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
[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.
Several credible alternate hypotheses advanced to explain Po halos:
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.
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.
Modification of halos by heat, pressure, and chemical change during
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.)
- Problems with Interpretation of Po Halos
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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]
Discussion of Challenge
Nonsense for several reasons
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.
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?
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.
Wrong in saying granites do not cool from a liquid melt
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]
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.
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
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.
Gentry's challenge is silly; synthesis test is
absurd and inconclusive; hypothesis is perfectly ridiculous and
unscientific, ignoring virtually the entire body of geological
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.
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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