The language of the creation chapter is ancient, poetic and idiomatic. Literalism is a shallow approach that misses the Bible's deeper meanings.
The first verse is often taken as a literal statement of the actual creation. But this causes problems with the second verse's "unformed and empty." The first verse is really just a general introduction to the text. The second verse is meant to put us at a point before creation began.
Science tells us the universe began in a burst of pure radiant energy. A simple equivalent to "pure radiant energy" is "light". The Bible and science agree: Creation began as a burst of light.
There are words in the text which are unique to this chapter. One of them is "Rokiah," usually translated as "firmament" based on the nonsense of Aristotle. Its nearest English equivalent is actually "curvature." Bible and science agree: Space is curved and that curvature is what organized matter.
On the beginning of life, the Bible says, "Let the earth bring forth...and the earth brought forth." This can only be understood to mean that life began naturally as the result of organic processes.
Life is described as starting as simple forms and progressing over time into ever more complex forms, ending with us. In other words, evolution.
Kenneth S. Atkins