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The Earth's Magnetic Field

John Stear

Creationists have long argued that the Earth's magnetic field is decaying.  This argument has been refuted many times but that doesn't deter major creationist organisations and prominent creationist spokesmen from trotting it out from time to time.

The latest attempt to flog this long dead horse is by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, Answers in Genesis' prolific pseudo science writer.  Dr Sarfati has reposted (on 9 November 2000) an article he wrote for Creation Ex Nihilo (Volume 20 Number 2, March–May 1998).  In that article he declared:

The earth's magnetism is running down. This world-wide phenomenon could not have been going on for more than a few thousand years, despite swapping direction many times.  Evolutionary theories are not able to explain properly how the magnetism could sustain itself for billions of years.

Dr Sarfati concludes his musings with:

The earth's magnetic field is not only a good navigational aid and a shield from space particles, it is powerful evidence against evolution and billions of years. The clear decay pattern shows the earth could not be older than about 10,000 years.

The basis for Sarfati's article is creationist Thomas G. Barnes' book Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field (I.C.R. Technical Monograph No. 4, copyright July, 1973, by the Institute for Creation Research) in which Barnes claims that exponential decay of the Earth's magnetic field proves that the Earth cannot be more than about 10,000 years old.  Since Barnes' death, the magnetic field theory has been championed by prominent creationist D. Russell Humphreys.  Not surprisingly, creationist simpleton "Dr" Kent Hovind has blundered into the fray, parroting Barnes' flawed findings. 

Of Barnes' argument, Dave Matson had this to say:

We can safely relegate Barnes's magnetic field argument to the junk heap of crackpot ideas. Barnes' work lacks the scientific integrity, competence, and judgment one expects from a scientific work.

Below are some scientific papers, including that of Dave Matson,  that soundly refute these spurious claims.

On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth's Magnetic Field (off site)
Tim Thompson

Magnetic Field Decay (off site)
Lenny Flank

Is the Earth's Magnetic Field Decaying Exponentially? (off site)
Dave E. Matson

When North Goes South  (off site)
An explanation of magnetic field reversal

Is the Earth's Magnetic Field Young?  (off site)
Joe Meert

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