In your last statement, you alude to another major problem. DNA is copied using a chemical manufacturing process and a number of proteins (DNA polymerase being the big one,but not the only one). It has built in error checking (kind of odd that this would evolve), and is a process that requires a number of other proteins. RNA production is very similar (except with different enzymes) and is used to build the very proteins that these cells depend on. The problem lies in the fact that in order for life to work, your genetic matieral has to have a copy of these exact same proteins, while at the same time having working copies that can be made without the luxury of having a cellular factory to make them. These aren't simple proteins that can just form. They have to be manufactured in a controlled process, much like product is made in today's manufacturing environments.
It's really easy to make broad generalizing claims that time+chance=life, but when you look at the details, that is where the theory has problems. It has it's own "chicken or the egg" problem, and it does not adequately explain where all the extra genetic material comes from.
The fact that no one really knows much about the authors and the circumstances suggests to me that "believers" should at least have some healthy skepticism. The Old Testament has some aspects that are positive and admirable and some that are not, and the fundamentalists have historically exploited the aspects that are negative, including slavery, condemnation of homosexuality and subjugation of women. Without knowing who wrote all this and why, it seems to me that they should be more open to the possibility that the Old Testament is the writings of some ancient people who may have been a lot like Joseph Smith and his elusive golden tablets, i.e charlatans.
For one, the dead sea scrolls proved that a number of the books are much older than originaly thought... and second, the law was incredibly restrictive and thereby impossible to enforce. It will never entice people to start keeping it, which is why even orthodox Jews today don't keep it. Why would someone make it up, and why would they make up so many books at a time when books were sparce? The other problem is that if they were written hundres or thousands of years later, how is it that they are very accurate historically?
What has always amused me about evolution nay-sayers is that to debunk the "theory", they have to apply their own faith-based logic to science. Instead of saying "I don't like the basic tenets of evolution because of scientific evidence A, B, or C", they apply "well, you're just using faith to believe in evolutionary theory". Wait, what? So, because I believe that science will ultimately come to the correct conclusion about evolution based on the evidence we have, the future evidence we will acquire, and the nature of scientific debate and its quest for following where the evidence leads, that it is therefore reduced to the equivalent of a book that has been translated dozens of times and was written by goat herders 3,000 years ago? Those same goat herders that thought stars were pinholes in the sky, rats were spawned from filth, and that internal disease was either a demon, magic, or both?
No, man. No. That's not how this works. Just because you don't have 100% of the answers for everything does not mean both theories are equally sound. One is based on reason and evidence. The other, uh... Not so much.
No one here is claiming that evolutionary theory is perfect... Hell, it changes pretty radically every ten years or so. But after over 150 years of intense scientific scrutiny and ridicule (incredible ridicule), it has yet to be toppled. All notable evidence points toward this singular genetic mechanism that allows us to change over time. Is it perfect? No, I'm sure we have some stuff wrong about it. But in time, we'll gather more evidence and 200 years from now, evolutionary debate will be viewed the same way we scoff at geocentrism.
It amazes me that evolution nay-sayers point to flaws and then stammer around when they are asked what their competing explanation is as an alternative.
I have been shocked by fresh-out-of-high-school students and their attitudes toward evolution. Granted, this is Indiana youth we are talking about, but still.
I honestly don't take people seriously as rational thinkers if they deny evolution just because it makes them happier to believe in a creation story. Truth doesn't bend to one's happiness. Anyway, I make it clear that people can have their gods and evolution too. No reason to be . . . crazy.