Creation Science

Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index


G1251:  Zircons retain too much helium for an old earth


Edited by Greg Neyman




Zircon crystals contain helium as a byproduct of radioactive decay of uranium and thorium.  The helium seeps out of the zircons quickly.  If the zircons in question really are about 1.5 billion years old (the age that conventional dating gives assuming a constant decay rate), almost all of the helium should have dissipated from the zircons long ago. But there is a significant amount of helium still inside the zircons, showing their ages to be 6,000 +/- 2,000 years. Accelerated decay must have produced a billion years worth of helium in that short amount of time.

Source:   Humphreys, D. Russell, Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner, and Andrew A. Snelling, 2003. Helium diffusion rates support accelerated nuclear decay.
Humphreys, D. Russell, Steven A. Austin, John R. Baumgardner and A. A. Snelling, 2004. Helium diffusion age of 6,000 years supports accelerated nuclear decay. Creation Research Society Quarterly 41(1): 1-16.




  1. Subsurface pressure and temperatures affect how quickly helium diffusion occurs.  The samples used by Humphreys come from an area with much thermal history, making it difficult to obtain reliable dating from the samples

  2. Humphreys work is not repeatable by other scientists, thus it is unverifiable.  He does not report the measurement errors and other key factors for others to examine

  3. The amount of heat that would be released during Humphrey's proposed accelerated decay during the creation week would be enough to vaporize the entire earth.  However, since I am here typing this review, and you are there reading this review, we must not have been vaporized, therefore Humphreys is wrong


For more Reading:

Talk Origins source article Contains further responses to this argument

Helium Diffusion

Helium Diffusion Dates



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Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index


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