One of the latest ploys that the theologians have been using to try to explain all of the inconsistencies of the tale of the Adam and Eve story is to state that those events described in Genesis were not meant to be taken literally. They have been saying that Adam and Eve were not real people and that the entire story of the fall of man was meant to be interpreted allegorically.
There are several problems with this form of interpretation but I will start with the most damaging one first. If Adam and Eve did not exist and the tale of the fall of man was an allegory then that would mean that man never sinned and Jesus died for nothing! If there was no fall and the story is not true then how did man come to be? Where did we come from? Religion has no answer to this question except that God created man out of mud and the woman out of one of mans ribs.
Now here are the reasons that I believe that the author or authors of the story in Genesis meant for it to be taken literally. Genesis 4:1,2 state that Cain and Abel were the first couples two sons, it makes no mention of daughters. In the same chapter we are given a short genealogy of Cain and his family after he was ejected from the garden. Genesis chapter 5:5 says that Adam lived to be 935 years old and fathered a son named Seth at the ripe old age of 130! We are then given a genealogy of Seths family tree in the subsequent verses.
Now if this tale was mean to be an allegory and Adam and Eve never existed, then why go through all the trouble of giving us genealogies and even telling us of Adams death etc.? These things alone contradict the apologists beliefs that this story was not supposed to be taken literally. The author/authors of this tale meant for every word to be taken literally as they wrote it.