In addition to Robert Gentry's remarkable discovery that the basement rocks of our continents were formed solid within less than three minutes, he also made several other significant discoveries.
CONTENT: Origin of the Earth: 2
Page numbers without book references refer to the book, ORIGIN OF THE EARTH, from which these facts are summarized. An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the set of books this Encyclopedia is based on, only 164 statements are by creationists.
What about molten rock in the earth? As you will recall, a thick layer of granite is underneath all the land on the continents. It is light colored. Beneath it is molten rock (magma). When magma comes to the surface through cracks, it spews out of volcanoes and makes either light-colored rhyolite (which is melted granite which has rehardened) with very small crystals, or black basalt (which is melted gabbro which has rehardened).
Both granite and gabbro are Genesis rocks, formed at Creation. Neither came from molten rock. When they melt and reharden, they change into different rocks with smaller crystals (rhyolite or basalt). Scientists cannot make granite or gabbro, and the reason is simple: Both were created solid, and not formed from molten materials.—p. 27.
Can Po-218 halos be made in the laboratory? It should be easy to do: Just lay a grain of polonium 218 on a rock and let it form a halo in three minutes time. Yet man cannot do it. The problem is that polonium is a gas, and it cannot "be put" anywhere; it just goes where it wants to.
How then did polonium ever get into granite to begin with? How could it penetrate solid, thick granite, and then push itself into solid mica crystals within the granite? First, the gas could not do that. Second, it would have to do it in just a few seconds,—since it only lasts three minutes before it is changed into lead! It would have to enter almost instantaneously, or the halo could not form properly. Much of the halo is formed within a minute and a half.—pp. 27, 29.
The crucial question: secondary origin. Trying to narrow this matter down, Gentry considered all the possibilities, and found four:
1: The polonium entered the granite by itself—but it could not penetrate it in a hundred years, much less than a minute! Keep in mind that the rock had to be solid when the polonium first entered it.
2: A uranium 238 isotope could have already been in that rock—but then the parent isotopes would have had to leave other halos there also. And they are missing.
3: A traveling parent isotope could send out a Po-218 halo as it moved along—but, because the Po-218 halo is made within three minutes, the parent would have left other halos in that area. It could not enter and leave fast enough.
4: A polonium 218 halo could have been in that rock in the very beginning. Then the polonium would be primary—but, if that were true, the rock would have to have been created solid almost instantaneously! That could happen, if the rock were suddenly created solid, with those specks of polonium inside it when it was made.—p. 29.
Gentry decides to find secondary origin halos. Gentry was patient and thorough. The next step was to try and find secondary halos, and see what they looked like. He had written many articles, published in scientific journals, and the angry readers either replied that it was a mystery which would eventually be solved or that, somehow, the Po-218 halos must be secondary.
Gentry answered this in two ways. First, he tested the Po-218 halos with the alpha-recoil technique. Second, he went out and located actual secondary halos to see what they looked like. In the process, he made still more discoveries!—p. 29.
The alpha-recoil technique. This new analytic method has the power to tell with certainty whether any other radioactive substance had ever been in a given location, including near Po-218 halos.
Flowing uranium always left pit damage on the rock, but Gentry found none of it near the Po-218 halos. Therefore they had to be primary!—pp. 29-30.
Additional evidence from fluorite. Gentry not only found Po-218 halos in mica crystals, but he also found them in fluorite. The halo crystals are quite common in both. However, the fluorite crystals do not have the perfect cleavage qualities of mica, and often the halos are found deep within them. This is very significant since there is no way that those halos could be secondary. Checking them with the alpha-recoil technique, he found that no traces of uranium had ever been near those halos.—p. 30.
The right conditions needed. Gentry decided to begin searching for secondary polonium halos. But where would he find them? Three factors were needed: There would have to be uranium flowing nearby; the polonium would have to have something to stick to, and the substance would have to be open enough for uranium seepage to occur.
Gentry found it difficult to find secondary halos; but, eventually, he learned of some uranium mines in Colorado. Ancient wood in those mines had, at some earlier time, been in a water-soaked, gel-like condition, while uranium solutions passed through them.—p. 30.
More discoveries. In that wood, Gentry found secondary halos. Examining them closely, he was startled to find additional evidences of the Flood.
The primary polonium halos, found in granite, had been formed within three minutes after Creation. But these secondary halos, found in wood, were formed at the time of the Flood.
The granite halos demonstrated that Creation occurred very rapidly, while the wood halos showed the rapidity with which the rock strata were laid down by the Flood. This would be understandable; for, during the Flood, sediments would have been laid down very quickly.—pp. 30-31.
Only the Po-210 halo. When the specimens arrived from Colorado, Gentry found large numbers of polonium halos, sometimes over a hundred to the square inch. They came from coalified wood specimens, from trees growing just before the Flood began.
But only Po-210 halos were there, no Po-218 or Po-214 halos. Why was this?
Gentry realized it was another proof of origins. All three halos were in granite, because it had been created solid. But no Po-218 or Po-214 could form in the conditions imposed by the Flood. This is because, while the other two have extremely short half-lives (three minutes or less), Po-210 has a half-life of 138.4 days. Although there was abundant uranium in that area, the Po-218 and Po-214 made their halos in the water, as soon as they were released from the uranium. But the Po-210 was able to stick somewhere long enough to make its halo.—p. 31.
Elliptical halos. Most of the halos in the wood were elliptical in shape. Why? As more sediments were deposited overhead, they squashed the gel-like wood somewhat, as it was compressed under more and more weight. In contrast, the halos in the solid granite were always round.—p. 31.
One flood or several? Further study revealed that all the samples were squashed in the same manner, revealing that only one flood had caused them all.—p. 31.
Evolutionary theory of strata disproved. That fact is very important, since these wood samples all came from three different rock strata, supposedly millions of years apart in age. According to evolutionary teaching, there were 119 million years between the three strata!—pp. 31-32.
Dual Po-210 halos. The presence of dual halos (one superimposed over another) revealed that the Flood continued laying down sediments for several years, as the washing back and forth occurred. Clearly there was deformation for several years.—p. 32.
Wood specimen conclusions. It was clear that, instead of requiring long ages to change wood into coal, it had occurred only a few thousand years ago.—p. 32.
A falsification test. After being met for several years with denials from evolutionists that he could be right, Gentry issued a challenge. He challenged any scientist or laboratory to change molten material into granite or produce one Po-218 halo on just one piece of granite.
But the establishment said they were not going to bother to do it. (Gentry later learned that they had tried, and failed.)—pp. 32-33.
Additional evidence for an early age. Robert Gentry later did research on rock cores from a hole in a granite formation in New Mexico which was nearly three miles deep (15,000 feet [4,572 m]). Core sections were taken at five different depths. Each contained small samples of radioactive zircon.—p. 33.
What would zircon analysis prove? If the world actually were millions of years old, all the lead in the zircon crystals would have diffused out ages ago. But if the granite were only 6,000 years old, then most of the lead would still be in it—even at those high temperatures.—p. 33.
Results of zircon analysis. Gentry discovered that essentially none of the lead had diffused out, even from the bottom core samples. This was striking evidence for a young earth.—p. 33.
Helium analysis. At the same time, Gentry checked for loss of helium from the samples. When uranium and thorium decay, they leave helium behind. If the world were only 6,000 years old, there might still be some helium left, which had not seeped out.—p. 33.
Results of helium analysis. Gentry found that amazingly high amounts of helium were still in the zircon samples—even though the temperature at the bottom of the hole was 386.6oF. [197oC].—p. 33.
Has there been a change in the decay rates? A question which arises is whether the decay rates have changed. Gentry found that the halos were always the same size, even though samples were taken from all over the world. This means the polonium decay rates are very reliable. We can know the world was created within less than three minutes.
The appearance of age factor should be kept in mind. At the time of the Creation, everything would be made in full-grown condition. Just as trees and chickens were created full size, so all the varied radioactive minerals were made at various stages of decay.—pp. 33, 35.
No uranium in the centers. Gentry found four other evidences that Po-218 is primary.
First, there is no uranium residue at their centers. It has such a long half-life, that if it had once been present—it would still be there, actively decaying.—p. 35.
Lead 206 / lead 207 ratio. Second, the lead ratio in the central grain reveals that only primary polonium had ever been there.—p. 35.
Unique ring structures. Third, the number of rings and their structures reveal that the polonium at the center was primary and not secondary.—pp. 35-36. Sunburst pattern missing. Fourth, the sunburst pattern—always present when uranium is present—is missing from the Po-218 halos, so they must be primary.
Within the polonium grains and halos is to be found the proof that the message they tell us is true: The granite foundation of the continents had to be made in solid form in less than three minutes.—p. 36.
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Would you like a quick overview of these Gentry discoveries? Go to the next topic in this series: BRIEF SUMMARY OF GENTRY'S FINDINGS