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For many years, creation researchers have been studying the biblical record and the world around us to understand the history that God’s Word records. While some of their theories have been discarded as new data came to light, other predictions have been powerfully confirmed. Here are just a few of those predictions and the tests that confirmed them:
Prediction 1Strength of the Planets’ Magnetic Fields
There is evidence that every planet and large moon in our solar system, including earth, has—or once had—a magnetic field surrounding it. And since the earth’s creation, its field has been steadily decaying (losing strength), for which Horace Lamb created a model over 100 years ago. More recently (1984), creationist physicist D. Russell Humphreys developed a theory to explain the strength of the magnetic fields of the earth and the other planets.
Test Result: Voyager 2’s Measurements
If the earth were even 20,000 years old, its magnetic field would have been so strong as to make life impossible, based on the present rate of decay. The theories of Humphreys and Lamb can be used to determine how much the magnetic field of an astronomical object should decay after 6,000 years at the present decay rate. The numbers that resulted from Humphreys’s theory not only matched the strengths of the known magnetic fields at the time but also successfully anticipated Voyager 2’s measurements of the magnetic field of Uranus (in 1986) and Neptune (in 1990). These results not only confirmed a creationist theory but also helped confirm that the solar system really is as young as the Bible claims.
Prediction 2Decay and Helium Release (RATE)
When radioactive elements, such as uranium, decay, particles are released. These particles include helium atoms, which are “slippery” and make their way out of the crystals where they are formed. If uranium has been decaying at the present slow rate over millions and billions of years, most of the helium should have slipped out of rock crystals. If, in contrast, the earth is young and radioactive decay was much more rapid in the past, then we would expect to find lots of helium in the earth’s rocks.
Test Result: New Mexico Drill Site
When rock was tested from a drill site in Fenton Hill, New Mexico, large amounts of helium in crystals were found. This suggests not only that those crystals are only thousands of years old, but also that lots of radioisotope decay (which would require more than a billions of years at today’s rates) had to occur in only thousands of years. This in turn suggests that nothing on the earth can be dated any older than the Bible indicates.
Prediction 3Radiohalos in Sandstones
Radiohalos are the evidence of damage caused when radioactive elements within rocks break down. The breakdown of uranium also creates the fast-decaying radioactive element polonium. Geologist Andrew Snelling suggested that if water flowed rapidly through a rock at the time uranium was rapidly decaying, polonium could be concentrated in a separate place from the uranium. If Snelling’s theory were correct, geologists would expect to find more polonium halos wherever additional water was passing through the rock.
Test Result: Smoky Mountains
When Snelling examined metamorphosed sandstones in the Smoky Mountains, he found exactly what he had predicted. Not only do these polonium halos confirm this creationist theory, but they also suggest that many processes were more rapid in the past. Radioactive decay, metamorphism, and cooling of rocks must have been more rapid in the past to fit into a biblical understanding of earth history.
Prediction 4Cold Material near the Earth’s Core
In the early 1980s, physicist John Baumgardner developed a creationist theory for the rapid motion of the earth’s crust during the Flood. His theory suggested that the “cold” crust, located beneath the pre-Flood oceans, should have sunk the full 1,800 miles (2900 km) to the base of the earth’s hot mantle, where the temperatures are up to 7,232°F (4000°C). This crust would have melted if it had millions of years to reach the base of the mantle, sinking as slowly as today’s rates. On the other hand, if it sank quickly 4,350 years ago, as Baumgardner’s theory suggested, then piles of those plates should still be found at the base of the mantle, cooler than the mantle around them.
Test Result: Mantle Discovery
It took ten more years before scientists developed the technology capable of “seeing” something like that at the base of the mantle. When that technology was developed, the cold material was discovered, just as Baumgardner’s model had expected. This successful prediction suggests that Baumgardner’s model is true. It also suggests that continents moved rapidly during the Flood and that the Flood occurred only thousands of years ago, just as the Bible suggests.
Discover: Catastrophic Plate Tectonics
Prediction 5Reversal of Earth’s Magnetic Field
All magnetic fields have two distinct poles, a north and a south, and so it is with the earth’s. At various times in the past, however, the earth’s magnetic field has actually switched directions. In each case, the North Pole switched with the South Pole. Since volcanic lava, as it cools, records the direction of the magnetic field at the time of the cooling, the rocks of the earth have recorded these flips of the magnetic field. In 1986, however, D. Russell Humphreys suggested that the turmoil of the Flood caused the magnetic field of the earth to flip rapidly during the Flood. If so, the field must have flipped every couple of weeks or so.
Test Result: Steens Mountain Record
In 1988, a basalt flow was found at Steens Mountain in southern Oregon that did indeed record a flip in the earth’s magnetic field. So far, the only way to explain such a rapid reversal is by the disruption of the young earth’s magnetic field during a global Flood—just as the Bible claims.