Messenger Spacecraft Starts Its Mission

On March 29, 1974, one of the more surprising discovering during that year was Mariner 10 was not only able to find that  Mercury has a lightweight crust, but the planet also contained a weak magnetic field which is about one-hundredth as strong as the magnetic field on earth.

Duane Gish writes

“One of the most popular theories on the source of the earth’s magnetic field is the self-generating dynamo theory. Such a theory requires that the planet have a relatively high speed of rotation. Mercury, however, rotates very slowly, revolving once in 88 earth days. Therefore, the self-generating dynamo theory won’t work for Mercury.  Some new theory must be hatched to account for Mercury’s magnetic field.”

Because it didn’t generate the interest like Mars, exploration of the planet was put on hold till the idea of Messenger came about. One of its primary objectives is to study Mercury’s magnetic field in order to account for its existence.

Science Daily points out…

“The vector fluxgate Magnetometer, or MAG, is a joint development between NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. MAG will collect magnetic field samples at a rate of up to 20 times per second. These measurements will be used to discover the nature and origins of the planet’s global magnetic field, determine the magnetic properties of its outer layer or crust, and explore new types of space weather that are thought to be unique to Mercury.”

The magnetometer is quite an amazing invention, well designed for its task on studying Mercury, and no doubt will complicate even more the dynamo theory. Back in 2008, Messenger was able to gather some information about Mercury’s magnetic field. This data was valuable, because in 1984, a creation scientist made the following scientific prediction based on the universe being young, not billions of years old.

D. Russell Humphreys writes an article about his prediction in 1984…

“M e r c u r y ’s decay rate is so rapid that some future probe could detect it fairly soon. In 1990 the planet’s magnetic moment should be 1.8% smaller than its 1975 value [measured by the Mariner 10 spacecraft].”

Although no spacecraft visited the planet in the 1990s, Humphreys argues the planet’s magnetic moment would be expected to be about 4% lower in 2008 than it was in 1975. He arrives to that conclusion based on…

“Creationist theories of planetary fields expect such a decrease because electrical resistance in a planet’s core will decrease the electrical current causing the magnetic field, just as friction slows down a flywheel.”

He continues…

“The smaller the core or the greater the resistance, the faster the field will decay…”

Messenger has successfully validated Humphreys prediction, now since the Spacecraft has just entered Mercury’s orbit a few days ago with it’s MAG measuring tool, scientists should get an accurate reading which is exciting and  is expected to agree with the creationist model, but it’s also expected not to agree with the evolutionary model which will make the story even more complicated due to another falsification along with this falsification that includes creation scientists not making predictions in science outside the evolutionary framework.


10 thoughts on “Messenger Spacecraft Starts Its Mission

  1. @Michael,

    You quote Russell Humphreys as saying:

    “M e r c u r y ’s decay rate is so rapid that some future probe could detect it fairly soon. In 1990 the planet’s magnetic moment should be 1.8% smaller than its 1975 value [measured by the Mariner 10 spacecraft].”

    The problem here: The question is why does he expect that it SHOULD have been a certain amount? Is it the “all rates must be the same” argument that Creationists always make against the Principle of Uniformity? If so, then the entire argument is based on a false premise. No one says that all rates should be the same.

  2. So Duane Gish refutes the dynamo theory because it requires a high rotation speed. Let’s drag the data past again: Mercury’s rotation speed is about 1% as high as Earth’s. Mercury’s magnetic field is about 1% as high as Earth’s. Now tell us again, Michael, exactly why the dynamo theory won’t work?

    But, the real problem is that Michael has no idea how a dynamo works. If he did, he could think of several ways that Mercury could produce a magnetic field differently from the Earth’s. As everyone except Michael knows, an electrically conductive fluid produces a magnetic field when it moves under the influence of supplied energy. For the Earth, secular rotation produces coriolis forces which convect liquid iron. But a moment’s thought could reveal that planetary rotation is not the only possible source. The Sun could induce a magnetic field in Mercury as Mercury’s iron core cuts the very strong field of the nearby Sun.

    Michael alleges that a decrease in Mercury’s field confirms a creationist prediction. First, Michael does not cite the source of this prediction. When examine closely, such predictions often mimic worthlessly vague Delphic pronouncements. Second, there are only two measurements, taken with different instruments;notice that the predicted decrease just barely fits within the error bars of the graph. Third, everyone except the creationists know that the earth’s field is cyclical—yet Michael entirely ignores this possibility. In fact, such a rapid change could even be induced by changes in the Sun’s field, which are known to be large and rapid.

    As an indicator of Michael’s level of expertise on this subject, consider his statement:

    The magnetometer is quite an amazing invention,

    Sorry, Michael. Magnetometers have been in use for at least half a century as “metal detectors” that even I played with as a kid. Today, you have one in your car; the compass on your dashboard is a fluxgate magnetometer. They’re really quite simple and straightforward. Except to creationists.

  3. Michael whinges that “evolutionists” cannot explain all details of how planetary magnetic fields are generated. His “authority,” Russell Humphreys, believes that the Earth’s field is caused, not by a dynamo, but rather by a huge electrical current induced in the Earth’s core during the Noachian Flood. He traces this to Thomas Banes, a creationist writing in 1971 (and not updated with new data since then).

    Does this creationist “theory” explain anything? NO. What specific effect created this current? How did it come about? As usual, it must have been MAGIC. Certainly neither Barnes nor Humphreys have any idea how the laws of physics could have produced it.

    It’s like saying that round holes in the ground must have come from unicorns. OK, but who ordered the unicorns? Every creationist argument ultimately leads back to something even more bizarre than what they started out with.

  4. … along with this falsification that includes creation scientists not making predictions in science outside the evolutionary framework.

    Michael has still not given us the source for this so-called “creationist prediction.”

    The usual shell game, apparently. Huge claims, no substance.

  5. Michael, I’m surprised that you have left these questions by Olorin unanswered, and for such a long time too. They are easily answered, but I won’t do it in full, it’s been done in other places. The Humphreys method does NOT depend on the Noachian flood at all. It is based on the spinning properties of hydrogen at creation. The Humphreys model is far from the idea of every decay rate is the same and constant. Many other factors come into this.

    Suggestion Michael. If you can’t monitor challenges and respond to them, (and Olorin you do well to challenge these points) remove the ability to comment. Otherwise it makes you and the creationary scientists whose work you quote look foolish since there’s no response to the challenge. It makes it look like there is no response, when the answers to the challenges are actually quite easy to formulate.

  6. Gentle Knight,

    If you pay me a large sum of money, I’ll answer all his storybook challenges he has formulated! lol Don’t worry, I will answer him on social Darwinism and remind him of the points I made that have a connection with social Darwinism, which is poison. Olorin only formulates to get the last word in, nothing more.

    As far as your response…What does Mercury have to do with a global flood on earth (Noah’s Flood)? You say Humphreys model is far from the idea that every decay rate is the same and constant, but what about Mercury’s magnetic field in which he made a bold prediction in 1984, in relation to the new data obtained by Messenger? How do you verify which decay rate is the same and constant over long periods of time, or when it’s not or don’t you believe there is any?

  7. I replied to your e-mail message extensively by e-mail, the parts that I understood were in error and I corrected them. The parts that I did not understand I guessed at your meaning and tried to reply to what I thought you meant. I guess money is your driving force then. I am on welfare due to being disabled so I cannot supply the funds you require.

  8. Gentle Knight,

    Being disable doesn’t necessarily constitute welfare, I have a mother who I take care of, who is disabled and requires help every time she goes to the bathroom by one or more people, she is not on welfare. However, in your case, it might have been a lifelong thing rather than in recent years. Unlike you, I don’t make leap assumptions about the unknown. I’m not aware of you e-mail response since I don’t open e-mail from people whom I don’t know, because of virus threats. I see no reason why you couldn’t post your response in here instead of e-mail.

  9. You cannot see the difference between a potential ally, and the opposition. You concentrate on trivialities and irrelevancies. I will respond no further to this fruitless exchange. I quote the opening of your previous message: “If you pay me a large sum of money…” Nothing after that conditional phrase is sequitur. Chase your money elsewhere.

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