Chapter 10: Creation's Test on Trial
Confronting the Falsification Test
This repeated postponement of confronting these issues, I believe, had come close to placing the ACLU's case
in jeopardy. The ACLU was on the verge of becoming victims of their own strategy—namely, someday,
somewhere, someone was going to find a solution to the evidence for creation. To reestablish credibility in their
case, Ennis may have thought that Dalrymple [p. 127] needed to present something tangible to back up his assertion
about the falsification test, and so in his next question he again asks about it:
Why, in your opinion, would the test proposed by Mr. Gentry not falsify his hypothesis?
Let me read specifically first what his proposal is. He said, "I would consider my thesis essentially falsified if
and when geologists synthesize a hand-sized specimen of a typical biotite barium [sic, bearing] granite and/or a
similar sized crystal of biotite."|
And if I understand what he's saying there, he's saying that since his proposal requires that granite form rapidly,
instantly, by instantaneous creation, that he does not see any evidence that these granites, in fact, cool slowly; his
evidence said they cool rapidly. And he would accept as evidence if somebody could synthesize a piece of granite
in the laboratory.
There are a couple of problems with that. In the first place, we know that these granites did form slowly from a
liquid from the following evidence: These rocks contain certain kinds of textures which are only found in rocks that
cool from a liquid. And we can observe that in two ways, these textures. They are called ligneous [sic, igneous] and
We can observe these textures by crystallizing compounds in the laboratory that we are able to crystalize [sic,
crystallize]. And they always form these crystalline textures. We can also observe things like lava flows and watch
them cool today and see what kind of textures they produce.
There has been an experiment since 1959 going on in the Kilauea-Iki lava lake. Now, Kilauea-Iki is a small volcano
event on the top of the Kilauea volcano, which is one of the five volcanoes which make up the island of Hawaii.
And in 1959, Kilauea-Iki erupted, it not only threw up fountains of lava, lava flows, but it formed a large pool of
lava that was captured in a crater. And that lava is hundreds of feet thick. Since 1959, scientists have been drilling
down through that lava, watching it crystallize. Every few years they go back and drill another hole and watch the
degree to which that lava lake is cooled. It takes a long time for this to cool. This is a fairly thick one.
And we see that in the case of lava lakes and lava flows and these things, when they cool from their melt, from
their liquid, they form these textures that are unique to all rocks that pool [sic, cool] from a liquid. When we go to a
granite and we see these same textures, then I think we are entitled to presume that these rocks also formed from a
liquid. There is no other way that they could have formed.
The other problem with Gentry's proposal is that the crystallization of granite is an enormously difficult
technical problem, and that's all it is. We can't crystallize granite in the laboratory, and he's proposing a hand-sized
specimen. That's something like this, I presume.
In the first place, the business of crystallizing rocks at temperatures, most of them crystallize at temperatures
between seven hundred and twelve hundred degrees centigrade. The temperatures are high. And in the case of
granites and metamorphic rocks, sometimes the pressures are high, many kilobars. So it takes a rather elaborate,
sometimes dangerous apparatus to do this.
And the apparatus is of such a size that usually what we have to crystallize is very tiny pieces. I don't know of
anyone who has developed an apparatus to crystallize anything that's hand-sized.
So he's thrown down a challenge that's impossible at the moment, within the limits of the present technical
The second thing is that the crystallization of granite, the reason we have not been able to crystallize even a tiny
piece in the laboratoray [sic, laboratory] that I know if [sic, of], unless there has been a recent breakthrough, is
essentially an experimental one. It's a kinetic problem.
Anyone who has tried to grow crystals in a laboratory knows that it's very difficult to do if you don't seed the melt.
That is, you have to start with some kind of a little tiny crystal to begin with. And when the semiconductor
industry, for example, grows crystals to use in watches like this, they always have to start with a little tiny seed
crystal. And once you have that tiny seed crystal, then you can get it to crystallize.
So it's basically a problem of getting the reaction to go, it's a problem of nucleation, getting it started, and it's a
problem of kinetics, getting the reaction to go on these viscous melts that are very hot under high pressure.
And what I'm saying is that even if we could crystallize a piece of hand-sized granite in the laboratory, it would
prove nothing. All it would represent would be a technical breakthrough. All of a sudden scientists would be able to
perform experiments that we cannot now perform.
But in terms of throwing down a challenge to the age of the earth, that's a meaningless experiment. So he's thrown
down a challenge that has no meaning, hand-sized crystallized granite. And he's saying, "If you don't meet it, then
I won't accept you [sic, your] evidence." Well, it's a meaningless challenge. It's not an experiment. [Smith 1982b,
p. 480, l. 4 to p. 483, l. 25]
This is incredible! Evolutionists claim they have the truth about the origin and age of the earth, and yet when
they have an opportunity to provide [p. 129] experimental evidence to substantiate their views, they call it a
"meaningless" challenge. This forces me to ask a penetrating question: If evolutionists really believe that the
granites formed by slow cooling instead of instantaneous creation, why are they reticent to put their theory of
granite formation to the test? It is inescapable that the granite synthesis test is at the center of the creation/evolution
controversy. For that reason we need to carefully examine Dalrymple's lengthy commentary about it. Doing this
also provides an opportunity to explain a facet of my creation model that has not been previously discussed.
Primordial Rocks Derived from a Primordial Liquid
Dalrymple begins his response by referring to my statement of the falsification test. From this he concludes that
my "proposal requires that granite form rapidly, instantly, by instantaneous creation, that he [Gentry] does
not see any evidence that these granites, in fact, cool slowly; his evidence said they cool rapidly." This
statement, which contrasts slow cooling of the granites with their rapid cooling and instantaneous creation, suggests
that Dalrymple perceives that my creation model may involve a liquid precursor for these rocks. This is correct.
Just because Precambrian granites are considered primordial or created rocks does not preclude the possibility that
they were formed from a liquid. The Creator, after calling the chemical elements into existence, might well, in the
next instant of time, have formed those elements into a liquid, and then immediately cooled that liquid so that it
crystallized into the granites containing the polonium halos. These granites would have been created instantly and
yet still show the characteristics of rocks that crystallize from a liquid or melt.
Dalrymple presents no direct evidence to refute the possibility of instantaneous cooling but instead begins to
build a case for the granites having formed by slow cooling in accord with the evolutionary scenario. In support of
this view, he testifies that the texture of rocks, known to have cooled slowly from a liquid, is the same as granite.
Here the term texture refers to the size, shape, and arrangement of the particles of which a rock is composed. In
particular, he compares the textural similarity of granites to specimens taken from the Kilauea-Iki lava lake.