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Contrary to creationist Barnes' totally discredited claims, which I've covered in Topic 11, the earth's magnetic field (dipole moment) has, indeed, increased and decreased over time.Strahler presents a graph of the earth's dipole moment going back 9000 years.To that end, he quoted some authorities, including Richard Lingenfelter.Having accomplished that, Morris concluded that the barrel was still in the process of being filled up and that, given the present rate of water coming in and leaking out, the filling process began only 10,000 years ago.(The barrel is made deep enough so that we don't have to worry about water overflowing the rim.) Henry Morris argued that if we started filling up our empty barrel it would take 30,000 years to reach the equilibrium point.Thus, he concluded, if our Earth were older than 30,000 years the incoming water should just equal the water leaking out.This argument was popularized by Henry Morris (1974, p.164), who used some calculations done in 1968 by Melvin Cook to get the 10,000-year figure. Whitelaw, using a greater ratio of carbon-14 production to decay, concluded that only 5000 years passed since carbon-14 started forming in the atmosphere!The argument may be compared to filling a barrel which has numerous small holes in its sides.

Tree-ring dating (see Topic 27) gives us a wonderful check on the radiocarbon dating method for the last 8000 years.

That is, the equilibrium point should have long since been reached given the present rate of carbon-14 production and the old age of the earth.

The next step in Henry Morris' argument was to show that the water level in our barrel analogy was not in equilibrium, that considerably more water was coming in than leaking out.

That is, we can use carbon-14 dating on a given tree-ring (the 8000-year sequence having been assembled from the overlapping tree-ring patterns of living and dead trees) and compare the resulting age with the tree-ring date.

A study of the deviations from the accurate tree-ring dating sequence shows that the earth's magnetic field has an important effect on carbon-14 production.

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