From: allenroy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 18 2003 - 10:50:37 EST
I let a friend of mine read some anonymous comments on Barnes and his
magnetic data that was made here not long ago. He (anonymously) makes
the following comments. (following the **** marks)
>Barnes took the data from c1835 which shows that aspect of the
magnetic field has been declining. However Barnes left out the first
reading from c1831 which was lower than the second of c1835. It was in
the data he cited so i presume he ignored as it was inconvenient.
Naughty Boy!! So he was wrong (Ken Ham would prefer to say Fraudulent)
to do this . <
****Let's examine the reference where Barne's obtained the data from.
McDonald, Keith L. and Robert H. Gunst. 1967. An analysis of the earth's
magnetic field from 1835 to 1965. ESSA Technical ReportIER 4 6 -IES 1,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
---. 1968. Recent trends in the earth's magnetic field. Journal of
Geophysical Research 73:2057-2067. This is a summary of their ESSA
report of 1967.
*****Note the title, " . . earth's magnetic field from 1835 to 1965". It
is the secular guys who chose this time period, starting from 1835. They
are the ones who pointed out that the data shows that the earth's field
had decayed 8% over that time period.. Barnes did nothing wrong or
fraudulent in the least, he simply used the same data and provided an
exponential fit as predicted by the Lamb theory of free induction decay.
Why would one take data from 1835 onward and neglect all kinds of data
from prior to that time? Because it was in 1833 and 1839 that Karl Gauss
began systematizing the analysis and measurement of earth's magnetic
field, Gauss' first recorded data of the total strength of the earth's
magnetic moment was in 1835. (see references to Gauss in Humphreys paper
There were all kinds of data from magnetic dip needles prior to Gauss,
in fact, going clear back to 1600, but there was nothing systematic
until Gauss published his analysis of data using what are now called
spherical harmonics, to separate out the earth's dipole and non-dipole
field components. By the way, the earlier data with dip needles also
shows the same marked decay of the magnetic field with time, although
the slope is slightly different than some of the most recent data. It
makes no sense to only include the one data point in 1831, if one is
going to go back prior to Gauss. What is your citation for the value you
claim was neglected by Barnes?
The data prior to Gauss shows a large decay, at least as far back as
1600, as figure 2.11, p. 56, in Merrill, McElhinny, and McFadden's book
"The Magnetic Field of the Earth", (Academic Press, 1996) clearly shows.
In fact, as McElhinny et al discuss on p. 55-57, several secular authors
have analyzed the data since 1835 and they quote a number of about 5%
per century since then, for the decrease of the earth's dipole field. So
there is no question about the observed decrease in the dipole component
of the earth's magnetic field. It is very large. Therefore the notion
that the earth's magnetic dipole field has decayed strongly is only
established further by examining all the earlier, directly measured data.
All this and much more is discussed in detail and references provided in
Russ Humphreys excellent recent CRSQ paper. I recommend you read it so
that you will know what Humphreys really says.
A copy of Russ Humphreys recent CRSQ article can be found on the CRS web
You can also get a PDF version, if you prefer, at the same location at
the top of the page.
PS. Your research may need to go a little beyond Talk.Origins to find
"I have been shown that, without Bible history, geology can prove nothing. Relics found
in the earth do give evidence of a state of things differing in many respects from the
present. But the time of their existence, and how long a period these things have been in
the earth, are only to be understood by Bible history. It may be innocent to conjecture
beyond Bible history, if our suppositions do not contradict the facts found in the sacred
Scriptures. But when men leave the word of God in regard to the history of creation, and
seek to account for God's creative works upon natural principles, they are upon a
boundless ocean of uncertainty. Just how God accomplished the work of creation in six
literal days, he has never revealed to mortals. His creative works are just as
incomprehensible as his existence." Ellen Gould Harmon White, 1864
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