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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"Fingerprints of Creation"

Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, 12, 287.

I welcome the opportunity to clarify some important issues concerning my polonium halo research. Because of space limitations, I respond only to Wise's most serious omissions and errors of fact.

For over thirty years I have been publishing experimental results verifying that Po halos in granites and other crystalline rocks did not originate with secondary Po from U decay, but instead with primordial Po, and hence constitute prima facie evidence of almost instant creation of those rocks.1-8 What is most revealing about Wise's attempts to cast doubt on the primordial nature of these halos is that he repeatedly ignores the published scientific evidence which contradicts what he is attempting to establish. As I will now show, what all this means is that the creation implications of Po halos in granites now shines brighter than ever.

Consider first, for example, that in my 1967 Nature report,1 I published that fossil and neutron-induced fission tracks appear in U-halo centers in biotite, but are absent from Po-halo centers, thus excluding U-bearing solutions as the source of Po for those halos, irrespective of whether they occur along tiny conduits--i. e., microscopic-sized microchannels--or whether they occur in defect-free areas of the biotite where there are no cracks nearby.

In sections 4d,e Wise essentially ignores these results and attempts to link Po halos in granites with secondary Po by assuming, as fact, the whimsical claim he made in section 2c -- namely that it is impossible to avoid cracks in biotite. The reason Wise is so dogmatic about the existence of cracks is that he absolutely must have them to have any hope of justifying the passage of the hypothesized secondary Po atoms from some distant U source to the Po halo centers. In one instance he uses 'cracks' to mean conduits along a basal cleavage plane, and in another instance to mean visible erratic features associated with separations between the cleavage planes. I now cite evidence showing that in both cases Wise seriously errs in claiming it is impossible to avoid cracks in biotite.

First of all, anyone who wishes to do so may easily view spectacularly beautiful Po halos in clear, conduit-free or crack-free areas in micas in the color-photo catalog in my book. There, contrary to Wise's other claim, they can also find Po halos in fluorite separate from conduits. Secondly, the vast majority of perfect crystals of biotite - and I have worked with a very large number of them - do not exhibit basal cleavage separations unless something is done in splitting the mica in specimen preparation. This I have demonstrated both by visual inspection before and after prolonged immersion of the crystals into an aqueous dye solution before proceeding with either peeling the biotite with scotch tape, or mechanically with a sharp blade. Either of these procedures can induce cleavage separations, but it is a non sequitur to imply - as Wise implicitly does - that these experimentally-induced separations are the norm for the original unstressed crystals. Clearly, an investigator can always choose perfect, defect-free crystals to search for halos if he takes care to do so. But Po halos in defect-free areas disprove Wise's claim that it is impossible to get away from cracks in the biotite; this result in itself shows that his speculations about the secondary origin of Po halos in biotite, as described in his section 4, are without any scientific foundation. And there is more.

In a 1968 Science report2 I published a definitive study showing that fossil alpha-recoil (α-recoil) analysis of many Po-containing mica specimens revealed no excess of α radioactivity near Po-halo centers. The purpose of the study was to test whether there was any evidence for any migration/movement/diffusion of any hypothetical α-emitting precursors toward the Po centers. Such movement would necessarily have been accompanied by the α decay of such emitters as they moved toward the Po-halo centers along the same cleavage plane containing the centers. The recoil nucleus from any α decay produces a tiny recoil pit, or track, which is rendered visible by an HF acid etch of the basal cleavage plane. In my study I measured the fossil alpha recoil density in the basal cleavage planes above, below, and through the Po halo centers. What one observes in these three areas near the Po halo centers is the same α-recoil track density that is common throughout the mica; the background density is due to the α recoils from the parts-per-million (ppm) concentrations of U and Th.

I performed about a hundred experiments, which showed that 'excess' α-recoil tracks do not exist near Po-halo centers. In his section 4e, Wise attempts to cast this result in doubt by claiming the absence of excess track density is only apparent. Experiments show this is false. The excess is truly absent. It is wrong to say the excess is only apparently absent. Movement of any hypothetical α-emitting precursors toward the Po halo centers would have left an excess of fossil α tracks in their wake. And the excess would have been huge, for well-developed Po halos show coloration corresponding to the decay of five billion Po atoms. These results unequivocally disprove the hypothesis that Po halos in granites originated from secondary radioactivity, showing instead that they originated with primordial Po.

Neither Wise nor anyone else has ever ventured to challenge these results in the established scientific literature. Evolutionists would gladly have done this if possible to do so, for the absence of excess α-recoil tracks unambiguously shows there was no migration/diffusion of radioactivity feeding the halo centers, thus powerfully disproving the secondary hypothesis for the origin of Po halos in granites. And there is still more.

In the early seventies, I published results on the ion microprobe analyses of Po-halo centers in granitic micas.3-5 My book6 discusses why the 206Pb:207Pb ratios reported therein are uniquely traceable to the radiogenic decay of primordial Po. Wise mentions neither these reports nor my book.6 Nor does he mention my 1974 Science report,7 which showed quite definitively that 218Po halos do not have a halo ring from 222Rn. This observation rules out a secondary origin of Po halos, thus proving from a completely different perspective that such halos could not have formed from secondary radioactivity derived from U decay, but instead originated with primordial 218Po. Wise's failure to mention any of this raises serious questions about his methodology in evaluating the implications of Po halos in granites as they relate to Earth's instant creation.

Similar but far more serious methodological questions arise because of his failure to reference the discoveries in my 1976 Science report.8 That is, since Wise contends (section 1) that Po halos in granite-type crystalline rocks must somehow be halos that formed from secondary Po activity derived from U decay, and hence would supposedly - in his way of thinking - have their origin in a Flood-related event, one would have surely thought Wise would have discussed my discovery of secondary 210Po halos in coalified wood from the Colorado Plateau,8 which are very clearly Flood-related specimens.

As I note in my book,6 there are enormous differences between the primordial Po halos in granite-type crystalline rocks, and the secondary Po halos in coalified wood. In granite, the typical U concentration is in the ppm range. In coalified wood it can amount to several percent, more than a thousand times that in granite. In granite, except in unusual circumstances, U-daughter migration is restricted to solid state diffusion, an extremely slow process. In contrast, my 1976 Science report8 presented evidence showing that U daughters in solution were quickly transported through a gel-like wood matrix, thus providing opportunity for rapid collection of secondary 210Po in lead selenide sites. This is how secondary 210Po halos formed. Later this gel-like wood turned to coal with the halos still intact.

Now in granite there are four different types of Po halos; on occasion two or three types can be seen microscopically in the same specimen of mica. This situation is virtually impossible to reconcile with the hypothesis that such halos formed from U-decay products because the different Po-isotope half-lives mean that greatly different quantities of each isotope will coexist. In particular, since the expected amounts are directly proportional to the different half-lives, this means that at any given time the atomic ratio 210Po:218Po should be about 67,000:1. Thus, if Po halos in biotites were from secondarily-derived Po from U decay, there should exist about 67,000 210Po halos for each 218Po halo. This is definitely not the case. In some mica specimens the number of 218Po or 214Po halos far outnumbers the 210Po halos.

On the other hand, this extraordinary large abundance of 210Po halos agrees with what I discovered in the coalified wood specimens.8 Moreover, in examining thousands of secondary Po halos in coalified wood, I have yet to find a clear example of either a 214Po or 218Po halo. To summarize, the reason for this disparity is that the 139-day half life of 210Po enabled a sufficient number of these atoms to survive long enough in the gel-like wood to be collected at the PbSe sites, where they decayed and formed 210Po halos. In contrast, the far more rapidly decaying atoms of 214Po and 218Po - with respective half-lives of 164 microseconds and 3 minutes - largely decayed away before they were collected at these same sites. This is the reason for the absence of 214Po and 218Po halos in coalified wood. That these latter two halo types failed to form naturally under the very best conditions of high U-daughter concentrations - coupled with rapid transport and ideal collecting sites - effectively removes any scientific basis for believing they could have formed by some natural process in U-poor granite.

This conclusion is addtionally confirmed by the fact that primordial Po halos in granites are uniquely distinguished from secondary 210Po halos in coalified wood by the distinctly different 206Pb:207Pb ratios. The latter unambiguously reflects an origin from U-decay products whereas the former can be traced to the decay of primordial polonium. The scientific laboratory evidence is clear and unequivocal: primordial polonium halos do exist in Earth's foundation rocks, the granites. Biblically this is exactly what we expect because their discovery in these rocks fits with the precise description of the rocks God created in the beginning. 'In the beginning, LORD, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands' (Heb. 1:10).

Possibly Wise's difficulty in accepting the Po-halo evidence for creation can be traced to how he interprets earth history.9 The abstract of his talk at the First International Conference on Creationism (1986) contains the following statement: 'Geologists commonly use only three dating methods. Creationists commonly claim each of these techniques is invalid. Carefully considered, each technique has difficulties, but none of them can be considered faulty enough to be invalid.'9 This position has enormous hidden implications that need to be exposed. To say that creationists must show why dating techniques are invalid actually presupposes their validity; this in turn presupposes the validity of the evolutionary time scale. All this is fallacious reasoning. In fact dating techniques don't date anything. A 'radioactive date' is in reality only an inference obtained by interpreting the ratio of the parent and daughter isotopes using the assumption of uniform radioactive decay. It is indeed unfortunate that some creationists have accepted this critical assumption when in fact the proven existence of primordial Po halos in Earth's foundation rocks effectively disproves the entire uniformitarian principle upon which all those dating techniques are based.6,10-12

Despite this overwhelming evidence of fiat creation, in his section 4 Wise ventures from the scientific realm and joins others in wondering why, if God chose to leave His fingerprints, He didn't leave other Po halo types to prove instant creation. Wise says this absence seems strange to him. There are many mysteries in the natural world, but I suggest this is not one of them. Consider the following. Evolutionary geology holds that granites with Po halos formed naturally. But in 1979, I claimed this granite-Po-halo combination was a miracle of God's creation, impossible to reproduce by any natural methods, and challenged the scientific community to disprove it by first synthesizing a hand-size piece of granite and then producing a 218Po in it.10 I repeated this challenge at the 1981 Arkansas creation trial,6 again at the widely-attended 1982 AAAS symposium, `Evolutionists Confront Creationists,11 and since then at a number of university-wide presentations, first at the University of Tennessee in 1987, followed by Stetson University in 1989, Clemson University in 1991, East Carolina University in 1993, Cornell University in 1996, and North Carolina State University in 1997. There has been a deafening silence to all these challenges.6

I believe this proves conclusively that God did far more than needed to scientifically validate His creatorship. So, what is truly strange to me is why some evolutionists and others who question the granite-Po-halo evidence of instant creation keep wondering why God didn't provide more evidence for creation when, for over three decades, they continue to be baffled by the Po halos which do exist in these rocks.

On the other hand, I have proof that some evolutionists realize they already face far more than they can handle. In November 1992 and November 1995 Dr. G. Brent Dalrymple, the world-renowned evolutionary geologist who testified at the 1981 Arkansas creation trial that Po halos in granites were a tiny mystery that he would like to know the answer for,6 sent a pro-evolution fund-raising letter to the multi-thousand members of the prestigious American Geophysical Union. In both letters13 he stated something needed to be done to counter the creation science movement, specifically mentioning the problem that Po halos in granite was continuing to cause. In the 1995 letter he states the following:

'The [creation science] movement is beginning to affect some college classes, too, as members of "Genesis clubs" enter classrooms with disruptive (and difficult to answer) questions. How would you answer a student who claims that the presence of Polonium halos in granite demonstrates that granite had to have formed suddenly (i.e., was specially created)?'13

Despite this twice widely-publicized SOS to find a conventional answer for Po halos in granites, we still hear nothing but deafening silence from evolutionists on this topic. I therefore suggest that evolutionists - and all who hold to a belief in an ancient, slowly-evolving earth - should not be surprised when the scientific truth about God leaving His fingerprints in Earth's primordial rocks begins to attract world attention. Indeed, I believe God's special stones - the granites, Earth's foundation rocks - will soon fulfill their special appointment with destiny as they cry out (Luke 19:40) in calling men everywhere back to the worship of our magnificent Creator God (Rev. 14:6-7).


  1. Gentry, R.V. 1967. "Extinct radioactivity and the discovery of a new pleochroic halo." Nature 213:487-490.
  2. Gentry, R.V. 1968. "Fossil alpha-recoil analysis of certain variant radioactive halos." Science 160:1228-1230.
  3. Gentry, R.V. 1971. "Radiohalos: some unique Pb isotope ratios and unknown alpha radioactivity." Science 173:727-731. PDF
  4. Gentry, R.V. et al., 1973. "Ion microprobe confirmation of Pb isotope ratios and search for isomer precursors in polonium radiohalos." Nature 244:282-283. PDF
  5. Gentry, R.V. et al, 1974. "'Spectacle' array of 210Po halo radiocentres in biotite: a nuclear geophysical enigma. Nature 252:564-566. PDF
  6. Gentry, R.V., 1992. Creation's Tiny Mystery, Earth Science Associates, Knoxville, TN, 3rd edition. See also http://www.halos.com.
  7. Gentry, R.V. 1974. "Radiohalos in radiochronological and cosmological perspective." Science 184:62-66. PDF
  8. Gentry, R.V. et al., 1976. "Radiohalos and coalified wood: new evidence relating to the time of uranium introduction and coalification." Science 194:315-318. PDF
  9. Wise, K., 1986. "The way geologists date!" In: The Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, 1:135-138, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh, PA.
  10. Gentry, R.V. 1979. "Time: Measure Responses." EOS, Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 60:474. PDF  RTF
  11. Gentry, R.V. 1984. "Radiohalos in radiochronological and cosmological perspective." In: "Evolutionists Confront Creationists", Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division. American Association for the Advancement of Science 1, 38-65. HTML
  12. Gentry, R.V. 1986. "Radioactive halos: Implications for Creation." In: The Proceedings of the First International Conference on Creationism, 1: 89-112.
  13. Dalrymple, G. Brent. November 1992 and November 1995 letters signed by Dalrymple but sent out under the letterhead of the pro-evolutionist National Center for Scientific Education, El-Cerrito, CA 94530. The 1992 letter opens with 'Dear Fellow AGU Member' and the 1995 letter opens with 'Dear Fellow Geologist.' The above quote appears on page 3 of the 1995 letter. PDF

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