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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

Deposition of Robert V. Gentry - Page 3


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 I'm


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 they


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 least,


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.

(Deposition concluded)