Logo shows magnified cross-section of a Polonium 218 halo in a granite rock. How did it get there? [halos.com]
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Chapter 10: Creation's Test on Trial

Primordial and Secondary Rocks in a Creation Perspective

I agree with Dalrymple that granite "is a very special rock type," but I have not said that "all of the old crystalline rocks" are granites. Neither do I necessarily consider all rocks that geologists classify as Precambrian to be primordial. What I have said is that the polonium halos in Precambrian granites identify these rocks as some of the Genesis rocks of our planet—created in such a way that they cannot be duplicated without the intervention of the Creator. The creation episode described in Genesis outlines a lot of geological activity on this planet during creation week. The earth, after having been created on Day 1, was left covered with water. On Day 3, the "dry land" emerging from this watery environment may well have included, in addition to the primordial crystalline rocks of Day 1, certain sedimentary strata, presently considered Precambrian by geologists. The sudden appearance of "dry land" also suggests tremendous upheavals on or beneath the earth's surface and might even have included vulcanism and the formation of some rocks which geologists classify as intrusive rocks. Possibly there was some mixing of the primordial rocks of Day 1 with other rocks created on Day 3. Many possibilities for mixing are viable since Day 1 and Day 3 may also have included the creation of some non-Precambrian granites and metamorphic rocks. This discussion shows that my creation model is not governed or restricted by the conventional geological classification of various rock formations.

[p. 134]

Here I should emphasize that creation week and the duration of the flood were special periods, both characterized by events beyond the explanation of known physical laws—periods when the uniformitarian principle was not valid. Each or both of these periods may have been accompanied by an increased, nonuniform radioactive decay rate.


We now turn our attention to the last phase of Dalrymple's testimony: his recross-examination by State Attorney David Williams.

Q       You state that the challenge which Mr. Gentry has issued, if I understand you, is essentially impossible?
A It is presently impossible within our present technical capability. There have been people working on this, and I suspect someday we'll be able to do it.
Q Is it not true that you can take a pile of sedimentary rocks and by applying heat and pressure just simply convert that to something like a granite?
A Something like a granite, yes, that's true. But it's something like a granite, but they have quite different textures. When you do that, you now have a metamorphic rock, and it has a different fabric, and it has a different texture, which is quite distinct from an igneous texture. They are very easily identified from both a hand specimen and a microscope. Any third year geology student could tell you if you handle a piece of rock whether it's igneous or metamorphic. It's a very simple problem.
Q But it is quite similar to a granite, but you just can't quite get it to be a granite, can you?
A Well, granite sort of has two connotations. In the first place, in the strict sense, granite is a composition only. It's a composition of an igneous rock. Granite is a word that we use for rock classification.
    It is also used in a looser sense, and that looser sense includes all igneous rocks that cool deep within the earth. And they would include things like quartz, diorite— I won't bother to tell you what those are, but they are a range of composition.
    Sometimes granite is used in that loose sense. People say that the Sierra Nevada is composed primarily of granite. Well, technically there is no granite in the Sierra Nevada. They are slightly different compositions.
    It is also used to describe the compositions of certain types of metamorphic rocks. So you have to be a little careful when you use the term 'granite' and be sure that we know exactly in what sense we are using that word. [p. 135]
Q Now, you stated that you think, in trying to explain why Gentry's theory might not be correct or not that important, you said that perhaps he misidentified some of the haloes, and I think you also said that perhaps he had mismeasured something, is that correct?
A Well, I think those were the same statement. I'm just offering that as an alternative hypothesis.
Q Do you know that's what happened?
A Oh, no, no.
Q You have not made any of these studies and determined that yourself, have you?
A No, no. [Smith 1982b, p. 486, l. 26 to p. 488, l. 24]

In my view these answers constitute a marvelous testimony for creation. Here we have the noted ACLU witness for geology again testifying that granite synthesis is essentially impossible for what he claims are only technical reasons. But if nature had gotten the reaction started endless numbers of times throughout the presumed vast expanse of evolutionary time, why would it be so difficult to get it started now? Moreover since granite synthesis has never been done in the laboratory, how could my colleague possibly know that the obstacles are only technological? To be sure, the above responses also exposed the fact that he had no scientific data whatsoever to support his criticisms of my identification of polonium halos.

Dalrymple's references to the different connotations of the word granite necessitate that I provide additional details of my creation model, for it encompasses many more possibilities than he perceives to be the case. These details are given in "Vistas in Creation" at the close of Chapter 14.

Reflections on the First Week of the Trial

The State's cross-examinations had revealed a number of serious flaws in the ACLU's case, but it seems these were usually overlooked by the media personnel. For example, the cornerstone of the ACLU case rested on establishing the scientific credibility of a multibillion-year age of the earth. The State's cross-examination showed, however, that the evidence for an ancient earth was based on nothing more than an unproven assumption The numerous reporters covering the trial seemed oblivious to this revelation.

Their reaction to the labeling of the polonium halos as a "tiny mystery" also seemed curious. One of the world's foremost authorities in evolutionary geology did this while admitting that he was unable to explain my published evidences for creation by conventional scientific principles. This hardly caused [p. 136] a stir among the reporters. Ordinarily nothing attracts the attention of scientists and reporters more than a scientific mystery, especially a tiny one. A "tiny mystery" should be solvable, and every scientist likes to work on problems he feels can be solved. At the trial the ACLU was given the opportunity to resolve the question of the "tiny mystery" and its implications for creation by responding to the granite synthesis test. Their only response to this challenge was to call it a "meaningless experiment."

I have reflected on this evaluation many times since the trial. Certainly the ACLU wanted Judge Overton to believe it. But is it really a meaningless experiment from the standpoint of the American taxpayer? Each year the Federal Government, through the National Science Foundation, grants millions of dollars for research based on evolutionary ideas, and over the years of its operation possibly hundreds of millions have gone for the same purpose. With this much money at stake, it is not easy to understand why the media did not seek to find out more about this "tiny mystery" which the ACLU had failed to explain on the basis of evolutionary principles.

In any event, the first week's media coverage left the impression that the evolutionary witnesses were infallible. Over sixty years ago in the Scopes trial, evidence for evolution was promoted nationally and internationally without mention of the weaknesses and flaws in the theory. It happened again in Arkansas. Why was there so little about these counter arguments? Was it because the issues were not made plain or because the reporters were unfamiliar with them?

Taking the Stand

The issues were clarified during the second week of the trial. In my four-hour-long testimony given during the last two days, I reviewed most of the evidence for creation and a several-thousand-year age of the earth that I had published during the sixteen years of my research. I utilized an overhead projector and showed over a hundred transparencies as well as fifty 35mm color slides of radioactive halos (see Radiohalo Catalogue). In several of the transparencies I outlined a creation model, showing how creation and the flood provide a credible framework for incorporating the data of earth history. More details about this creation model are given in Chapter 14. In particular, I testified at length about polonium halos in granites as evidence of creation and emphasized the falsifiability aspect of my creation model. During my testimony Judge William Overton was given pieces of Precambrian granite and biotite to inspect, to help him comprehend what was involved in the proposed granite [p. 137] and/or biotite synthesis.

What was the reaction to my testimony? What was the judge's decision about Act 590? Is there evidence that some people at the trial resisted "unwanted" information?

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