Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 1
Chapter 5 Appendix
CHAPTER FIVE - THE ORIGIN OF THE EARTH
- 1 - WHAT SCIENTISTS AND SCIENTIFIC WRITERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE RESEARCH OF ROBERT GENTRY
Several scientists and science writers have nicely summarized the research work of Robert Gentry. You will find these summaries helpful in distilling several of the key points in his work:
"Dr. Gentry, a meticulous scientist who has published work in leading scientific journals, has for fifteen years been challenging the 'big bang' cosmology. The world's greatest geochronologists have been unable to refute his work. "—Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), pp. 238-237.
HENRY MORRIS "An even more amazing development is the massive evidence accumulated by physicist Robert Gentry, from granite rocks all over the world, of 'parentless' polonium, indicated by 'radiohalos' of polonium without corresponding halos of the uranium from which polonium is normally derived by radioactive decay. Since polonium has an extremely short half-life, it should not be found in nature except with its uranium parent. Nevertheless, its halos are so found, in the earth's primordial granitic rocks everywhere. There seems no possible explanation for this phenomenon except essentially instantaneous creation of these primordial rocks together with the short-lived polonium atoms enclosed within them, leaving their decay halos as a permanent silent witness to the fact of the initial fiat creation of the primordial rocks. However this 'minor mystery', as one evolutionary geologist called it, has been largely ignored by the scientific establishment.
For a summary of Gentry's many technical papers (which have been published in numerous refereed journals before their creationist implications were realized), see Stephen L. Talbot, 'Mystery of the Radiohalos,' Research Communication Network, Newsletter No. 2: February 10, 1977, pp. 3-6."Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (1985), p. 170.
RANDY WYSONG "Creationists say that actual evidence the creation was indeed sudden and complete comes from study of rapidly decaying radioactive elements and pleochroic halos. In this regard, Gentry said:
"The half-life of polonium 214 is only 164 microseconds. According to one theory of the planet's origin, the earth cooled down from a hot gaseous mass and gradually solidified over a period of hundreds of millions of years. If this were so, polonium halos could not possibly have formed because all the polonium would have decayed soon after it was synthesized and would have been extinct when the crustal rocks formed . . Unless the creation of the radioactivity and rocks were simultaneous there would be no pictureno variant pleochroic halos. Further, by virtue of the very short half-life, the radioactivity and formation of the rocks must be almost instantaneous."R. L Wysong, The Creation Evolution Controversy (1984), p. 157.
R.E. KOFAHL AND K.L. SEGRAVES "Dr. Gentry has apparently established the wide occurrence in igneous rocks of radioactive halos formed by three isotopes of the element polonium, Po-210, Po-214, and Po-218. Supposedly these rocks crystallized over periods of hundreds or thousands of years from magmas deep in the earth, probably hundreds of millions of years after the initial formation of the earth [from gas clouds, etc.]
"But the half-lives of the three polonium isotopes are only 138 days, 164 microseconds, and 3 minutes, respectively. On the traditional theory of rock formation over vast time spans, how could there be any of these very rapidly decaying polonium isotopes left to form inclusions in the rock crystals by the time the magma had finally cooled sufficiently for crystals to form?
"This evidence seems to point to the instantaneous creation of rocks which contain polonium radiohalos. Since these rocks are widely distributed, it would follow that the earth itself was created instantly."R.E. Kofahl and K .L Segraves, Creation Evolution (1975), pp. 203-204.
RICHARD BLISS—''Polonium halos are perhaps the most significant evidence for a young earth. Dr. Robert Gentry's landmark study of polonium halos is published, in detail, in the book Creation's Tiny Mystery (1986).
"A little history on the 'radio halos' of polonium will help you understand the significance of these microscopic marks in the earth's first or 'oldest' rocks. If you refer to the uranium decay series, you will see elements (isotopes) 218Po, 214Po and 210Po.
"All of these isotopes are radioactive and give off radioactive particles. Now the interesting part is that the Po isotopes all have short half lives (the time needed for half of the Po to decay). 218Po, has a half life of 3 minutes, 214Po a half life of 164 microseconds, and 21OPo has a half life of 138.4 days.
"What does this mean? First of all, the halos (halos formed by radioactive decay) are from 218, 214, and 210 isotopes of polonium that has no connection with uranium. In other words, they exist by themselves without any uranium parent present! When they are found in the oldest rocks (granites and biotites) one has to imagine that the rocks must have solidified very quickly in order to allow the decay of the radioactive particles to make these distinct marks. If the first rocks cooled slowly (as all evolution models demand) then in molten rock there could be no marks [no halos] from the decay. The decaying particles can only make their marks after the molten rocks have solidified.
"Gentry concludes that this scientific evidence establishes that the age of the earth's oldest rocks cannot be more than thousands of years. Po halos in our oldest rocks give strong evidence as a limiting chronometer, that is, a time clock which can set an upward limit on the age of the earth's crust."—Richard Bliss, Origins: Creation or Evolution (1988), pp. 64-65.
W.R. BIRD " 'The world's foremost expert on the observation and measurement of radiohalos' (National Science Foundation, NSF Program Review Evaluation of NSF Proposal 'Investigations of Polonium Radiohalos,' September 1979) is [Robert] Gentry, a creationist physicist, who has researched polonium halos for 20 years and published more than a dozen scholarly articles on his research in standard scientific publications . .
"Gentry has published . . [the] requirement for instantaneous crystallization, and reports the results of highly sophisticated experimental techniques such as fission track and neutron flux techniques, electron microscope x-ray fluorescence, fossil alpha recoil analysis, and ion microprobe mass spectrometry.
"A 'radiohalo' or radioactive halo is a discolored region in a mineral that contains a radioactive element. The discolored region consists of concentric spheres around the radioactive element produced usually by alpha particles emitted as the radioactive element decays, as Joly and Mugge discovered in 1907. Polonium is a radioactive element, and it therefore decays (Po-218 decays into Po-214, then into Po-210, then into Pb-206 (lead)). A 'polonium halo' is a discolored region of tiny spheres formed around the polonium as it decays, generally in mica or fluorite in granite. Three forms (isotopes) of polonium (Po218, Po-214 and Po-21 0) decay very rapidly, so that their half-lives (a half-life is the time required for half of a radioactive material to decay) are extremely short (3.05 minutes, 18/100,000 seconds, and 138.4 days respectively) . .
" . . Because polonium decays so rapidly, two halos (Po-218 and Po-214) had to form in a few minutes and the third halo (Po-210) in a few years.
. "The absence of uranium (or thorium) movement out of, or polonium movement into, halo-containing rocks has been shown by a number of experiments. One experiment used alpha-recoil analysis . . Other experiments reaffirming the same point were fission track and neutron flux techniques. If any question is raised about the sheet-like nature of mica, it is important to note that polonium halos without uranium traces are also found in cordierite . .
"Finally, it is important to note that not all halos are in the uranium decay sequence; there are also halos of bismuth-212 .
"The objection that the polonium was a decay product of uranium, rather than an original element in the rocks containing the halos, has been countered by numerous experiments using sophisticated techniques, such as fission-track and neutron flux methods, electron microscope x-ray fluorescence, fossil alpha recoil analysis, and ion microprobe mass spectrometry, which showed that the polonium did not migrate into and the uranium (or thorium) did not migrate out of the rocks, and that the lead isotopes present resulted from polonium rather than uranium decay. "—W.R. Bird, Origin of the Species Revisited, Vol. 1 (1987), pp. 419-422.
IAN TAYLOR "The principal assumptions associated with radiometric dating, which were listed earlier, began by presupposing that the earth originated from a spinning blob of hot liquid that cooled to form the crustal material. It is further supposed by current theory that the ravages of time preclude the survival of the original crustal material. All that is believed to remain today are the igneous rocks that have crystallized from hot liquid magma, long after the original cooling, together with the sedimentary rocks that have originated by erosion and redeposition. The igneous rocks are, essentially, the granites, and these form the basement material underlying all the layered sedimentary rocks. Often there are thousands of feet of sedimentary rock on top of the basement material, but, exceptionally, this basement rock is found at the surface, as it is over a large part of Canada, where it is known as the Canadian Shield.
"Almost a century ago microscopic studies of this basement rock, taken from various parts of the world, revealed small concentric circles of discoloration associated with certain minerals (chiefly mica) within the rock matrix. These tiny, colored, circular rings are really the sections through spheres having a small inclusion at the center; they were at first called 'pleochroic halos' but are now usually referred to as 'radiohalos' (Joly 1917). It was not until a few decades ago that the halos were recognized to be the 'signatures' of the radioactive products of the uranium 238 decay series.
"When an inclusion of uranium 238 in the mineral crystal lattice begins to decay, alpha particles (which finish up as helium atoms) or beta particles (electrons), depending on the stage of decay, are projected out in all directions at high speed and travel through the surrounding material. At each specific stage of decay, these particles all have the same energy, and all penetrate identical distances, leaving an abrupt edge to the sphere that appears as a circle when precisely sectioned. The circle diameter is, therefore, directly related to the particular energy of the projected particle, and since this is different for each stage in the decay series, the circle diameter becomes a 'signature' of the individual decay process. The series of concentric circles is as sure as a fingerprint in identifying the decay process. There are actually fourteen stages in the decay of uranium 238 to lead 206. However, one of the most common 'signatures,' found by the million throughout the basement rocks, is that of polonium 218 which occurs about midway through the overall uranium 238 decay process and has a half-life of only 3.05 minutes.
"Robert Gentry (1974) is acknowledged to be the foremost expert in the field of radiohalos. By the use of the ion microprobe, he has been able to analyze the microscopic inclusions at the center of the concentric circles. This modern device was not available to early investigators and enables the identification of individual atoms, and also permits them to be counted in order to establish the relative abundance of each element present. Gentry's investigation of the commonly found polonium 218 halos by microprobe analysis has shown that the inclusion at the center consists mostly of the final product, lead 206. The startling thing is that there are no elements above polonium in the inclusion; in other words, the daughter elements are present but no parents. When it is recalled that the half-life of the parent uranium 238 is said to be 4.5 billion years, then a little more than half the original quantity of uranium would be expected to be present. In fact, not one atom of uranium or thorium can be found, nor are there any traces of the characteristic halos for these elements.
"There is no doubt that the halo 'signatures' are genuinely those of part of the uranium 238 decay series. Even if the velocity of light and the related speed of particle emission had been radically different in the past, this would not, it has been pointed out by Setterfield, affect the halo diameters. This is because if the electron rest was lower in the past, and the specific electron charge was higher; the differences thus cancel out and leave the penetration distance unchanged (Steidl 1982).
"The simple evidence of the 'daughter' elements without a trace of the 'parent' leaves one little choice but to conclude that the decay process began with polonium 218. However, since the half-life of this element, even measured today, is only 3.05 minutes, it could not have begun in the liquid state. The reason for this is that all the alpha particles were emitted from the decaying polonium in the first hour or so and if emitted within a liquid medium, would leave no permanent record. This forces the conclusion that the polonium decay began in the solid state; we are faced here with evidence of the original Creation. If this is true, and no other rational explanation is yet forthcoming, then it means that all the basement rocks were supernaturally created in the solid form and never passed through the liquid to solid change by slow cooling. Gentry put the matter this way: 'Is it conceivable that one of the oldest cosmological theories known to man [Biblical Creation] is correct after all? Could the earth have been created by fiat?' (Gentry 1967).
"The scientific community acknowledges that Gentry's work has been most thoroughly and carefully carried out, yet it is extremely reluctant to draw these conclusions from the evidence, because it would at once invalidate all the assumptions concerning the earth's origin and those basic to the radiometric methods. The evidence of the polonium radio-halos is evidence for ex nihilo creation instant creation of something out of nothing."Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (1987), pp. 31 0-312.
STEVEN CONNER "The discovery of radiohalos in coalified wood has challenged the foundations of geological science. How is this so?
"First, it is interesting to note that the coalified wood was taken from Jurassic and Triassic formations in the Colorado Plateau. However the embryonic structure of the U halos combined with the EMXRF and IMMA analyses suggests that the halos may be only a few thousand years old.
"If the infiltration of uranium occurred before complete coalification then the coalified wood could not be any older. Also the time required for the coalification process must be considerably shorter than what is generally believed today. Also, from the elliptical halos, it follows that infiltration occurred before complete coalification.
"Thus here is a geologically 'old' formation (by uniformitarian viewpoint) that apparently is only a few thousand years old. This is not just a local anomaly. Embryonic U halos have also been found in Devonian Chattanooga shale with U238/Pb-206 ratios too high for the accepted age of the formation. [Science 194(462):315-318.]
"In conclusion, while exact ages are not here assigned to the formations in which the coalified wood occurs, evidence has been presented which would chronologically place these formations at the time of the Flood several thousand years ago."Steven J. Conner, "Radiohalos in Coalified Wood: New Evidence for Young Earth, " in Creation Research Society Quarterly, September 1977, p. 102.
WILLIAM OVERN " The startling halos . . are daughter elements in a series in which the parent elements are completely absent. This carries the first implication that the daughters were produced in the primary generation (creation) of the rocks, rather than by a process of radioactive decay . . These halos are typically polonium signatures . . The very startling thing is that the half-life of polonium 218 is 3 minutes . . In twenty half-lives the concentration would be down by a factor over one million, which for polonium 218 is one hour."William Overn, "Pleochroic Halos," article in 15th Anniversary Convention Book (1979), p. 177.
2 - WHAT OTHER SCIENTISTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE RESEARCH OF ROBERT GENTRY
Reputable scientists have found the research work of Robert Gentry to be beyond reproach, and his conclusions unimpeachable. Here are some of the statements they have made:
PROFESSIONAL QUALITY OF HIS DATA "Robert V. Gentry writes lucidly of his meticulous experimentation with radioactive halos in ancient minerals. Many scientists with international reputations, such as Truman P. Kohman, Edward Anders, Emilio Segre, G. N. Flerov, Paul Ramdohr, Eugene Wigner, E. H. Taylor, etc., have commented favorably in regard to Gentry's integrity and the professional quality of his data." *W. Scott Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Woofford College, quoted in Creation's Tiny Mystery [CTM], p. xi.
IN THE TRADITION OF GALILEO "Robert V. Gentry is a scientist in the tradition of Galileo. He, his work, and his Weltanschauung [overall conception of life and the world] do not deserve the premature obituary that my evolutionary colleagues are preparing for it."* W. Scott Morrow, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Woofford College, quoted in CTM, p. xi.
NOT WORTH THE EFFORT "To date there has been only one effort to dispute Gentry's identification of polonium halos. As it turned out, that effort might better never have been written, the authors having been impelled more by the worry that polonium halos 'would cause apparently insuperable geological problems,' than by a thorough grasp of the evidence."* Talbott 1977, quoted in CTM, p. 47 (italics his).
THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING "I have been patiently scanning the 'letters' section of Science since the publication by you and your colleagues of your findings on radiohalos. The silence is deafening--I think it can be interpreted as 'stunned silence' . . Your results will not greatly trouble the engineer, whether he is a mining engineer, a geophysical engineer, or a groundwater engineer. But the impact on the science of geology, in possibly changing the accepted views as to the duration of geologic time, will be felt for many years.
"We are indebted to you and your colleagues for your painstaking observation, the careful wording of your paper, and the courage you have manifested in presenting evidence that contravenes the conventional wisdom of the geological profession." *Raphael G. Kazmann, Professor of Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University, 1977 letter to R. V. Gentry, quoted in CTM, p. 8o.
FUNDAMENTAL INFORMATION "Thank you for the reprints. It is apparent that you and your coworkers are unearthing fundamental information which will be difficult, if not impossible, to include in the accepted, uniformitarian-evolutionary, scheme." *Raphael G. Kazmann, Professor of Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University, 1971 letter to R. V. Gentry, quoted in CTM, p. 80.
THE PROBLEM WITH POLONIUM "The polonium halos, especially those produced by Polonium 218, are the center of a mystery. The half-life of the isotope is only 3 minutes. Yet the halos have been found in granitic rocks. . in all parts of the world, including Scandinavia, India, Canada, and the United States. The difficulty arises from observation that there is no identifiable precursor to the polonium; it appears to be primordial polonium. If so, how did the surrounding rocks crystallize rapidly enough so that there were crystals available ready to be imprinted with radiohalos by alpha particles from Po? This would imply almost instantaneous cooling and crystallization of these granitic minerals, and we know of no mechanisms that will remove heat so rapidly; the rocks are supposed to have cooled over millennia, if not tens of millennia." *R.G. Kazmann, 1979, summary of R. V. Gentry's symposium presentation at Louisiana State University, April 1978, quoted in CTM, p. 81.
THE AGES BECOME MILLENNIA "If isotope ratios are to be used as a basis for geologic dating, then presently accepted ages may be too high by a factor of 10,000, admitting the possibility that the ages of the formation are to be measured in millennia. Thus ages of the entire stratigraphic column may contain epochs less that 0.-1% the duration of those now accepted and found in the literature."*R. G. Kazmann, 1979, op. cit., quoted in CTM, p. 82.
GOOD AND CORRECTLY REPORTED "I do not believe that Gentry's contentions can be regarded as of a 'rather startling nature'. However, some of his experimental findings (like those of his predecessors) are quite difficult to understand, and the ultimate explanations could be interesting and even surprising. Many persons probably do not take them seriously, believing either that there is something wrong with the reported findings or that the explanations are to be found in simple phenomena which have been overlooked or discarded. . I believe it can be said that Gentry is honest and sincere, and that his scientific work is good and correctly reported. It would be very hard to believe that all, or any, of it could have been fabricated." *Truman P. Kohman, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie-Mellon University, quoted in CTM, p. 238.
"His [Gentry's] conclusions are startling and shake the very foundations of radiochemistry and geochemistry. Yet he has been so meticulous in his experimental work, and so restrained in his interpretations, that most people take his work seriously. . I think most people believe, as I do, that some unspectacular explanation will eventually be found for the anomalous halos and that orthodoxy will turn out to be right after all. Mean while Gentry should be encouraged to keep rattling this skeleton in our closet for all it is worth." *Edward Anders, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, quoted in CTM, p. 238.
SHAKE THE VERY FOUNDATIONS
DONE THOROUGHLY *We made sure that [Gentry] carried out his investigations very thoroughly . . Therefore his data deserve serious attention." *G.N. Flerov, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow, quoted In CTM, p. 238.
PROBABLY NO NEED TO DOUBT "The very careful and time taking examinations of Dr. Gentry are indeed very interesting and extremely difficult to explain. But I think there is no need to doubt 'currently accepted cosmological models of Earth formation'. . Anyhow, there is a very interesting and essential question and you could discuss it, perhaps with cautious restrictions against so weighty statements like the one above in quotes. It would be interesting and good if more scientists would have more knowledge of the problems." Paul RamDohr, Emeritus Professor of Mineralogy, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, quoted In CTM, p. 238.
THOROUGHNESS, CARE, AND EFFORT "I can attest to the thoroughness, care and effort which Gentry puts into his work. . In a general way these puzzling pieces of information might result from unsuspected species or phenomena in nuclear physics, from unusual geological or geochemical processes, a even from cosmological phenomena. Or they (or one of them) might arise from some unsuspected, trivial and uninteresting cause. All that one can say is that they do present a puzzle (or several puzzles) and that there is some reasonable probability that the answer will be scientifically interesting." *E.H. Taylor, Chemistry Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, quoted in CTM, p. 238.
WORLD'S LEADING AUTHORITY "Mr. Anderson is correct when he states in his letter that Dr. Robert Gentry is the world's leading authority on the observation and measurement of anomalous radio-active haloes. Because of his recognized capabilities, Dr. Gentry's research was funded by the Foundation during the early 1970's. " Francis S Johnson, Assistant Director, National Science Foundation, 1982 letter to Robert S. Walker, U.S. Representative from Tennessee, quoted In CTM, p. 255.
NEARLY 20 SCIENCE REPORTS "Mr. Gentry has been a guest Scientist at ORNL [Oak Ridge National Laboratory] for the past 13 years. During this time, he has published nearly 20 scientific reports, some of which have received national recognition."Jim Sasser, U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 1982 letter to WS. Hefelfinger, Department of Energy, quoted in CTM, p. 261.
MEETING THE SCIENTISTS "In my recent defense of Act 590 of 1981 (better known as the Creation-Science Law), I had the opportunity to became acquainted with several of the world's leading scientists who testified on behalf of both the State and the American Civil Liberties Union. Of all the scientists involved on both sides of the lawsuit, no one impressed me any more than Robert Gentry, who for the past several years has been a guest scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee." Steve Clark, Attorney General, State of Arkansas, 1982 letter to Dale Bumper, U.S Senator from Arkansas, quoted in CTM, p. 172, 265.
OUTSIDE MOST EXPERTISE "Robert V. Gentry is widely regarded as one of the most conscientious and scholarly creationists. His research on radioactive halos is in a field outside the expertise of most scientist." Karl Fezer, Concord College, In a 1985 statement, quoted in CTM, p. 182.
WHAT EVOLUTIONISTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE RESEARCH OF ROBERT GENTRY
Gentry's research collapses evolutionary theory like a house of cards. There is no possible way in which evolutionists can fit an instant creation of earth's basement rocks into either their stellar cosmologies or their theories of the origin and evolution of life on our planet
The evolutionists ought to have solid replies to Gentry's work, but they lack them. Here are some of their comments:
"It was realized very early that their existence ("the existence of polonium halos") would cause apparently insuperable geological problems since the relevant polonium half-life is on the order of minutes. Polonium halos would require that the polonium atoms become part of the inclusion within minutes of the formation of the polonium and that in this very short time the polonium must be so far removed from the parent uranium mass that its presence or location is no longer evident." *Moazed, et. al., "Polonium Radiohalos: An Alternate Interpretation," in Science, Vol. 180, 1973, p. 1272, quoted in CTM, p. 46.
ALL GEOCHRONOLOGY INTO DOUBT "I was dismayed by Raphael G. Katzmann's conclusion in his review of a symposium on 'Cosmochronology, Geochronology, and the Neutrino Crisis' (Time: 'In Full Measure,' Eos trans; AGU, 60, (2), pp. 21-22, January 9,1979) that essentially casts in doubt the entire science of geochronology, on the basis of an absurd interpretation of the origin of "polonium" halos in minerals observed by Robert Gentry."*Paul Damon, University of Arizona, in letter to a professional Journal, quoted in CTM, p. 84.
IMPLICATIONS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT "Ever since the discovery of Po haloes in old mica (Henderson and Sparks 1939) the problem of their origin has remained essentially unsolved. Two suggestions have been made (Henderson 1939; Gentry et al. 1973), but neither carries immediate conviction. These suggestions are examined critically and in detail, and the difficulties attached to the acceptance of either are identified. Because these two suggestions appear to exhaust the logical possibilities of explanation, it is tempting to admit that one of them must be basically correct, but whoever would make this admission must be fortified by credulity of a high order." Norman Feather, in his "The Unsolved Problem of Po-Halos in Precambrian Biotite and Other Old Minerals," in Communications of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1978, quoted in CTM, p. 70.
THUMBS DOWN "The most important criticism of the proposal did not, however, have to do with super-heavy elements detection. The criticism stemmed from the general nature of the proposed research on halos. The principal investigator has been collecting specimens, examining them petrographically, and reporting their morphology and mineral occurrence for a number of years. The panel considered that these descriptive contributions have been of some value, but felt that more of the same approach has little potential to contribute something new." *John Hower, Program Director for Geochemistry at National Science Foundation, 1977 letter to Gentry, quoted in CTM, pp. 76-77.
WHY THUMBS DOWN "On the plus side, Gentry is . . probably the world's foremost expert on the observation and measurement of radiohalos. He does his own work, and his financial requirements are quite modest. He is remarkably tenacious in the pursuit of certain observations which are difficult to explain. His further work will result in publications. . Gentry makes reference in the proposal, and has mentioned in more detail in some of his writings, that the polonium halos must be "primordial polonium" which he takes to mean that the polonium was created, along with the host rocks, . in a Bible-like instant of creation."* "On the plus side, Gentry is . . probably the world's foremost expert on the observation and measurement of radiohalos. He does his own work, and his financial requirements are quite modest. He is remarkably tenacious in the pursuit of certain observations which are difficult to explain. His further work will result in publications. . Gentry makes reference in the proposal, and has mentioned in more detail in some of his writings, that the polonium halos must be "primordial polonium" which he takes to mean that the polonium was created, along with the host rocks, . in a Bible-like instant of creation."* 1979 National Science Foundation rejection of Gentry research proposal, quoted in CTM, pp. 80, 81.
WE HAVE NO ANSWER "And also in Gentry's work, he's proposed a very tiny mystery which is balanced on the other side by an enormous amount of evidence. And I think it's important to know what the answer to that little mystery is. But I don't think you can take one little fact for which we now have no answer, and try to balance, say that equals a preponderance of evidence on the other side. That's just not quite the way the scales tip." *Brant Dalyrymple, Testimony at Arkansas Creation Trial, December 1981, quoted in CTM, p. 122.
THE PROBLEM IS—"Polonium-218 is derived in this occasion from radon-222. And what he has found is that the polonium halos, and this is what he claims to have found are the polonium-218 halos, but not radon-222 halos. And therefore, he says that the polonium could not have come from the decay of radium, therefore it could not have come from the normal decay change [sic, chains].
And he says, how did it get there? And then he says that the only way it could have gotten there unsupported by radon-222 decay is to have been primordial polonium, that is polonium that was created at the time the solar system was created, or the universe.
Well, the problem with that is polonium-218 has a half-life of only about three minutes, I believe it is. So that if you have a granitic body, a rock that comes from the melt, that contains this mica, and it cools down, it takes millions of years for a body like that to cool.
So that by the time the body cooled, all the polonium would have decayed, since it has an extremely short half-life. Therefore, there would be no polonium in the body to cause the polonium halos.
So what he saying, this is primordial polonium; therefore, the granite mass in which it occurs could not have cooled slowly; therefore, it must have been created by fiat, instantly." *Brant Dalyrymple, Testimony at Arkansas Creation Trial, December 1981, quoted in CTM, pp. 125-126.
I SEE NO LOGICAL REASON "The exact way in which the enigmatic Po halos were formed is not yet known. The Po halos are, I'm afraid, one of science's abundant tiny mysteries. As a scientist, I am confident that the halos will eventually be explained as the result of natural processes. Certainly, I see no logical reason whatsoever to seek explanations outside of physical processes, or to entertain for even a moment Gentry's creationist model, which requires us to suspend the laws of physics and chemistry, to call upon intervention by an unknown and unknowable supernatural agent." *Brant Dalrymple, "Radiometric Dating and the Age of the Earth: A Reply to 'Scientific' Creationism,' symposium presentation at 1982 session of American Association for the Advancement of Science, quoted in CTM, p. 177.
PROBABLY JUST A TRICKY POINT "Supposing that the results of Gentry are confirmed, what will it mean for theory? I do not think it will mean any radical changes in geology or cosmology. It is much more likely that the explanation will be some tricky point in nuclear physics or nuclear chemistry that the experts have overlooked."*Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, quoted in CTM, p. 236.
A MINOR MYSTERY "Mr. Gentry's findings were published almost ten years ago and have been the subject of some discussion in the scientific community. The discoveries have not, however, led to the formulation of any scientific hypothesis or theory which would explain a relatively recent inception of the earth or a worldwide flood. Gentry's discovery has been treated as a minor mystery which will eventually be explained. It may deserve further investigation, but the National Science Foundation has not deemed it to be of sufficient import to support further funding."*Judge William Overton, Memorandum Opinion, Little Rock: U.S. District Court, December 1981. [Court decision in Arkansas Creation Trial, December 1981, quoted in CTM, p. 140.]
CONTRARY TO THINKING OF SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY "He is undoubtedly well aware of the findings of the modern science of geochronology. The scientific approach would be to use all these results to his advantage and try to find a compatible explanation . . I regard the reasoning displayed in this manuscript in its present form as unworthy of publication."*Prepublication peer review, 1968, quoted in CTM, p. 39.
ARE OUR THEORIES COMPLETELY WRONG?"Does he mean to imply that current cosmological (and geological) theories are possibly so wrong that all of the events leading from galactic, or even protosolar, nucleosynthesis to the formation of crystalline rock minerals could have taken place in a few minutes?"* 1967 prepublication article review, quoted in CTM, p. 42.
"We find certain rock types in the geologic column that are not being seen to form. . anywhere on earth today. Where can granite be observed forming? . . Herz attributes the formation of anorthosite to . . possibly a great cataclysm . . it is possible that other rock types were created during and following catastrophic events on earth."Edgar B. Heylmun, "Should We Teach Uniformitarianism?" Journal of Geological Education, Vol. 19, January 1971, p. 36.
"This question of the origin of granite is perhaps the most lively of geophysical topics today. But we must realize that it always has been." —Conference of the Geological Society of America, Ottawa, Canada, December 30, 1947.
POLONIUM HALOS A TERRIBLE PROBLEM
THE ORIGIN OF THE
STUDY AND REVIEW
1- Write a brief report on granite, what
it is composed of, where it is found, and its commercial importance.
Obtain a copy of Robert Gentry's book and read in the back chapters
about the Arkansas lawsuit that he appeared at. Did the evolutionists
have a real case at that trial?
3 - Write a brief paragraph or two
describing a radiohalo, why and how it is formed.
Draw a diagram of a polonium 218 halo, and identify the various parts.
What is the special significance of the polonium 218 halo? With the
alpha and beta particles in mind, why can we not find such positive
evidence in the polonium 214 and 210 halos in granite?
In three or four paragraphs, summarize why these polonium 218 halos are
such an astounding discovery.
Draw a diagram of a uranium 238 decay chain, showing which daughter
products produce alpha and which produce beta particles.
Why can we be certain that granite, containing polonium 218 halos, had
to be formed solid within the first three minutes of its existence?
9 - Scientists have tried to form granite
from melted granite. Why can they not do it?
10 - Cite several evidences that Gentry
presents why the polonium 218 halos cannot be secondary, that is, cannot
be daughter products of uranium 238 and caused by uranium 238 decay.
If some small samples of granite have over 10,000 polonium 218 halos
within them, about how many polonium 218 halos would there be in all the
granite undergirding all the continents of our planet? If you are able
to estimate this mathematically, give your conclusion in scientific
Give at least three reasons why granite cannot be an igneous rock, that
is, originally formed from molten material.
13 - Why does Gentry classify granite as
a "Genesis rock"?
Why are the Colorado elliptical polonium 210 halos an evidence of the
Why is the New Mexico zircon analysis a strong evidence for a young age
of the earth?
List 10 of the 21 findings of Robert Gentry, and their implications.
17 - Why is it that no scientist has been able to disprove Gentry's research or his conclusions?
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CHAPTER 6: THE AGE OF THE EARTH