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Creation's Tiny Mystery
Appendix: Response to Wise's Comments

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Par. 14.—Wise makes a clear, unequivocal statement of fact when he says, "No satisfactory, naturalistic theory has yet been proposed for the origin of the polonium halos." He then rehashes a number of plausibility arguments, all of which I have rebutted in the open scientific literature (Gentry, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1986; Gentry et al., 1973, 1974, 1976), in an attempt to deny the validity of his own statement. For example, the insinuation that polonium halos occur only along cracks or conduits is denied by the photographic evidence even in Henderson's reports as well as in my own reports (Gentry, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984; Gentry et al., 1974) and especially in the color photographs in my recent book, Creation's Tiny Mystery (Gentry, 1988). In an effort to promote a water-related origin of polonium halos, Wise cites someone else's opinion to the effect that all of the minerals containing polonium halos can be produced hydrothermally in the laboratory. This idea is, of course, a widely held belief of uniformitarian geology. But it lacks experimental confirmation as far as reproducing macroscopic-sized actual crystals are concerned. For example, for many years I have challenged geologists to produce a hand-sized specimen of biotite—one of the more prominent halo-containing minerals that is presumed to be of hydrothermal origin—as a means of verifying that biotite can be produced hydrothermally according to the conventional evolutionary view (Gentry, 1979). Almost a decade has passed, and no evidence exists to indicate such a synthesis has been accomplished. So there is no scientific basis for claiming that natural crystals of biotite are of hydrothermal origin, or more specifically, that all polonium-halo-containing minerals are of hydrothermal origin.

Par. 15.—On another matter, Wise's contention that the search for polonium halos has been biased toward areas where uranium halos are found is untrue. To be sure, Wise heard me describe the occurrence of polonium halos in the distinctly uranium-poor White Mountain [p. 333] (New Hampshire) granites during my technical presentation at the 1986 International Conference on Creationism. For some reason it appears he has overlooked that information in his present evaluation.

Par. 16.—Here it is most important to understand that Wise raises a question about what does not exist. On the other hand, my experimental work on radioactive halos deals with what does exist and the problems that one encounters in trying to explain these halos on a uniformitarian basis. Wise faults me for not explaining the halos that do not exist. In this case, I see no reason to attempt to explain something that does not exist. Moreover, Wise's association of the other polonium isotopes with primordial polonium is something that is based on uniformitarian views of earth history and in no way discounts the creation of primordial polonium in primordial rocks. In particular, each chemical element in the chart of the nuclides lists both naturally occurring isotopes as well as those which have been identified in nuclear accelerator experiments. Modern astrophysics attributes both the naturally occurring stable and long-lived radioactive isotopes—such as U-238 and Th-232—in this chart with primordial nuclides produced in stellar nucleosynthesis. Doubtless some chemical elements in stars are produced by nucleosynthetic reactions, but I have yet to see the scientific evidence which justifies assuming that the origin of Earth's chemical elements can be traced to stellar nucleosynthesis. Thus, I find no rational basis for accepting the modern astrophysical concept of primordial isotopes.

Par, 17.—Ion microprobe analyses of polonium halo centers have revealed scientific evidence supporting an independent origin for the polonium responsible for halos (Gentry, 1971; Gentry et al.,1974). By way of further explanation, the isotopic composition of lead derived from uranium decay—meaning the Pb-206/Pb-207 ratio—must always be considerably less than the activity ratio for U-238/U-235, which at the present time is 21.8. Since Po-210 halos in coalified wood originated from uranium decay, it was expected that their centers would exhibit Pb-206/Pb-207 ratios consistent with uranium decay, and ion microprobe analyses confirmed this was the case (Gentry et al.,1976). But when the same technique was applied to polonium halos in minerals, I found ratios greater than 22, which is too high to associate with uranium decay (Gentry, 1971). Such isotope ratios identify a new type of lead, which is distinct from the isotopic composition of any type of common or radiogenic lead known heretofore. This is the scientific evidence which uniquely identifies polonium halos in rocks as having originated with "parentless" polonium—polonium that originated independent of uranium daughter products.

These extraordinary lead isotope ratios, when combined with the absence of evidence for secondary transport of uranium daughters (Gentry, 1967; 1968) as well as the evidence for geometric design in the spectacle halo (Gentry et al.,1974), provide a valid scientific basis for associating polonium halos in granites and other rocks with primordial radioactivity.

Conclusion.—A close examination of Wise's paper fails to reveal the "serious geological problems" relative to my creation model and granites being created rocks. Specifically, polonium halos can easily be studied by anyone who has the desire to obtain the minerals containing them. Their widespread and pervasive occurrence in granitic rocks and pegmatites assures scientists all over the world easy access to study the geology in whatever country they are found. The claim that laboratory studies in granitic texture have virtually falsified my theory of created granites is contradicted by experimental evidence from the laboratory of nature which shows that a granite melt cools to form rhyolite, not granite. Hence the idea that granites "metamorphose fossiliferous sediments" is nothing more than a deduction based on the erroneous view that granites formed from a cooling melt. Finally, it is one thing to conclude, as Wise does, that polonium halos "may be uranium- (and possibly thorium-) derived and hydrothermally transported," but it is another thing to virtually ignore, as Wise also does, the published scientific evidence to the contrary.

Readers genuinely desiring pertinent information about my creation model—and not what others speculate about my model—should carefully study my position as stated in the appendix and the discussion of the supporting scientific evidence in my book Creation's Tiny Mystery (Gentry, 1988).

References

Gentry, Robert V. 1970. Time: measured responses. EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 60:474.

__________ 1988. Creation's tiny mystery. Second edition. Earth Science Associates, Knoxville, TN 37912-0067.




References cited in this response are found on pp. 353-356.

Note also, the creation model referred to in the final paragraph is A Tentative Creation Model. It is printed separately on pages 325-326 of this book.

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