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From: James J. Lippard Sent: 04-26-94 10:51 To: All Rcvd: -NO- Re: What _aeon_ Considers Una Status: Public ------------------------------------------------------------------------ From: (James J. Lippard) Path: myrddin!nbn!sgiblab!swrinde!!usc!!news.Cerritos.e u!news.Arizona.EDU!!lippard Newsgroups: Subject: What _Aeon_ considers unacceptable Organization: University of Arizona Message-ID: <> Date: 25 Apr 1994 23:15 MST To give readers of sci.skeptic and an idea of what was unacceptable to _Aeon_ in the work of Leroy Ellenberger, what follows is an unpublished section of his memoir of the Velikovsky affair, "Of Lessons, Legacies, and Litmus Tests: A Velikovsky Potpourri." This section was a piece of part one--the only part to be published, in _Aeon_ III:1 (pp. 86-105)--but was deleted from the published version of the article over the author's objections. This is being posted with Ellenberger's approval. readers: note the references to pro-Velikovsky work in the _Creation Research Society Quarterly_ and by Thomas Barnes of the Institute for Creation Research (his infamous "magnetic field decay" argument). MAGNETISM, DYNAMOS AND NEPTUNE The acid test of any scientific theory is, first and foremost, its agreement with the _facts_ of the physical world. Roger S. Jones, _Physics as Metaphor_ The fact that there are unsolved problems within the framework of an existing theory does not of itself imply that the theory must be thrown away, or replaced by another; unsolved problems are the essence of science, the means by which theories are refined. John Maddox, _Nature_, 17 April 1986 For years Velikovsky and his supporters, _e.g._, Lynn Rose in "The Censorship of Velikovsky's Interdisciplinary Synthesis" (_Pensee I_, reprinted in _Velikovsky Reconsidered_), claimed that at close distances electromagnetic forces could rival if not dominate gravity. Most critics simply denied this. Velikovsky's intuition on this point is not borne out, not even in his oft-repeated example of a 7000 gauss magnetic binary star. Using generous assumptions, James W. Warwick has shown that for this example gravity overwhelms magnetism by a factor of over a billion. Warwick's remarks to this effect were prepared for the Velikovsky symposium at McMaster University in 1974, but were deleted from the reading and the paper was never published. To my knowledge, not one supporter in over 30 years ever bothered to test Velikovsky's intuition on this point. Gardner's 1952 remark that there is no evidence for the _power_ of the electromagnetic forces required by Velikovsky is still valid. All this and more are explained in my articles in KRONOS X:1, X:3, & XI:1 and _Aeon_ II:2, especially pp. 62- 63.[1] In several issues of _Aeon_ (I:2, I:6 and II:2) Charles Ginenthal has disputed the relevance of Warwick's calculation. Ginenthal seems to think that since no real magnetic binary stars match the hypothetical example therefore the calculation has no meaning. Such a viewpoint is completely wrong-headed. Warwick's calculation is correct, as reported in KRONOS X:3. Clearly, Ginenthal has not the foggiest notion of what he is talking about. Any real binary star with greater separation, greater masses or lower magnetic field strengths serves merely to increase the advantage of gravity over magnetism. It does not mean that such pairs are absent because magnetism has pushed them apart so that now we do not see binary pairs matching the specifications of the hypothetical example. In 1976, J. C. Keister, a professor of physics, published "A Critique and Modification of Velikovsky's Catastrophic Theory of the Solar System" (_CRSQ_ 13, pp. 6-12). He cited Ransom and Hoffee in _Pensee III_ and Rose and Vaughan in _Pensee VIII_ and, taking a cue from D. W. Patten, proposed interchanging Venus and Mars in the sequence of orbits in order to reduce the energy disposal problem. Bass suggested the same thing at the Glasgow Conference in 1978 and at San Jose, CA in 1980. When Patten's specific model was finally analyzed by me in _C&AH_ XII:1 & 2 (1990) in terms of angular momentum and orbital energy, it was found incapable of conserving both quantities. The most valuable aspect of Keister's paper was his calculations showing the relative power of gravitational, electrostatic, and magnetic forces. Making most favorable case assumptions for Venus, Earth, and Mars, Keister showed that during near collisions the ratio of electrostatic to gravitational forces is about 0.02, and for magnetic and gravitational forces about 0.003. Considering the content of Keister's paper, it is disappointing that his results did not influence discussions in KRONOS and _SISR_ in the 1970s and early 1980s.[1a] In _SISR_ III:2, Keister collaborated with Andrew Hamilton of the S.I.S. for an article on the origin of Venus in a Velikovskian context. Another misconception held by many supporters of Velikovsky is that he deserves credit for priority in claiming a role for electromagnetic forces in the solar system. This is one claim in Ferte's "A Record of Success" in _Pensee I_ and is implicit in the Epilogue to _Stargazers_ (p. 338) which was written by Kogan. At the PSA meeting at Notre Dame in November 1974, M. W. Friedlander challenged Velikovsky on this issue of priority by citing the work of Hannes Alfven and others discussed in Alfven's _Cosmical Electrodynamics_ (Oxford, 1950). On January 14, 1975 Lynn Rose wrote to Friedlander in defense of Velikovsky on the narrow issue of the date of Alfven's book. Friedlander's reply on January 18 pointed out that while Alfven's book was published in 1950, the Preface was written in 1947. Friedlander concluded with "I think that it is clear that Stormer, Alfven and various other authors whose papers appeared through the 1930's, are the scientists who correctly receive the credit for opening up this field. Neither by priority of publication, nor by quantitative calculations, nor by scientific usefulness, can Velikovsky's writings be considered to merit any serious consideration in this matter." _Terrestrial Magnetism and Electricity_, edited by J. A. Fleming, is a book cited several times by Velikovsky which discusses the pioneering efforts in cosmical electrodynamics of several scientists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But Velikovsky never acknowledged these precursors (KRONOS XI:1, p. 109). * * * No topic in the Velikovskian and related catastrophist literature has been subject to more misunderstanding, confusion, and outright misrepresentation than the origin of planetary magnetic fields. Despite the well-established fact that a dynamo process is the _only_ known way to generate Earth's magnetic field, the dynamo continues to be ridiculed and rejected by many writers. The behavior of the Earth's field over time, which entails more than merely a secular decrease in the dipole component, can be explained _only_ by fluid motions _in the core_. Regardless of these readily accessible facts, the core dynamo is rejected by many, including: Ralph Juergens in _Pensee II_, Thomas Barnes in _SISR_ II:2 (1977), Peter Warlow in _SISR_ III:4 (1979) and _The Reversing Earth_ (1982), J. M. McCanney in KRONOS X:2 (1985), Charles Ginenthal in _Aeon_ I:1, D. W. Patten in _C&AH_ IX:2 (1987) and _Aeon_ II:3 (1990), and Samuel Windsor in _Aeon_ II:4 (1991). Martin Kruskal tried to correct Juergens' unfounded prejudices against the dynamo in _Pensee III_, but Juergens was intransigent and Kruskal's tutorial had no lasting effect. Concerning the source of planetary magnetic fields, D. J. Stevenson reports "typically, a non-dynamo mechanism cannot produce global fields in excess of 10^-2 gauss..."; see S. F. Dermott (ed.), _The Origin of the Solar System_ (Wiley, 1978), p. 404. By comparison, the mean surface fields of Earth and the Jovian planets range (in gauss) between 0.133 for Neptune and 4.28 for Jupiter with Earth being 0.308 (_Physics Today_, July 1990, pp. 40-47). No one who rejects the dynamo in favor of various electric charge models discusses this limitation. Many, including Sanford, Velikovsky, Juergens, and Warlow, have latched on to the "rotating charge" concept in place of the dynamo. Warlow in his book (at p. 44) is entirely correct in stating "it is a known phenomenon that a charged rotating body will produce a magnetic field." However, he is absolutely wrong when he then states: "This possible mechanism is _seldom discussed_ [emphasis added] in the conventional literature because it does not accord with a dominant assumption in astronomical studies that cosmic bodies are electrically neutral....The rotating charge concept cannot, therefore, be dismissed as a possible mechanism for the production of the Earth's field." The "rotating charge" concept most certainly _can_ be dismissed as a possible mechanism for the production of the Earth's field for the simple reason that the field so produced, although being a dipole, does not conform to the observed geomagnetic field. This fact was explained in 1939 by A. G. McNish in Ch. VII of J. A. Fleming (ed.), _Terrestrial Magnetism and Electricity_, drawing upon the work of Arthur Schuster in _Proc. Phys. Soc._ 24 (1912), pp. 121-137, and W. F. G. Swann in _Philosophical Magazine_ 24 (1912), pp. 80-100. Although Velikovsky cited McNish in _Worlds in Collision_, _Earth in Upheaval_, and _Cosmos Without Gravitation_, he evidently chose to ignore the substance of McNish's exposition in baldly asserting in _Cosmos_: "The cause of the earth's magnetic field is in (1) the magnetic field of the sun, and (2) the rotation of the charged earth around its axis" (p. 18). This same idea was mentioned in "Celestial Mechanics and Cosmic Catastrophes," the Appendix to _Worlds in Collision_ that had been deleted in early February 1950.[2] Even after 1950 Velikovsky's blindspot persisted. In his unpublished Einstein memoir _Before the Day Breaks_ he wrote "The magnetic field of the earth, the origin of which is a mystery, would be a direct effect of a charged body in rotation...." In addition, Warlow created the impression of a false dichotomy between the dynamo and the rotating electrical charge. In point of fact, these are only two of at least twelve theories that have been proposed to explain planetary magnetic fields; see such references as Tsuneji Rikitake, _Electromagnetism and the Earth's Interior_ (Elsevier, 1966), pp. 13-19; W. D. Parkinson, _Introduction to Geomagnetism_ (Elsevier, 1987), pp. 105-109; and D. J. Stevenson, "Planetary Magnetism," _Icarus_ 22 (1974), pp. 403-415. The simple truth of the matter, as Stevenson states, is "that the dynamo mechanism is the most satisfactory theory for maintenance of the Earth's magnetic field." The other eleven hypotheses have been rejected because of their fatal flaws. Of the rotating electric charge theory, Parkinson writes: For the case of a uniform surface charge it turns out that the external field is a dipole, but the magnitude of the charge needed is 0.14 coul m^-2. The electric field at the surface of the earth associated with this charge density would be more than 10^9 volts m^-1, well above the field required for a spark discharge! The actual normal field on the earth's surface is about 100 volts m^-1. Attempts have been made to devise more elaborate charge distributions, but the conductivity of the earth is sufficient that any charge on the solid earth would very quickly be distributed as a surface charge. To be sure, the dynamo has problems, including the lack of accurate data on the properties of the core and the extreme computational complexities involved in modelling dynamo processes; but such problems do not negate the fact that the dynamo is the _only_ feasible way to produce Earth's magnetic field. The flagrant and repeated misrepresentation of this elementary fact by Velikovsky, Random, Warlow, Ginenthal and many others seriously underines the scientific integrity of Velikovskian studies in general and the scientific competence of the particular participants. Barnes, whose work is cited by Patten, is a leading exponent of the notion that the geomagnetic field is decaying irreversibly at an exponential rate whose half life is about 1,400 years. As G. Brent Dalrymple explains in _J. Geol. Ed._ 31 (1983), pp. 123-133, "Barnes is wrong, and has ignored or misrepresented much of the data on the earth's magnetic field." Barnes and Patten confound the total field with the dipole portion. "The measurements which indicate that the dipole field is decreasing, also indicate that the non-dipole field is increasing," so that "the total field energy external to the core has remained about constant." (Dalrymple's arguments against Barnes are also related by Stephen G. Brush in Laurie R. Godfrey (ed.), _Scientists Confront Creationism_ (New York, 1983), pp. 73-77.) Good discussions of dynamo processes are in the August and September 1983 issues of _Scientific American_. More technically oriented are the papers by D. J. Stevenson _et al._ in _Icarus_ 54 (1983), pp. 466-489 and David Gubbins, "Observational constraints on the generation process of the Earth's magnetic field," _Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc._ 47 (1976), pp. 19-39. * * * In _Aeon_ I:1, Charles Ginenthal presented his "electro-gravitic theory of celestial motion" which encompasses planetary magnetic fields and eschews core dynamos. To his credit, he had the courage of his convictions to use his "theory" to predict Neptune's magnetic field as a "crucial experiment": "...the author estimates its [Neptune's] field to be 0.0002 (1/5000) that of Earth..." or 0.308 gauss/5000 equals 0.0000616 gauss. So confident of this prediction was he, that he repeated it in _Aeon_ I:6, p. 107. Voyager II measured Neptune's magnetic field in August 1989. The results appeared in N. F. Ness _et al._, 15 December 1989 _Science_, pp. 1473-77. Neptune's mean surface field is 0.133 gauss, or 0.133/0.308 = 0.432 that of Earth, or about 7000 times greater than Ginenthal predicted. This result has been available for over a year. Yet, in _Aeon_ II:4 Ginenthal rambles on for several pages about the perils of making predictions but somehow never gets around to revealing the truth about the failure of his prediction and, hence, of his theory. C. T. Russell, a geophysicist at U.C.L.A., has presented a scaling law for planetary magnetic moments using dynamo theory which indicates that they are proportional to the product of spin rate, square root of core density, and fourth power of core radius (_Nature_ 281, 18 October 1979, pp. 552-3). Using Earth's dynamo as a reference and ratioing with Saturn's parameters, Russell predicted Saturn's equatorial field to within 25%, 0.5 gauss versus 0.4 gauss observed. Russell's scaling procedure overestimates the magnetic fields for Uranus and Neptune by a bit more than an order of magnitude when the radius of the conducting mantle is substituted for the radius of the core. In Uranus and Neptune, the dynamo operates in the mantle instead of the core. However, the geometry is the same as for Earth since Earth's dynamo operates in the spherical annulus of the outer fluid core which surrounds the solid core at the center. Using the procedure to estimate the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune, I obtained 2.7 gauss and 4.2 gauss, respectively, compared to the measured fields of 0.23 gauss and 0.133 gauss, respectively. These results indicate over- estimates of 12x and 32x for Uranus and Neptune, respectively. Considering how accurate it was for Saturn, perhaps this larger variance is due to the dynamos in Uranus and Neptune operating in the lower mantles so that using the mantles' outer radius contributes to high results. The differences between a core dynamo and a mantle dynamo may also lead to a field with a greater tilt and off-set from true axial alignment which also contribute to a smaller magnetic field than indicated by the scaling procedure. Whatever the actual reasons for the variance, Russell's procedure shows that the dynamo model is on firmer theoretical ground than the arm-waving kinds of models promulgated by such as Ginenthal and Patten. Footnotes [1] Velikovsky harbored several erroneous notions about magnetism, some of which are discussed in KRONOS X:3, pp. 12-15, especially his conceiving of a magnet as an amplifier whose power grows "stupendously" as the cube of decreasing distance. Such preposterous expectations belie the rationalization offered by some defenders in correspondence that Velikovsky's interest in magnetism was merely axiomatic, _i.e._, that it did not necessarily rival gravity in interactions between massive bodies, as opposed to charged particles. However, magnetic fields that "cushion" planetary collisions, as Velikovsky claimed, are _not_ axiomatic. [1a] Furthermore, since Keister's work was featured by me in KRONOS X:3, pp. 14-15, it has still not influenced discussions in the Velikovsky literature. Keister's results coupled with the observations above in "Lessons in Fallibility" underscore the commonplace understanding in physics that gravity dominates electricity in interactions between massive bodies such as planets because it is impossible to emplace enough net electric charge on a body to rival gravity. Nevertheless, in _Aeon_ I:4, Robert B. Driscoll proposed a qualitative model for the polar configuration in which like electrical charge on Saturn and Jupiter counter-balanced their gravitational attraction. Driscoll's is a most unsatisfactory presentation because he did not demonstrate the feasibility of his model by quantifying the various parameters. Until he does so, his model is not any better than a cartoon demonstrating "Roadrunner physics." It is difficult to give credence to Driscoll's model because the electrical charge required to equal the gravitational attraction is 8.9 x 10^16 coulombs which is about 400,000 times more electric charge than Saturn can possibly hold, namely, 2.2 x 10^11 coulombs. Another contradictory point is that Driscoll assumes the electric charge is produced by the planets interacting with a "Forshufvud cloud" whose existence is contradicted by the present states of Saturn and Jupiter (KRONOS XI:1, p. 107), _i.e._, the jovian planets are too cold now to have been capable of producing such a "cloud" so recently. Finally, Driscoll has not shown that his fission model of core ejection is capable of producing a "Forshufvud cloud" with the requisite mass, namely, 94 Earths. Since there is no reason based on physics to believe that electric charge can do what Driscoll and the Saturnists wish, Ashton's criticisms in _Aeon_ I:3 have not been circumvented, contrary to Driscoll's explicit intention. [2] Contrary to _Stargazers_, p. 78, the Appendix was not replaced by "a few sentences in the Epilogue, which can be read on page 387..." because the final page or so of the Appendix's nine pages (pp. 381-389) was used in the Epilogue: p. 387 bottom five lines, p. 388, and p. 389 top two lines. Discrepancies such as this serve to undermine the overall veracity of _Stargazers_. Jim Lippard Lippard@CCIT.ARIZONA.EDU Dept. of Philosophy Lippard@ARIZVMS.BITNET University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85721


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