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Helium Leaks As Evidence for A Young World

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<p>See two articles:</p><ol><li><a href="http://www.icr.org/article/1842/&quot; target="_blank">Evidence for a Young World, by D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.</a>&nbsp; (Short, non-technical)</li><li><a href="http://www.trueorigin.org/helium01.asp&quot; target="_blank">Helium Evidence for A Young: World Remains Crystal-Clear</a> (Long, technical)</li></ol><p>&nbsp;</p><p>At the 2003 International Conference on Creationism, Russell
Humphreys delivered a report that is sure to have evolutionists calling
in their “spin doctors.” Dr. Humphreys, a physicist at the Institute for
Creation Research (ICR), Dr. John Baumgardner, a geophysicist currently
working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with Dr. Steven
Austin and Dr. Andrew Snelling, both geologists at ICR, are all members
of a collective effort known as the <strong>R</strong>adioisotopes and the <strong>A</strong>ge of <strong>T</strong>he <strong>E</strong>arth
(RATE) group [see Vardiman, 1999]. The RATE project is a collaborative
venture composed of professional scientists primarily from ICR and the
Creation Research Society. In 2000, the group met and delineated a
five-year plan of research to explain the apparent disparity between
conventional and biblical dates. The basic question the RATE group wants
to address with these research projects is: How did large amounts of
radioactive products get in the rocks and minerals? Both old Earth and
young Earth views find anomalously high levels of radioactive daughter
material. Thus, every year the RATE group convenes to analyze data,
progress, and future projects.</p><p>The report Dr. Humphreys delivered
was just one of many updates delivered by the RATE group over the past
couple of years. He and Dr. Baumgardner built on the work of Dr. Robert
Gentry, investigating helium retention in zircons. While the technical
aspects of the research can be quite overwhelming, the conclusion is
rather straightforward and simple: When uranium decays to lead, one of
the by-products is helium. If creationists are correct, and the Earth is
young, this helium (with its extremely small, lightweight, and
unreactive atoms) would be expected to still be trapped in rocks. An
old-Earth scenario, however, would result in minimal helium being held
in the rocks, since the tiny helium atoms would be expected to have
already escaped. Also, one would expect that the more deeply collected
samples would be “older” and thus, contain less helium.</p><p>Humphreys
and Baumgardner set out to measure the amount of helium still inside
zircons. (Zircons are crystals that contain uranium—some of which has
decayed to lead, giving off helium—that are found deep within granite.)
After obtaining samples from specified depths, they sent the zircon
samples to independent laboratories to allow world-class experts to
measure helium amounts and rates of escape. Carl Wieland summarized the
project as follows:</p><p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>When uranium
decays to lead, a by-product of this process is the formation of helium,
a very light, inert gas, which readily escapes from rock.</em></p><p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Certain
crystals called zircons, obtained from drilling into very deep
granites, contain uranium, which has partly decayed into lead.</em></p><p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>By
measuring the amount of uranium and “radiogenic lead” in these
crystals, one can calculate that, if the decay rate has been constant,
about 1.5 billion years must have passed. (This is consistent with the
geologic “age” assigned to the granites in which these zircons are
found.)</em></p><p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>There is a significant amount
of helium from that “1.5 billion years of decay” still inside the
zircons. This is at first glance surprising for long-agers, because of
the ease with which one would expect helium (with its tiny, light,
unreactive atoms) to escape from the spaces within the crystal
structure. There should surely be hardly any left, because with such a
slow buildup, it should be seeping out continually and not accumulating.</em></p><p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>Drawing
any conclusions from the above depends, of course, on actually
measuring the rate at which helium leaks out of zircons. This is what
one of the RATE papers reports on. The samples were sent (without any
hint that it was a creationist project) to a world-class expert to
measure these rates. The consistent answer: the helium does indeed seep
out quickly over a wide range of temperatures. In fact, the results show
that because of all the helium still in the zircons, these crystals
(and since this is Precambrian basement granite, by implication the
whole Earth) could not be older than between 4,000 and 14,000 years. In
other words, in only a few thousand years, 1.5 billion years’ worth (at
today’s rates) of radioactive decay has taken place. Interestingly, the
data have since been refined and updated to give a date of 5,680 (+/-
2000) years (Wieland, 2003).</em></p><p>The Earth-shaking (pardon the pun)
news is that since “non-creationist” laboratories performed the helium
analyses, evolutionists have some heavy explaining to do. The results
document that there is too much helium in the zircons for them to be
millions (let alone billions) of years old! Since evolutionists cannot
question the data (measured in their own laboratories), and they cannot
reinterpret the results to fit an old Earth scenario, the only avenue
left for evolutionists is to attack the researchers, or argue that their
collection methods were seriously flawed—neither of which will alter
the truth. Not enough helium escaped the zircon crystals to support a
4.5 billion year old Earth.</p><p><strong>REFERENCES</strong></p><p>Humphreys, Russell et al., (2003), “Helium Diffusion Rates Support Accelerated Nuclear Decay,”<em> Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism</em>,
ed. John Ivey Jr. (Creation Science Fellowship: Pittsburgh, PA). This
article can be accessed on-line at:
www.icr.org/research/icc03/pdf/Helium_ICC_7-22-03.pdf.</p><p>Vardiman, Larry (1999), “Rate Group Prepares Status Report,” [On-line], URL: http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-314.htm.</p><p>Wieland, Carl (2003), “RATE Group Reveals Exciting Breakthroughs!,” <em>Answers in Genesis</em>, [On-line], URL: http://aig.gospelcom.net/docs2003/0821rate.asp.</p><p>-----------------… by <a href="http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/&quot; target="_blank">Religio-Political Talk</a>, transferring old uploads from my YouTube and Google video accounts.</p>