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Russell Humphreys boast!??

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  • rlbaty@webtv.net
    I spoke to a fellow yesterday who was talking up Russell Humprheys and some great thing he did for the cause of young-earth, creation-science and gravity and
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 12, 2005
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      I spoke to a fellow yesterday who was talking up Russell Humprheys and
      some great thing he did for the cause of "young-earth, creation-science"
      and gravity and planets and such.

      Way over my head. About the only thing I could do is express my
      skepticism in the context of our broader conversaion.

      I was browsing a bit to see if I could find what he was talking about.

      What he was talking about is summarized in the following link and


      An Interview with Dr. D. Russell Humphreys



      Date: 1/20/2002

      RH = Russ Humphreys
      DS = Doug Sharp
      RG = Rich Geer
      RH:  So were doing this experimentally, and just to get this
      experimental result, and we have a prediction that's made by the
      creationist model and we have a prediction by the evolutionist model. 
      Some of the results are already coming in and they're much, much closer
      to the creation model than the evolutionist.
      DS:  You seem to have a history of doing this. 
      RH:  Yes, I've gone out on a limb now about a half-dozen times and so
      far the limb hasn't been sawn off under me.
      RG:  Why don't you talk about some of those things, maybe we can sort
      of bridge into your cosmology.
      DS:  Your idea of magnetic fields was one.
      RG:  Talk a little bit about that. That is very fascinating to me. 
      You first wrote something about this back in 1983?
      RH:  Yes.  Back in 1983 I published a paper in the Creation Research
      Society Quarterly I think it was the December issue of that year, "The
      Creation of the Earth's Magnetic Field."  My jumping off point was a
      verse in 2 Pet. 3, where it says that the earth was formed out of water
      and by means of water.  And that said to me that since the earth is
      not water now, God must have transformed the water into all the other
      stuff we see around us:  iron, silicon, but I thought of a way that He
      could make the earth's magnetic field while it was still water.  If He
      had lined up all the protons you know the two hydrogen atoms, the two
      nuclei that are protons; if He created the water with the two protons
      all pointing in the same direction and all the water molecules, all its
      protons, all pointing in the same direction, then you would get a
      magnetic field which is just about the right amount you needed if the
      earth is 6,000 years old, and some decay has taken place.  So that
      struck me as kind of interesting.  If you're God and you're going to
      make a magnetic field, here's a real easy way to do it.  When you
      create the water molecules, create the protons all pointing in the same
      RG:  Real easy for God, not for us to do.
      RH:  Yes, sort of thinking God's thoughts after Him.
      DS:  Then there's the decay of the magnetic field that could get out
      of alignment, so you actually have that as a measurable rate. 
      RH:  Right, the earth's magnetic field is decaying at a certain rate
      right now, it would take about 1400 years to decay down to half its
      present strength, and we know from archaeomagnetic data that it has been
      decaying at that rate for about 1000 years.
      RG:  Wow, I didn't know that.
      DS:  So what was the position; the "going out on the limb" prediction
      that you made in this paper?
      RH:  Getting back to the origins of the field, I thought if the
      earth's field had this neat explanation, it fit the data pretty
      nicely.  Well, maybe God made the fields of all the other planets and
      parts of our solar system the same way.  So I just said, well, I'll
      apply the same theory to the Sun, Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn,
      Uranus, and Neptune.  And what would the fields be there?  At that
      time space probes had measured some of those fields but not all of them,
      so for the ones the space probes had measured it fit the theory very
      nicely.  So when I published that in December, 1984, for the Creation
      Research Society Quarterly, for the two planets that had not been
      measured, Uranus and Neptune, I made a prediction that if the theory's
      any good then the strength of the [magnetic] field for those two planets
      should be such and such.    My prediction for the planet Uranus
      was about 100,000 times larger than what evolutionary predictions
      were.  This is a good test.  Lets see where the chips fall.  Then
      Voyager 2, I think it was, went by the planet Uranus in 1986 and it was
      right smack in the middle of the range of my predictions.  
      RG:  That's amazing.
      RH:  I broadened the range a little bit because we didn't know too
      much about the core of that planet.  So then it went by Neptune during
      1989 and again right in the middle of the range for that planet.
      RG:  How have the evolutionary scientists, the NASA scientists, that
      went for the other predictions, how have they been able to modify their
      opinions to fit that data?
      RH:  Well, they modified their opinions a little bit, when Uranus came
      out so badly wrong, they said that Neptune is sort of a sister planet to
      Uranus, so we'll modify our prediction for Neptune so its going to be
      also a strong field.
      RG:  That doesn't help for the Uranus prediction in the first place.
      RH:  No it didn't.  It was sort of a hand waving theory they had in
      the first place so it wasn't very quantitative.
      DS:  Now does this also hold true for the moons of Jupiter?
      RH:   Yes, the moons of Jupiter came out very nicely, I didn't even
      think of including them in the paper but just apply the same formulas
      that are in the paper and they fit the moons of Jupiter that were
      measured much more recently, by another space probe, Galileo.  It fits
      those moons pretty nicely too.  So, I'm happy about that. 
      RG:  You're batting a 1,000 here it looks like.
      RH:  That one I didn't actually make a prediction, but there's no
      difference from [what] the prediction [would have been from the model].


      If anybody can provide some specific response and/or analysis of what
      that might have to do with the YECS cause, I would appreciate it.

      Robert Baty
    • rlbaty@webtv.net
      I found some discussion of Humphreys theories and claims on TalkOrigins. Following is the link and excerpt: ###########################
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 13, 2005
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        I found some discussion of Humphreys' theories and claims on
        TalkOrigins. Following is the link and excerpt:


        On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay
        of the Earth's Magnetic Field
        by Tim Thompson

        (I)t is my position that Humphreys' theory cannot be confirmed, since it
        predicts at once every possible observed field, and is therefore useless
        for predicting anything.

        Humphreys decided that the evidence in support of the hypothesis that
        the Earth's magnetic field has reversed its polarity a number of times
        is too convincing, and that such reversals must have occurred. In doing
        so, Humphreys also rejects Barnes' idea that the Earth's field has been
        decaying exponentially ever since creation, and has instead postulated a
        more complex history for the magnetic field, built around the
        presumption that the field reversals happened very rapidly, taking
        perhaps no more than a few days to a few weeks [23, 24].

        Humphreys had already postulated this idea, when he found support from a
        paper by Coe & Prevot in 1989 [25], which showed evidence of a rapid
        change in the angle of the dipole moment of the Earth's magnetic field
        during the cooling time of a lava flow. Coe & Prevot have expanded on
        the observations and theory since then [26, 27a] (and so has Humphreys
        [28]), and the effect certainly appears to be real, or at least

        Humphreys has interpreted these results as an implication that all field
        reversals are very rapid, and this allows him to concentrate all of them
        into the single year of the Genesis Flood.

        However, one must remember that the results reported by Coe & Prevot
        include only a few out of hundreds or thousands of examples of field
        reversal measurements. The vast majority of the known examples would
        have required the entire reversal to take place while the lava flows
        were still hotter than the Curie temperature, or worse yet, argue
        against rapid reversal by recording what appear to be the intermediate
        stages of a single reversal event.

        Finally, others have shown that the evident rapid reversals described by
        Coe & Prevot may be explained by processes not related directly to those
        in the Earth's core [27b], but rather by magnetic storm effects that may
        become significant at the surface of the Earth during a reversal, when
        the dipole field is relatively weak.

        Humphreys outlined his postulated history for the Earth's magnetic field
        in [23, 24, 29a]. He has a created magnetic dipole decaying
        exponentially until the time of the flood. Atthe onset of the flood, the
        dipole moment plummets rapidly, and thenoscillates very rapidly (the
        rapid reversals) during the year of the flood. He then shows a series of
        fluctuations from about 4000 to 1500 years before the present, after
        which the field has been steadilydecaying.

        This invented scenario depends heavily on the idea that all of the field
        reversals happened very rapidly, and all during the year of the flood.
        This can be seen in the online version of Impact #242 [29a], an ICR

        There can be little doubt that Humphreys still holds to this idea quite
        firmly. He was asked about this by Carl Wieland, in an interview
        published by Creation Magazine in 1993 [29].

        Humphreys reiterated his confidence in what he called his successful
        prediction of magnetic field strengths from the Voyager observations,
        and spoke as if his notion that all field reversals happened within a
        few days was essentially a proven fact. This interview is available
        online via the creation magazine website. I have not seen any creation
        science writings on the Earth's magnetic field since then, and I presume
        that the theory of Humphreys is the one that is now ascending in the
        creation science community.

        Subjective Observations and Closing Remarks

        I certainly do not accept the ideas put forth by Barnes and Humphreys,
        concerning the physics and history of the Earth's magnetic field.
        However I do not believe that I have treated either with any undue

        Barnes, despite his considerable background in physics, did a horrible
        job, committing numerous blatant and trivial errors along the way.

        Humphreys never takes Barnes to task, and goes out of his way to avoid
        criticizing him at all.

        While Humphreys does a much better job with his physics than did Barnes,
        Humphreys is not out of the intellectual woods either.

        He has a strong tendency to over-interpret results, and to
        over-emphasize the degree to which his theories are predictive in
        nature, or to which they are congruent with reality.

        His mix of divine intervention and physics is quite natural for a
        creationist, but not at all acceptable to the non-creationist. Moreover,
        it is not consistent with an unbiased scientific investigation, in that
        it presumes what the result will be before the experiment is done.


        I still don't grasp all the technical details, but the above (and the
        full article) may explain why Humphreys' claim is not what it appears to
        be or what its promoters think it is.

        Robert Baty
      • Todd S. Greene
        ... [snip] From: http://gondwanaresearch.com/hp/magfield.htm Is the Earth s Magnetic Field Young? by Joe Meert ... Of course, we all know that the reason
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 21, 2005
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          --- In Maury_and_Baty, Robert Baty wrote (post #7022):
          > I spoke to a fellow yesterday who was talking up Russell
          > Humphreys and some great thing he did for the cause of
          > "young-earth, creation-science" and gravity and planets and
          > such.


          "Is the Earth's Magnetic Field Young?"
          by Joe Meert

          | Humphreys has argued in the creationist literature that the
          | Earth's magnetic field is in terminal decay and that its
          | maximum age can be no more than 10,000 years. As shown
          | above, his conclusions are based on undocumented reversals
          | in the archeomagnetic record, a mistaken conclusion
          | regarding the time it takes for the magnetic field to
          | reverse and an extrapolation based on the last 30 years of
          | magnetic observation. Furthermore, Humphreys argues that
          | the magnetic field of the earth at creation was much higher
          | than the present-day value. This conjecture is totally at
          | odds with observational data and thus is mere speculation.
          | Humphreys does accept reversals, and if they all happened
          | in the year of the flood, then they would occur roughly at
          | the rate of 1 per day. There is no observational evidence
          | to support this frequency of reversals. However, if
          | Humphreys is correct that all the reversal occurred in the
          | year of the flood, then the strata corresponding to the
          | flood must extend from the Archean to the most recent
          | sedimentation since reversals are well-documented in that
          | interval. Humphreys refuses to publish his work in
          | mainstream literature or to present his ideas to mainstream
          | science via annual conferences.

          Of course, we all know that the reason Humphreys runs away from
          professional geophysicists and geologists is because he already
          realizes that his ideas cannot stand the light of day among
          professionals in the relevant areas of science.

          — Todd Greene
        • rlbaty@webtv.net
          Todd, Thanks for that reference. I ll try to pass it along to that fellow that brought up the Humpreys stuff. Sincerely, Robert Baty
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 21, 2005
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            Thanks for that reference. I'll try to pass it along to that fellow
            that brought up the Humpreys' stuff.

            Robert Baty
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