Secular scientists use the Milankovitch theory to explain the 50 or so ice ages they believe occurred in the last few million years. According to this theory, slow changes in Earth’s orbital and rotational motions change the amount of sunlight falling on the northern high latitudes during the summer months. Supposedly, ice ages result when this summer sunlight is at a minimum.
However, the Milankovitch theory has serious problems. For instance, the calculated changes in sunlight are too small, by themselves, to cause an ice age.1 Nevertheless, the Milankovitch theory was seemingly vindicated by an iconic 1976 paper titled “Pacemaker of the Ice Ages.”2 Analysis of chemical “wiggles” within two deep-sea sediment cores from the Indian Ocean revealed patterns consistent with the Milankovitch theory, convincing many uniformitarian scientists that the theory is correct.3 In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the only real evidence for the Milankovitch theory comes from analysis of such chemical wiggles.4
For this reason, invalidating the original Pacemaker results would seriously weaken the Milankovitch theory. But these results may already have been invalidated—by secular scientists themselves! Before they could analyze the chemical wiggles in the two Indian Ocean cores, the Pacemaker authors had to construct timescales for these cores. Their timescales were dependent on an assumed age of 700,000 years for the most recent magnetic reversal.2,5 Yet secular scientists later revised the age of this reversal upward to 780,000 years.6 Incredibly, it seems that secular scientists never bothered to check what effect this age revision would have on the original results.
As I indicated in last month’s article, I have been examining the results published in the Pacemaker paper.7 Part 1 of my research provided an overview of problems with the paper, including the age revision problem described above.8 Part 2 describes the mathematics used in the Pacemaker paper and shows that I can reproduce the paper’s original results with reasonable precision.9 Both of these papers have been published online. I encourage Acts & Facts readers to compare Figures 9-17 in my second paper with the graphs in Figure 5 of the Pacemaker paper, copies of which can also be found online. Even if one doesn’t understand all the technical jargon in the captions, it should be evident that there is generally a good match between my results and theirs.
Now that I have shown that I can replicate the original results, the last phase of this part of the research is to re-do the calculations using secular scientists’ new age estimate for this magnetic reversal. By the time you read this, Part 3 will likely be submitted for publication and possibly even have been published online. The results have the potential to be profoundly embarrassing to secular scientists. I hope to discuss this research in an easy-to-understand way in future Impact articles. Stay tuned!
- Oard, M. J. 2007. Astronomical troubles for the astronomical hypothesis of ice ages. Journal of Creation. 21 (3): 19-23.
- Hays, J. D., J. Imbrie, and N. J. Shackleton. 1976. Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages. Science. 194 (4270): 1121-1132.
- These chemical wiggles are related to the ratio of a heavy oxygen isotope to a lighter oxygen isotope, differences in which are thought to indicate past changes in Earth’s climate. For more information, see Hebert, J. 2016. Deep Core Dating and Circular Reasoning. Acts & Facts. 45 (3): 9-11.
- Muller, R. A. and G. J. MacDonald. 2000. Ice Ages and Astronomical Causes: Data, Spectral Analysis and Mechanisms. Chichester, UK: Praxis Publishing, xiv, xvii.
- Shackleton, N. J. and N. D. Opdyke. 1973. Oxygen isotope and palaeomagnetic stratigraphy of Equatorial Pacific core V28-238: Oxygen isotope temperatures and ice volumes on a 105 and 106 year scale. Quaternary Research. 3 (1): 39-55.
- Shackleton, N. J., A. Berger, and W. R. Peltier. 1990. An alternative astronomical calibration of the lower Pleistocene timescale based on ODP Site 677. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences. 81 (4): 251-261.
- Hebert, J. 2016. Seafloor Sediment Research: Exciting Results! Acts & Facts. 45 (6): 9.
- Hebert, J. 2016. Should the “Pacemaker of the Ice Ages” Paper Be Retracted? Answers Research Journal. 9: 25-56.
- Hebert, J. 2016. Revisiting an Iconic Argument for Milankovitch Climate Forcing. Answers Research Journal. 9: 131-147.
* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.