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No. 25: Jan-Feb 1983

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Three "proofs" of a young earth

Responding to letters published in the June 1982 issue of Physics Today that insisted (some, very emotionally) that no evidence exists for a very young earth, Robert V. Gentry summarized three kinds of evidence that certainly seem to undermine current dating schemes.

  1. Halos produced by the alpha particles emitted by Po218 are found in granite rocks in many areas. Yet, the half-life of Po218 is only 3 minutes. Since the Po218 has no identifiable pre-cursors in the rock,

    "...how did the surrounding rocks crystalize rapidly enough so that there were crystals available ready to be imprinted with radiohalos by alpha-particles from Po218 ? This would imply almost instantaneous cooling and crystallization of these granitic minerals -- and we know of no mechanism that will remove heat so rapidly; the rocks are supposed to have cooled over millennia, if not tens of millennia."

  2. In coalified wood dated as older than 200 million years, the ratio between U238 and Pb206 should be low. It is actually very high.

    "Thus ages of the entire stratigraphic column may contain epochs less than 0.001% the duration of those now accepted and found in the literature."

  3. Diffusion calculations insist that Pb in zircon crystals found in deep granite cores at 313C should diffuse out of the crystals at the rate of 1% in 300,000 years. No loss of Pb can be detected at all. Therefore, the granite must be younger than 300,000 years.

(Gentry, Robert V.; "Creationism Discussion Continued," Physics Today, 35: 13, October 1982.)

Comment. Scientists admit that Gentry's work raises questions but apparently would rather live with the anomalies than with the thought of a young earth!

From Science Frontiers #25, JAN-FEB 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss