If someone wants to approach teaching how human life began on this earth from a Christian perspective, I think there have been two viewpoints. Both originate with the words at the beginning of the Jewish Torah also called the Christian Old Testament:
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and the darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."The stories go on to explain a simple beginning to human life with a creator god forming man out of the dust of the ground and woman out of the man. The beginning of Genesis actually presents two stories of creation with a different order to what happened when. One would have to be allegory even though some believers claim both are exactly accurate. The essential common denominator in these two versions is that man first stepped onto this earth as man.
The probable allegory of Adam and Eve is much more personal. The couple were to live in a garden where everything was theirs to use except one-- fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and if they ate that, they'd die. God did not explain why this knowledge would be bad. What could they have understood of death?
We are starting this story of man and god with a claim about this god's personality that will be seen again and again. He never gives all the facts to man-- ever. He sets up little possible
Man, of course, yielded to temptation, was thrown from the garden although he said it was the woman's fault. Great start to relationships between the sexes. It was not enough though for God to toss man and woman out, he makes the snake, who had been the initial tempter, slither on its belly, something it apparently never did before, and there were placed curses on the man, woman and their descendants.
The stories of the people who sprang from their loins continue and show often a perverse nature to this perfect God. He rejects one son's offering while he accepts another; but again was this explained to them beforehand? Apparently not but a blood offering was superior to one of grain? I do not know how Jews see it but Christians justify this by saying it cost Abel more to kill a first born than it did Cain to offer some of the grain he raised. That is more justification than understanding, and it sets a pattern in these stories for how difficult it can be for man to figure out what this God is wanting.
So while Scriptures describe God is the ultimate in loving, he is also shown as being very good at destroying. In other words, man better watch out. Touch that ark and you're a dead man. Men start to work together and they get dispersed. Jonah resisted God's will and found himself in the belly of a whale. Job, who was doing nothing wrong by God's own words, was put through increasing tortures with his children killed to satisfy a test that God and Satan rigged up. The Bible is full of such stories, some where God intervenes and saves and some where He does not.
Finally we come to the story of Jesus where the Jewish story is left behind and we have a new side of God as he comes to earth, born in Bethlehem, growing up to teach men what he wants them to know, and then the goal of it all-- His sacrifice for what Adam did long ago. This becomes another test for the believer because by accepting this sacrifice, by believing Jesus is God, man can be resurrected himself, have crowns in heaven, if he has earned them, and live in a renewed earth happily ever after singing with the angels. And if he doesn't, well that leads to more than the death promised Adam, now it means eternal torture in hell.
Whether a Christian accepts the literal interpretation of the scriptures for the story of Adam and Eve or the exact creation of man, they all start with that opening phrase that God created man in his own image. Even if they take the creation story less than literally, allow for some evolution in there, a Christian will mostly go on with the rest of the beliefs.
Which is where the second view of creationism, called Intelligent Design, comes in where God created everything on earth perfectly to work without a problem. When it doesn't, it's the fault of sin. This belief is that none of what we see around us could have happened without a creator god. These creationists do not accept evolution as a natural process but rather a guided one. Their perspective on man's dominion over earth usually remains the same-- although would not have to.
Those who are not going along with a 6000 year old earth, to deal with the age of the Universe, explain there was a pre-created earth (hence its age in geologic terms) which was destroyed in an epic battle between good angels and God against bad angels putting down a rebellion and ending up with Satan having quite a bit of power on earth as a tester of man. This idea comes out of the Prophets in the Old Testament and is mostly put together as supposition and a way to still have God creating man literally as though a sculptor.
Repeating-- some would say that God did it but he used evolution as his tool. They would also add that a day didn't necessarily mean a day as we consider time. I am not sure where that leaves them on say the Bible version of Daniel and the lion's den or Noah in the whale or so many other stories?
Accepting the story of Creationism for a Christian leads to the requirement of a proper baptism (form of which Christians don't always agree), saying the right words, correct approach to sin, confession, marriage, you name it; and some today believe as they did back then that to go against that god can lead to cities being flooded and disaster raining down on earth. Forget whether the ones being killed did anything or not.
To me, both of these versions of creationism are taking that version of God in the Old Testament and bringing it to today. Look at this god's actions and you see a lot of questions but man is not allowed to question.
This also leads to a belief that man has a right to use anything he wishes upon the face of the earth. It's all his. Abuse it and don't worry because there will be a new beginning after a really rough ending but which will not impact true believers who will be raptured to heaven before the end comes.
This version of life on earth and of God's personality ends with the ultimate revenge on all but the chosen few described in Revelations-- and they might have been chosen before they were born if someone believes in predestination which would mean some might be doomed before they started. That's another of those issues about which Bible scholars disagree.
Anyway if we follow the story of creationism, using the Bible, we see the earth recreated one last time not to be destroyed again because apparently these humans left in perfected bodies have learned their lesson and they can serve God forever in peace.
Creationism and the Biblical stories are philosophy, depict powerful images (even with a Creation museum in Kentucky and soon to be a Noah's Ark theme park); but about zero science other than trying to put down evolutionary ideas. The order they have for how things appeared on earth does not fit what science has found-- but then they don't believe science anyway. There is then no wonder there would be a conflict between science and this way of thinking.
Evolution tells a story and has its own set of lessons. That's coming next.
On a personal note, I should mention I spent over twenty years of my life letting one of those creation versions be mine. I wanted to believe it and I was very much a Biblical fundamentalist who would dismiss anything that got in the way of that viewpoint. I was not only in a group that thought that way but felt that you had to just let go of reason. It was about faith and nothing else. You ignore what doesn't fit or you make it fit.
To be clear, I was never a political religious conservative, always saw that as contradictory to Christian teaching (like I hate any program of help for the poor but love Jesus who said to feed the poor). I also always believed in protecting the environment which doesn't have to be contradictory to the Scriptures. For me, it was a literal belief in what the Bible said. When that changed, it led to leaving organized religion.
I know a lot of very nice Christians who are still fundamentalists and some who describe themselves as potluck Christians which enables them to stay. I liked being part of a church community (both of the churches I belonged to over that twenty some years). I can relate to how that might be easier than leaving, but for me it was all or nothing. When I came to see this just didn't fit with what I saw around me, in humans and in nature, nor what I believed about God from my own experiential experiences (I am not an atheist), personally I had no choice but to leave religions.
I live in a culture where Christianity is very important to many people. This is a culture that still mostly espouses a belief in Christianity as essential to not only live a moral life but to be 'saved'. It is one where running for president necessitates being a Christian and it's more than okay for a leader to not believe in evolution.
Oh and one more point, I didn't leave religion because of what is called backsliding or desiring to live a wild life full of freedom to sin. I know plenty who are comfortable 'sinning' in churches (thanks to forgiveness and the old saw we are all sinners). I think it can be just as easy sinning in the church, maybe more so as outside there is no easy forgiveness at an altar or in a confessional. You have to find that forgiveness inside yourself with no platitudes to comfort you.
So coming next will be what is evolution.
Photo is the Oregon coast, looking toward Whale Cove, December 2010.