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From the start, several members of the steering committee were convinced that episodes of greatly accelerated nuclear decay rates had occurred within thousands of years ago.

For the preservation of life, such episodes seem possible only under special circumstances: (1) before God created living things, (2) after the Fall but well beneath the biosphere, and (3) during the year of the Genesis Flood, when the occupants of Noah’s ark would be safe from most radiation (Humphreys, 2000, pp. Accordingly, the steering committee planned a research program to test the accelerated decay hypothesis, and they wrote a book (jointly published by ICR and CRS) outlining the various projects (Vardiman et al., 2000).

Combining rates and retentions gives a helium diffusion age of 6,000 ± 2,000 years.

This contradicts the uniformitarian age of 1.5 billion years based on nuclear decay products in the same zircons.

Experiments co-sponsored by the Creation Research Society show that helium leakage deflates radioisotopic ages.

In 1982 Robert Gentry found amazingly high retentions of nuclear-decay-generated helium in microscopic zircons (Zr Si O crystals) recovered from a borehole in hot Precambrian granitic rock at Fenton Hill, NM.

(§ is section of reference being cited.)Under the deep blue skies of northern New Mexico in the fall of 1974, drillmen labored to extract cores from a borehole called GT-2 (Figure 1) nearly three miles deep.

The site was Fenton Hill, on the west flank of the Valles volcanic caldera in the pine-covered Jemez Mountains.

These crystals, called zircons, were radioactive, containing high amounts of uranium and thorium relative to the rest of the rock, as is usual for that mineral.Table I shows their results as samples 1 through 6.Note carefully: Gentry’s large retentions are not what uniformitarians mean by “excess helium” (Baxter, 2003), a common mental pigeonhole into which they shove helium anomalies.When creationists became aware of Gentry’s data, many of us thought that it would have been impossible for the zircons to have retained that much helium for even a million years, much less over a billion years.Helium is a lightweight, fast-moving atom that does not attach itself to other atoms, so it diffuses (spreads out) through the atomic lattices of most minerals relatively fast.

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Two dozen miles to the east, geoscientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory analyzed the drill cores, investigating whether the hot, dry rock would be suitable for providing geothermal energy.