As I said yesterday, I believe that a gap of time existed between Gen 1:1 and 1:2, during which time the angels (which Job 38:4ff indicate were created before the material universe and definitely before man) followed Satan in his rebellion to be independent from God and in fact, take over His throne. Subsequent to this God offered them a form of salvation and reconciliation, which two thirds of them accepted. The remainder were then tried, found guilty and sentenced to the Lake of Fire, a sentence which has not yet been executed. Why? The logical conclusion is so they can appeal it.
That's an overview of what I believe, and all of it is supported by scripture, but not my subject now. The reason I bring it up is that this sequence allows for the earth to be of much greater age than if measured from Adam and Eve. We also do not know how long Adam lived with the woman in the garden in perfection. It could have been three years, thirty years or three thousand years. Scripture doesn't say.
From this view, then, Genesis 1 is a description not of God's original creation of the earth, but its renovation after having been ruined as a result of the angelic conflict. At this point He not only had to restore it, but make it suitable for a smaller, weaker creature to live in.
Some, like Fossil Hunter's Katie James, take the six days of Genesis One to mean ages rather than literal days, but I think even in the English it is pretty clearly laid out as occurring in six 24-hour intervals.
Gen 1:4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
Even in the English, if He wanted to tell us it was a single day, could He have written it any more clearly? Well, I suppose He could have added, "Yes, I mean a real day, morning and evening, one revolution of the earth, not an age or a millenium." Still sometimes in Scripture the word day does refer to something other than a 24-hour period, longer or shorter.
Thankfully, the Hebrew makes it crystal clear. A literal translation of the last part reads: "then it became dusk and then it became morning, day one."
Not only does this construction convey the fact that the earth is now revolving on its axis to produce one complete solar day, but whenever the word yom, "day," occurs in the Old Testament with a numeral, this grammatical construction always describes a 24-hour day.
Also, a reading of Ex 20:8-11 confirms this refers to a literal 24-hour day, since that is the context for the reference in verse 11 to God's work in Genesis. After telling the Jews they can work six days but the seventh is a sabbath of the Lord, they are reminded in vs 11 that "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them..."
So, it's days, not ages and on the first one, He returned the light and set the earth in motion, revolving on its axis.
Tomorrow... the rest of the days.