TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information
A better understanding of the history of Earth’s magnetic field undermines one major argument young-earth creationists (YECs) use to establish a few-thousand-year-old Earth. Contemporary measurements of Earth’s magnetic-field strength show that it has decreased about 5% per century over the last 150 years. Assuming this decline reflects the field behavior over all time (and a reasonable maximum possible magnetic field), most YECs reason that Earth cannot be older than a few tens of thousands of years. However, a team of geophysicists recently analyzed paleomagnetic data and demonstrated that from 1590 to 1840 the magnetic-field strength was nearly constant. Since the contemporary field decline does not characterize past magnetic-field behavior, arguing for a young Earth based on the magnetic field is no longer valid.
o David Gubbins, Adrian L. Jones, and Christopher C. Finlay, “Fall in Earth’s Magnetic Field is Erratic,” Science 312 (2006): 900-02.
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