As an avid atheist, I believe that the bible is nothing more than a story wrote by a man a long time ago, that some other men misinterpreted and started worshipping. It's extremely unlikely that any sort of higher power exists, and presuming they don't means that the bible lied, and if it lied once, then why can't we assume that all of the stories are works of fiction?
People take bible stories too literally. What they do not seem to understand is the the writings of the Bible, and many other religious writings, is that they are euphemisms and metaphors for a larger and more important message, all to help people guide their lives to everlasting eternal salvation.
The bible has many great stories with strong values. These stories can help create caring people, if the stories are recognized as being allegorical and not literal. Noah's Ark is a great example of this. Taken as a story, it warns humanity to act according to God's will or else there will be grave consequences. Taken literally, it is impossible for one man to build a boat to hold two of every animal; this kind of thinking weakens the message.
The Bible is a book that is made to teach spiritual principles to a mortal population. The ancient writers and prophets who compiled it often used symbols and objects that we could relate to in mortality. However, these everyday objects often have a spiritual meaning. When a reader takes its stories too literally, he is often missing the point that the writer was trying to make.