I'm sorry, but whenever I hear one of the uninformed referring to a 'talking snake' from the third chapter of the Book of Genesis, my mind immediately goes back to Sir Hiss (above) of the animated version of the film Robin Hood.
I found the above statement by atheist Tristan Vick to be quite amusing to say the least. It only goes to show you that there are skeptics out there that claim to have studied scripture before rejecting it, yet didn't give scripture a fair shake when examining it the first time.
However, Vick is not alone in such a mischaracterization. In fact, not long ago a California atheist group laid bare their ignorance for all to see by referring to the 'talking snake' myth on a billboard. If you're going to be intellectually dodgy, why not advertise the fact?
Right in the beginning of 3rd Genesis, 1st verse, we read that "The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the LORD God had made" (God's Word translation). Some translations substitute 'snake' for the word 'serpent' and 'clever' for 'crafty', but irregardless, even if 'crafty' more accurately describes the serpent, then this would signify at least some level of high intelligence on the part of the creature mentioned here.
We all know that the narrative in Genesis goes on to give account that Eve was (verbally) tempted by this very smart creature to eat the forbidden fruit. However, upon God finding out that this fruit was eaten against His command, we see that God is assigning at least part of the blame on the temptor in this case, the serpent. We read in verses 14 & 15...
"So the LORD God said to the snake, "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the wild or domestic animals. You will crawl on your belly. You will be the lowest of animals as long as you live.
I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel."
So if the Genesis account here is to be examined from a strictly literary point of view, then it is entirely consistant that the serpent (or snake) was physically a very different creature before God passed judgement upon it. In fact, simply typing the words [Eve tempted garden image] into a popular search engine will reveal that there are artists out there that that do not depict the aforementioned creature as being like the snake/serpent that we know of today.
"[W]orld-famous Bible teacher, author, and statesman for Reformed theology" James Montgomery Boice, whom Vick seems (unsuprisingly) unfamiliar with, had this to say about the interpretation of Genesis Chapter 3...
"..the idea that Genesis 3 presents us with a talking snake is based on an inaccurate reading of the passage. I know this is the way the passage is generally taken. We have all seen pictures in which Eve is seen standing demurely in the bushes while overhead a snake is slithering down out of a tree to tempt her to eat the forbidden 'apple.' But Genesis does not say that Eve was tempted by a talking serpent. The serpent that tempted Eve, as a result of God's judgement, slithered away into the bushes to the intense horror of Adam and Eve, who wondered if God's just judgement on the serpent might be their own. But when the creature spoke to Eve there is no reason for thinking that this was any other than an upright creature, not dissimilar to Adam and Eve themselves. We must not press this too far, or course, for in Chapter 2 we have been told that Adam did not find a creature suitable to be his companion and helper until God made Eve. Still, this was not a snake and was undoubtedly an extraordinary and beautiful creature."
Boice, James Mongomery: An Expositionary Commentary, Genesis Volume I, pg 159
EDIT: I also wanted to address this statement by Vick, quote.. "Lack of basic continuity is usually a strong indicator of myths and fables. So are cultural morals, talking animals , and repetition. All of which are present".
From E.J. Young in relation as to whether the fall account is a 'fable', "We realize immediately that this is not the case. In the Old Testament, animals do not speak. We have the special case of Balaam's [donkey], but no other cases than that and the speaking of the serpent in Genesis ever occur. Furthermore, if you are going to dismiss this as being a fable, you would have to come up with some sort of moral. A fable has a moral, but there is no moral attached here at all. So to say that the 3rd chapter of Genesis is just a fable is really not to do justice to it."
Insofar as the account being a 'myth', this would indicate that the narrative is NOT meant to be taken literally and Mr Vick is welcome to present any evidence that would indicate that this was the writer's intention.