The Rocks Speak
The other seemingly unsolvable enigma is that of radiometric dating of rocks yielding ages billions of years old. According to the popular definition of Wikipedia, “radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes, and the current abundances” (Wikipedia Radiometric Dating 2006). Since these decay rates occur extremely slowly, it is believed that the material being dated is of great antiquity. There are inherent problems involved with this method, thus not making it a failsafe method of dating rocks. The work on Polonium radiohalos by Dr. Gentry and the work on Zircon crystals by the RATE team strongly challenge the accepted assumptions involved with radiometric dating. In fact, their independent research has yielded some “rock solid” evidence that the earth is not billions of years old but only several thousand.
Beginning in 1987, nuclear physicist Dr. Robert Gentry began examining discolorations in minerals. He has since examined over 100,000 of these “radiohalos” found in rocks making his work the foundation of polonium halo research. He describes these “radiohalos:” “Etched within earth’s foundation rocks (the granites) are beautiful microspheres of coloration, halos, produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium, which is known to have only a fleeting existence” (www.halos.com/index.htm).
An example analogous to Alka-Seltzer is given demonstrating the fleeting life of the radioactive polonium. It is this moment in which the radiohalos can be captured that yields proof to them having cooled instantaneously (during time of the flood according to the RATE team, see below) rather than the supposed slow cooling of the earth suggested by evolution.
A speck of polonium in molten rock can be compared to an Alka-Seltzer dropped into a glass of water. The beginning of effervescence is equated to the moment that polonium atoms began to emit radioactive particles. In molten rock the traces of those radioactive particles would disappear as quickly as the Alka-Seltzer bubbles in water. But if the water were instantly frozen, the bubbles would be preserved. Likewise, polonium halos could have formed only if the rapidly “effervescing” specks of polonium had been instantly encased in solid rock.
An exceedingly large number of polonium halos are embedded in granites around the world. Just as frozen Alka-Seltzer bubbles would be clear evidence of the quick-freezing of the water, so are these many polonium halos undeniable evidence that a sea of primordial matter quickly “froze” into solid granite. The occurrence of these polonium halos, then, distinctly implies that our earth was formed in a very short time, in complete harmony with the biblical record of creation (www.halos.com/index.htm).
Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth
An eight-year study began in 1997 that involved seven scientists with the primary goal of clarifying the chronology of the earth by studying, in particular, the properties of zircon crystals, (similar to the work of Dr. Gentry with polonium). The research has now culminated in evidence strongly indicating that the earth is young. The seven scientists gave their research effort the acronym RATE, which stands for Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth. The findings of their research are available in a two-volume set Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth, in a layman’s version (book and DVD) called Thousands Not Billions by Dr. Don DeYoung who offers a partial summary of their research:
RATE research obtained some of the first high-precision data on helium diffusion in zircon. A theoretical model based on this data gives an age for the earth of about 6,000 years. The presence of helium in zircons is a serious challenge to the concept of deep time. The helium also represents compelling evidence of accelerated nuclear decay in the past (DeYoung 2005: 176).
These and many more resources demonstrating that the apparent Achilles’ heel of the Young Earth Creation model is not a fatal blow are available at the Institute for Creation Research’s website (icr.org).
The findings of Dr. Gentry on polonium radiohalos and the RATE team on zircon crystals provide compelling evidence based on thorough investigation, experimentation, and observation that the earth is not billions of years old, but is rather approximately six thousand years old, thus implying that the creation week was six literal days.
The Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens: Keys to Geology
The Grand Canyon is certainly one of the earth’s most amazing places. It leaves us in awe of its size and beauty. There are, however, many questions that are raised in relation to it. The most central questions are how did it form and how long did the process take? The answer lies in looking primarily at the canyon walls. There are hundreds of thousands and even millions of layers also known as strata. These layers, when looking from the side, look like many pieces of cardboard stacked upon another. The accepted geological explanation for these strata is that each layer represents an annual or few years’ cycle of deposition of minerals. Then the Colorado River (at its current rate) cut through the canyon exposing the strata that had already been laid down.
Therefore it is believed that since there are millions of strata, it must have taken hundreds of thousands or millions of years to form. Could there be, however, another plausible explanation for the almost innumerable layers?
On May 18, 1980, scientists and tourists from all over the world witnessed an event that would provide a much better and almost inescapable model than the standard uniformitarianism model. In that year, Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington erupted so violently that it lost over 1,300 feet of elevation and the entire inside of the mountain fell down the face of the mountain depositing the sediment in the valley below. Trees for miles north of the mountain were leveled and burned. The beauty of the mountain and lake below was altered forever. However, the event that would ultimately challenge the slow gradual change model of the Grand Canyon did not occur until two years later when, in the winter of 1982, another eruption occurred. At that time, due to the accumulation of snow on the mountain, when the eruption occurred, the massive amount of snow almost instantly turned into water and began rushing down the mountain. The huge surge of water carved a canyon ¼ the size of the Grand Canyon.
The Canyon Formed Quickly
What is so astounding, however, is that the canyon took only several hours to a few days to be formed. The power of the water quickly cut through the sediment that had been laid down two years prior in the first eruption (an event that occurred over a period of a few hours.) The walls of this mini Grand Canyon exposed almost identical stratification as found in the Grand Canyon. If both the strata from the deposition of the sediment and the deep cutting of a canyon (even through solid rock) can be formed in as little as a few hours, then how do we know that the stratification of the Grand Canyon is not also the product of massive sediment depositions left behind
from a worldwide flood and the cutting of the canyon is not also an enormous release of water which happened shortly after? Austin notes:
The small creeks which flow through the headwaters of the Toutle River today might seem, by present appearances, to have carved these canyons very slowly over a long time period, except for the fact that the erosion was observed to have occurred rapidly! (Austin 1986: 3).
Footprints in the Ash
Drs. John Morris and Steven Austin have written a book, Footprints in the Ash, that deals at length with the overwhelming evidence. The book shows that formation of the Grand Canyon could have occurred quickly as a result of a worldwide flood rather than over millions of years just as things happened quickly on a smaller scale at Mount St. Helens. The evidence of Mount St. Helens provides a better and more consistent model of the age of the earth as being young, which, as we have seen, is the only acceptable conclusion one may come to from reading the Scriptures.