There are really only two possibilities: that all present life from chemicals to one-celled organisms was formed through natural processes over billions of years through gradual stages, or that an intelligent Creator designed and created the universe and everything in it, including life, on a (relatively) recent timescale. There is no other alternative. It is not "Evolution happened or God lied" (to quote an evolutionist), it is "Evolution happened or God created." Either life came about by natural processes, or it was created by an intelligent Designer (not to be confused with the intelligent design theory of theistic evolution, to be discussed momentarily). God does not lie, by nature. The evidence only seems misleading to evolutionists because they start with the preconception that God does not exist at all. Logically, if God does not exist, he could not have misleadingly planted evidence that seems to indicate that he does not exist.
There are variations of both views, including the "punctuated equilibrium" model of evolution and the "theistic evolution" model of creation, but all of these are contradictory to the established basis of their parent views and are therefore not valid alternatives to these views. Punctuated equilibrium, which says that living things evolved in bursts of activity but remained basically the same for the majority of the time, actually agrees more with the actual fossil record than standard evolution, but contradicts the traditional Darwinistic idea that living things evolved gradually over time. If standard evolution needed billions of years to build up to humans, then punctuated equilibrium would require many times that length of time. Evolutionists who believe punctuated equilibrium are shooting themselves in the foot because it would require so much more time than even they can make appear using their dating schemes.
On the other hand, theistic evolution is a sad attempt at a compromise between creation and evolution which says that God created living things by guiding the process of evolution through the billions of years. This idea contradicts both the six-day account of creation in Genesis and the proclamation made at the end of that account that the new creation was "very good." Death was never a part of the original creation and only occurred after the Fall of Adam and Eve. Many creatures having died through the years to gradually build up to humans is not consistent with a "very good" creation formed perfectly without death. Christians (or Jews) who believe theistic evolution are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to their faith, because they destroy the foundation of Scripture. People of other religions who believe theistic evolution have their own problems with consistency anyway.
In the end, each person will need to examine the evidence and make a choice about which possibility better explains the world and everything in it. Personally, the theory of evolution has more holes (described in other articles) than a net and therefore to me the only sensible explanation is a Creator far more intelligent than any human.