Exposing PseudoAstronomy

January 29, 2009

Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Magnetic) Explained and Debunked


Introduction

Continuing my series on Planet X and 2012, one of the main claims of what will actually happen is termed a “Pole Shift.” Sounds scary, huh? The Earth’s pole(s) … shifting!?

But what does it actually mean? Well, Earth actually has two sets of North and South Poles – the geographic and the magnetic. Most of the doomsdayers that I’ve heard seem to imply that they are talking about a geographic pole shift, but some also talk about a magnetic pole shift. Since both are completely different, and since they are significant enough topics by themselves, I am doing separate posts on them. This one addresses the magnetic pole.

All posts in this series:

Earth’s Magnetic Field

Most people have either seen in-person or in video a crane in a junkyard that, instead of a hook at one end, has a large metal plate. They have then seen that metal plate “activated” by something, and it becomes a strong magnet – strong enough to lift multi-ton cars. What you have just witnessed is called an “induced magnetic field.”

Induced magnetic fields are created by electricity moving in circles. It’s the principle behind all electromagnets (most medical imaging today relies upon it) and electric motors. It’s also what our planet’s magnetic field is created by.

Earth’s magnetic field is called a “magnetic dynamo” because it is produced by liquid metals moving around in Earth’s core. As these metals move, they induce currents, which create magnetic fields. Since the planet has a net rotation in one direction, the created magnetic field is built up and roughly aligned with that axis of rotation.

Earth’s magnetic field is in the form of a “dipole,” meaning that it has a “North” and “South,” or “positive” and “negative” side to it, much like a bar magnet. The field breaches Earth’s surface at the south magnetic pole, extends into space in what is known as the “magnetosphere,” and dives back into Earth at the north magnetic pole, as illustrated in the figure on the right.

Polar Wander

In 2001, Earth’s north magnetic pole was at coordinates 81.3° N by 110.8° W. But in 2004, three years later, it had moved to 82.3° N by 113.4° W. And a year later, in 2005, it was at 82.7° N by 114.4° W. Similarly, the south magnetic pole shifted, as well.

But, how could that happen? Earth’s magnetic field should be stationary, just like the geographic poles, right? Isn’t this evidence of something catastrophic happening?

In a word: No.

Earth’s magnetic poles appear to wander throughout time, and not just due to the continents drifting. “Polar wander” refers to it moving, while “true polar wander” refers to it moving relative to a fixed coordinate system that takes the continents’ movement into account. The field strength also is not constant with time, varying by location and by year. It also varies on much longer timescales, flipping over entirely (north becoming south and vice versa). The last time it flipped occurred approximately 780,000 years ago. (Evidence for this is found in the magnetic field of relatively fresh ocean crust, among other places.)

It is unknown at this time what causes Earth’s magnetic field to wander, vary, and occasionally flip. Modeling the field is very difficult, and all of the physics of it is not yet understood. The oft-portrayed simple magnetic field, as shown in the diagram above, is not correct. The field is much more complex, and it was featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day in November of 2002, shown on the right. The magnetic field lines are a tangled mess and only when you average over them to you get the dipole magnet that most of us are familiar with.

What Happens When the Field Shifts?

Nothing of importance. As I explained in the above section, Earth’s magnetic field has been shifting at a rate of over 1° per year for many years, with data going back well over a century. And, alas for the doomsdayers, nothing bad has happened.

What Happens When the Field Flips?

This scenario – which we are almost certain will happen again since it has happened many many times in geologic history – is a little more dangerous, but that is mostly because we are an electronic society.

In terms of humans and biology, again, nothing of importance will happen. The magnetic field is relatively weak, and if you go in for an MRI you are exposed to fields many orders of magnitude larger than Earth’s. And nothing bad happens unless you’re wearing metal. Birds may be a little confused, but they existed prior to the reversal 780,000 years ago and seem to have gotten through it just fine, as anyone who lives in a city and deals with pigeons on a daily basis can attest.

In terms of what would happen to the field, it would not just shut off one day and then come back the next in the opposite direction. It won’t shut off at all. It will decrease in its strength while more magnetic field lines in the north start to turn “south,” and more in the south start to turn “north.” When more than half are the opposite of what they were, then the net effect will be that the field has flipped over.

So what will happen to us in a decreased magnetic field? Well, the main problem is that the magnetosphere will shrink. This “protective bubble” that shields us from the sun’s streaming charged particles will no longer extend as far into space. So, very high-orbit satellites will be exposed to more radiation, and consequently they will be more prone to failure, especially during any burst of solar activity, unless we have developed better ways to shield their electronics. Similarly, a burst of solar activity can induce magnetic fields in power lines (and railroad tracks) on Earth, causing surges that can short out the grid. This can (and likely will, as it already has in the past) cause blackouts, as happened in 1989 in Canada.

Does this mean the end of the world? No. It means we need to upgrade our power distribution systems around the world and keep them updated as opposed to how they’ve been languishing for decades. In fact, just today (January 28, 2009), the American Society of Civil Engineers released their 2009 annual report card, giving the US’s energy infrastructure a “D+” (the average grade was a “D”). They state:

Progress has been made in grid reinforcement since 2005 and substantial investment in generation, transmission and distribution is expected over the next two decades. Demand for electricity has grown by 25% since 1990. Public and government opposition and difficulty in the permitting processes are restricting much needed modernization. Projected electric utility investment needs could be as much as $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Now, contrast what I’ve explained the effects would be with what doomsday folks are saying, such as this article:

“As the shift approaches, things begin to go out of balance, and the magnetic field begins to fluctuate significantly over a very short period of time (about 3 – 6 months). This would be like a full moon getting bigger and bigger every day. What happens then is that people start to go crazy emotionally. This breaks down economical and social structures on the planet because it is only people who keep these structures together.”

A very quick analysis shows: We’ve got a false analogy (magnetic field changing has nothing to do and is nothing like the moon changing size), an assumed effect without any causation, and then a reducio ad absurdum when they just take the assumed effect to extreme levels.

What Would Cause This Magnetic Pole Shift That You’ve Said Won’t Happen in 2012?

Good question. The mechanisms proposed – that I’ve heard and read about – really amount to nothing but misunderstandings, numerology, or conjecture founded in superstition. They include: Earth’s rotation switching directions, Earth getting whopped by an asteroid, The sun’s magnetic field flipping ours, Planet X (Planet X seems to be able to do anything, as I’ll talk about in future posts), and some various mystical things.

I wish I could state, “needless to say, these (a) won’t happen and (b) even if they did can’t flip our magnetic field.” I can still say it if I chop off the “needless” part. The fact that when I just did a Google search to try to find folks’ mechanisms for this the first few pages were nearly all doomsday pages should tell you that these are very popular ideas in popular culture. So, I really do need to say: “These (a) won’t happen and (b) even if they did can’t flip our magnetic field.”

Without addressing each individual claim, I will broadly address the two categories of claims – a large external physical force, or a large external magnetic force. The basic reason why neither of these will happen in 2012 is that there is nothing that we know of that has enough force to affect Earth’s field on a global scale. Let’s say, for example, we get hit by an asteroid. An asteroid that’s huge – 100 km in radius (all of which have known been identified and have known orbits). Assuming the asteroid is the densest and heaviest – an iron-nickel asteroid (a composition which only 10% of asteroids are) – then it would have a mass of about 4.2·1015 kg. That’s a lot. But Earth has a mass that is 6.0·1024 kg … over 109 times more. It would be like a grain of dust hitting a car. NOTHING will happen to the Earth as a whole. Yes, it would be bad for us and for life, but the planet really wouldn’t care. Now, if another planet were to hit us, then Earth would be in trouble.

So what about a large external magnetic force? There’s nothing large enough that’s nearby. Sure, if we were to pass by a magnetar, we’ll be in trouble. Those have magnetic fields on the order of ~1015 times stronger than Earth’s. But the sun’s magnetic field really shows no evidence of affecting ours to the point of flipping it. There is no evidence at all – historic or validated theoretical – to show that the sun’s magnetic field, which is only up to ~10x stronger than Earth’s, can flip ours. After all, if it could, then it would every 11 years, since that’s how often the sun’s field flips.

So I’ve now given two ways that this really could happen – if a planet-mass object or an extraordinarily large magnetic field were to hit us or come near us, that could affect Earth’s rotation or magnetic field to the point where we would get a magnetic pole reversal (or, I guess a really big “shift”). However, we now again get to the question of evidence: There is none. We would know of a planet-sized (or larger) object that is close enough to come near us in 4 years (the end of 2012), or even 40 years. You can read my post on the Real Planet X for more information on that. Similarly, we would see effects of a gigantic magnetic field nearby that’s close enough to affect us in the near future, something we also do not see any evidence for.

Final Thoughts

Despite this post being over 1800 words – another long one – I still feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface of this topic. That’s mainly because there are nearly as many variations of what’s “predicted” to happen with the magnetic pole shift as there are people making the predictions. In this post, I’ve tried more to focus on the background information – the state of the science – and then point out why many of the main predictions are not correct nor feasible when confronted with what we can actually observe. It’s impossible to get into every single claim because more crop up as soon as you debunk one (much like conspiracy theories).

Hence I have tried to give you the basic information to be able to figure out why the idea of 2012 somehow coinciding with an event that will cause a magnetic pole shift has no basis in reality. If you come across (or have) a claim that I haven’t addressed within this topic, please leave a comment!

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71 Comments »

  1. Again thank you for the rational assessment of the subject. I wish more people could read this. The rising tide of hysteria on the subject is really disturbing, considering the effect on the lives of people who take the word of an authoritative sounding person, who is really just a salesman trying to cash in on the supposed impending calamities.

    Comment by mike austin — April 1, 2009 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  2. Will we all die if there is a pole shift in 2012?

    Comment by MIKE — April 2, 2009 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  3. Mike (Austin) – thank you for the kind comments.

    MIKE – IF there were a pole shift of the type that some people describe (such as on this page), then it’s likely there would be significant disaster. However, you are asking me to say what the result of something would be when that something will not occur.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — April 2, 2009 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

    • You shouldn’t try to pretend your reasonable and then think you can say for 100% certainty this will not happen there is lots of evidence from people in ancient times way more grounded and intelligent than modern man. It amazes me that people seem to know things no one can possibly know for sure. Why are there entire countries preparing for this (norway). The mayans spent eons gazing at the stars, and modern man spends about the same watching homer simpson.Mike trys to come off as well informed, but no one with a discerning intellect can say anything will not happen with complete certainty.

      Comment by james-g — February 24, 2011 @ 7:46 am | Reply

      • James

        1) Go back and read what Stu has written. Where does he speak with 100% certainty when he does not have compelling evidence to support that belief. Please cut ‘n’ paste those instances. Don’t make stuff up that’s not there. K? I think Stu has done a good job explaining how every single known pole shift has taken place and the time involved in such pole shifts. There’s never been a known shift that occurs in anything but geologic time. There’s never been a known mechanism that could cause this. It would defy well tested laws of physics.

        2) What is Norway doing, exactly? I’m not sure if you noticed but Stu backs each claim with a wealth of careful evidence. Vague hand waving doesn’t cut it. Maybe you refer to the seed vault? You really think that’s a 2012 initiative? It’s just a reasonable precaution against any long term future disaster and important for long term historical research. No? You have evidence to the contrary?

        3) I’m sure most Mayans didn’t spend their time studying the stars. I’m sure the average Mayan was just concerned with getting enough food to eat. It’s the same today. Sure lots of people watch the Simpsons but many people study the stars and only increase our knowledge of the universe. But yes human are probably not smarter today but we know a lot more.

        4) Mike? Mike only asked a question. The discerning intellect in me noticed it was Stuart who responded.

        Comment by karl — February 24, 2011 @ 8:11 am

      • the world will not end in 2012 the rapture has to happen their has to be an anti christ and there has to be a seven year peace treaty that will be broken after 3 and a half years then it will be the end of world as you and i know but their will be a new heaven and new earth

        Comment by Diana O — September 26, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

      • “…from people in ancient times way more grounded and intelligent than modern man….”

        This comment itself sounds like a joke.

        Comment by Yelena Sabel — December 29, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

  4. Thank You. I have been worried about this for some time now and have looked all over the internet for the subject. Your the only site I’ve found that actually makes any sense to me. I hope more people take the time to study the subject instead of relying on doomsday reporting. Again, Thank You.

    Comment by Janet Nichols — April 3, 2009 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  5. I think your explanation of the coming pole shift is a bit wishful. If planet X is a reality, we have to be honest, it will do a lot more than interfere with our electronics.

    Your just another scientist who gets off on rationally explaining things away.

    What a load of rubbish!!!!!!

    Comment by Elts — April 12, 2009 @ 5:39 am | Reply

  6. Elts –

    If I’m in the job of rationally explaining things away, which I’m pretty sure I’ve done here, one must beg the question of what people who think this will actually happen do — do they irrationally propagate the belief? If you actually have evidence – be that evidence historic, observational, or theoretical – feel free to post it. If not, then you simply come off as an internet “crank” who is disagreeing because of their own sacred cow.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — April 12, 2009 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

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    Pingback by 2012hoax: Astrogeek — May 14, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  9. [...] Planet X & 2012: The pole shift explained and debunnked [...]

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  10. It’s fine and well to explain why there isn’t any need to worry about a shifting of the Earth’s magnetic poles. However, this doesn’t address the central issue of why the Mayan calendar ends on December 21st 2012, and why so many other cultures all have this date marking the end of the world. If any self-styled debunker wants to explain this, I would be very interested. I can only say that on 12-21-12, I will be nervously comtemplating the possibility of an earth shattering event. By the way, it is not necessarily a bad thing. If December 21st 2012 marks the end of THIS world, it might mean the we have evolved to a higher plane of existance. (Note: Keep an eye out for December 21st 2011 also. Some scientists have recalibrated the Mayan calendar and concluded that 2011 and not 2012 is the actual ending date.)

    Comment by Ken — May 16, 2009 @ 4:24 am | Reply

    • ken you are a true scholar unlike mr mikey who thinks he has answers. This guy is a follower and I for one have concluded much like you. This evil world must change, its not an if or analysis, but when. Supply and demand is self perpetuating and we seem to have a high demand for some honesty on this planet.Hate is in high supply and going to create a world wide need for love and humanity, and basically if there is no pole shift or planet x, the worlds people will cause this basically the same way simple economic theories cause economies to evolve so will society or it will crumble.

      Comment by james-g — February 24, 2011 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  11. Ken – Several readers have asked about this in the comments to this thread: http://pseudoastro.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/planet-x-and-2012-what-the-sky-looks-like-on-december-21-2012/ . I’ll see ya in 2013.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — May 20, 2009 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  12. Thanks very much for another great post!!! I’m glad people are finally starting to realize how these 2012 claims hold no ground in the face of valid science.

    Comment by Alex Daly — June 10, 2009 @ 5:17 am | Reply

  13. Hi,
    I am wondering if you have ever heard of and or read any of Immanuel Vlikosky books(earth in upheaveful)-(worlds in collision).The first being documented scientific data proving there have been numerous poleshifts .The second based on known oral and or written history through out the ages.Albert Einstein died with a copy of worlds in collision on his person along with notes and opinions about Velikosky theories apparently he agreed with a lot of his theories and choose to debate others.In my opinion the arguments that he has presented are very compelling and logical to myself.I have found myself researching as much as I can about 2012 and planet x and or an alignment on 2012 and in reading these books I find myself quite satisfied that there have been prior pole shifts and that they were not caused by either of these factors.I would sincerely like to hear your opinions on both of these books.In my opinion Immanuel Velikosky was in the same league as Nikola Tesla.Underrated and misunderstood well ahead of there time and both their minds right on the money.
    Thanking yopu in advance for your time and consideration on this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Watson

    Comment by michael — July 5, 2009 @ 1:13 pm | Reply

  14. Michael – I have only heard the name Velikovsky before, not any of his claims. A brief search on Wikipedia, though, shows why: He apparently based nearly all of his conclusions upon comparative mythology from around the world. This is not what we would call “evidence” in science under even the loosest terms. To quote Rebecca Watson from the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, “The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘evidence.'” That would certainly apply in this case.

    I have never heard that particular claim about Einstein, and I would ask you to source it. I have heard many such claims about Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and even Carl Sagan about deathbed “confessions” or books clutched for any particular pseudoscience. If all the claims of this were true, the deathbed confessions would have lasted hours and they would have each been buried in books — much like the people who claim original ancestry on the Mayflower would require it to be a gigantic cruise ship to carry everyone.

    I would lay it out to you: Can you point to actual evidence that can be independently corroborated, observed, and/or repeated via experiment, that shows that the geographic pole shift has occurred as Velikovsky claimed? I emphasize “geographic” because as I clearly stated in this particular post, the moving around of the magnetic poles have occurred throughout history and is not the subject of scientific debate (though some young-Earth creationists will argue the point).

    Feel free to use evidence from his books – so long as it is not anecdotal (as in world mythologies). And if you can present an actual physical mechanism for the event, that’d be even better. In the mean time, I suggest you read my post on the geographic lack-of-pole-shift as it addresses some of the claims and proposed mechanisms, and why they don’t hold up to scrutiny. This may sound flippant, but I am not going to spend the time to look through his books myself on this matter. I have devoted several dozen hours to listening to and reading about different ideas of Planet X and 2012, and I do not wish to devote more research time to the subject.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — July 6, 2009 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

    • You REALLY need to read all of velikovsky’s books before you start spouting off wikipedia. He was a good researcher. You MUST understand that any “wikipedia” info. should be taken with a grain of salt unless and until verified by the reader using other methods.

      He went about it like a true scientist…Unlike most of those today. (in fact, unlike most of those of his day also).

      By the way,

      Are you going to explain away the Peri Re’is map also???? I am 50, and so far in my life have not even heard anyone attempt it. Yet, I can remember when I was younger..antarctica was definitely still one landmass and not two (according to all the scientists who wrote the texts). Under a few thousand feet of ice..of course. But apparently you are very good at it..so give it a shot.

      It would be nice to meet someone who really had all the answers,..But it is always WISE and prudent to meet someone like that with scepticism until you know otherwise.

      Comment by Clay — May 25, 2010 @ 8:40 am | Reply

      • Clay could you provide an example of a piece of good research by Velikovsky and outline how he produced that researching using the scientific method?

        Comment by karl — May 25, 2010 @ 9:17 am

  15. How much are you de-bunkers and dis-information dudes being paid these days? Is is worth it?

    Can you sleep at night? Go look at norway’s preparations for the pole shift.
    Go look at the newest video footage of our covert undergound tunnels all over the usa – here is the url

    http://2012poleshift.wetpaint.com

    Comment by goldenheart888 — July 9, 2009 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

    • Trust me — if I got paid for doing this, I’d make more regular posts. Oh, and I drive a crappy car.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — July 9, 2009 @ 8:40 pm | Reply

  16. Hi,
    Thx for the reply I believe that the comments on wikipedia are in reference to his book worlds in collision which as you stated is based on comparative mythology.On the other hand his book earth in upheaveful is based and or referenced from purely scientific data no mythology period.He wrote this to prove his theories scientificaly and then his second book relating to the subjects based on comparative mythology. I believe myself to be a reasonably intelligent individual and in digesting the scientific data from the first book and then in reading the oral history from around the globe it seems to me to be a very plausible scenario.In both of his books he gives reference to where and when data was found and or recorded sourced ,origin,again I believe and would be very interested for your comments if you were able to locate and read both of these books as I think from a purely scientific view point .That you might be intellectualy compelled to digest what this man has put to ink.As they are only a 3 or 4 hr read 400 pages appx.I am looking for earth in upheaveful and once I do I will post the source of the Albert Eibstein comments.

    Comment by MIchael — July 18, 2009 @ 12:44 am | Reply

  17. well, the same can be said for your claim that the centre of the earth is molten metal! something that is no more proven than the effects of magnetic forces on the earth & humans!

    why is it science will accept the moon has a pull on our planet and the oceans, but the planets etc do not have any effect on us at all!

    wake up lemmings! of course they do! we are all made of the same elements which basically boils down to energy! everything in the universe is the same matter!

    lol, you lot wait.

    low conciousness beings! ;)

    Comment by mike — July 28, 2009 @ 6:14 am | Reply

  18. I am always looking for compelling evidence but seem to come across scaremongering too often when looking up the subject matter. All i definately know is if the pole shift/crustal displacement doesnt get me the cigs will….or a bus….or some wee ned weilding a buckfast bottle on a friday night.

    Comment by Coco — August 12, 2009 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  19. Seems to me the author has done a pretty good job of laying out both sides to each argument he addresses. He tends to err on the side of optimism but doesn’t actually dispute whether polar shifts have occurred in the past and seems open to the idea of the same thing happening again. Considering the small time he had to work with when he was commissioned to write this article I’d say he did an admirable job addressing the facts, arguments and speculations.

    Comment by Carlos McElfish — August 16, 2009 @ 1:41 am | Reply

  20. well, this is a post, with no real facts, its one mans opinion on the fact, and you cant back it up with anything, so it was definetly an enjoyable story to read, however I myself can point out almost 10 things per paragraph that are untrue.

    Comment by "Truth" — September 29, 2009 @ 11:40 am | Reply

    • Far from what you claim, I’ve cited my information fairly well throughout the post, or I’ve given you the terms for which you can perform subsequent searches (after all, part of the problem in searching for information is that you have to know the terms to use). If you can point out “almost 10 things per paragraph that are untrue,” go ahead and do it. Back it up with at least one source that I can check, and we’ll talk about it.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — September 29, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  21. Those still in denial of the events at hand will have the hardest time coping with the changes unfolding. If you haven’t awakened to the truth yet, you haven’t looked hard enough. Peace.

    http://www.poleshift2011.com

    Comment by 10112011 — September 29, 2009 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

  22. As the earth goes into the magnetic pole reversal period, the magnetic field will weaken. As the field weakens, it will allow more and more of the high energy radiation from the sun to penetrate to the surface of the earth. This will obviously have some negative effects on life on earth. The question is, just how severe will the effects be? Since the earth has gone through these magnetic pole reversal periods before, they obviously do not destroy all life on earth like some doomsayers are claiming about the coming one. On the other hand, it is pretty hard to believe that they will only have a minimal or slight effect like Astrostu seems to be claiming in this blog. How about it Astrostu? Do you want to try to be more specific about how much of an effect this will have on life? Please note that I have seen some actual predictions by actual scientists (as opposed to students like yourself) on this matter, so be careful what you say.

    Comment by EyesOpen007 — October 31, 2009 @ 12:27 am | Reply

  23. EyesOpen007 I would imagine Astrostu is as capable of reading the scientific literature as an “actual” scientist. Why don’t you link to the figures and enlighten us? Hmmm?

    Comment by karl — November 3, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Reply

  24. You may well imagine that karl but the evidence of this site is that that is not the case. A lack of knowledge of many authors’ work, an indepth knowledge of the complex science involved and an inability or reluctance to address mistakes and misconceptions are common place on this site. True scientists are well aware of the recent ‘strange’ (read unpredicted) behaviour of the magnetic field. Readings of historic magnetic field behaviour(from rocks) as recent as 12900 BP remain anomalies. The present model is clearly wrong although no alternative has yet been put forward. Contributors cannot be expected to enter into a discussion with someone who just doesn’t know enough. Hiding behind ‘give me a reference’ just doesn’t cut it. Most of the required insight into the problems requires a substantial knowledge base which appears to be simply absent and a reluctance to acknowledge it. It is just over confidence based on ignorance. Most young students think they know almost everything, it is the more studied scientists that realise they know almost nothing. But these comments will not take away karl’s smugness or Astrostu’s ignorance. And still the model failure problem continues. Read more books..a lot more books.

    Comment by Sturgess — November 4, 2009 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  25. ||True scientists are well aware of the recent ’strange’ (read unpredicted) behaviour of the magnetic field.||

    No they’re not. Prove me wrong.

    Comment by Karl — November 4, 2009 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  26. Sturgess –

    I think what Karl means is that you’ve opened yourself up to two main criticisms. First, by stating “True scientists …” you have opened yourself to the No True Scotsman fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain your unreasonable assertion. For example, you could very easily argue now, based on your logic, that my father – who actually is a very well-known scientist in his field of biology – who knows nothing about the magnetic field record, is not a “true scientist.” Or, more aptly, you can simply say that because I may not know off the top of my head anything about an “anomaly” 12,900 years ago in the magnetic field, that I am not a “true scientist.”

    The second issue is your comment of, “Hiding behind ‘give me a reference’ just doesn’t cut it.” That’s just incorrect. The way of convincing someone is not to just throw out anomalous apparent factoids, but to back them up so that others can examine the original source of that evidence. What I have presented here is established in the scientific world, as far as I know, and referenced where needed. You simply throwing out something and then saying that you don’t need to cite it is dishonest.

    In addition, if there ARE mistakes in this blog, please point them out, but provide a legitimate resource that I can go to to determine if it is a well-founded correction. I have in the past corrected several things on this blog based on feedback.

    Comment by astrostu206265 — November 4, 2009 @ 9:28 am | Reply

  27. Karl read this.

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/16dec_giantbreach.htm

    Quote from ref “So, you can imagine our surprise when a northern IMF came along and shields went down instead,” says Sibeck. “This completely overturns our understanding of things.”

    Astrostu. When I say ‘true scientist’ I mean ‘true scientist in the relevant field’ Your Father is not claiming to know anything about magnetic fields. BUT Notice Karl’s response ||No they’re not. Prove me wrong.|| Well I have done but will he acknowledge that his knowledge is lacking. You youself gave spurious reasons for footprints in moon dust (interlocking shards) but do not acknowledge your error which was pointed out by the surface physics explanation. You gave spurious reasons for ‘two tides’ but when the contributor gave a NOAA ref which explaned your error you refused to acknowledge your error.

    ||If there ARE mistakes in this blog, please point them out, but provide a legitimate resource that I can go to to determine if it is a well-founded correction.|| yes you say that BUT you don’t. Hence no progress is made. How will you and Karl respond to the 2x mag field refs….you will ignore it and carry on with the blog site as if this critical information didn’t exist. Why is it critical…because it implies that we cannot use our present models to predict mag field behaviour, i.e. it is showing signs of unpredicted instability/behaviour.(in 2008)

    References do go a long way for knowledgable people to support their case but it doesn’t help when one side clearly simply does not have sufficient background knowledge. eg ||No they’re not. Prove me wrong.||.

    I remember reading the 12900 BP mag disturbance ten years ago in ‘New scientist’ but how do I reference ALL my knowledge because you haven’t read much. Try http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11117740. You should be aware of this work and much other besides to discuss the issue. The distinction of ‘a true scientist’ is that they read for years before making over confident assertions based on lack of background reading.

    Comment by Sturgess — November 5, 2009 @ 7:54 am | Reply

  28. Thank you sturg for trying to back up a claim instead of simple assertion and posturing as you did in your two previous posts.

    Comment by Karl — November 5, 2009 @ 9:47 am | Reply

    • So you do see the problem now? But giving you this reference does not give you an insight into its significance. Hence the ‘asking for references just doesn’t cut it’ comment references only help if the reader has a deep understanding of the subject not a ‘common belief’ model. In Astrostu’s terms this is the ‘Generic Expertise’ Fallacy.

      Comment by Sturgess — November 6, 2009 @ 7:53 am | Reply

  29. Sturgess –

    (1) Your NASA source addresses the IMF/magnetosphere interaction, and I actually read that PR when it came out last year. In fact, your quote comes from the end of the press release – which is not an actual paper but I’ll ignore that – whereas if you go to the beginning of the press release that same scientist states, “This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction” (emphasis mine). That is a very far cry from saying that Earth is undergoing a geomagnetic pole shift. It’s a bit like saying that if I take a soap bubble, get my finger really soapy, and stick it through, the fact I can stick my finger through it is proof it’s about to collapse.

    (2) Here’s the reference (two pages, same site) for the lunar dust and why footprints are left – lunar environment and read questions 3 and 4. I didn’t respond to Kelly’s reply because (a) I was incredibly busy at the time, and (b) I usually don’t reply to people who are obviously attempting to make me frustrated/angry with their particular choices of words. I have replied to Kelly now.

    (3) Mick never answered my counter-examples of why there are tides with his conjecture — namely, why any system other than Earth/Moon (or Pluto/Charon) would have tides if orbiting around a barycenter were important. Earth/Sun, Jupiter/Io, Jupiter/Europa, Saturn/Enceladus, Sun/Mercury are just a few. His idea simply doesn’t work, and his apparent inability, or at least disinterest, in answering me ended that conversation as far as I was concerned. I also provided several references that pointed out that, yes, even NOAA can be wrong. My very first seminar class of grad school was on aurorae. A girl gave an overview presentation and cited a few NASA sources. Both faculty leading the class – both of them space physicists – took the opportunity at the end to talk about how NASA’s site was wrong and that you should go to primary sources rather than press releases. In my own research, the same thing has cropped up with NASA websites continuing to give Voyager-era estimates that Saturn’s rings are ~1 km thick, when modern results (including my own peer-reviewed/published research) shows they’re closer to 5-30 meters.

    (4) We’ve known for a long time that the magnetic field is unpredictable. We start with a simple formulation and continuously add layers of detail on top of it given new data. The press release (1 source, I don’t see the 2 sources to which you refer) does not alter the fundamental theory of a planetary magnetic dynamo.

    (5) You are confusing a geomagnetic excursion with a geomagnetic reversal. And I actually did about an hour of reading on it last night because I was intrigued and I didn’t know about geomagnetic excursions before. I will be preparing a new post on that for the near future (probably next week). There is evidence of one about 11,500 years ago, and a very cursory glance at the literature does suggest they could be related to ice ages – but that is not widely accepted yet among people who actually know the field. The last magnetic pole flip was 780,000 years ago. The last probably excursion is the 11,500 years ago one. But again, these are different things, and excursions are much harder to actually measure due to their weaker nature of not actually flipping the poles. It’s really only 2012 or pseudoscience websites that come up when you search for a reversal 11,500 years ago as opposed to an excursion.

    Oh, and just so you know, I’ve been reading the astronomical scientific literature for the last 7 years. What’s your background?

    Comment by astrostu206265 — November 5, 2009 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  30. 1) True but it strongly suggests that the present model is NOT acurate or predictive and therefore cannot be used to predict future behaviour.

    3) Yes but do you get Mick’s general point that if there is a scientific process then why do you disagree with NOAA. Are they not using this process? How do we know if a particular scientist that makes an assetion is using this process, faith? I don’t know whether to trust you or NOAA or Mick or Kelly or Karl, but I bet you all claim to use the scientific process. Is this not the Unicorn fallacy, I haven’t seen one but I’ve seen its tracks.

    4) It’s unpredictable. Does not alter the fundemental dynamo theory. Surely you just mean we don’t have a model which predicts the mag field behaviour. But at least we have a model.

    I would never question your credentials just what you assert in print. Seven years of reading astronomical scientific literature should not lead anyone to fall for the ‘generic expertise’ fallacy. Expertise is SO specialised these days, a rocket designer does not make a better car mechanic. A moon specialist does not make a good mag field info source. This is the mistake the conspiracy theorists make… I don’t know everything but I know enough to form a conclusion … How do they know that? How do you know that?

    Comment by Sturgess — November 6, 2009 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  31. I have to thank you guys for the the level headed nature of this discussion. Its not that far away anyway, so I figure we’re all going to see the other side together anyway. But if something does happen, if you wanna survive….buy my book!!!! (rolls eyes)

    Comment by SleepingProphet — November 12, 2009 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  32. you know the maya calender thing were they were right about all the comets that past and they had all the dates right,the mayans didnt live for ever you know they had to die some time so they study with all the stuff they had to study how ever they did it and they probably lived until they were about 90 years old and they got all the dates all the way to 2012 and the they herld,they crocked,they chocked the goose,they died lol but our studies right now are probably right dont get me wrong but what if were wrong …. we live right or its like y2k ….. 3 2 1 WERE ALL GONNA DIE!!!! 0 oh god im dead o ya im alive hot pies… hte point is im trying to get to is dont put all your maddness into this thing happy im gonna be graduating then and i dont wanna be thing man when i get out of high school ima die wahhhhoooo o boy!

    Comment by Steve — November 16, 2009 @ 6:53 am | Reply

  33. not that i disagree, (i know nothing about the subject) but the author doesn’t name himself or give sources. wtf

    Comment by james — November 30, 2009 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  34. Hi there,

    I have read a few articles on the net about the whole end of the world prophecies and how people think about it and after thinking about it intensivly for few weeks I came to a conclusion on my own that might or might not make sense to some of you. if the world would come to an end in 2012 or any year there after, it will only happen for one reason and not 5 or 6. all the “end of the world in 2012″ websites, made from unstable and uneducated people, talk about the end of the world because of the mayan calender says so, or if that doesn’t happen, then the meteor will strike us, or if that fails then the planets poles will shift and if that doesn’t happen the sun will kill us with its solar storm…please, if you are willing to write about the end of the world and spend days and weeks creating a web site about it, then stick to one scenario how the world will end…by the way, reading your website and your articles has opened my eyes and they are the only ones i have read so that actualy make sense and also sound convincing. well done and thanks…denis from australia

    Comment by Denis — December 19, 2009 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  35. I wanted to say that no one knows whats going to happen and eventually doomsday will come in time bt i neeed to ask a question about the axis tilt and about the magnetic pole shift !
    If these events happen will the SUN rise from the opposite direction? bcuz in many religions when the sun will rise up from the other side that will be the start of doomsday ! Science cannot predict an event of such caliber , if it is our time to leave this world we wont have time to even think about it ! U can only know so much about our Earth bt no amount of knowledge will save us from our undeniable truth ! Everyting has an End 2012 is near and Science is jst confusing our souls ! If anyone can answer the question i asked i d be grateful Thank You for the lecture Well done !

    Comment by Serge — December 26, 2009 @ 4:42 am | Reply

    • Serge – If Earth’s geographic axis were to flip (NOT the magnetic one), then yes, the sun would appear to rise in the west and set in the east. I am not claiming that such an event could not happen. What I am attempting to explain in this series of posts is that the mechanisms by which all the 2012 doomsday-sayers claim lack any basis in reality. It’s much like my Apollo moon hoax series – I have very few posts with independent evidence that we did land on the moon. Rather, I concentrate on showing why we did not NOT land on the moon – explaining why the hoax claims are wrong.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — December 26, 2009 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

  36. Astrostu Hope this is the right thread now.

    Try this link. http://www.hartnell.edu/faculty/mercurio/gcr2.doc

    It’s a long paper and complicated so try searching for section 9.i.e

    9. GCRs and the ~13,000 Year Geomagnetic Cycle.

    This next guy has at least drawn a chart

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Magnetic_Reversal_Chart.htm.

    Cheers

    Comment by Mick — December 31, 2009 @ 6:29 am | Reply

  37. hello,

    I read your article, it was very interesting your explanation about the pole shifting. Now the Mayas talk about the end of time. That means when that age is gone we will pass to a different level of spirituality. We will remember who we are, and why we came to earth. The Mayas were excellent astronomers, and they mentioned that time was in cycles, and that every ending of that cycle, something will happen in the world. They mentioned in the calendar that earth (life) had 5 cycles, and in the year 2012 will finish the last cycle of life, were every body will started a new beginning. So I suggest everybody start praying, re vindicated your life, and remember who you are, and why we are here. It does not take to much to do that.

    FEVE

    Comment by Feve — January 8, 2010 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  38. My only question is about the mayans and the predictions made.

    Sounds silly i know but it seems they have predicted things that have come true before, and the fact they could see the lining up of planets or solar systems that is supposed to happen on the 21st december 2012.

    They also supposedly had knowledge of different stars and planets that they shouldnt be able to know.

    That’s the only reason ive paid this any attention is it seems the mayans were good at predicting things.

    So my question is, is there and validity to this part of the story?

    Comment by Joe — February 1, 2010 @ 3:54 am | Reply

    • Not to sound flippant, but could you point towards alleged predictions that they made that have come true? I see this claim raised occasionally, but I have yet to see any actual specific claims/evidence of it. In terms of them predicting a planetary alignment or some such in 2012, that’s, well, a bunch of hooey (this is a rated G or PG blog). The idea that they predicted this can be traced back to around the 1960s with the first suggestion that they predicted doomsday in 2012, and the supposed planetary alignment got attributed to them around the 1980s when there actually was something of an alignment, but nothing happened … so people just shifted their claims to coincide with 2012. As for knowledge of planets or stars that they “shouldn’t” have been able to know, again, do you have a source for this? I think you may be confusing it with the Dogon tribe in Africa, as I have never heard this claim in regards to the Maya. What I have heard that’s related is that they had a very accurate calendar and astronomical tables to predict the motions of the planets, which does not in any way defy attribution in any way to the technology of 2000-3000 years ago.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — February 1, 2010 @ 11:03 am | Reply

    • Joe – Another quick reply … I’m not a Mayan scholar. However, one who actually is writes a blog called “Archaeological Haecceities,” and he has also been fairly active in talking about what the Maya did not predict for 2012. I suggest you may want to contact him, as well.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — February 2, 2010 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  39. to the host of this website great work love yur style it must be hard delling with religis nuts and just nuts who never let the truth get in the way of a good storey.to all religis folks funny how u al bag science but use the fruits of science eg computers elecrticity and the like but just a wile back baned telescopes because it proved the earth was not the centre of the uneverse i dont beleve anything will happen on 21/12/12 however i will be in mexico then just to meet people c u there p.s cocco is that cocco carmichel is that u.p.p.s.why hasent any religes books ever listed any facts atol like dinosars shifting stars any facts about anything past or present? icant spell 2 good but do have the answer for everything within asecond try me.enjoy life unfotugenet but there will be no peace

    Comment by scozzy73 — April 7, 2010 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  40. Greetings from Ethiopia!

    Okay!!!!!! I have something on the current Climate / Earth Change and positional influence of Nibiru (Planet X), Electromagnetic field, Sunspot
    Of course, this agenda is bizarre for most people but very interesting as well in regard to our planet Climate / Earth Change.

    Yahagere sew hoy!! Ketensa ayeker tekit yemenakewn yahel bibal ayekefam, Ayedele???? (It is Etopic Language) Endaygermachihu!!!!) I say something in relation to what is going on around the world currently. The earth quake, flood, ice melt, volcano including comet rain and the inner earth vague entities bla bla; are the foundation for this piece of writing.

    Yes! Not only the earth quake, flood, volcano etc…are manifestation for this days climate change, to express directly and clearly these phenomenon collectively we need other term. There are also various calamities that are yet to come on this planet in the coming few years, is it “climate change!!???” I am not sure!!
    Any way, before going to in detail I have to define what climate change means in scientific terms,
    “Climate Change” is any long-term change in the statistics of weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can express itself as a change in the mean weather conditions, the probability of extreme conditions, or in any other part of the statistical distribution of weather. Climate change may occur in a specific region, or across the whole earth.

    In other term, like that of crest and under ocean volcano, and whirlwind like that of cyclone, hurricane etc, ocean tide, mountain slide, dust storm, flood, large scale pollution, global warming, comets rain and varity of mayhem in the ecosystem and magnetic field unrest as a whole here and there in unusual way, is it really climate change???

    I would rather like to use the term “Earth Changes” than “Climate change” because the earth along with other planets sooner or later will go through a series of cataclysmic events. As the same time which will be the cause for major alteration in human life and brain or consciousness, ecological system and change on the planet itself.

    This natural calamitous such as pole shifting of the planetary axis, major volcanic eruption, earthquakes, melting of the polar ice caps, ocean tides, outlandish rainfall, seasonal shift, climate change or weather disturbance, temperature increment, storm, strong whirlwind, land slide, pole shift as well as varied changes of local, regional and global social and political systems including human consciousness variation would be a phenomenon due to the combined effect of earth’s electromagnetic field alteration, the planet X or “Nibiru” (a planet that is part of our solar system with an orbit beyond that of Neptune; NASA named it “Planet x”) positional influence in this solar system and sun spot / radiation and solar variability.

    Yet again; strongest impact of the sun’s activity on climate change is a direct connection between cloud coverage and cosmic rays. This primary variable also depends on the flux of solar energy. The same applies to variations in the energy flux caused by the sun’s varying activity. In addition to this, there are, in fact, pronounced connections between our sun’s changing energy outputs and earth’s climate, better to say earth’s nature……..

    If the causes are anthropogenic, over the past few hundred years like that of greenhouse gases emission, deforestation activity we can mitigate the problem with strong efforts. There has also been a continuous change of climate on our earth’s history it is clearly confirmed by Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating, however, the past climate changes have never been disastrous as the current/ coming one when we compare with. Scientists and professionals are convinced that human activity has not as much of contribution to this all inclusive and enormous changes.

    Moreover; in other word one can find that, Nibiru has been mentioned in the Book of Enoch (Henok Ethiopian Orthodox Church Canon), Enoch’s visits on the Planet of the Cross – Erisn / Nibiru. It is also well known in Sumerian, Assyrian, Egyptians, Mayan, Cherokee, and Judaic cabalists of olden day’s wisdom.

    Based on modern astronomy and this primeval knowledge, both scientists and wise men can read the earth’s Akashic record (a theosophical term referring to the universal filing system which records every occurring thought, word and action). (Me ‘at chemere lawora alfelegem, yalewn/ yawokut yalugnen enji, Etopic langu).

    All these strange circumstances are playing collective and complimentary role from different directions. At present time, these phenomenons are continuing in a smooth manner on our earth and in solar system as a whole until the early 2012 – 2013.

    It is still amazing that; according to Henoch / Henok “And it came to pass after this that I saw another host of wagons (UFO Flying Saucers), and men riding thereon (Alien race for outer space and inner earth) … And the noise of their wagons *(Flying Disc and Cigar Shape Saucers) was heard, and when this turmoil took place the holy ones from heaven remarked it, and the pillars of the earth were moved (Pole shift) from their place, and the sound thereof was heard from the one end of heaven to the other,(throughout the galaxies) in one day (The Book of Enoch, chapter LV; in Etopic language, Ge’ez).

    As far as we are considering the aforementioned cases / phenomenon as real and fact, we couldn’t be in a position either to mitigate or to adapt this EARTH CHANGE / chaos, and on the other hand, if the cases are anthropogenic and CLIMATE CHANGE we may well mitigate and adapt smartly and fashionably.

    Therefore, in order to mitigate these predicaments and tribulation the whole world has to pay the resources that the world has as one and single and work in a cooperative manner rather than in a competitive style to save the coming generation, One serious thing is, IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.

    Eshi!!! yehea agenda will help everyone to cooperate and work mutually both the have and not have without border and map, because it is our small and suitable, appropriate and bountiful home with abundant and too much resources, we haven’t other shelter in this gigantic universe. Challenging days are coming
    It is too much for our first discussion

    BY MY SIDE
    I GAVE ALL TO GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE KNOWN AND THE UNKNOWN!!
    GOD BLESS.

    Endatferu, (Etopic language) JUST PRAY FOR HIM!!!!!!
    Kassahun Mammo
    + 251 911 137361, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    kassmatt2002@yahoo.com

    Comment by Kassahun Mammo — April 16, 2010 @ 6:19 am | Reply

  41. Someone mentioned underground tunnels (thank God I dont live in America) these are being set up as FEMA (FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION) camps a concentration camp designed on wiping out innocent Americans through TV propaganda and media (and the rest of the world after that) and it all ties in with the NWO the illuminati the 2012 theory etc etc… can I just say this I have no proof either way I am not a scientist or even that interseted about this “doomsday” topic but chill out there is nothing to worry about why spend the rest of your lives worrying about something that PROBABLY IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN enjoy life get high, get laid and above all stop worrying. and to all those hardcore beleivers out there who may mock I will be laughing at you once Xmas 2012 comes no “Planet X” no “pole shifts” no asteroids just presents and a fat scran as every year as per usuall and if your all right then I dont care coz ur all —- too either way its a lose lose situation for you guys ITS THAT BLACK AND WHITE PEOPLE.

    PEACE OUT!!!!

    Comment by TheDCD — August 2, 2010 @ 7:12 am | Reply

  42. [...] Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Magnetic) Explained and Debunked [...]

    Pingback by Planet X and 2012: My Posts So Far « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — November 6, 2010 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  43. People really need to stop using these buzzwords – NWO, Illuminati – makes you sounds crazy and no one will listen!

    Comment by News — November 24, 2010 @ 12:32 am | Reply

  44. planet x was here in 2003 check for yourself:-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_0-uzCtKTc (starts at 7.50 minutes) but i suggest you watch the whole presentation… or at least from episode 31 to 45… :-) NONE OF US IS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE????

    Comment by michael — December 8, 2010 @ 5:49 am | Reply

  45. Here is my prediction: Come December 22 2012 a whole slew of book will come out ‘re-calculating’ the Mayan calendar et al and resetting the event to 2016 or later.

    Comment by Bob Couttie — December 12, 2010 @ 11:05 am | Reply

    • hey bob your a genius. NOT quit wasting virtual ink

      Comment by james-g — February 24, 2011 @ 8:32 am | Reply

    • Sad indictment though it is of humanity Bob, I fear you are 100% on the money there :)

      Comment by Chris — December 15, 2011 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  46. I have read and read about this planet x and poleshift issue.People say and have shown video’s of the moon doing strange things.photo’s of X etc…..im at 3000 feet here in austalia and i study the sky relentlessly.The moon is NORMAL, and i have not seen planet x…..its just not there…really…..it isnt..thanks.

    Comment by murray — February 25, 2011 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  47. [...] it’s possibly because my most popular post of all time with 10s of thousands of views, “Planet X and 2012: The Pole Shift (Magnetic) Explained and Debunked,” talks about geomagnetic field reversals, [...]

    Pingback by Does Earth’s Decaying Magnetic Field Mean it Was Created 6000 Years Ago? « Exposing PseudoAstronomy — August 9, 2011 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  48. Are we going to die on 12/21/12…? Planet x is suppose to come between us and the sun and isent the sun suppose to blow some super nova or something like that.. the same time planet X is over us.. dont they say that it could be another sun. could it ignite planet X…? I guess it is 3x the size of Saturn and it looks like a sparkler thats gay… What do you think will happen…. I think we are F*#%ed I sure hope not tho life is good..

    Comment by Jerod — September 25, 2011 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  49. Nice post Stuart ! I can show this to my friends who dont believe that magnetic pole shofts happen frequently ( on a geological timescale). Its been a pain explaining to people that Elenin is just a comet , and a small one at that , and that it is not being followed by Nibiru/Dwarf Star. The various sites on the internet by people who probably dont even know how to take a picture thorugh a telescope and process it properly are not helping either.Even letting my friends to look through our club’s telescopes and ascertain if there’s any HUGE object coming towards earth was a big failure. Its like Heads i win and tails you lose. Whatever you might show them, they just say ” Somethings gonna happen . just wait and see”. I never believed that the world would come to an end in 2012. But , now i think otherwise, there will definitely be chaos, not due to a collision or pole reversal, but due to the panic spread by these Paranoid Doomsday maniacs. and the News channels wont help either.

    Comment by Surya — October 30, 2011 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  50. I can understand why people like Planet X, Pole reversals disasters, moon landing denials and the like. All through the 19th century sceince has produced “miracules” discoveries, modern magic backed up by proof. Some of it extreamly scary. Our great grand parents have through our grand parents and parents passed this perception onto us. It unfortunatly comes with a deviding line – popular science (the misunderstanding of siginificants, educational gaps and what a theory is just to name a few) and actual science – provable fact. For example – fact is that pole reversals on earth so far have occured with gaps of 5 thousand to 50 million year gaps. We don’t know what precise conditions are required to trigger them. Which means anyone who claims to know when they will occur has to produce a proof of the conditions. Here is a good test:

    “Complexities involved means that at least the proof must satisfy tests using model G for the paleosecular variation of lavas which estimate the relative contributions of the primary (dipole) and secondary (quadrupole) dynamo families. These, when followed back through time should match with the proposed proof.”

    I propose that if you cannot tell if that the above statement is true or false then you are in no condition to believe or disbelieve if a pole reversal is going to happen in 2012. For planet X believeers the situation is similar. We have no proof the planet exists. We don’t have proof that it doesn’t exist. there is no significant information to suggest there is a Planet X. If you don’t understand significants again you have issues as you will shout “Statistics can proof anything”….Good luck – lets continue this discussion in January 2013. I am pretty sure that I’ll be there unless something really bad happens to me- like a car crash (way more significantly likely in my case)

    Comment by Christian — December 31, 2011 @ 4:15 am | Reply

    • Christian, there is a difference between not knowing, proving a positive, and proving a negative. You can never in science prove a negative – that something will NOT happen. There is always some possibility it will. However, the point of this post is not to prove a magnetic pole shift won’t happen. It’s to point out that everything claimed by the 2012 people that it will happen in 2012 is wrong. It is up to people making the claim it WILL happen to present valid evidence of their claim, not to make it up.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — December 31, 2011 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  51. Just out of curiosity, why do you think there is a tropical forest perfectly preserved under Antarctica? And how did so many civilizations find themselves undisturbed, at the bottom of the sea? I am not a scientist. I am just curious about the truth. You have made many interesting points on your blogs. But, I don’t really agree with them all. You state some things as fact, that are theory. I don’t know when the shift will happen, but, every scientific article I have read on this subject agrees that we are long over due for one.

    Comment by dwight — April 5, 2012 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

    • First, please read this as you are using “fact” and “theory” incorrectly. Second, please point out links to what you claim: 1. “A tropical forest perfectly preserved under Antarctica,” 2. “so many civilizations find themselves undisturbed, at the bottom of the sea,” and 3. “every scientific article I have read on this subject agrees that we are long over due for [the shift].”

      I am familiar with people claiming #1 but have never seen any actual peer-reviewed article on it; same with #2. And, for that matter, #3, unless you really are talking about a magnetic pole shift, in which case I think I made fairly clear in my blog post that we may be undergoing one now but that it has nothing to do with 2012.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — April 5, 2012 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

      • Great shows as of late.
        The whole alignment and the pole shift and
        The 12-21-2012, all of this brought a question to mind.
        I have a question, perhaps you could answer.
        If we know the planet that we are on is having a polar wobble and it is said that it is getting ready to flip or move the magnetic alignment in the not to future, wouldn’t that be shown by the miss alignment of some of the time tellers like stone hinge and the three pyramids alignment also, and to the degree that each would show a misalignment that would be note worthy?
        If it is so that the alignment is very old, would it have changed in the past also?
        How is it that the alignment is still aligned.?Is there an answer?

        Comment by Capt.Dave — December 21, 2012 @ 11:07 am

      • Ancient architecture that was actually aligned to stars (NOT the sun) do show misalignments now — that’s one of the ways the Great Pyramid complex has been dated.

        Our orbital tilt / precession is relatively stable compared to other planets like Mars because we have such a large moon. Our current tilt is around 23.5°, and the max/min is only ±1° or so. The change occurs on timescales of 100s of thousands of years. You may be interested in reading on Milankovitch Cycles.

        Comment by Stuart Robbins — December 21, 2012 @ 11:35 am

  52. i love this

    Comment by jose — July 4, 2012 @ 1:23 am | Reply


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