Some "Christian" Fundamentalists and Creationists believe that the earth itself is only 6-10,000 years old. This conclusion by them is based on Bible genealogy and interpreting the 'days' mentioned in Genesis as literal 24 hour days. The Biblical creation account as recorded in Genesis IS compatible with scientific evidence...it is just that the conclusion mentioned above is a misinterpretation of the Genesis account.
Starting from the beginning, scientific evidence indicates that the universe came about 13.7 billion years ago via the "Big Bang". Genesis refers to God doing just this in Gen. 1:1. But the important thing to realize is that billions of years could have passed (and probably did, considering the scientific evidence) between the statement "In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth" (Gen. 1:1) and the next sentence in Gen. 1:2.
Gen. 1:2 and on describes God's terreforming of the earth over a period of what the account calls as "days". However, these "days" were most likely NOT literal days, but rather figurative "days" such as the descriptive sayings: "Back in the 'day' of my youth" or "In the 'day' of the dinosaurs". The creative "days" mentioned in Genesis could not have been literal 24 hour days because, in just one example in Gen.1:11-13, grass is described as shooting forth and vegetation bearing seed and fruit trees yielding fruit in just one of these "days". So because these creative "days" were figurative, they could have actually been hundreds, thousands or even millions of years in length.
To recap, God first created the heavens and earth. Billions of years probably then passed. Then God prepared the earth for human habitation during the creative FIGURATIVE "days" which most likely took more millions of years. Then, AFTER all of this time had passed, the Bible says that God finally created man.
Bible genealogy does provide evidence that MAN has been on earth for nearly 6,000 years. But that does not have to mean that the "heavens and earth" have only been around that long as many "Christian" Fundamentalists and Creationists will want one to believe.
So God most likely created the earth billions of years ago and THEN created man only 6,000 years ago. Concerning the time in between, the Genesis account clearly outlines how certain animals were created before man was. Fossils are just the remains of animals that existed before man was created.
For more, see:
Does Science Contradict the Genesis Account?
RECONCILING Science and Religion
The Awesome Universe - What the Big Bang Explains—What It Doesn't
Why Do Some Scientists Believe in God?
Search For Bible Truths - ARCHIVE
Search For Bible Truths - Search Guide