Genesis 1 (ESV)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Ok fair enough, it doesn't say when or how, but there seems to be a planet with some water already on it. So let's move on to verses 7-10 and read them in both the NIV and the ESV translations.
Genesis 1:7-10 (ESV)
And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth; and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas.
Now the same verse from another translation of the Bible.
Genesis 1:7-10 (NIV)
So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.”
So we see a conflict which gives us some clues. The Hebrew word "Shomayim" was translated as heaven in one Bible translation and "sky" in another. The word Earth was replace with "land". In Hebrew the word used for Earth is eretz which actually means "the land". This is a big deal now because in the story, the word Earth does not mean the entire planet, it just means the dry land that appeared after much of the water was evaporated into the air to form the sky. It appears clear that the planet Earth (which contains the dry land and the seas from verse 1) was already here. So now we can understand the story in a new way, a way that matches both science and creation. See, when the Lord's messengers arrived at the planet Earth, it was formless and it already had water on it as Genesis 1 tells us. It doesn't tell us if the what state the water was in; solid, liquid or gas. It is very possible that the Earth could have been in a state of a snowball earth, which is documented in science as a theory, of a possible condition of the Earth at one point in time. Now this frozen Earth would likely have all the water on one side because the rotation would be off and one side would always be dark while the other side would always face the sun. Since there is no period of darkness and another period of light, there is no "Day" as we know it. Remember that it's the rotation of the Earth that defines a day, not 24 hours of time. As the frozen Earth orbits around the sun, the always sunny side would drift around the planet based on the location of the sun. This could cause the ice to move slowly like glaciers are known to do. So, the Lord or his crew of angels could use technology to melt the water, which was frozen on the dark side of the Earth. The Bible does tell us that the Lord might not have been alone on this mission.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
So, as the water flows to the sunny side of the Earth it begins to evaporate and finally forms the sky, as the Genesis story goes. This melting of the water would change the weight distribution which would effect the Earth's rotation, possibly fixing it or possibly some other method could have been used to get the planet spinning right. Then there would be darkness and then light, the first day. Now with the right rotation, the Earth, which was already here for millions of years, could now support life again. With this version of the story, both science and the Bible would be in agreement and we can all grow in the knowledge that the Bible provides. Amen
See we don't need circular reasoning anymore. You don't need to understand any more than what's on this page to believe that humans did not evolve, they were engineered by an intelligence far greater than ours. An intelligence that could travel through the universe, an intelligence that would want to make sure that we could live a happy and healthy life. When we see this and we learn to appreciate the Engineer's plans for us, we have great respect for the level of concern that he designed in for our happiness.