Okay... Humphreys article:
I did read the Humphreys article you linked to, and.. well... it has a LOT of outright mistakes. That journal isn't "peer reviewed" and it's
pointing to religious theories.
Why are we picky about "peer review"? Well, we all make mistakes and NOBODY can know everything in any one field of science. When we write a
paper, it goes off to friends and colleagues before anyone else sees it and they give critiques before it goes to editors. When it hits a journal,
they pass it along to their board of reviewers.
Even if the reviewers pass it as okay, when it gets published, EVERYBODY gets to see it and oh boy, do they comment on it. Some support it by
pointing to other papers, and some will rip it to shreds.
Take a look at any academic journal and you'll see this in progress.
Humphreys' article never got that, and apparently nobody reviewed his math. This leaves him very vulnerable to criticism.
So.. Dr. Humphreys:
The first huge mistake is that "evolutionists" are all biologists and they don't know beans about planets or planetary development. How can this
guy say he's credibly arguing against astronomical things by taking astronomy from a biological basis?
Secondly, I went off to see if I could find his original paper that cites his predictions of the magnetic force strengths of various planets. I
don't see it anywhere; as far as I can tell (unless it was published in a creationist magazine) this was the first.
So let's doublecheck his figures... and then see if it predicts anything.
The first thing we should note about his equations is that he puts in a "god factor." In other words, if the predictions or measured value doesn't
add up to what he predicted, his formula allows him to go in, come up with ANY number that then makes things fit, and calls it a "god factor."
Here's what he says directly:
I do not know from Scripture what proportion of the protons God aligned in each case. In the previous article I put an arbitrary factor, k,
into the equations. This alignment factor represents what fraction' of the maximum field God chose.
The maximum value of k is one; the minimum is zero. Ordering by whole subgroups would give possible values of ¼, ½, ¾, or 1. In the previous paper I
assumed that k for the earth was ¼. I supported this choice by pointing out that it increases the molecular order with a minimum of perturbation from
the normal alignment. But it is a subjective choice. In the absence of any better criterion, let us assume that k = 0.25 unless we find out
Now... no non-Creationist scientist would be allowed this kind of "fudge factor."
You can see how it works in another paper of his:
In figure 2 (because the original data doesn't come out to be the age he wants -- his model of decay predicts the Earth's age at OVER 10,000 years),
he adds a period of "dynamic decay" when God changed the rules of the universe for No Apparent Reason to make things fit a 6,000 year age.
He also uses Thomas Barnes' 1973 book, Origin and Destiny of the Earth's Magnetic Field, as a foundation. In fact, he's pretty much rehashing
Barnes. Consequently, he hasn't addressed the problems with Barnes' theories: www.talkorigins.org...
(long as it is, you might want to read it anyway. Gives a good background.)
Measurements of the "decay of Earth's magnetic field" show that it hasn't changed much since 1935 (though it did change slightly before then.)
Scientists say this is due to more sophisticated and more accurate measurements of the magnetic field. Creationists say it's because God stopped the
rate of change.
Since the argument is for a Capricious Change (god factor can change whenever, there is no actual "prediction" available in their science. Modern
physicists have mathematical models of what will happen in a poleshift. Creation scientists can't model that, without a constant adjustment of the
"god factor" to come up with the same models that the rest of the scientists have.
Physicist Tim Thompson levels an additional criticism at Humphrey:
Humphreys had already postulated this idea, when he found support from a paper by Coe & Prevot in 1989 , 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 ), and the effect certainly appears to be real, or at least credible. 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.
That last one is an important point: it says that scientists have models that show the "rapid reversals" may instead be magnetic storm effects
during a slower reversal. The Creationist model simply isn't adequate for this unless you postulate God hopping in and twiddling with the lava flows
thousands of times in a short period simply for the purpose of "confounding scientists."