Something I have noticed lately is that many people in our culture, especially non-Christian or nominally Christian people, seem to have gotten the idea that biblical inerrancy and young earth creationism are the same thing. People often say, “do you believe the bible is literally true, [i.e.] that the universe was created in six 24 hour periods?” In other words, “literally true” and “six 24 hour periods” get lumped in together and define each other.
In addition to being, in my opinion, biblically unwarranted, this association is also very historically strange. From Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, p. 262:
“Despite widespread impression to the contrary, both inside and outside the church, modern Creation Science was not the traditional response of conservative and evangelical Protestants in the nineteenth century when Darwin’s theory first became known. There was widespread acceptance of the fact that Genesis 1 may be been speaking of long ages rather than literal days. R. A. Torrey, the fundamentalist editor of The Fundamentals (published from 1910-1915, which gave definition to the term ‘fundamentalist’), said that it was possible ‘to believe thoroughly in the infallibility of the Bible and still be an evolutionist of a certain type….’ The man who defined the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, B.B. Warfield of Princeton (d. 1921) believed that God may have used something like evolution to bring about life-forms.”