead of reading out of it.
As for your next statements about a strictly literalist way of interpreting the Bible now you are delving into the realm of hermeneutics which is an entire debate in itself. The position you are advocating for, the same postion St. Augustine held and even helped to promote is an allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures. This is in no way a majority view of the church. Very few hold to a strict literal view as is the language which most who allegorically interpret use. But instead those who would disagree with an interpreting the text allegorically would call their view the historical, grammatical view of interpretation. This means that they approach the Bible like any other work of literature. This leaves room to interpret each literary genre the way that is customary for that genre. The book of Psalms for instance, being a book of poetry, uses poetical devices which make it unique and different from narrative literature like the Gospels. So we would treat each book within the rules of each genre. We wouldn't take the Psalms literal as sometimes they use poetical devices that must be considered when bringing out the point of the passage. I could name you many biblical scholars who would take this approach as they believe the Bible should not be treated any differently than other literary books. We don't read other books, such as history books or philosophical books and try to allegorize them. We do however allegorize those books which were meant to be allegorized such as fiction and fantasy. The Bible falls into neither category (for those who take it seriously).
As for your quote of St. Augustine I think Augustine has a point if what is being argued is against obvious and proven reality. I never suggest that non-Christians do not know more about the certain aspects of the world than Christians. Christians do not have a monoply on the truth. That's why when I go for a surgery I'm going to the best surgeon in town regardless of his beliefs. Science is real and many non-Christian scientists have an excellent grasp on real scientific matters. But I believe that evolution, falling the realm of the theoretical disciplines of science departs from scientific method in many aspects and thus I do not equate the two (Evolution=Science).But in using Augustine's quote it seems you are guilty of the very thing you are accusing me off. You are suggesting that a Christian should come to the conclusion that evolution is consistent with the Bible, just like you are saying that I'm suggesting the contrary. Augustine was a great theologian who contributed greatly to the Christian church but was in not right about everything. Many biblical scholars would disagree with his method of biblical interpretation: (Lewis Chafer; Dwight Pentecost; D.A Carson; Douglas Moo; John MacArthur; John Piper just to name a few).
Isn't it possible that the Bible itself is not in error, but your strictly literalist reading of it that leads to creationism is?
*There may indeed be a conflict between Christian faith and atheistic philosophical conclusions that some people may draw from evolution. But these have nothing to do with evolutionary science, which is not inherently theistic NOR atheistic. To say that evolution is necessarily atheistic is a falsehood, and to say otherwise suggests that you fail to understand it, or are deliberately misrepresenting it.
As for your first response here I would say that it is possible but highly unlikely that evolution can truly coincide with the Bible even without a strict literal reading. All that has to be made is observations of the Biblical text to show outright contradictions to the understandings of evolution.
Evolution would say that land animals came before birds
The Bible says that on the fifth day God created the creatures of the sea and the birds, and then on the sixth day he created the land animals. You do not have to be strict when interpreting to notice the glaring contradiction. To agree with evolution you must twist the Bible to fit into its scheme but there is nothing in the text itself to allow for this and thus you would be abusing the Bible. Even those who hold to allegorical interpretation work within rules that do not allow them to just do anything with a text.
Evolution would say the it took billions of years for the earth to even be habitable and then millions of more years for man to appear.
The Bible says that God created everything in 6 days. Now I understand the argument from the Hebrew about the word translated "day". It is possible to be referring to a nonspecific amount of time and is not necessarily referring to a day. And it may even be that a day in Genesis 1 is millenniums in our time. But all of this is not coherent with the context. Genesis 1 is clear to modify and explain what type of time span it is talking about when it uses the formula "and the evening and the morning were the first day." Because of this strong textual evidence that a literal day is being spoken of every Bible translation I have ever seen translates the Hebrew word to mean a day which consists of an evening and a night. Again, serious interpreting backflips have to be done to fit evolution into the Biblical account.
Evolution would say that thousands and thousands of species have completely died off before man even came onto the science (Dinosaurs being just an example of this).
The Bible says that Adam named all the creatures and thus is clear in saying that man has existed alongside every creature that has ever existed. Again, you could flip this to not mean the apparent meaning but the context nor the original language leaves little if any room for this.
These examples are simply details but there are things that are more important.
For example, the Bible says that God made man to rule over the creatures of the earth. This was man's purpose. Evolution would suggest that creatures have lived for millions of years without the rule of man and this would suggest that this would never have been man's purpose for he simply came into the picture along the way and is not an integral part of the world and God's plan.
Another glaring inconsistency is in the question of the dignity of man.
Evolution inherently suggests that man is no more important than animals for man is simply a glorified animal, one who is more intelligent but still just another animal. The Bible never suggests anything like this. In fact, the Bible says that man was made in God's image, and in the likeness of God. This not only distinguished man from animals but it gives him more inherent value. Based on the biblical account man was never an animal and it could never be suggested that the Biblical language leaves any possibilities for this type of interpretation of the Scriptures. In fact, the bible specifically states that man was created separately and differently from the animals. The animals were simply spoken into existence whereas man was made from dirt. If this is an allegory why even make a distinction? Most allegories make clear allusion to what is being allegorized unless the very point is missed. The reason for allegory is to make a point and there can be no point to be made from this distinction. The author of Genesis so wanted us to understand the distinct creation of man that he refers to it again in Genesis three when God says "From dirt you came and to dirt you will return." Allegory simply strips meaning from language and words and would say that God either didn't really say that, or didn't really mean that.
Next, evolution says that man and woman evolved at the same time.
The Bible says make an entire story out of the point that God made woman from the rib of man. The apostle Paul uses this fact to argue in the book of 1 Timothy that the woman was created after the man and so is for the man. The apostle Paul believed Genesis was an actual account of what happened and in fact based exhortation upon it (Paul has much more authority than Augustine to Christians).
The issue is not one of a literal or an allegorical interpretation it is about taking the rules of language seriously. For language to have meaning and to be understandable it must follow a set of grammatical rules that allow the hearer or reader to understand what is being said. What if using this entire response I spoke in gibberish. You would not be able to understand what I am saying much less get my message. But instead I am using the rules of our language to communicate to you my mind. Rules of language are integral for any communication or understanding to take place. But to accept evolution one has to ignore the biblical account of creation or has to completely disregard the rules of language. By doing this, one can make the Bible say whatever he wants it to say and then there is no order to interpretation. Genesis is not a science book but it is the biblical account as to how God created everything. Since evolution claims to have another account this opens up various suggestions as to the validity of the Bible and of God.
The one point that I will concede to you is the point that you make about me not being free to claim that a Christian has no right to accept evolution as consistent with the Bible. Christians can use the Bible any way they want, but I would argue evolution is inherently anti-biblical.
Now the main reason that I insist on bringing up evolution when making my arguments is because evolution has given atheists a foundational philosophy on which to base atheism upon. Before evolution the atheists could simply just say "I just don't believe." Either because he didn't like the Bible, or the God of the Bible, or saw many hypocritical Christians or other reasons. But now with evolution they have a positive belief system to embrace as alternative to God. They can now actual give intelligent argumentation for a world without God, and because of this I find it sad that many Christians have comprised and attempted to fit evolution into the Bible and Christianity. Evolution gives credence to the world not needing a god. It gives the atheists a creation story; a basis to deny biblical morality and in fact embrace biblical immorality, particularly when it comes to sexual mores but there are other categories as well. Evolution allows the atheists to have a foundational philosophy for not believing in God and in fact is a good foundation if evolution is true. Any philosophy or worldview must be exposed at its foundations and to try to simply argue against atheism without including evolution would simply not be viable or productive. The real debate is not atheism vs. theism, if it were neither side could go very far for God cannot be adequately proven just as he cannot be disproven. Therefore the debate is a philosophical one, it is a debate of belief systems: Evolution vs. Christianity; Strict materialism vs. a spiritual reality; chance vs. volition.
I believe there are good Christians who hold to evolution but on this issue I think they are gravely wrong, although I can admit the possibility of me being wrong.
So I would end with respectfully making this comment which is a direct response to your final statement: Evolution is not necessarily atheistic but is necessary not the correct representation of the God of the Bible, and to say otherwise suggests that you do not understand the Bible or are deliberately misrepresenting it.