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Re: Russell Humphreys boast!??

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  • rlbaty@webtv.net
    I found some discussion of Humphreys theories and claims on TalkOrigins. Following is the link and excerpt: ###########################
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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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