Helium Diffusion and the Flood

Evidence for Accelerated Decay

Helium diffusion in radioactive crystals shows that the earth is only about 6,000 years old, plus or minus 2,000 years.

Technical Definitions:

Helium is a byproduct of uranium decay. Helium gas is trapped within granite and indicates a consistent rate of decay. When you look at a piece of granite there are flecks of mica in it. In those flecks of mica there are crystals called zircons, that are often much smaller than a grain of sand. In fact, these zircon crystals are found many places besides granite, including beach sand and even inside lunar rocks. These zircons are radioactive, were formed in molten rocks and are thought to be some of the oldest minerals on the earth.138 As the molten rock cools, the zircons form crystals and grab uranium atoms from the molten rock around it.139

These uranium atoms are not completely stable. Every now and then they spit out an alpha particle (two neutrons and two protons). When this happens the alpha particle will go into the crystal a little ways and stop where it grabs two electrons and becomes a helium atom. Helium is a lightweight, fast moving, chemically slippery atom, which means it doesn’t like to stick to any other atoms. It can wiggle right out of the zircon crystal. That is why helium gas is used to detect leaks, because it is such an effective escaper. The smaller the zircon is, the faster the leak, and the hotter the zircon, the faster the leak. The rate at which this happens is very important because it gives us a way to estimate the age of the zircon from the helium leakage.

By examining the helium leaked from zircon crystals that were produced by massive amounts of radioactive decay, we have evidence of a time when accelerated decay took place. Since helium leaks so easily and steadily out of zircon crystals, there should have been no heliumleft after 4.5 billion years (which is the most recent estimate of the scientists who believe in evolution). Such high levels of helium in the zircon cannot be sustained for more than a few thousand years. It should have all leaked out before now.

Because of the amount of helium we find today in zircon crystals, and given how quickly helium leaks out, it appears that massive amounts of radioactive decay happened only about 6,000 years ago at the time of the Flood. This evidence shows that nuclear decay did not happen slowly over an alleged 4.5 billion years, but rather an alleged 4.5 billion years of decay happened in about 6,000 years.

The fact that there are significant levels of helium still left in zircon crystals is evidence that God drastically sped up decay rates of long half-life nuclei during the Flood. Such accelerated decay collapses the uniformitarian “ages” down to the Scriptural timescale of thousands of years.140 Therefore, if it is true that decay rates were once much faster than they are today, it stands to reason that there must be other signs to substantiate this evidence. Let’s consider fission tracks and radiohalos, which are other kinds of physical evidence from rocks.


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