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Can the earth be dated from decay of its magnetic field?.

Journal of Geological Education

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Abstract

Thomas G. Barnes, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Texas, El Paso, and a creationist, argues that the geomagnetic field was created by unknown processes at the time of creation of the earth and has been decaying irreversibly and exponentially, with a half-life of about 1400 years, since then. He calculates that the field would have been impossibly large in 8000 BC and concludes that the earth, therefore, is less than 10,000 years old. He denies that the earth's field has reversed polarity in the past, and attempts to refute the dynamo theory of the origin of the field. Barnes' arguments and conclusions are commonly cited in creationist literature as definitive proof that the earth is very young. Barnes is wrong, and has ignored or misrepresented much of the data on the earth's magnetic field. Paleomagnetic evidence shows that the earth's field has existed for more than three billion years, and that the dipole field both fluctuates in strength and irregularly reverses polarity. There are no properties of the magnetic field that can be used to place an upper limit on the earth's age. - Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Can the earth be dated from decay of its magnetic field?.
Series title:
Journal of Geological Education
Volume
31
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1983
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Geological Education
First page:
124
Last page:
133
Number of Pages:
10