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Creation's Tiny Mystery
Appendix: Letter from Arkansas Attorney General

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STEVE CLARK
ATTORNEY GENERAL
STATE OF ARKANSAS
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
JUSTICE BUILDING, LITTLE ROCK 72201
              (501) 371-2007
 

The Honorable Dale Bumpers
United States Senator
New Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Senator Bumpers:

In my recent defense of Act 590 of 1981 (better known as the Creation-Science Law), I had the opportunity to become 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 anymore than Robert Gentry, who for the past several years has been a guest scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This letter is written to bring to your attention Mr. Gentry's work and to enlist your aid on his behalf.

Mr. Gentry's testimony at trial concerned the presence of radioactive polonium halos in granite. The significance of these halos is that their presence in the granites is fundamentally inconsistent with the conventional wisdom that the granites underlying the earth's structure cooled over thousands of years. Mr. Gentry is acknowledged as the world's foremost authority on this particular subspecialty.

From every indication available to me, Gentry's work at the National Laboratory has been of a uniformly high quality and has added significantly to the progress made at that facility. Furthermore, as a guest scientist, Gentry has been paid only $1.00 per year by the government. (A college of which he is a faculty member has paid his salary.) Thus, the government has been able to avail itself of his services essentially free of charge.

However, Mr. Gentry has recently learned that his contract as a guest scientist will not be renewed for next year. As one admittedly viewing these events from afar, it appears to me that Gentry is being penalized for his generous offer of assistance to help the State of Arkansas and his own religious beliefs. Bob Gentry is very frank and forthright in stating his religious beliefs, of that there can be no doubt. His religious beliefs are, however, irrelevant to the work which he performs at Oak Ridge. His work in studying granites was recently quoted in the Congressional Record in connection with a discussion of possible sites for storage of low level radioactive wastes. [p. 266] Obviously, this is an important issue and one on which Gentry has been on the cutting edge.

I want to ask for your assistance to assure that Robert Gentry will not be a victim of religious discrimination at the hands of his supervisors. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, although operated by a private corporation under a contract, is, as I understand it, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Energy. I solicit your help in contacting the Energy Department through appropriate channels and requesting that the decision to not renew Gentry's contract be reviewed personally by the Secretary of Energy to assure that this decision was based solely upon the merits of his work, and not upon the subjective prejudices of his supervisors. It will be a sad day, indeed, if the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion and the supposed freedom of scientific inquiry have both become hollow promises for men like Bob Gentry.

If I can supply you with any additional information regarding this matter, Please call upon me at your convenience.

Yours truly,

STEVE CLARK

SC/clr

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