Genesis 1 was NOT about creation. If it was intended to describe how things came to be, it would have been far more detailed and far more, well, accurate. As it is, the story is flat out wrong. Modern Christian theology seems intent on doing all sorts of odd mental gymnastics to try to claim that these events happened spiritually or metaphorically but there is a far simpler explanation for where these stories came from.
There are two parts to Genesis 1. There are two possibly reasons to make a statement like “God created the earth.” Either you are making a statement about how the earth was created or you’re making a statement about ‘God.’ The story doesn’t tell us anything at all about how the earth came to be so that’s not it. If the story isn’t about how the earth was created (and it isn’t) then what is the story saying about ‘God?’ The story *does* tell us a great deal about this ‘God’ character. It tells us that this ‘God’ created everything and is the most powerful entity imaginable. The most authoritative of all possible authorities imaginable. The alpha and the omega. This fact alone should make it obvious the story is about establishing a deity character and not describing creation. There’s more.
The ‘point’ of the second half of the story is much more clear. When humans are introduced to the story, it is very clear that this deity holds us in high regard. In fact, this deity put us in charge: ” so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.””
And not only are we in charge, but we were given another special edict, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen 1:28)
Note that in all my research I’ve never come across an indigenous people who have held a similar attitude. This attitude only seems to be held by agriculturalists and only those with cultural ties to the Fertile Crescent, ie, Westerners.
So if that is the point of the second half — to give us authority — then the first half suddenly makes perfect sense. Only a creator of the world could possibly give us the authority to take over and rule the world. We invented the idea of gods to justify agriculture and living outside the laws of nature by seeing ourselves as distinct from the environment.
The Fall of Adam and Eve is very clearly about the agricultural revolution and so is much of the rest of the OT. http://www.noonespecial.ca/adam-and-eve/
The Bible is far less mysterious when you understand it in an historical context.