…we may read the order of events as literal in Genesis 2 but not in Genesis 1, or (much, much more unlikely) we may read them as literal in Genesis 1 but not in Genesis 2. But in any case, you can’t read them both as straightforward accounts of historical events. Indeed, if they are both to be read literalistically, why would the author have combined the accounts, since they are (on that reading) incompatible? The best answer is that we are not supposed to understand them that way.
– Tim Keller from the Biologos website.
Some have put forward the theory that Genesis does not claim to be a scientific treatise, but is just allegory or poetry, that the Bible does not pretend to be scientfically accurate but is a typical, poetical, allegorical way of describing creation. To this the answer is, of course, that there is not a trace of poetry in these early chapters of Genesis. The form is not poetical at all. It claims to be history. It claims to be giving facts, and the history that follows immediately and directly out of it is certainly true history and not allegory.
– Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, from God the Father, God the Son, pg 134.