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Not enough helium in the atmosphere for an old earth (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Not enough helium in the atmosphere for an old earth (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CE001:

The radioactive decay of several elements produces helium, which migrates to the atmosphere. There is too little helium in the atmosphere to account for the amount that would have been produced in 4.5 billion years. Escape of helium into space is not sufficient to account for the lack.

Source: Morris, Henry M., 1974. Scientific Creationism, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, pp. 150-151.


CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Helium is a very light atom, and some of the helium in the upper atmosphere can reach escape velocity simply via its temperature. Thermal escape of helium alone is not enough to account for its scarcity in the atmosphere, but helium in the atmosphere also gets ionized and follows the earth's magnetic field lines. When ion outflow is considered, the escape of helium from the atmosphere balances its production from radioactive elements.

This claim is out of date. However it can be shown that so much helium is still in the rock, that it is most consistent with young Earth.

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