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Likewise, when bismuth-214 (half-life of 29.7 minutes) changes into polonium-214 (half-life of 1.6 X 10-4 seconds), it rapidly changes once again into lead-210.
Obviously, the atom does not linger very long in either polonium state before it decays into the next isotope in the decay chain.
But the granite cools too slowly, and the polonium decays too rapidly to accomplish this in any scenario other than instantaneous creation, or so it apparently seems.
Evolutionists have come to call this a “tiny mystery.” Gentry feels that the evidence only fits the idea that God created polonium, with its short half-life, and allowed it to decay instantly during creation week as His signature of creation. But the polonium halos do exist, and must be explained.
In fact, several creationist theorists, for a number of reasons and with good observational data and Biblical hints to focus their research, have speculated on such changing of decay rates, most likely associated with the “stretching out of the heavens,” mentioned often in Scripture, as occurring during Creation week, and possibly during the Flood.
These projects are as yet incomplete, but are leading in some interesting directions.
Because uranium atoms (for purposes of this discussion) are usually found within certain minerals as inclusions of billions of atoms (which together still occupy a very tiny point of space), the decay of these unstable atoms over time produces a sphere of damage around the radio-centers.
As mentioned before, uranium decays to lead through a series of intermediate steps, each of which has its own characteristic energy level upon decay.
This has led Gentry to speculate that the granites were instantaneously created in a hardened condition with polonium inclusions present, which subsequently decayed.
If the inclusion resides in a well-formed crystalline structure, as is common in the mineral biotite (a form of mica frequently found in granitic rocks), the damage will form a series of concentric spheres around the inclusion or a series of concentric circles when one views a slice of the sphere through a microscope.
These circles have come to be known as “pleochroic halos,” or radio halos. By observing the particular array of halos, one can deduce the make-up of the original inclusion (or the type of parent element present when the mineral formed).
It is contended by Gentry that polonium occlusions by themselves could not occur in a slowly cooling granite, nor could they migrate to a central location all the while decaying rapidly.
The granite would have to be in a rather fluid state so that polonium could concentrate in one location in the first place, then must be solid when the polonium decayed, in order for the zone of damage to be preserved.