History of the Field This article summarizes five technical papers I have published to answer such questions.
The discriminating reader will want to read them to understand more fully the model which is only summarized below.
(not well known at the time) showing that the overall strength of the earth's field has indeed steadily declined by about 7% since 1835, when it was first measured.
The decay rate depends on the electrical resistance of the earth's core, and the observed rate is consistent with the estimated resistance of materials at core temperatures and pressures.
Since the field probably started when the earth was formed, the present rapid decay of the field is strong evidence for a young earth.
Old-earth proponents, however, correctly point out that the earth's magnetic field has not always decayed smoothly.
In 1984, 1 extended my theory to the sun, moon, and planets, explaining the magnetic fields measured by the space probes of the last few decades, and predicting the approximate strength of the fields of Uranus and Neptune.
In 1986, Voyager 2 verified the Uranus prediction, and we should find out about Neptune in early 1990. After creation (and the Fall), the electric current in the earth's core would decay slowly, as would the field, for 1656 years, until the Genesis flood.
Paleomagnetic (magnetism of geologic strata) data provide persuasive evidence that the field reversed its direction scores of times while the fossil layers were being laid down.
Figure 2 shows world-averaged archaeomagnetic data. Since the dates conventionally assigned to the data points are based on radiocarbon dating, I have plotted the data on a time scale crudely corrected for changes in the percentage of carbon 14 in the atmosphere since the flood.
The curve shown is a statistical fit using just the three simplest of dozens of possible components. D., the last remaining higher-order component became small compared to the main dipole component, and the field decayed smoothly after that.
During this period, the field would have been more than ten times stronger than it is today, thus shielding the earth from cosmic ray particles more effectively, reducing the production of carbon 14 in the pre-flood atmosphere, and making the earth a healthier place. In 1986, I suggested that there was a powerful release of energy in the earth's core at the beginning of the Genesis flood, and that the resulting strong movements in the core field produced rapid reversals of the earth's magnetic field, about one per week, during the year that the flood was laying down the fossil layers at the earth's surface.
General physical laws allow rapid reversals, a likely physical mechanism exists to cause the reversals, and observations of the sun's magnetic field demonstrate reversal cycles in nature today.
Both of these features have a firm basis in theory, experiment, and natural phenomena.