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Creation's Tiny Mystery
Appendix: Dalyrymple's Letter to Wirth

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Gentry Responds to Dalrymple's Letter
to Kevin Wirth

Dalrymple's Letter Outlined Along With
Gentry's Comments to Each Point

  1. [Gentry's] hypothesis is unscientific because it assumes fiat creation of the earth and a worldwide flood, according to Genesis.

        Gentry: In his talk at the AAAS symposium at Santa Barbara Dalrymple referred to science as ". . . that magnificent field of objective inquiry whose only purpose is to decipher the history and laws of the physical universe. . ." A "field of objective inquiry" implies that scientists are searching for the truth. If Dalrymple is really looking for the truth, he has no logical basis for a priori excluding the possibility of creation. Scientists should keep an open mind to all possibilities and make decisions on the weight of the evidence.

  2. Several credible alternate hypotheses advanced to explain Po halos:

    1. Erasure of inner halos by alpha-radiation from another isotope, such as Po-210

          Gentry: I have shown (Gentry 1978a and 1978b) that erasure of inner halo rings occurs at extremely high doses when reversal effects are apparent. This is an extremely rare occurrence that is easily discernible by microscopic observation and can be confirmed by scanning electron microscope x-ray fluorescence methods which show the reversed region is characterized by a calcium and potassium inversion anomaly. There is no basis for claiming erasure of inner halo rings has caused misidentification of Po halos.

    2. Migration of U-series elements through rocks by diffusion (secondary hypothesis)

          Gentry: I have investigated the hypothesis of the secondary origin of polonium halos in granites from uranium daughter activity and have shown (Gentry 1968; Gentry 1976a; Gentry 1984a) that this hypothesis has no basis in fact. Dalrymple presents no new data to support his comment; so it must be assumed that this comment is similar to the one he made at the Arkansas trial. When Attorney Williams asked whether he had done any investigations to support such comments, he responded negatively. It appears he is doing the same in his correspondence to Kevin Wirth.

    3. Modification of halos by heat, pressure, and chemical change during metamorphism

          Gentry: Halos occur in many mica samples which have not undergone metamorphism of any kind; so it is useless to object that halos have been modified for that reason. Proof of this is demonstrated by the fact that Po halos occur in the same mineral specimens with well-defined uranium and thorium halos, which show no modification of their ring structure. (See, for example, Gentry 1968; Gentry 1971b; Gentry 1973a; Gentry 1974a; Gentry 1978; Gentry 1984a.)

  3. Problems with Interpretation of Po Halos

    1. Coloration reversals due to saturation effects

          Gentry: Years ago I showed (Gentry 1973a and Gentry 1974a) that Po halos exist in all stages of coloration, ranging from those which are barely discernible to those which are densely colored. Saturation effects, if they were to exist at all, would only occur with those halos that were densely colored. There is no basis to the claim that saturation effects are a cause for misinterpreting Po halos.

    2. Attenuation of alpha-particle ranges by radioactive inclusion [p. 300]

          Gentry: At the Arkansas trial, my colleague admitted he had read virtually none of my technical reports on radioactive halos. His suggestion that alpha-particles may be attenuated by the finite size of the Po halo radiocenter suggests that he still hasn't read my reports, or if he has, he hasn't read them very carefully. Had he done so, he would have learned that Po halo radiocenters in micas are typically extremely small, about just one or two micrometers in size. Uranium halos with radiocenters this small show excellent definition of all the uranium halo rings because there is virtually no attenuation of the alpha particles. Since the energies of a number of the uranium-series daughters are the same as for the Po halos, it likewise follows there is virtually no attenuation of the alpha particles by Po-halo inclusions.

    3. Dose dependence of halo radii

          Gentry: I have reported on a long series of helium-ion irradiations of several minerals and documented in detail the dependence of coloration on the alpha dose (Gentry 1973a and Gentry 1974a). The coloration bands measured at various doses and energies were then shown to correspond almost exactly to the measured values of the corresponding halo radii. Thus there is no uncertainty about Po-halo identification relating to the alpha dose.

    4. Lack of data on relation of energy and distance in the various mineral types in which halos are found

          Gentry: The same comments apply here as in (C) above with the additional statement that the reports mentioned contained exactly the information on the relationship of energy and distance that Dalrymple seems to feel is in question. Again I ask: Has he even read my reports?

    5. Unknown effects of crystal imperfections and chemical impurities

          Gentry: As Dalrymple well knows, there are crystals of various minerals, which are well-nigh perfect and others which have many crystallographic imperfections and chemical impurities. I have made it a practice to perform my halo studies using good mineral specimens. It is a simple matter to avoid the poor specimens. Moreover, I should again point out that Po halos are found in the same mineral specimens with well-defined uranium and thorium halos. Crystal imperfections did not affect the structure of the uranium and thorium halos, neither did they affect the structure of the Po halos.

    6. Conclusion of Interpretation — Tiny Mystery
      Tiny — because halos are problem of minor importance
      Mysterious — explanation is uncertain
      This explains why few scientists bother with them.

          Gentry: The net result of Dalrymple's evaluation is that Po halos in granites are only a tiny mystery. To him and many others, they may be only this, but the fact remains they cannot be explained on the basis of uniformitarian evolutionary principles. Something so tiny should already have found a rational explanation within the realm of conventional science, if indeed one was to ever have been found. No, more than that, since the secondary origin of Po halos from uranium is the favorite candidate for explaining Po halos in granites, we must ask why no one has artificially produced a Po-218 halo in granite. The radioactivity necessary to do the experiment is available as is the rock itself So what is the barrier in reproducing a tiny mystery such as a Po-218 halo if indeed it can be done by man? I suggest the Po halos are mysterious only to those who wish to exclude the activity of the Creator of the universe to His own creation. Perhaps scientists should awaken to the possibility that the Creator is attempting to attract their attention by this paradoxical, tiny mystery that continues to confound giant intellects in science. [p. 301]

  4. Discussion of Challenge

    1. Nonsense for several reasons

      1. Synthesis of hand-sized piece of granite would neither prove nor disprove hypothesis.

            Gentry: As has been pointed out a number of times in this book, confirmed evolutionists have essentially dug their own graves by insisting on the universal application of the uniformitarian principle. If evolutionary theory is right, the Precambrian granites formed numerous times over the vast expanse of time during which the earth was evolving, and this was presumably being done solely by the action of the same physical laws that are operating today. It is inescapable, therefore, that it should be possible to reproduce today by design what nature presumably did just by chance.

      2. Problems in crystallizing igneous rocks in laboratory are a) due to scale; i.e. nucleation, kinetics, time, and volume; and b) hand-sized piece is a problem because it would involve immense and costly apparatus.

            Gentry: As we showed in Chapter 9, Dalrymple's contention that he knows why it has thus far been impossible to synthesize a granite is based on his own view of Earth's history, namely, that the granites crystallized slowly over geological time. There we also noted that if nature was supposedly successful in overcoming the obstacles of nucleation and kinetics numerous instances during the course of geological time, there is no reason why these obstacles should not be surmounted in the modern scientific laboratory. He refuses to admit that the impossibility lies, not in technological factors, such as those he mentioned, but in the fact that the Precambrian granites are the Genesis rocks of the earth, made by the Creator in such a way it is impossible to reproduce them without His intervention. Finally, at the Arkansas trial Dalrymple admitted that geologists had failed to synthesize even a tiny piece of granite. So why does he now claim that the problem in granite synthesis is related to its size?

    2. Absurd because:

      1. Unnecessary to falsify hypothesis because it is already proven false

            Gentry: My hypothesis is that the Precambrian are the Genesis rocks of the earth, created by God in such a way that they cannot be duplicated without His intervention. Dalrymple apparently is claiming my view of these rocks has already been proven false. Where is the proof? There is no proof! What Dalrymple calls a disproof of my views relates to his flawed comparison of the Kilauea-Iki lava specimens with granites, as was discussed in Chapter 10.

      2. Wrong in saying granites do not cool from a liquid melt

        1. Igneous textures are distinct and can be duplicated in laboratory using rocks. Igneous rocks with igneous textures observed forming in nature; e.g., (1) Kilauea Iki lava and (2) lava flows — texture virtually identical to granites.

              Gentry: This is the so-called "proof" that my hypothesis is wrong. The inference of these comments is that there is a lot of similarity between the Kilauea-Iki samples and granites. True, Dalrymple claims that only the texture is the same, but in Chapter 10 we showed that only one aspect of the texture is similar—the intergranular structure—whereas the grain size is considerably different between the lava lake samples and the granites. Moreover, we also showed in Chapter 10 that the samples are grossly different in bulk composition and mineralogy, meaning there is little similarity between the Kilauea-Iki lava lake samples and the granites. [p. 302]

        2. Sequence of crystallization of minerals in granite agrees with the order predicted by thermodynamic calculations and laboratory phase equilibria studies for minerals crystallizing from rock melt of granitic composition.

              Gentry: In Chapter 10, I pointed out that my creation model envisions a primordial liquid as a precursor of the Precambrian granites. But there is nothing in my model which prohibits the Precambrian granites from having a sequence of crystallization that agrees with thermodynamic calculations. So Dalrymple's argument that granites came from a melt is no argument at all against the Precambrian granites being among the primordial Genesis rocks of our planet.

    3. Naive because Gentry claims Precambrian consists entirely of "primordial" granites, overlaid by stratified rocks of the world deposited by flood. Actually, Precambrian consists of every type of rock including lava flows, glacial deposits, and sedimentary rocks. Oldest rocks in world (3.5 - 3.8 b.y.) are shallow marine sedimentary rocks. These are intruded by younger granitic rocks.

          Gentry: Here Dalrymple argues against a "straw man" creation model. In Chapter 10 I explained in detail that my creation model is much broader and envisions many more possibilities for the formation of various rock types than Dalrymple considers to be the case. In particular I explained that the Genesis record of creation week and the subsequent events of the world-wide flood encompass, in addition to the primordial created rocks such as the Precambrian granites, the formation of pristine sedimentary rocks, lava-like rocks, the intrusion of granite-like rocks into pristine sedimentary rocks, and almost unlimited possibilities of mixing these various rock types with secondary rocks that were formed at the time of the flood.

      Dalrymple also refers to Precambrian glacial material, apparently for the purpose of attempting to cast doubt on my creation model. The reader should understand that just because geologists designate something as Precambrian doesn't automatically mean it has any connection with the primordial events of Day 1, or for that matter, of creation week. In the case of the Precambrian granites it does have a connection; in other cases it may not. Investigation on a case-by-case basis is needed before it can be decided whether something called "Precambrian" can be connected to the events of creation week.

      So the mere existence of what Dalrymple refers to as Precambrian glacial deposits does nothing to detract from the solid identification of the Precambrian granites as the primordial rocks of our planet. I should also remark that whatever it is that Dalrymple is classifying as glacial material may or may not ultimately prove to be glacial material at all. Additional information about my creation model is given in Chapter 14. That model includes the possibility that some granites may have been created on Day 1 adjacent to and immediately after some primordial or pristine "sedimentary" rocks were created. Perhaps this is what Dalrymple refers to as granites intruding ancient sedimentary rocks.

  5. Conclusion

    1. Gentry's challenge is silly; synthesis test is absurd and inconclusive; hypothesis is perfectly ridiculous and unscientific, ignoring virtually the entire body of geological knowledge.

          Gentry: I agree that my discoveries upset virtually the entire body of geological knowledge. My colleague is obviously concerned, as many other scientists have been over the past 20 years, because of the implications of my research. The falsification test puts evolutionists on the defensive, and naturally a human reaction is to recoil with negative rhetoric. The important point to be emphasized is that [p. 303] instead of relegating the phenomenon of polonium radiohalos to the realm of anomalies, scientists should admit that the evidence exists and deal with it objectively.

    2. Science is not required to respond to such a challenge, and the fact that Gentry's proposal has been ignored does not entitle him to any claim to victory.

          Gentry: Science deals with reality. Polonium halos in granites are real—they will not disappear because evolutionists ignore them. I have not claimed victory—only the discovery of irrefutable evidence for creation.

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