The Creation Explanation
|The Age of the Earth|
Radioactive Halos and Instantaneous Creation
Another evidence from radioactivity that is difficult to reconcile with a great age for the earth comes from the studies of radioactive halos by Robert V. Gentry.42 These are spherically shaped zones of radiation damage in rock crystals surrounding microscopic inclusions of certain radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium, and polonium, which emit alpha particles. Each radioactive isotope emits one or more types of radiation with characteristic energies. The energy of an alpha particle when it is ejected from a radioactive atomic nucleus determines how far it can smash through the surrounding crystal before it is stopped. The crystal structure along its path is damaged and becomes discolored. The distance the alpha partricle travels before it is stopped is roughly proportional to its energy. Some radioactive inclusions contain or have in the past contained one or more different radioactive isotopes each of which emits alpha particles. Thus a radioactive inclusion in a rock crystal may be surrounded by one or more spherical shells of discoloration. The radius of each such shell provides a measure of the energy of the alpha particles which produced it. The energies are characteristic of the atoms which emitted the alphas, so it is possible to identify the radioactive isotopes which the inclusions originally contained. This is so even long after the radioactive material in the inclusions has long ago decayed to such a small amount as to be no longer detectable.
Dr. Gentry has apparently established the wide occurrence in igneous rocks of radioactive halos formed by three isotopes of the element Polonium, 210Po, 214Po and 218Po. Supposedly these rocks crystallized over periods of hundreds or thousands of yearas from magmas deep in the earth, probably hundreds of millions of years after the initial formation of the earth. But the half-lives of three polonium isotopes are only 138 days, 164 microseconds, and 3 minutes, respectively. On the traditional theory of rock formation over vast time spans, how could there be any of these very rapidly decaying polonium isotopes left to form inclusions in the rock crystals by the time the magma had finally cooled sufficiently for crystals to form?
This evidence seems to point to the instantaneous creation of rocks which contain polonium radiohalos. Since these rocks are widely distributed, it would fol.ow that the earth itself was created instantancously. Dr. Gentry considers that his findings bring into question the entire sturcture of radiometric chronologies.
42. Gentry, Robert V., Science, Vol. 184, 5 April 1974, p. 62-66; Gentry, Robert V., et al., Nature, vol. 252, 13 Dec. 1974, pp. 564-566.