Planetary Magnetism | The Institute for Creation Research
Planetary Magnetism


In 1971, Dr. Thomas Barnes publicized a then “trade secret” of scientists studying the earth’s magnetic field, which is that the main part of the field has been decaying steadily at about 7% per century since it was first measured globally in 1829.1 He showed how the decrease would be caused very simply by a decrease in the electric current in the earth’s core due to its electrical resistance. He also showed that the rate of decrease was fast enough to prohibit the current from having started more than a few dozen millennia ago, implying that the earth is young.

However, he did not show how to determine the initial amount of current in the core so we could determine the date of creation more exactly. Also, he did not explain how the current and field reversed direction many times during the year of the Genesis Flood, nor why the field fluctuated strongly up and down during the millennium after the Flood.

Lastly, he did not try to extend the theory to the other bodies in the solar system that either have a magnetic field now or had one in the past. So, I set about a decades-long program of research to try to answer these questions.


In my research, I used the study of Scripture, collection of data from publications, and theoretical calculations with pencil and paper.


In 1984, I published a theory on how God started up the magnetic fields of the sun, moon, and planets.2 I used the theory to explain the then-measured fields of some of the solar system bodies, and I made quantitative predictions about the fields of bodies yet to be visited by space probes.

The theory could only work if the solar system were the biblically prescribed age of about 6,000 years and the planets were made of the biblically suggested initial material—water, which was itself created. Over the next few decades, space probes verified all the predictions, the last one in 2012. This prediction was that Mercury’s crust would have been strongly magnetized by its then-strong field at creation.3

At the 1984 International Conference on Creationism, I offered a theory on how God reversed the magnetic field of the earth many times during the Genesis Flood.4 It also explained why the field would fluctuate strongly in the following millennium. I made a prediction that thin layers of basalt could have captured portions of reversals occurring as the basalt cooled after deposition as lava. This was verified in 1988 and afterward.5,6

Mark De Spain and I wrote a little book, with no equations but a lot of color graphics, describing all the above research and more, compressing decades of technical papers into something a non-scientist college student should find readable and entertaining.7


My hope is that this research will increase the confidence of believers in the accuracy of Scripture as science continually affirms the biblical record.


  1. Barnes, T. G. 1971. Decay of the earth’s magnetic moment and the geochronological implications. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 8 (1): 24-29.
  2. Humphreys, D. R. 1984. The creation of planetary magnetic fields. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 21 (3): 140-149.
  3. Humphreys, D. R. Mercury’s crust is magnetized: More good news for creation science. Creation Ministries International. Posted on July 18, 2012.
  4. Humphreys, D. R. 1986. Reversals of the Earth’s Magnetic Field During the Genesis Flood. Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism. 1: 113-126.
  5. Coe, R. S. and M. Prévot. 1989. Evidence suggesting extremely rapid field variation during a geomagnetic reversal. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 92 (3-4): 292-298.
  6. Bogue, S. W. and J. M. G. Glen. 2010. Very rapid geomagnetic field change recorded by the partial remagnetization of a lava flow. Geophysical Research Letters. 37 (21).
  7. Humphreys, D. R. and M. J. De Spain. 2015. Earth’s Mysterious Magnetism: and that of other celestial orbs. Chino Valley, AZ: Creation Research Society Books.

* Dr. Humphreys earned his Ph.D. in physics from Louisiana State University.

Cite this article: D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D. 2023. Planetary Magnetism. Acts & Facts. 52 (10).

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