Origins 10(2):47 (1983).
Brief summaries of the main conclusions of the leading presentations are given below for those who may find the complete articles too long or technical.
THE LITTLE ICE AGE
All are aware that climatic changes occur in cycles measured in days, seasons, and years. A question more difficult to determine is whether climatic changes can occur over centuries. Evidence is reviewed which demonstrates that around 1450 AD, the northern hemisphere experienced a significant cooling which lasted approximately 400 years. Increase in the severity of winters, famine and disease, the advance of glaciers, the shortening of growing seasons, plus a host of other factors attest that this time period was cooler than our present time. In the mid-1800s this trend was reversed and the average mean temperature of the earth began to increase. The causes of this cooling are obscure and unknown. The most likely candidates are a decrease in sunspot activity or an increase in the amount of atmospheric pollutants, perhaps caused by volcanic activity.
The magnetic information that is stored in the various types of
rocks is providing geoscientists with a wealth of information about the earth and its
history. However, for this information to be of greatest use, an understanding of the
source of the field as well as its overall properties such as "shape" and
strength is necessary. The Barnes Free Decay model for the source of the geomagnetic field
is compared to the available data and to the conventional dynamo model as possible models
for the source of the geomagnetic field. Which model fits the data best and what
implications does it have for creationists?
Paleomagnetic data is proving to be useful in numerous applications, but the data really has little meaning unless certain assumptions are made. What are these assumptions, and do they appear to be valid from a creationist perspective?
Paleomagnetism is responsible for the widely held idea that the geomagnetic field of the earth has reversed itself many times in the course of the history of the earth. This reversal information has been used to establish a "magnetic reversal time scale" that is being widely used to study "magnetic stratigraphy." Another application of paleomagnetic data has been in the study of the dynamics of the earth's crust and the subsequent development of the theory of plate tectonics. This theory has had a tremendous impact on the geosciences. What problems do these models of earth history present for creationists, and have creationists seriously addressed them? Are there other valid explanations for these phenomena that fit well with a short earth history?
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