Man, we moderns must believe that people were stupid during the earlier times of the earth. Have become so arrogant in all our technology as to believe that we are much smarter than they were or we are better equipped to understand data and subject matter better than they could? I think our arrogance has done the complete opposite. I think we sound more like the idiot when we try to explain things in the bible in human terms and explain that now that we figured out that we in theory have evolved and we were not created. Or at the very least, God had to use billions of years and the evolutionary process to produce the final product of modern man.
In a discussion about the six days of creation, a person explained to me that the term “day” was used to explain the time frame because that was the only word people would understand. Apparently, they didn’t have words for months or years or any term describing a length of time beyond 24 hours, so they used day to describe a lot of years, billions in fact, because people knew that term. So now the word day can be used as a period of 24 hours or a time span of billions of years. While it is true that in modern times we don’t use day strictly as a 24 hour period, and it also true that the Hebrew word used in Genesis can mean both, it does not mean we can apply the meaning to whichever suits us.
In the text in the first chapter of Genesis, the word for day is used. The other thing to notice is that it is reinforced with the defining words morning and evening. If these words were not in the text then yes I would agree that it would an acceptable possibility that the word day could mean a lengthy period of time. But the text defines the term as each day having a morning and an evening. The next question to ask is was there billions of years of daylight and then billions of years of nighttime.
I read one person quote a passage in Peter when he said that to God a day is like a thousand years, and then ended the quote there. The other half of that quote is a thousand years is like a day. So what does that mean? Does that support the idea that God used evolutionary process in His creation? I don’t think so because the context of the verse itself is not talking about creation at all. In finding a meaning of a verse, or anything for that matter, it must be viewed within the context of the passage. In this passage Peter is talking about the Second Coming and that God has appointed a time. When it happens is irrelevant because God is not confined to the parameters of time.
Back to my point. Our learning has made more ignorant than intelligent. In our lofty opinions of modern man we have dismissed previous generations as being naïve and primitive because they chose to acknowledge a being greater than them, whether it was the pantheon of the Greek gods or the God of the bible it does not matter. I believe the ancients were right in their intention but most were misguided and missed the mark. The God of the bible is Creator of all we see and cannot see, and any amount of accumulated human intelligence cannot overcome that fact.