The cure for cults that want to deny others
their freedom of speech is more freedom of speech
-- Fredric Rice


Creationist Cults


Well, in another series of distortions and lunacy, this month's addition of "Impact" from the Institute of Creation Research. An indepth, fallacious look at how the ICR thinks the Earth's magnetic decay rate somehow proves the earth is young. It is interesting to note that the author, Russell Humphreys, cites himself four out of twelve times, but all of these cites come from creationist publications. How I wish I could have cited myself while attending college, it would have saved me a lot of time.

{} represents my comments

"The Earth's Magnetic Feild Is Young"
by Russell Humphreys, Impact, August 1993

"The earth's magnetic field is a powerful witness for a world much younger that the billions of years required by evolutionary theories.

{And geology's, Astronomy's, Cosmology's, but left unsaid}

Let's start the story with the most prominent feature of the field today-its very rapid decay.

The Field is Decaying Rapidly

{This is true, but a good joke on himself. He'll later present a graph which instead shows a decline in decay...}

The average intensity of the earth's magnetic feild has decreased exponentially by about 7% since its first careful measurements in 1829. The field's intensity includes components of strength and direction and tells us the amount of force turning a compass needle northward. By estimating the feild intensity everywhere (in, on, and above the earth), we can calculate the total electrical energy stored in the field.

{Hardly, the mechanisms of the magnetic field is NOT entirely known, so how can they calculate it. Secondly, paleomagnatism shows oscillation in the past so what good is ANY calculation on just the intensity of decay.}

Such calculations show that the total energy in the field has decreased by about 14% since 1829.

Evolutionary Theories Haven't Worked

{EL TORO POOPOO! Paleomagnetic samples from the Atlantic Rift are on target}

The free-decay theory contradicts the evolutionary dynamo theories, which claim that complex processes in the earth's core have converted heat energy into electrical energy, much like an electric generator, maintaining the field for billions of years.

{A typical creationist distortion on modern day theory. It doesn't get maintained, it oscillates. Secondly, at the dynamo theory is based on the effects of fluid movement within planets and stars, it does NOT presume what the energy source is. The energy source can be radio active heating, growth of the inner core, or differential rotation of core and mantle. I guess Humphreys's knows something, but won't tell.}

Many intelligent scientists have been working on dynamo theories for over four decades without great success. Furthermore, recent measurements of electric currents in the sea floor weigh heavily against the most popular class of dynamo theories.

Thus evolutionary dynamo theories do not have a good explanation for the rapid decay of the field, whereas the free-decay theory does. However, our historical data on the intensity of the field only goes back to 1829.

{Not true, it's only as far back as they want to go. They can look sea floor samples which ALSO contain indicators of intensity, but if they did it would ruin his argument..}

Was the field decaying before that? Fortunately, there is a scientific way to answer that question.

Archaeomagnatism is the study of the magnetization of bricks, pottery, campfire stones, and other man-related objects studied by archaeologists. Iron oxides in those objects retain a record of the strength and direction of the earth's magnetic field at the time they last cooled to normal temperatures.

{That's interesting, I thought magnetic material in rocks could only align when the material they were in cooled to 1100*F. Those must have been REALLY hot campfires!}

Archaeomagnetic data taken world wide show that the intensity of the earth's magnetic field was abut 40% greater in 1000 A.D. than it is today, and that it has declined steadily ever since then.

Such a rapid decay could not have been going on continuously for millions of years, because the field would have to have been impossibly strong in the past in order for it to still exist today. Creationists of the 1970's extrapolated today's decay back into the past, showing that the feold could not be more than about 10,000 years old, assuming a constant decay of intensity.

Unfortunately, the archaeomagnetic data do not support that assumption. Instead the data show that the field intensity at the earth's surface fluctuated wildly up and down during the third millennium before Christ (see figure 1). A final fluctuation slowly increased the intensity until it reached a peak (50% higher today) at about the time of Christ. Then it began slowly accelerated decrease. By about 1000 A.D., the decrease was nearly s fast as it is today.

* *                                       *
*  *                                    ** **
*   **                                 *     **
*     **                              *        *
*                                 *  *          **
*                                * * *            **
*                           *    *  *               ***
*                          * *  *                      ****
*                          *  * *         *                *****
*                  *      *    *         ***                    ******
*          *      * *     *               *
*         * *     * *    *                *
|      * *   *   *   *   *             Christ                       Now
|      |*     * *    *  *
|      |       *      * *
|      |               *
|      |
|      |Flood

Figure 1. Magnetic field intensity at the earth's surface, from creation to now.

{drawn to best of my ability with a text file.}

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"You can lie about ICR all you want." -- Jason Daniel Henderson

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Creationist propaganda is already self-debunking." -- Fredric L. Rice


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