• I have never believed that science has all the answers. I only believe that the scientific method is the best method of finding the answers. Science does not know everything, and is pretty upfront about it. In this case, one (1) scientist has proposed a new explanation for a phenomenon which is admitted to be not well understood. That theory will be considered, and if good enough will replace the current one - or be merged with it. My conjecture is the latter: it will be shown that both the earth's core and the oceans contribute to the magnetic field in different ways. We will have learned more, and be able to predict more, about the magnetic field. And that greater knowledge may be able to be used in some productive way.
  • No it doesn't. I believe that science can direct us toward *most* of the answers, certainly more than the notion of God. However, like most atheists who hold faith in science above all else, I also know that scientific knowledge is continually evolving and that what we believe to be the case today, may be countered by a better theory later on in the day. Science is about theory not the claim that it has the ultimate truth, however it is about theory which is formed from testable, reliable, repeatable and observable pheonomena. So, although not perfect, I think it is more perfect than religious doctrine which is completely unfalsifiable and as such can not be a useful way of providing any reliable answers whatsoever.
  • Not really. The awesome thing about science is that we're always learning new things. It's part of the system. But it's going to take time before it can be proven (if at all), so I don't think it's time to jump ship just yet.
  • I remember I wrote an essay in high school on the subject (and I repeat it verbatim after almost 43 years): "Science claims no finality in any of its conclusions." The title of the essay is my answer to your question.
  • Science is imperfect until it is perfect. But it is the only logical answer until the scientists find the complete truth which usually is much more complex then they first thought. The fact is they could be wrong on both accounts and it could be both motions and some we don't know about yet. I'll stick to science and hope that they figure it all out eventually.
  • Science changes. That's a strength. We had Newtonian physics for years. It seemed to work up to a point but there were growing problems. By the early 20th Century it was obvious something was really horribly wrong with Newton's ideas. Along comes Einstein and all is better. For a while... That's how science works. It doesn't give answers in an absolute sense. It gives a theory which best explains the evidence at that moment in time. Later we may find new evidence that the theory is somewhat flawed. The beauty is that we can just amend or completely drop ideas that don't work (the ether is a good example of dropping something that just doesn't work). Sometimes you amend an idea like Newton to Einstein. We didn't throw out Newton entirely we just modified it albeit rather a great deal. We can still use certain elements of Newtonian physics for a great deal of things which simply don't need the refined precision of Einstein's work. I am minded of an Isaac Asimov quote which I am going to paraphrase. "It was once thought that the Sun moved around the Earth in a circular orbit. It was then thought that the Earth moved around the Sun in a circular orbit. Now both of these ideas are wrong. However if we then assume that both are equally wrong then we are more wrong than both ideas put together." Science never gives final answers that may never be questioned or probed. If it did it would not be science.
  • Evidently you don't understand anything about science. Science explicitly recognizes that scientific theories are provisional, the best we can up with at the time, and they are open to revision and replacement; however, the revisions and replacements often simply broaden the explanatory power of the theories, as the theory of relativity extends Newton's dynamics to very large masses and velocities approaching the the speed of light. We expect to revise old ideas. One of the most powerful theories, the theory of evolution displaced, for all informed and undeluded people, the older theory that some divinity created each species. In time, I expect a new theory will broaden the theory of evolution just as Newtonian dynamics was broadened by Einstein's discoveries. Scientists seek to test our understanding of the natural world. The greatest experience a scientist can have is to discover that something accepted as being the truth about nature can be explained more completely by a new theory. So scientists rejoice when errors are discarded. It is therefore extremely good news if a new theory of terrestrial magnetism replaces a mistaken one, or an incomplete one. This is not a weakness in science: it is its strength.
  • 1) In the contrary to a fixed text such as the Bible, which will be considered by some as "having all the answers", science does not have all the answers from the beginning. Science gives us a tool (the scientific method), which allow us to find many answers to some questions. Also, this tool can improve with time, like the findings of scientific research can also improve. Science was able to explain a lot of things that could not be explained by other means. So it must not be faith that we have in science, but just some confidence. And also, we should never absolutely rely on particular results, which could always be put into question. 2) Thank you for pointing at this interesting theory. However, some confusion arises because two articles about the Earth magnetic field have been published by Gregory Ryskin: - "On the origin of the Earth’s magnetic field - Gregory Ryskin - arXiv:astro-ph/0312617v1 - (Submitted on 24 Dec 2003)" - "Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field: induced by the ocean flow? Gregory Ryskin New Journal of Physics 11 (2009) 063015 (23pp) Received 12 March 2009 Published 12 June 2009" Here another paper by Gregory Ryskin: "Focusing on the Permian-Triassic boundary, Gregory Ryskin explores the possibility that mass extinction can be caused by an extremely fast, explosive release of dissolved methane (and other dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide) that accumulated in the oceanic water masses prone to stagnation and anoxia (e.g., in silled basins)." Source and further information: - "Methane-driven oceanic eruptions and mass extinctions Gregory Ryskin" 3) Speaking about this, it would be important to say about which of the two papers we are talking. The first paper "On the origin of the Earth’s magnetic field" (2003) presents a quite revolutionary theory: "It is thought that the magnetic field of the Earth is generated by the hydromagnetic dynamo action in the Earth’s liquid outer core, consisting mainly of iron (the standard model). Here I propose that the magnetic field of the Earth is generated by dynamo action in the world ocean at the Earth’s surface. This hypothesis is free of the problems of the standard model; in particular, it explains the close temporal correlation between geomagnetic reversals and the stratigraphic boundaries defined by major or minor mass extinctions. Implications of this hypothesis for other terrestrial planets are briefly discussed." The second paper "Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field" (2009) is not so revolutionary: "Secular variation of the Earth’s main magnetic field is believed to originate in the Earth’s core. (The main field is operationally defined as comprising spherical harmonics of degree l 6 10.) I propose a different mechanism of secular variation: ocean water being a conductor of electricity, the magnetic field induced by the ocean as it flows through the Earth’s main field may depend on time and manifest itself globally as secular variation. This proposal is supported by calculation of secular variation using the induction equation of magnetohydrodynamics, the observed main field and the ocean flow field. The predicted secular variation is in rough agreement with that observed. Additional support is provided by the striking temporal correlation (hitherto unsuspected) between the intensity of the North Atlantic oceanic circulation and the rate of secular variation in Western Europe; this explains, in particular, the geomagnetic jerks, and the recently discovered correlation between secular variation and climate. Spatial correlation between ocean currents and secular variation is also strong." 4) Here some discussions of those papers: "The correlation between the "geomagnetic jerks" (is that an insult?) and the changes in Ocean tides could indicate that the magnetosphere is affecting the ocean, and not vice versa." "There is plenty of evidence that our magnetic field is created by the two liquid cores of our planet working against each other creating the well know gyro effect and since our oceans are effected by extra terrestrial object such as the moon I feel Sam_the_Wizer is probably right about magnetosphere affecting the oceans." Source and further information: "While I think it a little far-fetched (but not impossible) that ocean currents cause the Earth's magnetic field, I'm surprised that no-one has ever considered that the reverse may be true, i.e. that the ocean currents are in some part directed by the Earth's magnetic field." Source and further information: 5) "New theory on Earth's Magnetic Field: Theory interesting, reporting botched" "What is true: A scientist named Ryskin proposes that decadal or century scale minor wiggling in the measured Earth's magnetic field is influenced by changes in ocean currents. Plausible. Interesting. Could explain some things. Not earthshaking. What is not true: The earth's magnetic field is caused by ocean currents. The earth's magnetic field's long term variations, like reversals in field orientation, are caused by ocean current changes. The Earth's magnetic field causes oceanic current changes or the currents are the sole cause of secular variation. The cause of the earth's magnetic field is not, as previously thought, the molten dynamo thingie inside the earth." Source and further information: It seems that the reporting that was considered in this article refers to Ryskin's 2003 first paper "On the origin of the Earth’s magnetic field", but that the article has only read Ryskin's second paper "Secular variation of the Earth’s magnetic field" (2009).
  • There is no "Faith" in Science. Faith and Science do NOT co-exist. If you cannot have "faith" in science, you cannot lose "faith".
  • Nope. Not at all. I would be suspect of science if it WEREN'T changing views with respect to new evidence and discoveries. The question of the origin of the Earth's magnetic field still hasn't been definitively answered...and until it is, changes in theories and new theories should be expected.

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