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Did gigantic magnetic reversals occur? If so, why did it happen? What event does it point us to? This is science vs. evolution—a Creation-Evolution Encyclopedia, brought to you by Creation Science Facts.

CONTENT: Paleomagnetism

Earth's Magnetic Field: We live on a gigantic magnet
Magnetic Reversals: At certain times in the past the poles have reversed
Polarity Problems: We cannot accurately gauge these reversals, their cause, or their date
Earth's Fluid Core: When it shakes, gigantic reversals could occur
Polar Movement: This is another indication of core instability
Nature of the Core: It must be magnetic, probably iron
Cause of the Reversals: Only a major cataclysm could have caused the worldwide reversals
Dating the Reversals: Radiodating is notoriously inaccurate

This material is excerpted from the book, LAWS OF NATURE VS. EVOLUTION. An asterisk ( * ) by a name indicates that person is not known to be a creationist. Of over 4,000 quotations in the books this Encyclopedia is based on, only 164 statements are by creationists.
You will have a better understanding of the following statements by scientists if you will also read the web page, Drift and Tectonics.


Our planet has a gigantic magnet inside it. It is apparently caused by a massive iron core (called the "magnetic core"). It is generally agreed that part or all of this iron core is molten.

A magnet has a north and south pole. So does the earth's magnetic core. It is known that the center of our magnetic north pole keeps moving from one place in the Arctic to another. This fact alone indicates there is something inherently unstable about earth's magnetic field.

There are several ways we can measure that magnetic field. One way is in magnetic rocks. Lava, flowing out of volcanoes, cools into rocks containing tiny crystals of magnetite (which consists of magnetic iron, nickel, cobalt, and / or their alloys). At the time the cooling takes place, the iron magnetite theoretically becomes permanently magnetized in accordance with the location of the north pole at that time. This fact enables scientists to determine earlier locations of the magnetic north pole. Surface volcanic rock provides us with the best magnetic rocks.


Then, in 1906, it was discovered that some of the magnetic rocks are reversed in polarity—they are pointing southward instead of north! We now believe that the earth's magnetic core has reversed its polarity a number of times.

These facts are the basis of the fairly new science of paleomagnetism.—pp. 43-45.


But there are problems: Rocks can be kicked around or moved by tree roots. The extreme smallness of such magnetism can lead to errors in calculation. The pointing of these rocks is always somewhat generalized; it is not exactly pointing toward where the pole was at that time. Rocks which have been moved from their original positions can later acquire a secondary magnetic orientation. Lightning strikes, pressure, and high temperature can also affect their magnetic settings. Many rocks have "anisotropic magnetic properties" and are rather easy to remagnetize. In addition, magnetic storms (caused by earth's gravitational field interacting with sunspot radiations) can also result in changes in rock magnetization in a small or very wide area. Lightning strikes can completely reverse the magnetism of the rock. "Self-reversal" occurs when volcanic rock is cooling; it is known to suddenly reverse polarity! As you can see, paleomagnetism is an inexact science.—pp. 45-46.


In spite of the confusion and difficulty in analyzing the data, it appears that earth's magnetic core may have reversed its polarity several times.

This is related to the fact that there is a basic instability in the magnetic core. There are indications that magnetic storms (caused by sunspots) cause earth's magnetic core to quiver slightly. Other things could cause it to shake also.—pp. 46-47.


Movement of the poles is another indication of the instability of earth's magnetic core. The north axis of earth's magnetic pole gradually swings in an arc that varies as much as 30 degrees from its present location in northern Siberia. The evidence clearly points to the instability of the magnetic core, but researchers, anxious to find more reasons supporting continental drift—say that is the cause.—p. 47.


The farther down one goes below earth's surface, the hotter it becomes. Eventually, because of heat and pressure, the rock becomes molten. Iron, being quite heavy, would tend to sink to the middle. There is no doubt that a magnetic mineral is at the middle of the globe. It would have to include a great quantity of iron.—pp. 47-48.


If something vibrated through that core, it would cause a reversal. But what would be powerful enough to do that?

Evolutionists date the reversals as occurring millions of years apart in the distant past. They hope to be able to use the reversals as another evidence in favor of long ages.

But what would cause those reversals? The evolutionists really do not know. When we try to ascertain the true cause of the reversals, their true dates are clarified.

Reading Effects of the Flood will explain that, at the time of the Flood, over 10,000 volcanoes blew their tops, Some, of course, produced more powerful explosions than others. Cracks in the ground and underwater, caused by the immense pressures of sinking ocean basins and rising continents, permitted water to pour down deep underground, where it met molten rock. Explosions resulted and fiery lava poured out.

Some of those explosions could easily have resulted in reversals to earth's magnetic core.

At the present time, it is generally thought that there have been nine major reversals and a varying number of smaller ones.—p. 48.


What methods do the evolutionists use to date those reversals so far in the past? The researchers use potassium-argon (K-Ar) dating to date the rocks. Reading through Dating of Time in Evolution, you will quickly recognize that they are using one of the most unreliable dating methods known to mankind!

The radioactive decay rates for potassium are not clear; there is too much variation. You cannot date by a clock that cannot keep time! As radioactive potassium decays, it produces argon. But argon is a rare gas and quickly escapes into the air. How can a rock be dated on the basis of the ratio of potassium and argon still in it? It really cannot be done.

When the useless potassium-argon dates are obtained, they are then compared with the imaginary dating method dreamed up in the 19th century: rock strata dating! (See Fossils and Strata.) Those dates which do not agree with the strata theory are thrown out.

So, when you read that so many millions of years have elapsed since a certain magnetic reversal has occurred, you will know that it was not true science which produced that date.

One example: Volcanic rocks, produced by Hawaiian lava flows in the years 1800 and 1801, were dated by potassium-argon methods as having occurred at ages ranging from 160 million to 2.96 billion years in the past!—pp. 48-49.

The laws we find governing nature are perfect. It is only in obedience to natural and moral law, that we can have happiness.


Forward to the next major topic in this series:

HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY: Read for yourself how the theory developed—and some of the hoaxes, sensationalism, suppression, and frauds used to spread it.