Misconception: The Quran says the Earth was created in 6 days
Verses such as 7:54, 10:3,
11:7, 25:59, 32:4, 50:38, 57:4 are often cited, e.g.
50:38 And We have created the heavens and the
Earth and what is between them in six periods/days
and no fatigue touched Us.
the Arabic word "yawm" (plural "ayyam") is
commonly translated as "day" (as in 24 hour period) this is
not its only meaning in The Quran. It has been used to mean:
"event, a moment in time" (1:4, 2:48, 2:85, 2:254 etc),
"today, this/that day/moment" (2:249, 3:167, 12:54, 5:3,
40:17 etc), "unspecified length of time, days, period, era"
(3:24, 14:5, 3:140, 45:14, 69:24 etc). In classical Arabic
dictionaries, such as Lane's
Lexicon, it is said its primary meaning is "time"
(whether little or not).
It should be noted that a 24 hour day is only possible AFTER
the earth and sun have been created, not prior, so this
interpretation does not fit from the outset.
Also, The Quran clearly implies
time is relative [22:47, 32:5, 70:4] and these verses use the
word "yawm", confirming this word does not represent a fixed
length of time.
An interesting, albeit speculative, argument
has been made that despite not knowing the length of time
"yawm" refers to in the earth/heavens creation verses, The
Quran implies the creation of the earth took two of these
periods/yawm [41:9] thus making the age of the earth 2/6
(i.e. one third) of the total age of the universe. The
latest scientific estimate of the age of the universe is
billion years and the earth 4.54
billion years. If we divide these values (4.54/13.8)
it results in 0.33 (i.e. one third), which is a good fit.