ANSWERS AND DEPOSITION OF ROBERT V. GENTRY, a witness produced on behalf of the Plaintiffs, taken in the above-styled and numbered cause on the 24th day of November, 1981, before Certified Court Reporters and Notaries Public, in and for Fulton County, Georgia, at American Civil Liberties Union, 52 Fairlie Street, Suite 355, Atlanta, Georgia, at 11:00 a.m., pursuant to the agreement thereinafter set forth.
MR. STEPHEN G. WOLFE: What are operating now by way of stipulations?
MR. RICK CAMPBELL: Essentially that this is a discovery deposition; that Dr. Gentry will sign the deposition and return it to us and we will give it to you-all. All objections are waived except as to form of the question.
MR. WOLFE: All right.
ROBERT V. GENTRY,
being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
BY MR. WOLFE:
Q. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
A. Robert Vance Gentry, ***** ** **** *****.
Powell, Tennessee 37849.
MR. WOLFE: I'll ask the reporter to mark as Gentry Deposition Exhibit 1 two pages from "Who's Who in America," the Forty-First Edition.
(Thereupon, Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 1 was marked for identification by the court reporter.)
Q. (Continuing) Sir, I'll ask you to look at what's been marked as Exhibit 1 and tell me if you recognize it.
Q. What is it, sir?
A. Well, it's part of the "Who's Who in America," which has my curriculum vitae on it. As I indicated to you earlier, I was also a member of the American Scientific affiliation in the past and am presently a member of the Creation Research Society.
Q. Doctor, aside from the points that you've just made, is the information in this exhibit accurate
Q. Sir, in addition to your B.S. and M.S. studies at the University of Florida, have you had Physics Education at any other institution?
A. Yes. I took some courses at Georgia Tech; I've had Mathematics
graduate courses at the University
of Florida; and if I remember correctly, one Physics course as well past the M.S.; and if I remember correctly, also a course at Southern Methodist University Extension School which was, I think, in Nuclear Engineering; and I think I had Mathematics graduate courses — no. I was going to say I taught at Texas Christian University, but I may not have had any graduate courses there.
Q. Doctor, do you have any graduate degree beyond the M.S. aside from this honorary degree that's indicated?
A. No, I do not.
Q. Was any of the post-M.S. work that you've just described undertaken in pursuit of a Ph.D. Degree?
A. The work at Georgia Tech was.
Q. When was that sir?
A. That was the academic school year 1962-'63 and the beginning of 1963-'64. I do not think I took courses in each one of those semesters, but it was during that period of time that I was at Georgia Tech. as an instructor and had begun working towards a Ph.D.
Q. Sir, how did it happen that you did not finish your degree work at Georgia Tech?
A. I had begun to work on a Ph.D. with the
understanding that I would choose a thesis topic that was mutually agreeable. I had become interested in the subject of radioactive halos and had discussed my desire to do research in this area with the Chairman of the Physics Department.
The Chairman of the Physics Department did not feel at that time that my efforts in the field of radioactive halos would result in beneficial data and conclusions consistent with what he understood to be the conventional history of the earth. We discussed the possibilities that I might find something that was in variance with the conventional view. At that time, to my knowledge, I had not seen a radioactive halo under the microscope; so it was a preliminary discussion based on simply what might develop. In any event, I felt the area of radioactive halos, as a field of research was one that I very much desired to look into. He did not feel as if this would be fruitful. This difference of opinion resulted in my leaving Georgia Tech.
Q. Sir, is it correct, then, that you are still a member of the faculty at Columbia Union College?
A. Yes. I still am a member of the faculty.
Q. Do you teach at the college at all?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Have you taught at Columbia Union in the past?
A. I taught at Columbia Union College from 1966 through mid-'69, at which time I received an invitation to be a guest or visiting scientist at the Oak Ridge National, Laboratory for one year. That one year has been extended to the present time as a guest.
Q. Sir, then, is it the case that, I gather, since 1969, while you've been nominally still on the faculty at Columbia Union, that you've worked at the Oak Ridge Laboratory all that time?
A. That is correct.
Page 7 is missing.
by the Archeological Rese [Text covered by note]
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Do you know the [Text covered by note] ling for the Foundation?
A. At that particular time, there were individuals in Columbus, Georgia by the names of Thrash, Calvin and Agatha Thrash, who donated money for my support. And there was another individual whose name comes to mind now that I think about it. There was an individual by the name of Sam Marx.
Q. Sir, I'm not, certain that. I understood. whether the three people that you've mentioned, Calvin and Agatha Thrash and Sam Marx — did they provide all of the funding for the Foundation or only to support your work there?
A. No. There were other funds which were used for other purposes, but these individuals provided funds for my part of the work.
I cannot rule out the possibility that some other individuals may also have contributed, but these were the main ones as far as I remember. And I should add if my memory serves me correctly, that I believe the Thrashes and Sam Marx were members at least at one time.
Q. Doctor, did the research work supported by
the Foundation have any particular area of concentration, any subject matter area?
A. Would you repeat the question?
Mr. WOLFE: Would you read back the question, please?
(Thereupon, the previous question was read back by the court reporter.)
A. (Continuing) There were interests in archeology in the Middle East; but in my estimation, most of the individuals involved were interested in searching for an artifact or what they considered. to be the remains of an artifact on Mount Ararat.
Q. Sir, the artifact that you've just mentioned, would that have been some artifact of the Ark contributed to Noah in the Bible?
A. In the eyes of the individuals who were searching for it, I am relatively sure they made that association.
Q. Can you tell me which of the persons whose names you gave me earlier were those persons searching for an artifact on Mount Ararat?
A. In the context of the question, "searching for," do you mean
individuals, who actually went over and looked for the artifact, or do
you mean individuals who were actually interested in the possible find
Q. My question was broader; that is, the persons who were associated with this interesting finding and find- of an artifact on Mount Ararat.
A. In my estimation, all the individuals that I named were interested in the search; yes.
Q. Doctor, was the work that you did at the Foundation part of your ongoing work on radio halos?
A. My work connected with the Foundation concerned primarily my work on radio halos.
Q. Did you do any other work while you were at the foundation other than the radio halo work?
A. At times, I was questioned with respect to my opinion as to what might take place in the Middle East as the other members of the Foundation searched for the artifact. At one time, they attempted to get me involved in a trip, to the Middle East, which did not materialize.
Q. Doctor, I believe you stated earlier that you were uncertain whether the Foundation is still in existence; is that right?
A. That is correct.
Q. Will you tell me what you know about its subsequent history? When did it become —
A. I can only in part, due to the information
that I have knowledge of. After I left the Foundation, I knew that other people continued the activities, but I did not attempt to keep up with the existence of the Foundation. So I simply do not know when or if it ceased to exist.
Q. Doctor, have you received any salary from Columbia Union College during the years that you were not teaching there, but a guest scientist at the National Laboratory?
A. I have received salary every year. This is my main source of support.
Q. I see. Do you receive any salary from the Federal Government or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory?
A. I am presently a guest scientist or consultant at the rate of one dollar per year at the present time.
Q. I see. Does the National Laboratory provide you with any office or work space or laboratory facilities?
A. They provide, me with office space and laboratory space.
Q. Are you required to reimburse them in any way for that office or laboratory space?
Q. Does the National Laboratory provide you with
laboratory equipment or chemical agents for use in your work?
Q. Are you required to reimburse them for any part of that cost?
Q. Doctor, on your vitae, there are references to several grants that you've held from various institutions. Can you tell me if you've ever made a grant application which was not funded?
A. I have made grant applications which were not funded, and the letters for rejection of those grants have been given to you today.
Q. Can you list the instances in which you've made application's which were not funded and tell me what institutions the applications were made to?
A. I will refer to the material which I have given to you.
Q. Please do.
A. In the material entitled the "National Science Foundation," you see a May 24, 1971 letter from the National Science Foundation to me addressed, Department of Physics, Columbia Union College, in which I received a grant from NSF. March 29, 1973, I received another grant from NSF; November 25, 1974, another grant from NSF. The page after that is the summary of the completed project for the period '74 through '77.
After that time, you see a letter, June 21
1977, in which I was informed of a rejection of my
proposal. The next one, you can see that I am asking the National Science Foundation to provide me with information concerning why my proposal was declined. The next page, another request to the National Science Foundation for information that would enable me to appeal the decision more intelligently. The next page, a letter from the National Science Foundation from Dr. Rower giving me some of the details as to why my proposal was declined.
And the next letter is to Dr. Todd asking for a review process in which
I point out in this letter that there were some things that, in my opinion,
were not sufficiently reviewed in the original proposal, and I would refer
in particular to the second paragraph of this particular letter: "Referring
specifically to the Program Director's letter to me dated July 11, 1977,
the first part constitutes quite a negative appraisal of the article on
superheavy elements which I co-authored in July 1976. I find very interesting
that in this time flight evaluation, neither the Program Director nor the
review panel make any mention of the fact that at the time of publication
of this article last summer, both higher and lower officials of NSF were
vying with ERDA as to which agency was going to get the lion's share of
credit for this publication.
And for the record, it should be noted that even now, the opinion of the panel and the Program Director is certainly not universally held by the scientific community. I refer first to the comments of Dr. D. Allan Bromley of Yale University as they appeared in print in the February 4, 1977 issue of Science (see underlined section on the enclosed write-up on superheavy elements). And I refer secondly to the fact that giant halos have become a subject of scientific inquiry apart from their connection with superheavy elements. In support of this statement, I enclose copies of recent articles on giant halos by Holbrow in "Nature" and by Von Wimmersperg and Sellschop in "Physical Review Letters." Further, two other scientists in England are now preparing to publish still another theory regarding the origin of giant halos.
"With this background on this article, I find it quite interesting that
the most negative reviewer's comments about my proposal was devoted almost
entirely to what amounted to an emotional outburst against my search for
superheavy elements and, in particular, the publications of said report.
In this respect, I now raise the question: Why did the Program Director
choose this referee when his
remarks give strong evidence that he was possibly very prejudiced about my work before he even saw the proposal? That is, according to the information given by Symington on p. 271 of the May-June issue of the `American Scientist,' it is the responsibility of the Program Director to see that the reviewers of NSF proposals are not biased. The question which needs a vary specific answer is whether the Program Director checked into the possible bias of this reviewer before sending the proposal out to him, and if he did check, what were the results. I might add —
Q. Doctor, pardon me. I don't like to interrupt. I'm concerned, because we've only got about four hours more to the deposition. How much do you want to put in the record, and may I propose that we mark this packet as an exhibit and refer to it by paragraph other than have you occupy a certain amount of time by reading the material into the record?
A. I do not agree. You asked me a question. I'm reading this material for a very specific purpose.
Q. Well, sir, I asked you, I think, to tell me what instances
you had applications rejected and by what organizations. Now, I'm afraid
that not all this material is directly responsive to the question,
and you have limited the time that's available to me to examine you, and I must object to having a large part of it taken up with your simply reading material which can be simply designated into the record, when it could be designated and save a great deal of time that I do not really have to spend.
A. I will leave this up to Mr. Campbell.
MR. CAMPBELL: Well, Dr. Gentry, how much more did you want to —
THE WITNESS: The next paragraph, in particularly, the two sentences there at the very bottom of the page is the information I want to read in.
MR. WOLFE: Well, I would prefer to have the material read into the record, because it's handier than adding an exhibit and having to refer to the exhibit; but I'm concerned with the fact that we have a very limited amount of time. Would you mind being more selective, perhaps?
A. (Continuing) All right. Skip down to the next paragraph. "Now
with respect to the second criticism of the proposal, the Program Director's
letter states that, in essence, the panel was not able to find that I had
any hypothesis to test with
respect to the other phases of my research on halos, or that there was any prospect of my finding a hypothesis in the future. I can understand such statements could be made by persons unacquainted with geochemical terminology who might read my published reports. It is, however, very difficult for me to understand how a panel of geochemists could make such statements, especially in view of the fact that I had previously discussed with the Program Director the hypothesis and implications of my research on Po halos as they have been published in the open scientific literature and referred to in both the previous and the present NSF proposals." For the reasons that you have asked, I will stop at this time and request that the last paragraph — the last two paragraphs be cited, then, in the record.
MR. WOLFE: All right. Then, I'll ask the reporter to mark as Gentry
Deposition Exhibit 2 the package of material, the first page of which is
a letter to Dr. Gentry dated May 24th, 1971 from the National Science Foundation;
and the record, I think, will be clear from the references Dr. Gentry made
as he paged through them,
which pages he was referring to, specifically a letter from him to Dr. Edward T. Todd near the back of the package.
(Thereupon, the document was marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 2 for identification by the court reporter)
MR. CAMPBELL: The Todd letter, for purposes of the record, was dated August 26, 1977.
Off the record a minute.
(An off-the-record discussion ensued.)
Q. Sir, is it a correct summary of your testimony, then, that the only institution which has rejected a grant application of yours is the National Science Foundation?
A. I may have had — I have had grants from Nassau. I do not have before me my complete record for my Nassau transactions; so I would have to check my records to see whether Nassau had rejected one of my proposals. That is a possibility I would have to check on.
Q. Is it true that the only one that you are able to recall now is this rejection by the National Science Foundation?
A. There has been more than one rejection by the National Science Foundation.
Q. And you have, included letters on each of them in this packet that we've marked as Deposition Exhibit 2.
A. I think — I think there is even one which somehow got left out of this packet which was another rejection.
Q. Did each of these rejections apply to the same proposal or application?
A. No. These were different proposals.
Q. And there have been how many proposals in
total to NSF? Sir, I'm sorry. I think my question is unclear. That is, how many separate applications which they rejected have you made?
A. The two that you have record of here, and I believe that there is one more, the letter I meant to include, but apparently don't have it here from the National Science Foundation.
Q. Doctor, turning your attention back to Exhibit 1, at the bottom of your entry, there is an italicized sentence. Can you tell me what that is, sir?
A. That is a statement which "Who's Who in America" invites its listees to present to them for possible inclusion in "Who's Who in America." It is a statement of opinion, of the person who is going to be listed.
Q. So that sentence is language that you wrote and sent to "Who's Who" for inclusion?
A. That is correct.
MR. WOLFE: Off the record.
(An off-the-record discussion ensued.)
MR. WOLFE: I have given to Mr. Campbell a copy of all the material from
Dr. Gentry's documents that we copied, but I understand
now, from Dr. Gentry, that he intended to actually give the entire file to me for retention. So that I will make a complete copy of the contents of the file, and later on, when I have done so, send a copy to Mr. Campbell of the entire contents of the file.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) (Continuing) Doctor, are you a tenured professor at Columbia Union College?
A. No, I am not.
Q. Have you ever been eligible for tenure?
A. Truthfully, I do not know.
Q. Does Columbia Union College have any religious affiliation?
A. It's affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Q. Doctor, can you tell me how long you've been a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science?
A. I would have to check my records on that. Certainly more than six years, but I would have to check my records.
Q. All right, sir. So that it's been at least since 1975, and perhaps longer.
Q. Do you recall how long you've been a member of the American Physical Society?
A. No. Again, I don't know. There, I would be a little bit more conservative and say, at least for the last three years; but that, I think, would be a conservative estimate.
Q. Doctor, do you recall how long you've been a member of the American Geophysical Union?
A. I would say, for the AGU, again, I would have to check my records; but probably since 1970, and perhaps longer.
Q. Sir, are you a fellow of the American Geophysical Union?
A. No, I am not.
Q. Doctor, have you ever been a peer reviewer for any scientific journal?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Which one, sir?
A. Science, I'm almost positive — almost — I will say probably for physical review letters.
Q. Sir, when were you a peer reviewer for Science?
A. I would have to check my records. It has been within the past
— in my recollection, which I
will — subject to my checking on, I believe it was within the past six years as a reviewer for Science.
Q. Sir, are you still a reviewer for Science?
A. In my understanding, one only knows he is a reviewer when you receive a manuscript for potential review.
Q. I see. How many manuscripts have you reviewed for Science in the time that you have been a reviewer for that publication?
A. Again, I would have to check my records, but I believe I can remember two. There maybe more, but I am uncertain without checking my records.
Q. Doctor, I believe you had stated earlier that you're a member of the Creation Research Society; is that correct?
Q. Sir, how long have you been a member of the Society?
A. Again, I would have to check my records; but my recollection
is that it probably stretches back to the formative days of the organization
— and we would have to check to find out when that was. But if I remember
correctly, it I think I became a member either during the formative period
or relatively soon thereafter.
Q. Can you tell me approximately when that was?
A. This, in my recollection, I think is around 1965-66. I could be off a year or two.
MR. WOLFE: I'll ask the reporter to mark as Gentry Deposition Exhibit 3 an application form for the Creation Research Society.
(Thereupon, Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 3 was marked for identification by the court reporter.)
Q. (Continuing) Doctor, do you recall ever having seen the application form which has been marked as Exhibit 3?
Q. Do you recall whether you filled out such a form when you became a member of the Creation Research Society?
A. I do not remember the event of filling the form out; but I'm relatively certain that if this is a membership application blank, and I believe that it is, I'm relatively certain that I must have filled out an application blank similar to this.
Q. Sir, I'll direct your attention to near the center of the
page, and there are numbered paragraphs, one, two, three, and four well,
let me ask you
another question, first. Sir, at the top, there are four types of members or persons described. Can you tell me what kind of member of the CRS you are?
A. To my understanding, I am a voting member.
Q. Sir, then looking down at the middle of the page, there are four numbered paragraphs and the statement above them, quote, "In addition, all members (categories 1, 2, and 3 above) must subscribe to the following," closed quote.
Now, I take it, then, that as a voting member, at least presently, if you were to apply for membership, you would have to, quote, subscribe to the following," closed quote, these four numbered paragraphs.
Can you tell me whether you do, in fact, subscribe to the contents of those paragraphs?
A. Let me read them very carefully.
A. (Continuing) Yes. I would today sign a statement, I believe, to that effect.
Q. Doctor, are you a member of the Institute for Creation Research?
A. To my knowledge, I am not.
Q. Are you a member of the Creation Science
A. To my knowledge, I am not.
Q. Are you a member of the Bible Science Association?
A. I subscribe to the Bible Science Association newsletter. In their view, this may qualify me as a member of their organization. To my knowledge, I have never signed a statement of belief or a statement similar to the one which the Creation Research Society has before me here — you have before me here. But they may consider me a member of the Bible Science Association because I do subscribe to the newsletter.
Q. Sir, do you regard yourself as a member of the Bible Science Association?
A. I would have to — I would have to look at — and I do not have before me, nor do I have access to, I don't think, a statement of requirements or conditions or belief of the Bible Science Association and what it would require to be what, in my estimation, would be the equivalent of a member as I am of the Creation Research Society itself.
In other words, as I have earlier indicated. to you, I subscribe to
the Bible Science newsletter. In their records, in the records of the Bible
Science Association, this may qualify me, in itself, as being
a member of that organization. If it does, I have not protested that point of view.
Q. Is it fair to say, then, that you cannot know whether you regard yourself as a member until you've seen their statement of belief, if they have one, and which is required of members?
A. Well, what I always try to avoid is getting associated with an organization by inference, meaning that there are things which are, for example, published in the Bible Science newsletter which I personally do not subscribe to. From that standpoint, I would want to have the beliefs of the Bible Science Association more clearly enunciated before I would say or I would qualify myself to be, quote, a member of that organization in the same sense that I am, quote, a member of the Creation Research Society.
For instance, we have a formal statement of beliefs which I have, I'm certain, signed sometime in the past and would be willing to sign again today. On the other hand, to my knowledge, I do not have a statement of beliefs requirements for members of the Bible Science Association; so I do not — I have not signed a document stating that I am, quote, a member of the Bible Science Association.
As I said, if they, in their terminology,
consider my subscription to be a membership, this is a matter of their record keeping and not mine.
Q. Sir, in your last answer, you said, on the one hand, we have a form that I probably subscribed to in the past and would subscribe to now. I take it, by that, you mean the Creation Research Society form.
A. Correct. Uh-huh.
Q. Sir, can you recall now any of the instances of what you've just mentioned of things in the Bible Science newsletter which you would not subscribe to?
A. Many of the topics which are dealt with in the Bible Science newsletter are topics that do not bear specifically on my field of expertise. I have no real evidence one way or the other whether the articles are factual or not; so I'm in no position to pass judgment on them. I do not look at the Bible Science newsletter for a source of scientific information as far as my own research is concerned and do not keep records of articles which I consider are improperly documented as far as science is concerned.
Q. Okay. Doctor, can you tell me when you were a member of the American Scientific Affiliation?
A. Again, I would have to check my records'; but from what I
can estimate this morning, I would say it was in the mid — early to mid
Seventies. It could
have been a little bit earlier than that, and my membership could have stretched past 1975; but again, I would have to check my records. In fact, I don't even know that I have records that would allow me to state specifically when I joined the organization. When I join an organization like that was not a matter of something that I necessarily was going to keep close track of.
Q. Doctor, can you tell me how you came to no longer be a member of the American Scientific Affiliation?
A. Primarily economic. The dues of the Affiliation were increasing; the scientific information I was receiving from the journal, in my estimation, was minimal; so I discontinued my subscription and my membership.
Q. Doctor, are you a member of any church?
A. Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Q. How long have you been a member of the Seventh Day Adventist?
A. Since 1959.
Q. Were you a member of any other church prior to that time?
A. I believe that the membership which I had in the Christian
Church — the First Christian Church
in Jacksonville, Florida was from probably my early teen years and perhaps earlier than that. I'm not sure that that membership was ever discontinued. Even though I had left Jacksonville, Florida, which is where the church is located. I had left that area basically in 1951 to attend the University of Florida, and attended that church very little after that particular time. Whether the First Christian Church retained me on its rolls would have to be checked with the church itself.
Q. Doctor, have you ever held any offices in the Seventh Day Adventist church?
A. I would, ask for a clarification from the standpoint of whether one is talking about an office in a local church or in an administrative office pertaining to the church itself.
Q. Well, Sir, I'd be interested in either instance, if you had been an officer within a local congregation or of some administrative body of the national church, if there is such a thing.
A. Yes. I have, to my recollection, served as a deacon in a local
church; to my recollection, I have served as an elder and, to my recollection,
I probably — I think. I yes, served as what is called a lay activities
director. I have served as what is
probably called a communications — communications secretary, if you please. I have served in the capacity of a Sunday School teacher. These are the offices that come to mind at this time, I have held no administrative offices within the church as a whole.
Q. Are you able to recall approximately when you held the offices that you've mentioned?
A. It seems that in 1959, I may have been involved with some newspaper, getting news stories into the local newspaper, when I was a member of a church in Gainesville, Florida. I don't remember. It's possible that I became a deacon at that time. This would have, been a few months or thereabouts after I became a member of the Adventist Church. The position of elder, probably in the time frame from '63 to 1964 in Atlanta, is when I believe I first held that office. I have held the office since that time, in the Church of Knoxville, Tennessee in, again, the early to mid-1970's; and during that time, early to mid-1970's, and perhaps after '75 a year or so, probably was also involved in the activities of the what is called the lay activities endeavors of the church, called perhaps, or termed the lay activities director.
Q. Sir, can you tell me what your duty or
responsibilities were as lay activities director?
A. From time to time, there are radio programs which are programmed in another area of the country, recorded in another area of the country. These radio programs and television programs are available for distribution to local outlets. At one time, I checked into the possibility of getting a television program on a local station in Knoxville.
At other times, there are days in which church members participate in distributing literature which concerns, the Seventh Day Adventist to friends and neighbors within the community. I was involved in helping to plan that sort of literature distribution. Generally speaking — I do not remember all that we tried to accomplish, but the lay activities department of a local church is involved in activities. which would attempt to distribute information about the belief of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the printed page, or radio or television.
Q. Doctor, have you ever done any work for the church that involved evangelism or seeking converts to the church, in addition to what you've just described as your work as lay activities director?
A. Yes. In my opinion, I would answer yes to that question from
the standpoint, number one, the
information which I had published in the open scientific literature is the kind of information which in my opinion, raises the questions — raises questions with respect to the conventional evolutionary framework of the development of the earth. This information, being open to the public, including church officials, has, from time to time, come to the attention of ministers within the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and in particular and on occasion, these ministers have asked me to present the information to their audiences which I have published in the open literature and the implications of which I have published in the open literature. So in this context, I think I would have to say that I was cooperating with the ministry.
Q. Sir, would the Seventh Day Adventist faith permit the use of an exaggeration or a half-truth in evangelism if it were thought necessary to bring a nonbeliever to that faith?
A. I am happy that you asked that question. I would like to refer
to one of my quotes in a publication. As background material, several years
ago, 1976, I was involved in the publication of evidence for superheavy
elements. This publication received wide notice. There were several scientists
in the original report. To my knowledge, I was the only scientist who participated in experiments that revealed that the original evidence was not due to superheavy elements, but was due to a more conventional phenomenon.
On page 238 of the information which I have given you "Science News," this is a write-up of a symposium on superheavy elements that was held in Lubbock, Texas in 1978. I refer specifically to the information on the left-hand column of that page. In the middle of the page, we quote the following: "Gentry emphasizes that in making that statement, he speaks only for himself." Quoting me, "I don't speak for anyone else, and they don't speak for me." Now, the original — the people who were with me in the original report did not agree with my about-face. I freely admitted that I was wrong. At the same time, I could not let them speak for me, and this is why I said, I don't speak for anyone else, and they don't speak for me.
What the Seventh Day Adventist Church would do is something that would
be decided by the officers of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I could
give an opinion and only an opinion about what individuals would do.
Q. What is your opinion, sir?
A. If you would have the question repeated, I will give an opinion.
(Thereupon, the previous question was read back by the court reporter.)
A. (Continuing) If indeed a recognized body of church officers were asked that question, in my opinion, they would say no. Now, whether such things have ever been done is a matter of the individuals involved. I have only knowledge of what I consider to be the essence of my beliefs, and these I have communicated to you.
Q. Do you ever read the Bible?
Q. Which versions or translations have you read?
A. The King James version, the Revised Standard version. I believe there is a New English Bible. The New International version, I believe, is one recently out. I have scanned some of those. Primarily, I read out of the King James version and the Revised Standard version.
Q. Are you able to estimate approximately how often, on an annual
basis or weekly basis or some other basis, you read the Bible?
A. Several times a week.
Q. Do you ever consult the Bible in your capacity as a physicist or nuclear physicist?
A. I will refer to information which I have published in the
open literature which I have given copies to you today. Specifically, I
refer to a publication in the transactions of the American Geophysical
Union, "EOS," dated May 29, 1979, the paragraph beginning with the word,
"and," the third one down. It says, "And as far as a new comprehensive
theory is concerned, I would replace the one singularity of the Big Bang
with two major cosmos-related singularities, (in which I exclude any implications
about extraterrestrial life-related phenomena) derived from the historic
Judeo-Christian ethic, namely, the events associated with, (1) the galaxies
(including the Milky Way) being created ex nihilo by Fiat nearly 6 millennia
ago and (2) a later catastrophe which resulted in a solar system-wide disturbance
that was manifested on earth primarily as a worldwide flood, with subsequent
crustal adjustments. I later say, "I propose that this new framework has
a scientific basis because there are certain predictions which, in principle,
can be confirmed and others which can be falsified by suitable
MR. WOLFE: I'll ask the reporter to mark a copy of the letter which you've just read as Deposition Exhibit 4.
(Thereupon, the document was marked as Plaintiff's Exhibit No. 4 for identification by the court reporter.)
Q. (Continuing) Doctor, are there any other instances in which you've consulted the Bible in your scientific work?
A. There are other instances in this particular document which
you are already having cited in which I referred to evidences for creation.
Continuing on at the bottom of page 474, "For example, Primordial Po Halos
imply that Precambrian granites, pegmatitic micas, and other rocks which
host such halos must be primordial rocks (and hence should constitute ideal
rad waste containment sites). Therefore, I regard the failure to resolve
the long-standing controversy, in geology which concerns the origin of
the Precambrian granites to be because such rocks are primordial and hence
not necessarily explainable on the basis of conventional principles. Even
though I think they further qualify for that role in their association
as basement rocks of the continents, nevertheless,
I would consider my thesis essentially falsified if and when geologists synthesize a hand-size specimen of a typical biotite-bearing granite and/or a similar size crystal of biotite.
The next paragraph concerns the evidence from the primordial halos in coalified wood which, in my estimation, relate to the events concerning the second singularity, which, in other terms, would be the flood. This is covered in the second paragraph. "A further consequence of this model is that evidence of U-series disequilibria and abnormally high Uranium 238/Lead 206 ratios should still persist in those sedimentary formations in which uranium was partially separated from its daughters during the second singularity about 4 millennia ago. Studies of radio halos in coalified wood from geological formations, presumably two to eight-years old suggests that such evidence does exist and that it admits the possibility that the formations are only several thousand years old."
I would like to add one further sentence. The last sentence in this
document says, "I submit this letter to the members of the scientific community,
not as an antagonist purporting to have the final word in a dispute, but
as a colleague, who, in the spirit of
free scientific inquiry, genuinely seeks a vigorous critical response to the evidence discussed herein.
Q. Doctor, do you believe that the Bible is inerrant or infallible?
A. My view is that the Bible forms a consistent whole. There are some areas of the Bible which I am still studying to have a better understanding of.
Q. So, I'm not certain that I understood if answered my question. That is, is it your belief the Bible is infallible?
A. In my estimation, the statements in the original language in the Bible — the original statements are correct.
Q. Doctor, when you speak of the original statements or the original language in your answer, what version or translation of the Bible do you have in mind?
A. Well, of course, you're talking about any translation if you're talking about —
Q. I see. So your last statement referred to statements in what language, in Hebrew or in Greek?
A. My understanding is that most of the Old Testament was written
in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that most of the Hebrew Testament was written
in Greek. I am conversant with neither of those languages; so at
the present time, I'm evaluating the evidence on the basis of individuals who have done their best in translating the original documents.
I realize there are differences in the way that various translators translate certain passages. I do not interpret this — these differences as an error in the original autographs or a means of arriving at inconsistencies in the original autographs.
Q. So is it correct then, that you believe the Bible is infallible, but you accept, from that translation, error and don't regard those as bearing on the fallibility or not of the original versions?
A. Would you repeat that question?
(Thereupon, the previous question was read back by the court reporter.)
A. (Continuing) I don't think I stated that I viewed the differences in translations as errors per se. What I said, I think, or wanted to communicate was that the differences which exist may exist because of insufficient information on the basis of the translators' themselves, and that these differences in translations do not reflect the reliability or the correctness of the original documents themselves.
Q. Sir, turning for a moment to the application form for the
Creation Research Society, which was
Exhibit 3 to your deposition, in the numbered paragraph 1, it makes a reference to the quote, original autographs, closed quote. Is that what you're also referring to when you speak of the original version of the Bible?
Q. Doctor, what's your belief as to how the Bible came to be inerrant or infallible?
A. What I have stated to you is that, in my opinion, the original autographs are correct. So the question that you have asked me just now goes beyond the statements which I have made. You have used words which are beyond the words which I have spoken to you.
Q. All right. Well, sir, perhaps we should clear that up. Could you explain to me the distinction you're making, if you're making one, between correctness and inerrancy or infallibility?
A. "Infallibility" is a term which I use sparingly, because I
have seen the term misused, in my estimation, many times. Example: There
is within, in my estimation, the body of Christianity individuals who apparently
claim — this is getting off into a philosophy area. I will go back to the
— simply the point that the word "correct" without error
is my judgment of the original autographs, "correct," meaning, my definition, without error. Now, if you wish to state more specifically what it is that you feel the word "infallible" implies in addition to being without error, perhaps I could respond to that.
Q. Well, there's no necessity for you to count your testimony in any specific language, and so I'm happy to have your testimony that your belief is as you've described it. And I guess, parenthetically, I don't know what else it is to be infallible except that you don't make errors; so perhaps there's no difference at all.
But I'm not — you know, I wanted to know if you thought there was a distinction, and I'm perfectly happy to have your testimony in your own words; namely, that you believe the original autographs to be correct, and you understand that to mean they would not have error.
A. (Witness nods head affirmatively.)
Q. My question is, what's your belief of how the original autographs came to be without error?
A. I can give you my understanding of the Biblical record, which
may differ from other individuals. My understanding of the Biblical record
is that certain individuals, in times passed, received communications from the Deity — in my estimation, God — and these communications were subsequently recorded.
Q. Then, is it because the Bible essentially came from God that it's able to be without error?
A. In my estimation, it is because the scriptures have their ultimate source in the Deity or God, that they are — in my estimation, the original autographs are without error; yes.
Q. Doctor, do you believe that the Bible in the original autographs is literally true?
A. I'll go back to the statement that I believe that the Bible, as a whole, forms a consistent — is a — itself, a consistent whole, meaning that there are some sections of the Bible that provide definitions for the interpretation of other sections of the Bible. These definitions, in my estimation, are useful, they're helpful, and they are, in themselves, necessary to the understanding of the Bible as a whole.
MR. WOLFE: Will you read the last answer, please?
(Thereupon, the previous answer was read back by the court reporter.)
Q. (Continuing) Doctor, do you mean, by the
reference in your last answer to necessary, helpful definitions in sections, that the Bible is not literally true, or that it is literally true as a whole or, do you mean something altogether that I didn't understand?
A. My comment was made because in my understanding, there are sections in the Bible which are primarily symbolic. In some cases, the word "waters is used, in my estimation, not to mean literal H2O, but to stand for something else. So while I say yes, that there are factual portions of the Bible which are literally, true, there are also factual portions of the Bible which are symbolic, and one needs the entire — with the entire whole one needs the literal, so to speak, factual portions in order to interpret the symbolic portions.
Q. Doctor, would you say that the description of Creation in Genesis is one of the portions of the Bible which is literally true, rather than symbolic?
A. In my judgment, I would answer yes to that. And I have, of
course, gone on record, as we have already spoken today in the pages of
"EOS," picturing my understanding of the historic Judeo-Christian ethic,
which I also have proposed and asked for evidence which would falsify the
scientific understanding I have of
that historic Judeo-Christian ethic.
Q. Is it your opinion that the Bible makes any predictions about future events that will, take place which, have not as yet?
A. In my opinion, yes.
Q. Can you give me any instances?
A. The outstanding instance that I think of is related, of course, to my association with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and that is the prediction of the second return of Christ.
Q. Do you believe that the Bible exhibits any predictions that were made at the time the original autographs were written which have since proven true; that is, predictions about things that were future as to the time of the original autographs that has now come to pass?
A. In my opinion, yes.
Q. What instances are there?
A. That is a broad question which perhaps we could relate very
specifically to. If one were to look very specifically at the prophecies
in the Book of Daniel, specifically referring to the dream which Nebuchadnezzar
had, and the subsequent interpretation of that dream by the individual
spoken of in the Bible as the Prophet Daniel, my understanding is that
Bible, the Book of Daniel, relates the history of several nations from the time of Nebuchadnezzar down to the time of Rome, and then to the division of the European nations.
Specifically, Daniel saw, if I remember, a statue with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and moray clay. My recollection of the vision and the vision and the interpretation was, that the Kingdom of Babylon was associated with the head of gold; the breast and arms of silver were associated with the Medea-Persian Empire; the bronze, with Greece; the legs of Rome, and the feet and toes — feet and toes of iron mixed with moray clay, the toes being the ten divisions of the Roman Empire into the European nations of today. And the prediction was made, as iron and clay would not mix together, the statement, I believe, is made, neither shall they seed, their seeds shall intermarry, or words to the effect that there will be intermarriage, but that the nations themselves, the European nations and divisions of the Roman Empire, would not cleave together in a united whole.
This, in my estimation, is one of the outstanding prophecies relating
to the history on
nations reported prior to the time, as far as I can tell, that the events themselves actually transpired.
Q. Do you recall any other instances?
A. I recall — I hesitate to enumerate in detail without references in front of me. There were references, as far as can tell, to the events, for example, that took place concerning the actual life of the Messiah, the way in which he would be born, the town in which he would be born, the way in which he would pass from this world. These are some of the outstanding, as far as I can tell, prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the New. These are not all, but these are a sampling of what you're asking for, in my estimation.
Q. Doctor, has the Bible ever suggested to you a specific research project?
A. My interest in beginning this research resulted from my inquiries
and my becoming a Seventh Day Adventist. For a number of years prior to
becoming a Seventh Day Adventist, I basically had accepted the conventional,
cosmological view of the development of the universe. As I began to study
the kinds of prophecies that I have just referred to — mainly, the prophecies
in the Book of Daniel, those relating to the life of the Messiah, and a
few others —
it occurred to me that the scriptures had a great deal more credibility than I had granted them in the years from, for example, we'll say 1945, or my earliest years, to 1959.
I had gone to church in the First Christian Church in Florida and other
places, but had no real strong convictions about the reliability or the
correctness of the scriptures. When I saw — in my estimation, as I examined
information, relating to the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel and
the Messiah, other events concerning historical happenings, it occurred
to me that the scriptures were of far more credibility than I had previously
supposed. So even though I decided to become a member of the Seventh Day
Adventist Church, I had questions regarding the origins, questions — questions
concerning the age of the earth. So over the next few years, as I was a
Seventh Day Adventist, I was unable to find any material that would satisfactorily
answer my questions with regard to scientific evidence that would support,
in my viewpoint, the information contained in the Book of Genesis. Having
come to that position, I decided that the only way which I could rationally
live with myself
would be to undertake a research project and attempt to determine, if possible, whether what I had tentatively — or had accepted was indeed based on reality or evidence or, indeed, whether it was fiction. So in a roundabout way, my answer to your question is that my inquiries into the Biblical record, first of all, from the standpoint of prophecies being fulfilled, led me to believe that the scriptures were of sufficient credibility to investigate more further to see if the record of Creation also did not have evidence which would support it, of which I was at that time and had been completely unaware.
Q. Doctor, just to clear something up, near the beginning of your last answer, you said, my note says, this research. Did you mean, by that, your research on radio halos?
A. I began looking into the subject of radio halos approximately
19 years ago. Before that time, I was reading books, but had nothing definite
in mind as to how to pursue the questions that would relate to the very
fundamental issues at stake, and that is, as far as I can tell, the conventional
viewpoint which I had learned, accepted, been educated in in college was
one concerning basically one singularity followed by a long period of uniformitarian
Contrasted with that, my understanding was a Judeo- Christian ethic,
which involved two singularities, but far more recent. So the question
at hand, as far as I can tell, primarily, was one of whether the premises
of uniformitarianism geology — radioactively speaking, whether these premises
were substantiated or whether, indeed I could find evidence that would
support or confirm those premises.
Q. Dr. Gentry, do you have an understanding of the phrase Creation Scientists?
A. This Act that the Arkansas legislature has passed — let's see, is there a copy of it here to look, at — in Section 4-A, it defines Creation Science, and from my standpoint, I think this would be an agreeable definition of Creation Science in that Section 4 here.
Q. What do you understand to be the meaning of Creation Scientists?
A. I think this is a question which each individual who believes in creation has to decide for himself, on the basis of his understanding of the creation epic.
My understanding of Creation Science, is generally in accord with Section 4, the Arkansas legislative Act 590. Therefore, in that context, I could be considered a Creation Scientist, in some sense of the word. There are other individuals in my estimation, who also consider themselves as believers in creation, that would not necessarily subscribe to the Section "A" there, but yet, they; would still say that they were Creation Scientists.
So I don't think I have a broad general definition of anyone who is
a Creation Scientist. Its
something that I can understand myself on the basis of what is defined here as Creation Science. I understand what is being stated to the limit of my ability. Right now, I would agree: with those statements, general terms, until such time comes as we have falsification of those general statements or general principles or what I have actually asked for in my letters and my articles, until, such time as a falsification evidence comes in, then I will remain a Creation Scientist, in the sense, I would, Section A. — Section 4, Part A. as being a part of Creation Science. But I wouldn't want to put myself on record as trying to define any Creation Scientists for all individuals in the world. That is something that is beyond, in my estimation, the limits of my knowledge and my understanding, what these other colleagues understand and mean.
In other words, again I refer back to the statement. I made earlier, I really am speaking for myself, and I prefer to let other people speak for themselves in the context of their understanding of Creation Science.
Q. Doctor, then is it fair to summarize part of what you just
said, that you consider yourself to be a Creation Scientist in the sense
that you believe in this definition of Creation Science given in Section
of the Act 590?
A. At the present time, I consider that the statements made in Section 4, Part A, are defensible aspects of Creation Science. I'm still in a search for truth in my laboratory work, and indeed, if there were ever a cause of evidence, demonstrable evidence, falsifiable evidence, that would falsify any of these positions, then I'm interested in finding that.
So it's an ongoing situation, as far as my being a Creation Scientist
is concerned, and remaining a part of the general overview of Creation
Science here given in Section 4. This is why I have openly asked the scientific
community to try to help me out. Indeed as unusual as it seems, in some
respects, I refer to my comment, I submitted this letter to the members
of the scientific community, not as an antagonist reporting to have the
final word in a dispute, but as a colleague who generally seeks a vigorous
critical response to the evidence discussed herein. I'm trying to put it
out into the widest possible evidence so that if I'm wrong and a lot of
people, of course, think I'm wrong, then everyone, including myself, would
have the opportunity, I want to make an about face if I'm wrong. So this
is why I'm asking — so I'm a Creation Scientist today, I would generally
the definition in Section 4 here until such evidence comes along that would indicate otherwise, falsifiable evidence, demonstrable evidence.
Q. Doctor, would you say that you have always been a Creation Scientist in the sense that you accept the definition given here.
A. Okay. Now, your statement that I have always been a Creation Scientist in the sense, remember and I think your question implies that you remember, that there was a time certainly when I was an evolutionist which I indicated to your earlier, but I understand from your question that you are referring to that period of time after I began looking into the evidences for creation and accepted the general overview of the Genesis profile of the Earth's history, which is what you are referring to.
In other words, there was a time in my life which I wasn't a Creationist at all, didn't do anything in regard to Creation Science at all.
Q. To be clear, if we look at it chronologically would you say that you would have been an evolutionist rather than a creationist?
A. Well, probably thinking back on it, near the end of the time
I was getting my B.S., or perhaps a little bit earlier, about 1955, maybe
1954, too, you
know, until the time that I became a Seventh Day Adventist, mid 1979, certainly during that time I was — I can remember discussing evolution on the positive side with other individuals. So let's say in general terms, 1954, '55, through mid 1959, being an evolutionist.
Q. Doctor, what was the occasion for your ceasing to hold the belief in evolution?
A. The occasion relates to the information which I have given
earlier, the study of the prophecies, some of which I have referred to
in the book of Daniel. and the others relating to the life of the Messiah,
the events of the Messiah, led me to believe, that the entire Bible, not
just parts of it, might have far more credibility than I had at that time
afforded it. And so following that line of reasoning, I began again. to
restudy the earlier portions of the Bible and asking myself how well I
really knew the evidence that contradicted, for example, the Genesis account.
That's one of the questions I began to ask myself at that time. There was
no one day, one way — the next day believing in all of Section 4. What
has happened is, there has been a gradual shift, so to speak, in my thinking
over the period of time relating primarily to the way in which I have reexamined
the scriptures on
one hand and reexamined the scientific evidence on the other hand.
Q. Doctor, what began or occasioned your first doubts about evolution?
A. The occasion primarily relating to my contact with Seventh Day Adventist, in that I had my mind refocused on the Ten Commandments, and it was this refocusing on the Ten Commandments that led me to see this Fourth Commandment which I had not seen, which I'm sure was there and I'm sure I had read in my many years of going to church, but the statement to the effect, "For in six days the Lord made heaven. and earth, the sea, and all that in them is and rested on the seventh."
When I realized that was in the context of what I considered to be a
moral issue, was the point at which I sort of began to seriously think
that I needed to reconsider the entire issue of Genesis itself and entire
reliability connected with Genesis because I had the general view at that
time that the earlier books of the Bible were maybe symbolic, maybe poetical.
I wasn't really sure how factual that they were. And so I never, for a
number of years, had taken the Genesis account very seriously. But it was
the emphasis on the Fourth Commandment, the moral issue, that caused me
primarily to go back and again to reexamine the evidence.
Q. Doctor, could you remind me which commandment is the Fourth?
A. Which one?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. It is the one relating to the Sabbath, remember the Sabbath to keep it holy for heaven, and earth, the seventh day in the Fourth Commandment being referenced to as a memorial of the initial six days of creation. That's where the reference occurs. Maybe I can help you — let me ask you if you are trying to get around to asking me or thinking about asking me or wanting to ask was there a period of time in which I was what normally — what some people would normally call a Creationist, or words to that effect, but did not agree to all the items here in Section 4, Part A; is this something that you are interested in knowing?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. All right. And the answer to that question for many years,
after I became a Seventh Day Adventist, and in theory, at least, accepting
Genesis, I was of the opinion that the earth itself was still perhaps quite
old and that perhaps life had simply been created on Earth relatively recently,
but that the
Earth itself may have been very, very old and that, I think, for awhile
I accepted the general view that indeed the overall inorganic development
of granted either may very well have happened according to the normal —
let's put it this way. My views would have in part paralleled very closely
the cosmological views that were associated with parts of the Big Bang
and the subsequent development of the Earth to the present time. It was
not until later after I began this research that the idea of the granites,
the Precambrian granites of this world, not being rocks, that's solely
(that slowly?) cooled down, but rocks that were created came to my thinking
so clearly, a difference occurred, a large difference occurred during the
progress of my research, and a direct result of my research that considerably
changed my thinking with respect to the time of origin and the actual mode
of origin, of what I would call the basement rocks, the Precambrian granites.
Whereas previously I considered from an early Creationist viewpoint, so
to speak, that the Precambrian granites were possibly the result of — I
don't remember all my thoughts — but quite possibly the result of the slow
cooling, as people normally viewed them. Later on my view has been with
the evidence in hand, these rocks, as far as I can tell,
I have hypothesized to be the result of Creation, and I have suggested that the following method can be used to help us to separate which of the views is really correct.
The normal uniformitarian viewpoint is that the Precambrian granites have through uniformitarian principles, as we know, we have crystals that can be synthesized in the laboratory, so if, indeed, the Precambrian granites are rocks that were formed through conventional physical laws, then I have suggested that one way that the present scenario, the evolutionary scenario could be validated, confirmed, is for a hen-size specimen of a piece of granite to be actually synthesized in the laboratory.
And I have further stated, again, in the articles that I have published
here in EOS, that the polonium halos in these granites constitute evidence
of primordial radioactivity and are, therefore, suggestive of a very, very
rapid crystallization of these granites. so from that standpoint, my two
theories or hypotheses are open to falsification in the laboratory; Number
one, the synthesis of a piece of granite would falsify a view that the
granites are primordial rocks, created rocks, I will accept that as
a falsification in my thesis; and, number two, the production of a single polonium halo, in a synthesized piece of granite, I will accept as evidence as falsification for my hypothesis that the polonium halos in the Precambrian granites constitute Precambrian written activity.
So on those two issues, I have tried to present to this scientific community and an opportunity for scientists who are interested in these questions of origins, to present the evidence so that if I'm wrong, then everyone can know, including myself.
Q. Doctor, then is it correct that your doubts about evolution and a gradual change in your thinking to acceptance of a Creationist view and the refinement of that — of the details, of that opinion come after your acquaintance with the Seventh Day Adventist's belief?
A. That is correct.
Q. Dr. Gentry, how did you come to first hear about the lawsuit that we're involved in here?
A. The lawsuit — I called the ACLU Office in Little Rock and
asked whether or not the ACLU was going to intervene, and told me you were.
I had some information, I'm sure, from some other source, but my first
firm information was from the ACLU in Little Rock
Q. Do you recall, approximately when that was?
A. No, I don't. But it was apparently only a few days before the ACLU brought the lawsuit. I don't remember. I'll have to check my records. I may or may not have it in my records.
Q. Sir, who first asked you to testify in this action?
A. David Williams.
Q. Do you recall when that was?
A. I'll see if I have a record of that.
As close as I can tell, from my records, it was October 27th.
Q. Was the contact that you had at that time with Mr. Williams the first contact that you had had with any representative of the Arkansas Attorney General's Office?
A. Yes; to my knowledge, yes.
Q. Was that a letter or a telephone call?
A. It was a telephone call.
Q. Did Mr. Williams telephone you?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. Do you know how Mr. Williams happened to have your name?
A. That morning, a David McQueen, who is here today called me relative to participating in a symposium next June in Baltimore. I told him at that time that I was unsure of my schedule and was watching the events in Little Rock, whereupon he told me that he had been invited to be a witness at the trial, and implied in his statements to me, or he inferred, he had inferred or had thought that I was going to be a witness in the case. And I assured him that at that time I had not been contacted.
And so he said he was going to call David Williams that day about same matter relating to the trial, and he was going to mention my name to David Williams. And he did, apparently, because David Williams called me that very same day, and indicated that David McQueen had given him my name.
Q. Had you ever discussed the possibility of your testifying in this action with anyone else, not from the Attorney General's Office, prior to the contact that you had with Mr. Williams?
A. Yes, I had.
Q. When was that, sir?
A. Somewhere around mid-August, I believe. There may have been
an earlier time, but to my recollection, it was mid-August before I spoke
with — I, would
I have to check my records. It could have been as early — as early August. I'm not sure. But I know by mid- August, I was definitely in contact with someone about the trial. It could have bean earlier, but I'm sure it was at least by mid-August.
Q. And with whom were you in contact?
A. I met Wendell Bird at a convention, at which I spoke here in Atlanta in mid-August.
Q. And I take it then that you would discuss the possibility of your testifying with Mr. Bird?
A. I discussed with him the possibility of testifying in this forthcoming case, yes.
Q. Do you recall the substance of your discussion?
A. The substance of the discussion was primarily that of my research. As I indicated, I had given a talk at this particular convention, and he was interested in discussing with me further the issues that I had spoken about, definitely information concerning the research that we are talking about here today.
Q. Doctor, when did you first see a copy of Act 590, the Statute that is at issue?
A. I will have to say simply I do not know. It was sometime this
summer, but that is not the kind
of information that I sit down and write down in my notebook.
Q. Do you recall how you came to have a copy of the Act?
A. To be truthful with you, I don't. I may have gotten it from Wendell Bird, but I do not know. I really don't know.
Q. Have you ever had any discussion with Mr. John Whitehead about this case or the Statute?
A. I have had communication with John Whitehead — yes. It was, I think, John Whitehead who indicated to me earlier in the year that he thought if something developed in Arkansas, he would be interested in talking with me. But this was a situation where if something developed and, if something, else might happen, this is before there was any decisive or any act on the part of the ACLU to go into and challenge the case.
Q. Do you recall if this contact with Mr. Whitehead was before the Arkansas Statute was passed?
A. Now, that I don't know.
Q. Had you ever had any communication with Mr. Bird or Mr. Whitehead prior to the first instances that you just mentioned?
A. Yes. John Whitehead contacted me several years ago, I don't
remember exactly how many, relative
to the case in California that was litigated this last March, and as I said his contact with me was what, two or three years ago. I don't know. I'd have to look in my records to find out.
He contacted me at that time about the possibility of testifying if he were involved in the case. I sent him reprints, and then the contact was generally broken off for a long period of time. I've had no — I never got involved in the situation in California.
Q. Have you ever had a criminal arrest or conviction?
A. No, I haven't.
Q. Have you aver discussed with a representative of the Attorney General's Office the specific subjects about which you are expected to testify at trial?
A. I have discussed with David Williams and Rick Campbell last night the essence of my research, as we are discussing this afternoon, and the implications which I have published openly, and have told them what I can say to them and whether this information would be useful or valuable, from their standpoint. It was, of course, their judgment to decide whether it would be useful or not.
Q. Have you discussed the possibility of
testifying as to any subject areas, other than your radio halo subject?
A. No. I definitely do not attempt to go outside the area in which I've actually done research and published. I have a very strong feeling that if we are going to search for a truth, we need to do it in a way so that intelligent and honest people have an opportunity to evaluate the evidence on a rational basis. So that my view is that people need to be very, very careful in the area of Creation Science when they make statements. Sometimes in my estimation their statements cannot be substantiated, cannot be backed up in the way that I attempt to do my work. But, of course, they are free, of course, to follow their own inclinations as they see fit. This is a free country.
Q. Doctor, looking at the Act 590, particularly Section 4, the definitions, I believe you had stated earlier that you would presently agree with the six instances of evidence for Creation Science that are listed in Subsection A?
A. Yes, I agree with them, remembering that my area of expertise
does not extend to everything listed here, from a scientific standpoint.
My area of
expertise is not involved with genetics or biology, so I would not want you to construe my agreement with the statements to be from the standpoint of having scientific expertise in those areas.
Q. Doctor, would, you tell me what you regard as the scientific evidences for point number six, that is, quote, a relatively recent inception of the Earth and living kinds, close quote?
A. The strongest evidence that I have for, for example, a recent inception of the Earth, I refer to this article in EOS, which I have read before, the one labeled in EOS, Volume 60, May 29, 1979, in which I have at that point indicated that the development of these uranium halos in coalified wood, as far as I could tell, comply a minimal stage of development. If the uniformitarian viewpoints that the formations which contain the halos in coalified wood is correct, then I would expect to see, as far as I could tell, the fully developed, uranium halos in coalified wood. And if the uniformitarian viewpoint of a constant biotite were correct, I would expect to see the uranium 238 to lead 206 ratios to be much less than those which we find in the material itself.
I wish to state, though, that the models that we are talking about here,
the basic models we are
talking about, on the one hand involves for the evolutionary viewpoint, one singularity, followed by uniformity to the present time, that one singularity being the Big Bang, followed by uniformed action through the laws to the present.
The model which I propose again which I have indicated, here in this issue of EOS is a two singularity model, and I have tried to in this paper, and other places, distinguish the following: That whenever one has or hypothesizes a singularity, it is at this time in my estimation that the conventional laws which you observed from day-to-day, do not necessarily or cannot necessarily account for the phenomena at that juncture. So when we are talking about age, we can't have it both ways, so to speak. In every instance, when We talk about age, we must have to be reliable, a rate mechanism which somehow or another is assumed to run at a constant rate. In order to have complete assurance of any ages derived from any rate mechanism, one must have proof, so to speak, that the constant rate mechanism has been constant over the time period involved.
Now, I do not consider that I have proof of a constant decay rate from
now back to the last singularity and the model which I hypothesize anymore
than I consider there is proof of a constant decay rate back to the inception of the first singularity in the other model. What I'm saying is that if one accepts without proof the viewpoint, that things have been going on relatively speaking at this rate since the last singularity, then you arrive at thus and so for the age of these chromations there in the Colorado plateau.
But we want to, at least in my mind, I want to be careful to distinguish between fact and assumption in this particular case. What I'm saying is that we are testing or attempting to test two scientific hypotheses, one being the one similarity from the initial point of the Big Bang to the present; the other, the dual singularity approach. What I have attempted to do in my scientific endeavors is to find out whether there is evidence of this second singularity. And I think, indeed, the halo in the coalified rate, the 206 ratios, or that sort of evidence.
In other words, we are looking at a crossover point between the two
hypotheses. We look at the two models, and we ask, what does this model
predict, and what does the other model predict, if one accepts the basic
assumptions involved, not that we have proof of necessarily the assumptions
on either side
And the halos in the coalified wood, as far as I can tell, are evidence of the existence of the second singularity, in the sense that if one were to take the halos that are there, the polonium halos in one hand, and the uranium halos in the other hand, this is the kind of scientific data that in my estimation one should be able to, so to speak, expect to find on the basis of the flood model and illustrate. My understanding of what we have seen in the Colorado Plateau, as far as the coalified wood is concerned, is that we have uranium solutions which have impregnated the wood while it was still in a somewhat gell-like condition. Uranium, and his daughters are permeating the coalified wood. Uranium is being separated in part from its daughters. Uranium, the rarest collecting in some cites, the polonium collecting with lead in other science.
Now, according to the usual conventional approach, we have, I believe, the Jurassic formations both of which have the deformed elliptical polonium to ten halos in the coalified wood. I suggest this is evidence that the uranium solutions invaded wood which was in the same state of condition in both formations at relatively the same time.
The tectonic event which then compressed
the wood and then compressed the halos, again, is something someone would expect to occur on the basis of infiltration of uranium bearing solutions at a specific time.
So I'm saying this information is the kind of information that fits into the dual singularity approach. If I attempt to place this information into the single singularity approach, I have not been able to do it. I have requested openly members of the scientific community to come forward with ways in which this can be done, and I am still looking for that kind of information.
Q. Doctor, is there any other scientific work which you would point to as evidencing a recent inception?
A. There is some work I am presently involved in that I am not at liberty to disclose at this appropriate time because it is in the review process, and I cannot divulge that information at this time because of that.
I will say, considering the topic of age, that the general view, again,
going back to the polonium halos in the granites, now, the general view
is that those granites, Precambrian granites formed slowly over long-periods
of time. Indeed, as I had suggested, those halos are primordial, are suggestive
granites being primordial, then to me, this suggests that the granites, irrespective of the isotope ratios which exist between uranium 238 and lead 206, and Thorium 231 and lead 208, irrespective of the individual ratios which exist there, that the ratios themselves between the various parent and daughter isotope relations do not reflect a lapsed time. They in my opinion, do reflect the fact that the atoms have decayed from uranium and Thorium to lead, but I find in my estimation no evidence for the constancy of the decay rate.
As far as the initial episode, in which those halos I find no evidence of the decay rate at the time that the halos themselves, were in the process of formulation.
Q. Doctor, recalling your attention to Act 590, in Section B, Subsection B of Section 4, there are several points which the Act includes, as within a definition of evolution science or the evidences for evolution science. And number six in that subsection is, quote, an inception several billion years ago of the Earth and somewhat later of life, close quote. Are you aware of any scientific evidence which supports that view?
A. If one accepts the hypothesis or the premise
that the radioactivity decay rate has been uniformed, then one can interpret the isotope ratios of uranium 238 to lead 206 and thorium 232 to lead 208 as implying a several billion year age of the Earth, if that premise is accepted.
I find in my own thinking a question arising as to how one would validate a basic premise. And my position is that one cannot accept the interpretation of isotope ratios over that period of time as indicating a several billion year age of the Earth until the basic premise itself has been validated.
Q. Sir, in that answer, when you say the basic premise itself, do you mean —
A. The constancy of the decay rate.
A. You see, what I'm saying is, indeed, if there is a creation event, single singularity, we have events going on during that period of time, specifically creation week, in which my understanding of Creation implies bringing into existence material which previously had no existence, rocks which had prior — no prior existence, radioactivity which had no prior existence, and I'm in many respects ignorant of how the creator ordained the rock systems.
In my own mind, for example, I think of the
existence of the uranium halos and the thorium halos which many people interpret as evidences of very great periods, of the Earth's history. I simply try to point out that radioactivity is primarily a statistical process, and that whereas today in the Earth, there is a great amount of radioactivity on the surface and within, the crust of the Earth, generally speaking, we all live on the assumption that it will continue to decay relatively the same way it is decaying right now.
In my estimation, there is no physical law that would prohibit a significant
fraction of the uranium atoms or thorium, atoms from decaying within this
next week or two. We would say it is a statistically extremely improbable
event that might happen. But as far as I can tell, it would violate no
physical law. Likewise, then the events that occurred during Creation Week
being under, in my estimation, the supervision of the creator himself,
may have been such that the development of the uranium halos and the thorium
halos may have taken place in a matter quite different than we would expect
today from the standpoint of uniform radioactive decay, but that this would
have not contradicted any of the physical laws, as far as I can tell, that
we know of.
Likewise, during what I consider to be the second singularity, in my estimation, again, there is a possibility that the radioactive decay rate may not have been uniformed, according to our present understanding, during that very unusual period. In my estimation, it is only after these singularities are completed that one can, with some degree of hesitancy, begin to accept the conventional view that the radioactive decay rates and other physical processes phenomena have continued in the manner we observe them at the present time.
Q. Doctor, are you aware of any efforts which have been made by scientists to determine whether or not the radioactive decay rates are constant?
A. I work with radioactivity in the laboratory It's part of my research to work with radioactivity on a day-by-day basis.
In my experiments at the present time, I have confidence in the way
in which the radioactive decay is envisioned and interpreted at the present
time. The question is whether that extrapolation can be extended to the
indefinite past and the conclusions drawn from that extrapolation be considered
as factual information when, indeed, the very basic premise that we are
using as a time mechanism is under question from
the standpoint of the polonium halos that I found in the granites themselves.
For example, in the paper which I have left a copy with you here, an individual who is clearly not a Creationist, the world renown nuclear physicist, Professor Norman Feather, University of Edinburgh, evaluated the polonium halos in granites after he read some of my papers, read the paper of Henderson: Ever since the discovery of polonium halos in old mica, Henderson and Sparks, 1939, the problem of their origin, has remained essentially unsolved. Two suggestions have been made, Henderson 1939; Gentry, 1973, but neither carries immediate conviction. These suggestions are examined critically and in detail and the difficulties of attaching to the acceptance of either are identified. Because these two suggestions — and I'll stop there for a moment.
The original suggestion of Henderson was that polonium halos derived
from polonium atoms derived from uranium solutions. My suggestion later
on in '73 was making every attempt to try to explain these polonium granites
on a basis of a conventional viewpoint. I suggested they were large polonium
or bismuth or lead that maybe had been incorporated into the granites on
the conventional time frames, conventional
viewpoint, and those could have formed the polonium halos.
We did microexperiments, and we did, Professor Feather investigated the phenomena, and I will continue to read now, "Because these two suggestions appear to exhaust the logical possibilities of explanation, it is tempting to admit that one of them must be basically correct, but whoever would make this admission must be fortified by credulity of a high order."
In other words, indeed if there is evidence here of a radioactive phenomena, a very short half life that does not have any parent, then this, I say, calls into question the very basic premises of uniformity. And once they then begin to look at this phenomena, this is what I'm trying to get the scientific community to do as a friend, a colleague. Indeed, if there is something here, we need not to hide it, if there's proof for all of us to learn. If I'm wrong, I would like to know. If there is not evidence for Creation, then I don't want to propagate it at the Arkansas trial before my colleagues here today, or in the scientific community.
Another reference, this article, Mystery of the Radio Halos, my work
hasn't been done in the
— people who are eminent in the field of science. have looked carefully at what I have done. I refer to a scientist that both of my colleagues know here today, Professor Edward Anders: "His conclusions are startling and shake the very foundations of radiochemistry and geochemistry, yet he has been so meticulous in his experimental work and so restrained in his interpretations, that most people take his work seriously. I think most people believe, as I do, that some unspectacular explanation will eventually be found for the anomalous halos, and that orthodoxy will turn out to be right after all. Meanwhile, Gentry should be encouraged to keep rattling this skeleton in our closet for all it is worth."
You can read what Professor Damon said:
"Supposing that the results of Gentry are confirmed, what will it mean
for theory? I do not think it will mean any radical changes in geology
or cosmology. It is much more likely that the explanation will be some
tricky point in nuclear physics or nuclear chemistry that the experts have
overlooked. That is, of course, only my personal opinion, and I am accustomed
to be proved wrong by events. — I just lost a ten dollar bet that Nixon
would be in office till the end of 1974, I will be glad to lose this one
Then you can read the letter from Professor John Wheeler on the outstanding events in the world. I spent a whole evening with John Wheeler going over the evidence that I'm presenting to you this afternoon as evidence for a rapid synthesis or crystallization of the basic rocks.
Wheeler's letter is here in its entirety: "You ask for my opinion of
Dr. Robert Gentry's work on pleochroic polonium halos. I spent a number
of hours reviewing this fascinating work with him some weeks ago. I was
impressed with the clarity of the evidence for anomalous halos, that is,
cases where there are rings indicating the presence of some members of
the normal radioactive decay chain, without the other members of the family
tree, that normally are present, that normally do show up in rings of their
own, and have to be there on present views of the radioactive decay chains
involved. If the evidence is impressive, the explanation for it is far
from clear. I would look in normal geologic process of transfer of materials
by heating and cooling; in isomeric nuclear transitions; and in every other
standard physical phenomenon before I would even venture, to consider cosmological
explanations. Let alone radical cosmological explanations. To explore all
the avenues that
need exploring would take months, not the few hours I was privileged to spend in Dr. Gentry's company. A few days ago, I reviewed his work all too briefly with Dr. G. Wasserburg of Cal Tech, who is an expert in the radioactive dating of rocks, whose opinion would be much more to the point than mine, especially if be will give it to you in writing."
Well, clearly Wheeler didn't have time that evening to spend months with me. So I have attempted to put it out to the entire scientific community as these eminent scientists have suggested, so that if we indeed, do not have sufficient evidence for a singularity, I want to know about it.
I didn't want to go to the trial to present something for Creation that
really is not a valid scientific phenomenon that is unexplained, and in
my estimation, at least, the scientific community has a real good shot.
You see, I'm not bringing out something that is in the back page of some
religious journal. I have honestly approached the scientific community
with every known scientific format that I can in meetings, in publications
because my whole view is, if there is truth in the creator, and he has
left truths in the rocks, then we all need to know. If he hasn't, then
I want to know, and I want my friends to know, as
Q. Doctor, to return, to my question, which I'll restate the question, I guess, instead of reading it back through the record, are you aware, of any record which scientists have made to support the assumption that decay rates currently observed have been constant overtime?
A. I'm aware of experiments which I do and other people do on a daily basis, which today shows that by and large, within the limits of experimental uncertainty that the transformation rates of the various radioactive atoms are proceeding, at which we call a constant rate. Now, I'm not aware of any direct experimental evidence that would allow us to say that those transformation rates are capable of being extrapolated. indefinitely.
Q. Are you aware of any work which has been done by way of subjecting the decay rates as observed to extraordinary conditions as say, I don't know, temperature or pressure or the like in an effort to see whether such extraordinary environment alters the decay rates?
A. Yes, I'm aware of experiments like this that have been done.
Q. Can you tell me whether they reveal there
were any alterations or not?
A. Not as a result, to my knowledge, any significant change. There were small changes, but not very significant changes with respect to pressure, but none that I know of with respect to temperature.
Q. Did the insignificant changes that you've mentioned with respect to pressure have to do with all of the decay measurements or only one or more?
A. Only one, as far as I understand.
Q. Which one was that?
A. It's probably involving electromagnets, if I remember correctly.
Q. Are you aware of any increase in the rate of alpha decay or beta decay that have been identified. experimentally?
A. Not to my knowledge, experimentally.
Q. Doctor, recognizing the necessary difficulties in trying to identify things that happened before any observer was present, are you aware of any experiments which might be performed reflecting on the constancy of radioactive decay rates which have not been performed?
A. Well, that raises a basic question as to whether one can perform
experiments that would validate the constancy of any rate mechanism when
there was no
Q. Yes, sir. If I may repeat my question. I said, we must, of course, recognize the difficulties inherent in the fact that things which occurred or may have occurred prior to the presence of an observer cannot be or has been observed, recognizing that difficulty, are you aware of any experiment which can be performed which might bear on the question which have not been performed?
A. I do not agree that there are experiments that can be performed that would bear on the question and would validate the premises.
Q. Is it your view then that experiments trying to determine whether decay rates are altered by temperature or pressure, for instance, don't bear on the question of constancy?
A. They do not bear — in my estimation, they do not bear on the
question of whether, indeed, the decay rates have always been constant
because the assumption involved with the single model approach is that
of uniformitarianism. One is basically taking that as an assumption without
proof. And may I suggest that as I have stated two people who argue on
the basis of uniformitarianism, I find very, very interesting, because
as I pointed out — let me find my paper here — I find
it very interesting that the decay rate argued for a constant lambda is pursued to the length that it is when indeed there comes a point in time when my good colleagues, and I do not wish to in any way put them down with what I'm going to say, there comes a time when uniformity, as far as I can tell, is not the rule of the day.
And I refer to EOS, the publication I have here, in which Paul Damon is promoting conventional viewpoints, and I will read as follows: I agree with Damon that if Polonium halos in granites originated with primordial polonium, this would essentially cast in doubt the science of modern geochronology." Paul Damon, I think, has indicated that, and I agree with him. So if we have primordial halos, this cast in doubt the idea.
I would also agree that, "Polonium halos imply either that the earth
is now solely lead 206, which is demonstrably wrong, or that the pristine
earth was synthesized within several hours at most. Understandably, Damon
considers both alternatives equally absurd and concludes that any new theory
which accounts for primordial polonium halos must also reexplain virtually
all the internally consistent data upon which modern physics, geology,
and cosmology are
based. But with all due respect to Damon, he was not here when the earth was formed, thus his belief that rapid synthesis of the earth is incredible is not based on the kind of direct experimental evidence like that which shows that the earth is not just lead 206. Moreover, I must take strong exception to his unqualified inclusion of the laws of physics in the same category as geology and cosmology. This association gives the impression that any evidence which would apparently falsify cosmological and geological framework can immediately be recognized as an absurdity because it would also invalidate contemporary laws of physics. But this is not necessarily true because even though cosmology and geology both rely on data from contemporary physics, the ultimate reliability on these theories is hinged separately on the crucial unproven assumption that physical processes have remained unchanged with time.
In fact, when Damon argues that the concept of primordial polonium halos
is incredible because it contradicts the uniform action of physical loss,
it seems he is arguing against a concept, nonuniformity which is inherent
in the very cosmology he defends. That is, does not the present cosmology
assume that physical laws have operated uniformly only since the
Big Bang, whereas the Big Bang itself, if it occurred, is an example of a singularity that defies explanation on the basis of known physical laws? Let us then examine the other aide of the coin. If the word incredible is to be used to, describe the possibility that primordial polonium halos exist and that they are evidence of a rapid synthesis of the earth, ought we not be fair enough to weigh that incredibility with the one which at one time necessitated all the matter of the universe to be compacted within an ultrasmall volume in space?
The Big Bang goes back to a nonuniformity in decay rate. Both hypotheses go back to a nonuniformity, as far as the original inception of the models themselves are concerned.
Paul Damon has indicated, and I agree with him, that if 218 polonium
halos and granite originate with this, would they essentially cast this
date? I have asked the scientific community to falsify my position that
polonium 218 halos are primordial. I have offered them an opportunity to
do so on two bases. Damon agrees that if granites are primordial, this
casts any doubt in science of modern geology. It seems like that people
who are interested in validating the conventional viewpoint, they would
advantage of the opportunity they have of falsifying my position, falsifying the evidence.
Q. Doctor, I must ask you, in view of the short time that we have remaining, to try to confine your responses somewhat more closely to my question, The question, I've asked is, whether or not you regard experiments which seek to identify physical forces might or might not alter decay rates, as relevant to this question of constancy or not?
A. I was of the impression that during my discussions just then, and I may not have made it clear I was of the impression that I was trying to make it clear that when we go back to the time in which you are talking about, a singularity, I do not regard appropriate experiments, involving possible ways of decay rate changes as indicators of how or when or if decay rates may have changed in the times passed. This I regard in the province of the model in which the one who is devising a model has promoted or fabricated the original assumptions.
Q. Do you regard these experiments as bearing on the question of whether there is any physical process short of singularity which could alter those decay rates?
A. In my estimation, they could bear on that
Q. Do you — is it your opinion that there is any physical process short of a singularity which could alter uranium and thorium, other radioactive decay rates?
A. I have an open mind, but at the present time, I do not — I do not feel that
THE WITNESS: Would you state the question again?
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the record as requested.)
THE WITNESS: In my opinion, I have an open mind, but at the present time, no.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe); Sir, what is your opinion as to the probable cause of the second singularity in the model that you proposed?
A. The second singularity in the model that I've proposed is that, I have indicated here, the letter to EOS, is my understanding of the, "a later catastrophe which resulted in a solar system-wide disturbance that was manifested on earth primarily as a world wide flood with subsequent crustal adjustments. So a world wide flood is my understanding in part of the second singularity.
Q. Sir, what is your view as to what caused the
world wide flood?
A. In my estimation, and in my opinion, it is the direct intervention of the Creator.
Q. Dr. Gentry, do the co-authors of your paper on your work in coalified wood subscribe to your model of two singularities that you have —
A. Generally, no. There is one that does, generally, no.
Q. Doctor, are there other workers in your area, that is, your area that is broadly described, not just radio halos, who do regard the evidence of radiometric dating techniques as proof for a great age of the earth?
A. I want to make sure I understand the question.
THE WITNESS: Would you please read that back?
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the record as requested.)
MR. WOLFE: Let me restate the question.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) Are there other scientists studying the age of the earth who do regard evidence of radiometric dating techniques as proof for evidence for a great age of the earth?
A. I have heard a number of papers and read a
number of papers where certainly the evidence, it is considered evidence for a great age. I would be hesitant to say that I know for sure that they have stated it as proof for a great age, but they may very well do that.
Q. I take it, it's fair to say that you do not regard that evidence as sufficient to counter the evidence that you have in your radiohalo work for a recent age?
A. Let me refer to you — that's true. Let me refer to this letter
from, and unsolicited letter from a gentleman that I have never met, known,
spoken to, a Ph.D. and apparently in some field, perhaps science, written
to me the 20th of October, 1981: "Dear Professor Gentry: A few years ago
I became interested in the current methods of dating the formation of the
earth, and during my investigations I was most interested to read some
of your excellent papers on pleochroic halos. The evidence indicating an
almost instantaneous crystallization of the earth's surface rock was compelling
in its rigor and integrity. I was similarly impressed by your findings
which suggest the relatively recent formation of coal. My interest in the
topic continues, and I have had the opportunity of discussing your findings
with others who are similarly interested in the general question of origins. Unfortunately, however, I no longer have available the reference facilities of a university library, and have not been able to keep abreast of publications over the past few years. I am therefore writing with two requests, and I should be most grateful if you could find the time to answer. One, have you become aware of any reasons to reconsider your conclusions in the papers I have alluded to? Could you further comment on the acceptance which your results now command, amongst those who might find your conclusions contrary to their working models of the formation of the earth?
Two, could you please send me any papers on this topic, or related thereto, that you have published since the report on radiohaloes on coalified wood, since 1976?
I recognize that these requests will make substantial demand on your
time and I would apologize for this. However, your cooperation would be
enormously valued, if you should be able to do so. I thank you in anticipation,
Dr. F. G. Donaldson, Ph.D." Now, this is the gentleman who has done no
more than read the papers that I put out in the open
literature. I have no idea whether the man is a Creationist or not. Be says he finds evidence of an almost instantaneous crystallization of the earth's surface rock and similar evidence with respect to recent formation of coal.
I do not wish to imply to you, nor do I wish, or will apply at the time, that I have an army of followers. There are perhaps a few people who have examined my work, as has Dr. Donaldson who perhaps felt the same way that he does, but I do not intend to go to the trial, if I am privileged to go there, implying the agreement of the scientific community. I am at variance with the individuals, my colleagues, who interpret the works, the ratios as indicators of great time. Clearly at variance, and this is why I'm asking for rebuttals from them so that I won't remain in the dark.
Q. Sir, then, is it fair to say that looking at radiometric dating
techniques and results, and at your work in radio halos, that you regard
the most persuasive interpretation as that the earth was — had a relatively
recent inception, and that rocks, basement rocks, were probably instantly
crystallized after creation or shortly thereafter; is that a fair description?
A. Yes; with the proviso that, again, I have asked the scientific community if at all possible to falsify —
Q. Yes, sir. I understand that. I'd like to deal now with just an interpretation of the present
Q. — evidence. Then as to persons who still credit the notion of an inception of the earth several billion years ago, I take it they are looking at the same evidence, but drawing a different interpretation of both the radiometric work and your own —
A. I think I want to read again, Professor Anders letter. It says —
Q. Sir, I would be happy for you to read the letter, but do you regard what I just said as a fair description, of the conclusions of others, namely, they have looked at the radiometric dating work and your own work and their interpretation is that the radiometric dating work is more likely to be accurate, so they continue to accept that, the more likely explanation is an inception for the earth several billion years ago, does that seem like a fair description?
A. Yes. This is what Anders was stating, that
he was leaning towards that direction.
Q. Are you aware of any — oh, I'll confess I'm not certain what they call this — any principle or practice or theory in scientific inquiry that performs in weighing those two interpretations or aids in choosing between them?
A. Yes. This is what I've tried to describe in my reports on the halos and coalified wood. I tried to find an area where the normal evolutionary cosmological model will predict one thing, and where the dual singularity model will predict something else. And I try to look at that cross-over point and say, what does the data at this particular point tell me. This is information which I've already spoken of this afternoon. The halos and the coalified wood, as far as I can tell, fit the dual singularity model. Now, there may be people who can easily put it into the single singularity model. I don't see it in print yet. That doesn't mean it won't be there. But I'm trying to find those critical points where we have — there are not many points where we have the cross-over that can predict something we can go back and do today, and this is what I'm trying to do in my published work.
Q. Are there other experiments which indicate
great age or the geochronologic strategy and the Colorado plateau that you were looking at in your coalified wood studies?
THE WITNESS: Would you read that back?
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the record as requested.)
THE WITNESS: I won't pretend to be an expert on the Colorado plateau. Those samples were collected by, by and large, Dr. Irvin Brayger of the U.S. Geologic Survey. I'm not aware of any evidence in Brayger's published reports that would, to me, imply the necessity of the great age for the Colorado plateau. I would mention something else, except I don't have Brayger's report in front of me, which would be very apropos, being in danger of quoting it out of context, so I won't do it until I get it in front of me. There is something in one of his reports that suggests something to the opposite. But I don't have the report in front of me, so I won't quote it.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) Doctor, I understood you to have said that
your measurements of uranium 238 and
lead 206 ratios indicated to you a recent age for those geologic events; is that correct?
A. I think at the time that I said that, I made it very, very clear that that quote, recent age, was based on the unproved premise, and is in the same category as trying to extract age from any other model, that it is based on an unproven premises, which people need to understand is in itself the age cannot be taken any more factually, so to speak, that you can extrapolate the premise itself.
Q. I see. Are there other measurements of uranium-lead ratios or other radioactive techniques which contradict, let's say, the uranium-lead ratio's that you have taken?
A. Are you referring to the coalified wood?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. I'm sure that in the literature there, there are many analyses,
many reports, at which I'm unaware. There's also another aspect to the
coalified wood situation in the plateau, Colorado plateau, and other places,
and that is, as I have pointed out, one prediction of the dual singularity
model is that there was separation of uranium from its daughters. And so
as we look at material which is secondary sedimentary material, one would
expect to find in places where you
had conditions, as far as separation, uranium daughters find evidence of uranium that's equal to equilibrium. On these coalified wood, we did find disequilibrium. This is in the context now of the framework, the frame work being that you have a singularity, and the singularity has disassociated the uranium from its daughters and so, therefore, if indeed the conventional ideal concerning decay rates processes on the earth are valid, since the singularity, and I say if they are valid since the singularity, then one would expect to find evidence of this equilibrium in these. Now, indeed, we found evidence of disequilibrium in the coalified wood.
Now, the other model would attribute that this equilibrium to chemical changes within the formation since the uranium itself has been incorporated into the rock.
Q. Doctor, can you explain to me your basis of, or the basis for, your view of the first singularity, the creation, which applies sort of normal time, that is, the six-day Creation week, to a singularity, which I would take by definition not to be a normal time phenomenon?
A. I think — I'm glad you asked the question. I think it's important
to distinguish between the events
transpiring during the period of time and the mode which those events — the reason, the ultimate cause of the events, themselves.
As I have indicated to you earlier, one of the primary reasons why I began to rethink the entire issue of evolution versus Creation is because of the moral perspective of the Fourth Commandment. Now, in my estimation, in the Fourth Commandment, which it says, in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth and rested the seventh day, I find in that one sentence, the word they used in a consistent manner, as far as I can tell, so that I cannot separate the word "day" seventh day from the day and the six days of Creation. As far as I'm concerned, it is a consistent whole.
Then we simply proceed to, as far as I can tell, a record of what the Creator himself is telling us he did. He could have chosen, I suppose, any length of time that he wishes, but as far as I can tell, he has left a record that he did it in the time that he specified.
Q. Doctor, you read into the record a short while ago several
letters discussing your work. I think the ones that I have reference to
are those by 25
Professor Anders, Professor Dyson, and Professor Wheeler?
Q. Sir, and I think that each of them states that your work, that radio halos might require extraordinary changes in the way that the earth's history is viewed. And I think, that each goes on to say either that they personally believe that the explanation is proven to be some much more simply anomalous result, or at least, they would look first in all less radical explanations.
Does that seem a reasonable scientific view to you?
A. I would hope that they and others would continue all possible efforts to find a conventional view of the phenomenon that I have found. This is what I am hoping, that if at all possible can be done.
Q. I take it then that you do not agree with — do not disagree with looking there first?
A. From the papers that I have shown to you from Professor Feather
and from the letters of Paul Damon himself and from Gary York's response,
I think we have evidence that people have been looking and from Professor
Feather's response, "because these two suggestions appear to exhaust the
of explanation, it is tempting to admit that one of them must be basically correct, but whoever would make this admission must be fortified by credulity of a high order.
Here is one that has made a detailed study which is what Anders and Dyson and Wheeler were suggesting needed to be done That was written before Feather's evaluation. And Feather comes out and says, whoever would make this admission must be fortified by credulity of a high order. That doesn't say it can be done, and I'm still looking for ways that it can be done. But I'm simply saying that people have done what Wheeler and Dyson and Anders have suggested. And thus far, at least, with the open literature that we have in the world, and as much as I'm asking for it I'm still waiting for that kind of response that would indicate that we really can't have a conventional explanation.
Q. Do you then regard your two singularity model as established, and do you regard yourself as having proved it by your work?
A. I don't use the word `proof,' I hope in my work.
Q. Well, let me — the question has two parts Do you regard your
view as established by your work,
and do you regard it as proven by your work?
A. I regard the evidence which I have found as suggesting and supporting a two-model approach, with a proviso that scientists continue to look very, very carefully, critically at my work, to see if there's any possibility that it can be explained on a conventional basis.
Q. Do you regard it as unreasonable to look at, Let's say, all the work that's been done on geochronological, your own radiometric techniques, and non-radiometric techniques as well, and still adhere to the one singularity model?
THE WITNESS: Would you please read that back.
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the record as requested.)
THE WITNESS: As far as people adhering to the one singularity model, this is something that fortunately we, here in America, have the freedom to do or not to do.
My view simply is, as a scientist, I have been presenting the information,
to the scientific community long enough so that as this trial approaches,
and I have been approached to testify as to what I have found, I think
in a position to at least be able to present the other side of the story, as it is right now only one side, as far as I can tell, is generally permitted or generally viewed or printed in the textbooks, so to speak.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe), Sir, I'm not certain that I understand your answer, that is, do you regard it as unreasonable for another scientist to view all the evidence, to continue to accept the one singularity model, rather than your two singularity model?
A. Well, unreasonable involves a judgment with respect to an individual, and I never try to judge an individual. I say simply that having been given the opportunity to present the information, openly, as we have information here from this gentleman, Damon, after reading the data which I have published, he seems to think its reasonable for these implications to be drawn. Other people have read my material, as we see here with Wheeler and Dyson and Anders and others. They think yet will be found a conventional explanation I don't call these people unreasonable because they have these reservations.
We have two sets of data. I do not intend to judge other individuals
as to whether they are reasonable or unreasonable on the basis of whether
accept what I'm doing. I'm simply putting the information out and letting people evaluate the data for themselves.
Q. Yes, sir. I take it — I guess, what I'm asking about is whether your judgment, your professional scientific evidence is the evidence — is such the evidence on geochronology is now acceptance of the two singularity models, is a reasonable interpretation, but acceptance of the one singularity model is not?
A. I am of the opinion that both views need to be evaluated. I don't think that we need to close the door, shut down individuals from investigation and pursuing the possibility of the single singularity model, cutting off the phenomenon of what I said. I'll say, I'm advising scientists everywhere to find an explanation, and so I could hardly agree that it would be wise to close them down. I'm simply saying that both viewpoints, in my estimation, need to be evaluated and understood, and people could draw their own conclusions.
Q. Yes, sir. I'm sure that there's no expectation that inquiry
in this area is going to be shut down, nor do I mean to imply that by a
question. But what I'm trying to ask about is, recognizing, of course,
that inquiry is going on, to go on
as goes on elsewhere, as we are sitting here in this room, looking at the present evidence, do you regard a scientist who looks at the geochronological evidence all of it, and believes that the single singularity model is more likely than your own two singularity model is making an unreasonable scientific judgment?
A. Again, I'm not going to be put in the position of calling a colleague unreasonable from a professional or scientific viewpoint. He has the right to look at the evidence, and make his own judgment, so I am not going to engage in this kind of name calling or labeling. I'm trying to reach with my colleagues information. They are colleagues. I don't consider people that I differ with as unreasonable.
Q. Well, sir, I don't want to incur anything that you regard as name calling or unprofessional behavior. On the other hand, I understand you to be offering testimony as an expert in the area, and I don't think that I've asked an improper question. There must be scientific views which you would say could not reasonably be held based on all the evidence for instance someone who says I've looked at the evidence and I believe the earth is flat; do you regard that as a reasonable scientific view, given all the evidence?
A. I would not agree with the conclusions
based on the evidence now at hand.
Q. Will you regard someone who did agree or someone who did believe that given the present evidence the earth was flat, to have a reasonable scientific view or an unreasonable scientific view?
A. I would certainly say, in my opinion, his view is not consistent with my understanding of the evidence, clearly not consistent with my understanding of the evidence.
Q. Do I take it that you refuse to characterize that view as either reasonable or unreasonable from a scientific point of view?
A. I am hesitant to do so because by agreeing to something of that nature, one could easily could carry it one step further and imply possibly that I would characterize colleagues who differ with me on the interpretation of the evidence which I had found as being unreasonable, and this is what I do not want to do.
Q. Sir, my understanding of the position of an expert, scientific
witness here, is that as to certain. things in the discipline, there may
well be — a scientist might well, without insult to colleagues or other
investigators, regard some views as unreasonable, given the scientific
evidence. He might also regard certain
views are at variance with his own as none the less reasonable given all the evidence.
I'm trying to find out whether you are able to characterize someone who has looked at the geochronological evidence and accepts the one singularity model than two singularity model as having a reasonable view of the evidence or an unreasonable view of the evidence, or do you have no opinion at all about some one who holds a view, given all the evidence?
A. Well, I think we need to go back and have, and I need to make a statement to the effect that what you understand, and I want to say it kindly, what an expert witness is going to do is different than my understanding. I do not intend to characterize, as I said, my colleagues who differ with me on the interpretation of evidence as being unreasonable. Now, this may not be in agreement with your understanding of what my view is going to be as an expert witness, but this is still my view as an expert witness.
Q. All right, sir. That's what I'm trying to get at.
Is it true then that you regard the chronological evidence as so unsettled
that someone who does not see it the way you do has much right to his interpretation
of the evidence as you have to yours?
A. He has a right to his interpretation of the evidence, as I hope I have a right to publish this interpretation of the evidence, yes. Fortunately, we live in a free country.
Q. Okay. Do you also regard someone who looks at the geochronological evidence and draws the conclusion that the one singularity model is supported as having as valid a scientific base for his view as you have for yours?
A. No. In my opinion, I have found evidence which falsifies the conventional viewpoint, until my evidence is shown to be demonstrably incorrect.
Q. Then you would say that someone who had looked at all the evidence, including yours, and reference the conclusion that the one singularity model is correct, while he has a right to the opinion, doesn't have as sound a base for it as your opinion; is that correct?
A. I think we have to be very careful. I have a basis for my
views, based on 19 years of research. I have attempted to communicate to
the scientific community some of that information. There's no way that
I can humanly speak, expect other scientists, to have the comprehension
or the in depth knowledge of the subject that I do, unless they have at
experience in several years of research. So I want to be hesitant about giving individuals the opportunity to draw conclusions different than mine on the basis of the fact that they simply on one hand perhaps are not as nearly acquainted with it as I am, so again, I refuse to go into this area of trying to picture my colleagues who differ with me and who will accept a single model approach or a single singularity approach. I want to stay away from branding or characterizing them in any way that would be detrimental to their professional standing.
I do not agree with the single model singularity approach. I think there is evidence which falsifies it. I have published openly the evidence and asked people to falsify my evidence, if possible. But again, I reiterate, I am openly calling my friends colleagues. I am not trying to approach the scientific community or anyone as an adversary or an antagonist.
Q. Well, sir, I'm not trying to urge you to do so. Let me try once more. I understood you to have said earlier that you did not hold the view that you had an army of followers.
A. That's correct.
Q. I take it that your testimony is that most
people in the area hold to the other view, the single singularity view?
A. This is my understanding.
Q. I'm trying to get a notion then of exactly how would you describe the relative matters of the two models, if you were not to do it based on the number of adherents. Do you think the quality of the evidence is such that while there are not so very many people that would adhere to you, have you, in addition to yourself, believe the quality of the evidence requires that choice?
A. Yes; in my opinion, yes.
Q. Do you have any view as to why most people have not drawn the conclusion that you have given your view of equality of the evidence?
THE WITNESS: Would you read that back?
(Whereupon, the court reporter read the record as requested.)
THE WITNESS: This is in essence a judgement question which I'm being asked to evaluate thought processes not accessible to me.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) Yes, sir. I'll accept that definition.
Do you consider that possible?
A. I refuse to attempt to evaluate thought
processes that are inaccessible to me.
Q. And is your testimony that you have no evidence or no knowledge, as to why most investigators in the area adhere to the evolution science one singularity model in the face of evidence, that you yourself regard as superior from the two singularity Creation Science models?
A. I would simply say that, as we have discussed, a large number of scientists accept there is evidence, which they consider to be valid evidence for the single singularity model. It is their privilege to do so. I have published evidence for a dual singularity model. I have published evidence, which in my opinion, falsifies the single singularity model. I have asked for the scientific community if at all possible to falsify my evidence, and I can, I think, on the basis of the letters that we see here before us, and having read this afternoon, can believe that many scientists yet believe that eventually continued research will eventually solve the problems, so to speak, that I have found.
And so, it could very well be, as we have here, letters by Anders, Dyson,
and Wheeler. They feel continued work is eventually going to solve the
problem. My view is that the evidence is to the point where I do
not consider that continued research has a very good chance of solving the problem. So this is why I'm propagating the single — dual singularity approach, but at the same time, asking for people to keep on looking for evidence that would be contradicted. It's a matter of, in my estimation, many scientists, as Anders has said, you know, "I think most people believe as I do, that some unspectacular explanation will, eventually be found for the anomalous halos and that orthodoxy will turn out to right after all." I consider, yes, as Anders said, many people believe that. They consider somewhere along the line someone is going to come up with a different explanation.
Q. Sir, looking at that quote again, I think the actual quote is, I think most people believe —
A. What did I say?
Q. I thought you said that many —
A. I'm sorry.
Q. Is it your view that most people adhere to the view that Anders articulates there?
A. Most scientists that I have had acquaintance with, I think,
would fall into the category that Anders has pictured. Now, whether this
is true of the
general population would be another matter. You would have to take a statistical study. But I would agree in the context of the scientists that I have contacted, most would fall into that category.
THE WITNESS: At this juncture, let me say, this afternoon, I have read several letters, some very rapidly because of the passage of time, and it is possible that I did have a word out of order or substituted words in the letters themselves, in which case, one needs to examine the original letters very, very carefully, in case I misread one of the letters or one of the words.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) Sir, do you think that and I confess now that I'm not certain exactly what to call the notion I have in mind, but I'll try to describe it — do you think that the law of parsimony or the idea of that as between two competing explanations, the simpler is to be preferred, all other things being equal, has any relevance to this choice between the one singularity and two singularity models?
A. I would have to give that more consideration before I would
answer the question. I would have to
give it a lot of thought.
Q. Sir, do you mean by that, that you do not think it will be possible to answer on the record before we've had to adjourn to accommodate your travel plans?
A. You have to remember, you have put me under oath, and there are somethings that I want to consider before I answer, and that will just be one of them, yes.
Q. Sir, would you be willing to treat my last question, the one that you said you wouldn't have enough time to answer, as a written interrogatory, which you would be willing to answer, also, under oath, at sometime after you've received the transcript of your deposition, the answer to be submitted and made an exhibit and part of the record to the deposition?
A. Why don't you explain a little bit more — you indicated that you were not sure perhaps even on the phraseology or the terminology of what you were trying to get across. Why don't you try to help me understand a little bit about what you are trying to get across?
Q. All right, sir. I would be happy to. I'm a scientific layman,
but I have a memory of undergraduate work in which it was suggested
to me that there's a law, I'm not sure if this is right or not, Occam's Razor, I'm thinking of, but the name sticks in my mind, but the idea is, all things being equal, the two or three, whatever is to be preferred, because it requires less disruption of other results, and the fact that it's the simpler of the two explanations, means it's less likely to have problems or defects in it exposed later, simply as a matter of logic, the simpler explanation, all other things being equal, is preferable, and I wondered whether you think that notion as I've articulated it, bears on the choice between the one and two singularity models that we have been talking about?
A. To give a full answer, I would probably have to think about it more, but I would say it probably has some bearing on it. I would think it has some bearing on it. I would have to give it some thought.
Q. Could you explain to me more fully what you think, what bearing it has on the choice?
A. Well, yes. The thing that immediately occurs to me is this
letter from the individual in Ireland who writes to me and tells of the
instantaneous crystallization of the earth's surface work was compelling
in its vigor and integrity, that's what occurs. to me with respect to your
comment about Occam's Razor,
that it is referred to, that there is evidence which comes to me unsolicited with the work that I'm doing and people are drawing these conclusions on the basis, not of my writings and religious journals, per se, but in the open scientific literature which has been read, but people who are antagonistic in my position, and they are coming just like this isolated, I'm sure, no general surgeon, no great army following. But there are individuals who see once the evidence is presented, things, like it says, the evidence indicating almost instantaneous crystallization of the earth's surface work was compelling in its vigor and integrity. Now, that's what occurs to me, so this is why I say it has a bearing.
Q. Are you aware of any scientist in the field who have suggested
that the consistency of other geochronological evidences, the number of
metric decay systems, and other observations made in related sciences is
an argument against acceptance of your interpretation of the radio halos
because your interpretation, the two singularity model, would have to explain
so many inconsistent views, that it is preferable to choose the one singularity
model, which is consistent across great areas of scientific knowledge,
and has this anomalous result that you've identified?
A. Well, I don't agree with every word that you have spoken in the context of your statement, but I think I understand the implications. And I read now, York has said, Derek York has said and brought up the very point you are raising here: That there is — he feels an internal consistency in all the radioactive dating methods, and he feels this is very strong evidence for the validity of the current approach. I respond: "York seems to regard even the existence of polonium halos as only tentative. But notwithstanding the uncertainties, his article leans heavily toward the proposition that polonium halos do exist, at least in micas. York's thesis is that polonium halos are most probably, explainable within the accepted frame work because the interlocking nature of various radiometric dating techniques provide powerful evidence that conventional geochronology is correct. York faults me for ignoring this internal consistency. Contrary to his understanding, I do not ignore these data. But neither do I accept the idea that the presumed agreement between techniques is really coercive evidence, for the correctness of the uniformitarian assumption which undergirds the present model. There was no discussion of the uranium 238
and lead 206 ratios, Gentry, 1976, which raise significant
questions about the accepted geochronological scheme. While I can appreciate York's desire to emphasize internal consistency, it should be evident that irrespective of how much data has been or yet. can be fitted into the present model, the question of its ultimate reliability hinges on whether there exists any observations which falsify the theory. One can confirm or have observations in accord with a theory that does not believe the theory. The thing that you want to know or try to find is whether there are any observations which contradict the theory. And my position is simply that there is information, there is data, there is a phenomena which contradicts the general accepted uniformitarian approach with respect to the Precambrian granites. And, indeed, if that is true, and I published that to that effect, and it asked for contradictions, if that's true, then irrespective of how much data has been internally fitted together with various types of radioactive dating techniques, there is evidence which falsifies the entire framework. This is my viewpoint, and this is what I published.
Q. Sir, I take it in your last answer, you assume then that the
polonium halos represent radioactivity, rather than, say, concentration
of polonium from
hydrothermal solutions, as Henderson proposed, when he looked at them many years ago?
A. Your statement, I will answer your question but I will make a statement which is a little different than the question you have asked. I have to be very careful.
It's the polonium halos in the Precambrian granites that I consider
to be evidence of extinct natural activity, and, therefore, primordial.
I have found polonium halos in coalified wood, which I personally discovered
and personally identified and suggested there was strong coercive evidence
that the polonium 210 halo in coalified wood did result from the uranium
daughter-activity, as Henderson has suggested. I could have let the subject
rest. I could have said to the world, so to speak, I've got polonium activity,
and never brought in coalified wood. I'm the only person in the world,
the first person to know that there were polonium halos in coalified wood.
If I wanted to announce to the scientific community and people who are
in religious backgrounds, I could have dropped the whole subject there.
I felt it was important to bring out the truth of what I found in coalified
wood, and did everything I possibly could to verify they were polonium
210 halos, and show, indeed, it fitted exactly
with Henderson's model and accumulation of lead 210. And in Derek York's comment about geochronology, Derek York, as I pointed out in my letters, which you have, completely missed the point, or at least, did not bring out the point that there is a difference between the polonium halos in granites and coalified wood. He simply lumped them all together. And in my response here, I had to bring out there is a difference. There are three types of polonium halos in the granites, the 218 halos, the 214 halos, and the 210 halos.
MR. WOLFE: Let's take a short break.
(Whereupon, a short recess was held.)
Q. Excepting your correction to my statement, is it true that you were assuming that polonium halos and Precambrian granites derived from the model you proposed rather than the notion that Henderson propounded when he looked at them when you say that it is evidence for the two singularity models rather than the creation — rather than the evolution model?
A. The documents which I have given to you, I have proposed that the polonium 218 halos and — that was stated 218 halos, that is another rock which shows such halos which must be cromkal (sic) rocks and constitute ideal — it is my hypothetical which I have stated and Precambrian granites formed from polonium halos, therefore, the rocks which contain them are polonial (sic) rocks and that view can be falsified in my estimation, it a Precambrian granite, a piece of Precambrian granite, could be synthesized in the laboratory. That's one falsification. You would falsify my view of a memorial nature of my halos by also synthesizing a polonial (sic) halo inside the granite itself.
Q. Is it true that if one believed the discussion that Henderson
had made about the possible origin of the polonium halos and Precambrian
that there would be no necessity for falsification, of your two singularity
models because his explanation is consistent with the one singularity model?
A. If you accept Henderson as viewpoint that they came from a source of uranium, they would not be polonial (sic).
Q. Is it fair to say that one could accept Henderson's view and one singularity model and, therefore, not find the polonial halo and. Precambrian as inconsistent with the evolutionary model?
A. Well, whether someone can do it and it's fair to do is, of course, a decision that they themselves have to make. All that I am pointing out here today is that these possibilities have been examined by individuals.
An individual who is not a Creationist — he has attempted to account
for theoretical grounds the existence of a polonial (sic) halo and Precambrian
granites according to Henderson's model. And he wasn't the first one to
do that and has not been able to do it. I presumably have also in the material
which you have before you published a paper in Science in 1968 in
which I attempted to verify Henderson's hypothetical by the following technique:
if indeed uranium is going through the mica, then all the daughter products
of uranium generally have got to be there unless there's been disequilibrium.
But, in particular, to form a polonium halo, one has got to have alpha
radioactive because the precursor of polonium is
indeed Radon 222 which is an alpha emitter. So if you consider polonium halos and a given analogy as an army barracks in the midst of a giant desert covered with sand during the winter and a wheat field covered with snow, and you have an army of soldiers marching towards the barracks, the density of the footprints coming closer, and closer. I have examined pieces of mica attempting to find evidence of radioactivity in the vicinity of polonial halos. This is my first attempt. This was published in 1968. I was unable to find evidence of the increased amount of alpha radioactivity in the vicinity of the polonium radial centers there in pieces of mica contained in Precambrian granites.
MR. WOLFE: When do you have to leave?
THE WITNESS: I have plans for my daughter to go in a few minutes.
MR. WOLFE: Can you tell me exactly when we will stop so that I know whether I can ask one more question or two or none?
THE WITNESS: One more.
Q. (By Mr. Wolfe) Sir, the experimental evidence, would you regard as sufficient to cause you to indicate literal and scientific truths of the Genesis Account of Creation?
A. I suggested that my scientific findings relative to Genesis are based on my scientific work. I am pursuing a search for truth scientifically, expertly.
So, therefore, I am openly asking for evidence that would contribute what I consider to be evidence for the Fiat Creation, meaning very specifically, as I said several times this afternoon, if, indeed, the Precambrian granites are rocks that cool slowly under conventional laws, conventional framework, then you can negate, falsify hypothetical a granite Precambrian, being more synthesized specimen in the laboratory.
There are thousands of square miles of granite on the surface of the earth. No telling how many you could pick. All this supposedly happened over geological time slowly. This presumably would have taken a long time for all of it to cool and slowly form.
I am simply asking for one hand-sized specimen. And again the hypothetical
is that the polonium halos formed through Henderson's hypothetical, that
is a conventional viewpoint. People
have access to Radon. They have access to Radium 226 and Radon 222 in the laboratory. So it the halos in the granites did form via Henderson's hypothetical, then you should be able to reproduce them in the laboratory.
And so I am simply asking — I have species of mica which have thousands of polonial halos per cubic centimeter and pieces of mica Precambric (sic) granite.
I am taking an approach that if you can reproduce one of those in a piece of granite, that you can synthesize in a laboratory, I will accept that as a falsification of my viewpoint.
Q. Are you aware of anyone that has ever sought to synthesize either the granite or a halo?
A. Granite or a halo?
Q. Yes, to produce either the hand-sized piece of granite that you mention, or polonial.
A. I have acquired petrologists who are doing work with granitic magmas that are presumably granitic in nature. And I have talked with them as to whether indeed they have done it or know of anybody who have done it. And thus far, I haven't been able to find anyone.
Q. Are you aware of anyone who has tried?
A. Well, I did not ask them whether they tried to synthesize
a hand-sized piece of granite.
I am asking them whether they were successful in synthesizing something that was a Precambric (sic) type of granite and their experiments that were of a microscopic size.
Again, whether they have or have not thus far doesn't nullify the possibility that I am still inviting them to do that. A door hasn't been closed. I am still inviting them to come forward with the evidence.
Q. Yes, sir; I understand that. But I have understood you to have said that you were not aware of anyone who has done so. But I don't understand whether you know of anyone who is making the effort. Is anyone attempting to experiment that you suggested or not, or do you know?
A. I don't know what people are doing all over the world. I don't know. There are many scientists and I hope they are. But they don't write and tell me, of course, what they are doing.
Q. But then you are not aware of any who are attempting?
A. Not to my personal knowledge. They are not writing me at the present time.
Q. All right, sir.
MR. WOLFE: I am very sorry that we have to stop because this has been
very interesting. And I thank you.
THE WITNESS: Well, it has been very informative and we are still looking for truth.
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