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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CF201:

Some micas in granite have tiny haloes caused by the decay of radioactive elements. From their diameters, we know the energy of the alpha particles that caused the haloes, which tells us what element decayed. Some of these haloes formed from isotopes of polonium, all of which have short half-lives (138 days for the longest-lived isotope). According to conventional geology, the rocks in which the polonium radio-haloes occur took millions of years to form. All of the original polonium should have decayed in that time. Thus polonium radio-haloes indicate a sudden creation of polonium in rock.


Gentry, R. V., 1986. Creation's Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, TN: Earth Science Associates.
Snelling, A. A., 2000. Polonium radiohaloes: Still "a very tiny mystery". Impact 326 (Aug.), i-iv.


  1. Polonium forms from the alpha decay of radon, which is one of the decay products of uranium. Since radon is a gas, it can migrate through small cracks in the minerals. The fact that polonium haloes are found only associated with uranium (the parent mineral for producing radon) supports this conclusion, as does the fact that such haloes are commonly found along cracks (Brawley 1992; Wakefield 1998).

  2. The biotite in which Gentry (1986) obtained some of his samples (Fission Mine and Silver Crater locations) was not from granite, but from a calcite dike. The biotite formed metamorphically as minerals in the walls of the dike migrated into the calcite. Biotite from the Faraday Mine came from a granite pegmatite that intruded a paragneiss that formed from highly metamorphosed sediments. Thus, all of the locations Gentry examined show evidence of an extensive history predating the formation of the micas; they show an appearance of age older than the three minutes his polonium halo theory allows. It is possible God created this appearance of age, but that reduces Gentry's argument to the omphalos argument, for which evidence is irrelevant (Wakefield 1998).

  3. Stromatolites are found in rocks intruded by (and therefore older than) the dikes from which Gentry's samples came, showing that living things existed before the rocks that Gentry claimed were primordial (Wakefield 1998).


Brawley, John. 1992. Evolution's tiny violences: The Po-halo mystery.


  1. Brawley, J. 1992. See above.
  2. Gentry, R. V. 1988. Creation's Tiny Mystery. Knoxville, TN: Earth Science Associates.
  3. Wakefield, J. R. 1998. See below.

Further Reading:

Wakefield, J. Richard. 1998. The geology of Gentry's "tiny mystery". Journal of Geological Education 36 (May): 161-175.

Collins, Lorence G. 1997. Polonium halos and myrmekite in pegmatite and granite.
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created 2001-3-31, modified 2003-9-11