We find in various Holy Scriptures verses that Earth and the sky have been created in 6 days, which is of course inconceivable. But if the Holy Scriptures say so, there must be a reason. The only way to find out is to look for proofs which is what we’ll be looking for today.
The Book of Genesis, which is the first book of the Bible, starts with the creation of the world. The Hebrew meaning of “Genesis” is the Book of Beginnings. This is because many new beginnings are recorded in Genesis. There are seven periods of creation recorded. Although each of these has been translated as a “day”, the Hebrew word is “yom” which simply means a period of time with a beginning and an ending. It is unlikely to be a solar day since the sun, moon and stars do not appear until the fourth “day”.
Genesis 1:1-31 & 2:1-3:
1 When God began to create[a] the heavens and the earth— 2 the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters— 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared. 4 God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God named the light Day and the darkness Night.
There was evening and there was morning: the first day.
6 God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters to separate the waters from each other.” 7 God made the dome and separated the waters under the dome from the waters above the dome. And it happened in that way. 8 God named the dome Sky.
There was evening and there was morning: the second day.
9 God said, “Let the waters under the sky come together into one place so that the dry land can appear.” And that’s what happened. 10 God named the dry land Earth, and he named the gathered waters Seas. God saw how good it was. 11 God said, “Let the earth grow plant life: plants yielding seeds and fruit trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind throughout the earth.” And that’s what happened. 12 The earth produced plant life: plants yielding seeds, each according to its kind, and trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind. God saw how good it was.
13 There was evening and there was morning: the third day.
14 God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will mark events, sacred seasons, days, and years. 15 They will be lights in the dome of the sky to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. 16 God made the stars and two great lights: the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night. 17 God put them in the dome of the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was.
19 There was evening and there was morning: the fourth day.
20 God said, “Let the waters swarm with living things, and let birds fly above the earth up in the dome of the sky.” 21 God created the great sea animals and all the tiny living things that swarm in the waters, each according to its kind, and all the winged birds, each according to its kind. God saw how good it was. 22 Then God blessed them: “Be fertile and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
23 There was evening and there was morning: the fifth day.
24 God said, “Let the earth produce every kind of living thing: livestock, crawling things, and wildlife.” And that’s what happened. 25 God made every kind of wildlife, every kind of livestock, and every kind of creature that crawls on the ground. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
27 God created humanity in God’s own image, in the divine image God created them,[b] male and female God created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds in the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.
There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.
2 The heavens and the earth and all who live in them were completed. 2 On the sixth [a] day God completed all the work that he had done, and on the seventh day God rested from all the work that he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.[b] 4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Exodus 20:11 — For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
In the Quran:
7.54 Your Lord is God; He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself on the Throne. The night overtakes the day, as it pursues it persistently; and the sun, and the moon, and the stars are subservient by His command. His is the creation, and His is the command. Blessed is God, Lord of all beings.
10.3 Your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then settled over the Throne, governing all things. There is no intercessor except after His permission. Such is God, your Lord—so serve Him. Will you not reflect?
11.7 It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days—and His Throne was upon the waters—in order to test you—which of you is best in conduct. And if you were to say, “You will be resurrected after death,” those who disbelieve would say, “This is nothing but plain witchcraft.”
25.59 He who created the heavens and the earth and everything between them in six days, then settled on the Throne. The Most Merciful. Ask about Him a well-informed.
32.4 God is He who created the heavens and the earth and everything between them in six days, and then established Himself on the Throne. Apart from Him, you have no master and no intercessor. Will you not reflect?
41.9-12 Say, “Do you reject the One who created the earth in two days? And you attribute equals to Him? That is the Lord of the Universe.”
He placed mountains over it; and blessed it; and planned its provisions in four days equal, for all those who ask.
Then He turned to the sky, and it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth, “Come, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We come willingly.”
So He completed them as seven heavens in two days, and He assigned to each heaven its affair. And We decorated the lower heaven with lamps (stars), and for protection. That is the design of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.
50.38 We created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days, and no fatigue touched Us.
57.4 It is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then settled over the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth, and what comes out of it, and what descends from the sky, and what ascends to it. And He is with you wherever you may be. God is Seeing of everything you do.
The Arabic word for “day” is “youm” which simply means a period of time as well. Now, it is clear that the word day doesn’t mean actually 24h. If we’re searching for the amount of time which this day is about, we need to search it in Earth’s history.
Geologists divided Earth’s history in period of time called either Eons, Era, Age….
So here is a small description of periods in million years. which are called Eon:
Hadean 4,540–4,000 The Earth is formed out of debris around the solar protoplanetary disk. There is no life. Temperatures are extremely hot, with frequent volcanic activity and hellish environments. The atmosphere is nebular. Possible early oceans or bodies of liquid water. The moon is formed around this time, probably due to a protoplanet’s collision into Earth.
Archean 4,000–2,500 Prokaryote life, the first form of life, emerges at the very beginning of this eon, in a process known as abiogenesis. The continents of Ur, Vaalbara and Kenorland may have been formed around this time. The atmosphere is composed of volcanic and greenhouse gases.
Proterozoic 2,500–541 Eukaryotes, a more complex form of life, emerge, including some forms of multicellular organisms. Bacteria began producing oxygen, shaping the third and current of Earth’s atmospheres. Plants, later animals and possibly earlier forms of fungi form around this time. The early and late phases of this eon may have undergone “Snowball Earth” periods, in which all of the planet suffered below-zero temperatures. The early continents of Columbia, Rodinia and Pannotia may have formed around this time, in that order.
Phanerozoic 541–present Complex life, including vertebrates, began to dominate the Earth’s ocean in a process known as the Cambrian explosion. Pangaea forms and later dissolves into Laurasia and Gondwana. Gradually, life expanded to land and all familiar forms of plants, animals and fungi began appearing, including annelids, insects and reptiles. Several mass extinctions occur, among which birds, the descendants of dinosaurs, and more recently mammals emerge. The rise and evolution of the human species occur at the very recent phases of this eon.
The Archean Eon 4,000 to 2,500 million years ago (4 to 2.5 billion years), is one of the two most important Eon for our reasearch. During the Archean, the Earth’s crust had cooled enough to allow the formation of continents.
The Archean atmosphere is thought to have nearly lacked free oxygen. Astronomers think that the Sun had about 70–75 percent of the present luminosity, yet temperatures on Earth appear to have been near modern levels after only 500 Ma of Earth’s formation. The presence of liquid water is evidenced by certain highly deformed gneisses produced by metamorphism of sedimentary protoliths. The moderate temperatures may reflect the presence of greater amounts of greenhouse gases than later in the Earth’s history.
By the end of the Archaean c. 2500 Ma (million years ago), plate tectonic activity may have been similar to that of the modern Earth. There are well-preserved sedimentary basins, and evidence of volcanic arcs, intracontinental rifts, continent-continent collisions and widespread globe-spanning orogenic events suggesting the assembly and destruction of one and perhaps several supercontinents. Liquid water was prevalent, and deep oceanic basins are known to have existed attested by the presence of banded iron formations, chert beds, chemical sediments and pillow basalts.
The Proterozoic extended from 2500 Ma to 541 Ma (million years ago), is a geological eon representing the time just before the proliferation of complex life on Earth. It is subdivided into three geologic eras (from oldest to youngest): the Paleoproterozoic, Mesoproterozoic, and Neoproterozoic.
The well-identified events of this eon were the transition to an oxygenated atmosphere during the Paleoproterozoic; several glaciations, which produced the hypothesized Snowball Earth during the Cryogenian Period in the late Neoproterozoic Era; and the Ediacaran Period (635 to 541 Ma) which is characterized by the evolution of abundant soft-bodied multicellular organisms and provides us with the first obvious fossil evidence of life on earth.
The Proterozoic Eon was a very tectonically active period in the Earth’s history. The late Archean Eon to Early Proterozoic Eon corresponds to a period of increasing crustal recycling, suggesting subduction. It is believed that 43% of modern continental crust was formed in the Proterozoic, 39% formed in the Archean, and only 18% in the Phanerozoic.
During the Paleoproterozoic era the earliest global-scale continent-continent collisional belts developed.
These continent and mountain building events are represented by the 2.1–2.0 Ga Transamazonian and Eburnean Orogens in South America and West Africa; the ~2.0 Ga Limpopo Belt in southern Africa; the 1.9–1.8 Ga Trans-Hudson, Penokean, Taltson–Thelon, Wopmay, Ungava and Torngat orogens in North America, the 1.9–1.8 Ga Nagssugtoqidain Orogen in Greenland; the 1.9–1.8 Ga Kola–Karelia, Svecofennian, Volhyn-Central Russian, and Pachelma Orogens in Baltica (Eastern Europe); the 1.9–1.8 Ga Akitkan Orogen in Siberia; the ~1.95 Ga Khondalite Belt and ~1.85 Ga Trans-North China Orogen in North China.
These continental collisional belts are interpreted as having resulted from 2.0–1.8 Ga global-scale collisional events that led to the assembly of a Paleo-Mesoproterozoic supercontinent named Columbia or Nuna.
The Mesoproterozoic Era is a geologic era that occurred from 1,600 to 1,000 million years ago. The Mesoproterozoic was the first period of Earth’s history of which a respectable geological record survives. Continents existed in the Paleoproterozoic, but we know little about them. It is noteworthy that the continental masses of the Mesoproterozoic are more or less the same ones that are with us today.
It was an Era of apparently critical, but still poorly understood, changes in the chemistry of the sea, the sediments of the earth, and the composition of the air. Oxygen levels had risen to perhaps 1% of today’s levels at the beginning of the era and continued rising throughout the Era.
I would recommend to read more about these periods on Wikipedia for more details.
The first atmosphere would have consisted of gases in the solar nebula, primarily hydrogen. In addition, there would probably have been simple hydrides such as those now found in the gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn), notably water vapor, methane and ammonia. As the solar nebula dissipated, these gases would have escaped, partly driven off by the solar wind.
The second atmosphere, outgassing from volcanism, supplemented by gases produced during the late heavy bombardment of Earth by huge asteroids, produced the next atmosphere, consisting largely of nitrogen plus carbon dioxide and inert gases.
The third atmosphere: Free oxygen did not exist in the atmosphere until about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event and its appearance is indicated by the end of the banded iron formations. Before this time, any oxygen produced by photosynthesis was consumed by oxidation of reduced materials, notably iron. Molecules of free oxygen did not start to accumulate in the atmosphere until the rate of production of oxygen began to exceed the availability of reducing materials. This point signifies a shift from a reducing atmosphere to an oxidizing atmosphere. O2 showed major variations until reaching a steady state of more than 15% by the end of the Precambrian. The following time span from 541 million years ago to the present day is the Phanerozoic Eon, during the earliest period of which, the Cambrian, oxygen-requiring metazoan life forms began to appear. The amount of oxygen in the atmosphere has fluctuated over the last 600 million years, reaching a peak of about 30% around 280 million years ago, significantly higher than today’s 21%.
So far we were able to put a date on the most important geological events needed for our study.
Earth’s formation began 4.5 billion years ago,
by 2.5 bya the tectonic plates,
continents existed ~ 2-1.85 bya,
~ 1.6 bya the atmosphere started to have oxygen
by 600 mya the atmosphere was filled 40% with it. Personally I find that marvelous!
Let me explain, the Holy Scriptures tells us that God created Earth and the sky in 6 days, 4 for earth and 2 for the sky.
So ~ 2-1.85 bya continents existed which means that earth needed 2.7 billion years to have a fully developed land mass. Then to turn its atmosphere suitable for life earth needed about 1 billion year. That means that each day for the land formation was 600-700 million years and the sky was about 500 million years.
That’s it, it’s so wonderful to know that 6 days aren’t exactly “6”, after all God knows best.