The Wandering Compass
“He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”
The Earth’s magnetic field makes compasses work so that Boy Scouts don’t get lost in the woods and ships arrive at the correct port. It actually moves over time. This means that navigators periodically need updated information on the position of the pole for their charts.
Many people have the idea that the Earth’s magnetic field moves very slowly. However, the Earth’s magnetic field offers some of the clearest evidences that the Earth is young. Geophysicists recently reported that the north magnetic pole has moved 800 kilometers northwest of where it was in 1904. That’s a much faster rate of movement than many people imagined. However, its speed and direction of movement are about what was expected by geophysicists. They also report that the magnetic pole has moved as much as 80 kilometers in one day.
Measurements taken over the last 150 years show that the Earth’s magnetic field is decaying. When Christ walked the hills of Palestine, the magnetic field was twice as powerful as it is today.
The Earth is much more dynamic and changeable than most people, including many scientists, think. These rapid changes in the position of the magnetic pole and the rapid decay of the magnetic field offer evidence that the Earth is much younger than many people think. One of the world’s best known experts has shown that the decaying magnetic field means that the Earth could not be much older than the Bible’s genealogies indicate.
Lord, the blessings of modern travel rely on Your gift to us of the Earth’s magnetic field. I also thank You for the beauty of the northern and southern lights that is created by the magnetic field. Amen.