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Is magnetic north really moving at a rate of knots or is this all down to computer modelling?

7 September 2013

Something to chew on here. See for example http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/black-and-white-bloch/ and http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/geomagnetism-virtual-reality-v…

Tim Cullen is not a fan of mainstream geomagnetic science, one of the main props of Plate Tetonics (which is his chief bugbear). He compares it to CAGW science – but is it really as bad as that?

This science, he says, supports palaeomagnetism as well as Plate Tectonics – but the two are heavily intertwined. Funny but this subject came up at the recent SIS 'David Salkeld memorial meeting' – and magnetic reversals, the tippe top theory, and the possibility that even if the Earth turned all the way over would it really involve the magnetic poles changing places. It will be worth looking at the videos of the talks when they are posted in a few days time (those interested). 

Cullen is critical of the recent flurry of activity where the magnetic pole is supposed to be moving towards Siberia at an increased rate. Why was it relatively quiet for so long and suddenly active now? What is happening now that wasn't happening a few years ago? Well, in his opinion, modelling. Scientists are modelling the movements of the magnetic poles – but in reality things may be quite different. Cullen sets out his stall quite effectively and is critical of the assumptions that form the base line of the modelling. These involve Gauss co-efficients computed by an iterative method. According to NOAA the movement of the magnetic north pole is greater than that of the southern magnetic pole, and Cullen takes special issue with this idea.

At http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/palaeomagnetism-logic-reversals/ … and here we have another darling of uniformitarian science that Cullen takes a well aimed swing at, again in a quite effective manner. Palaeomagnetism is of course closely bound up with ideas concerning the Ice Ages – and therefore the length of time deduced for the Pleistocene and the retrocalculation basic to placing the Pliocene in space and time. The question we might ask is did geomagnetic reversals really happen?

In Velikovsky literature this has been an interesting subject for discussion – and involves Peter Warlow's tippe top theory where the Earth turns completely over so that north becomes south and vice versa. This idea was provoked by reference to the Sun rising in the west rather than the east and various subsidiary anomalies such as Senmut's ceiling (the sky painted on the roof of an Egyptian tomb which appears to show a reversal). Whereas a 'sun' rising in the west could be attributed to a cosmic body other than the Sun itself, and the ceiling down to the position of the artist when he was painting the sky scene, we may also note that uniformitarianism has also airbrushed recent magnetic reversals out of the system – flushed them away. In that sense the Velikovsky speculation that led to Warlow's theory of reversals in the Holocene is surplus to requirement and Warlow himself had abandoned this aspect of his original research, later in his life. However, this involved coming to terms with reversals in the remote past, which meant the theory hit the buffers so to speak. How to get out of the bunker was the problem – but did he need to get into the bunker in the first place?

Incidentally, Peter Warlow's book, The Reversing Earth, is available from the SIS Book Service, at a reasonable price.

Cullen denies magnetic reversals, as revealed by the stripes on the sea floor, took place. They provide nothing of substance to the Expanding Earth theory – but they do provide longevity to the uniformitarian model. He points out that nobody knows why the Earth should flip into reversed polarity, or flip back again after a suitable length of estimated time. He notes that 20th century geologists first noticed that some volcanic rocks were magnetised opposite to the direction of the Earth's magnetic field (which is about when Velikovsky picked up the idea and ran with it). Volcanic activity produces lightning friendly conditions. Volcanoes eject into the atmosphere material and gases that create a dense plume of highly charged particles. As lightning is capable of causing electromagetic contamination those magnetic stripes may not after all represent geomagnetic reversals but other factors which might include heavy volcanic activity, or even, in the context of Plate Tectonics, movements such as sea floor spreading.

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