I side with the literal 6 day, (24 hour periods) for the same reasons summarized from the articles linked below.
* Scholars note that the Hebrew word for “day” (yom) universally means a twenty-four hour solar day when preceded by ordinal numbers, as it is in this chapter. It’s foundational for all that Jews observe in the Law.
*It is hard to believe Moses’ original audience would have understood the period of creation as occupying a time span longer than a normal week.
* Work and rest could hardly serve as a pattern for our own if, unlike ours, He took longer than a week to finish laying the foundation of history (see Ex. 20:8–11). If it is ages then we can feel free to arrange our days and weeks as we see fit.
* It does not make sense that man was created over a million years (or whatever day-age time you wish) and then women do not come along until after that.
*Moses is not giving an astrology lesson, but stating as fact what God had revealed to him about created order.
I believe the Jews knew the concept of figurative language, and yet in building their sacrificial year, months and weeks around sabbatical periods of 6 days to work and a seventh to rest leads me to believe that this is the original inspired intent and interpretation. It’s a bit silly to me to come along some 15,000 after creation and interject something the holders of the OT canon did not consider a plausible interpretation.
The 2 Peter 3:8 reference usually brought up is, in context, related to the patience of the church in waiting upon the fulfillment of the promises of God. It is not a good practice to just take this from its context and apply it to creation. There is no indication within the Genesis account that patience is being discussed. I would say this is like taking the verses that deal with no sadness in heaven and applying it to Ecc. 1:18 – “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow…” and concluding that because there is no sadness in heaven there must not be any wisdom there either.
If God tells us the first day had evening and morning, like any other day, then I’m prepared to accept that as fact. I believe God can provide light, without there being a physical source should he choose to do so. He provided a pillar of fire and smoke as he dwelt with Israel for a time without the need of wood being supplied. I don’t need to accommodate God to science.