|The divine comedy
Russell Humphreys is a physicist at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), known for his creationist views and his attempts to reconcile reality with the notions of young Earth creationism. Humphreys is certainly not in the same league as many pseudoscientists, his biography at Creation Ministries International listing many commendable achievements and awards, but none of his awards appear related to his young Earth "research".
He joined ICR in 2002 after retiring from Sandia National Laboratories (New Mexico), where he'd been working in the actual scientific fields of nuclear physics, geophysics, pulsed-power research, and theoretical atomic and nuclear physics.
He looks a bit like Santa Claus, though rumours of him distributing presents to good boys and girls remain unconfirmed.
Starlight Problem "Solution"
Starlight creates serious difficulties for young Earth creationists, since our ability to see stars that are billions of light years distant from Earth is incompatible with the belief that the universe was created as described by a literal reading of Genesis. This is commonly known as the starlight problem, and Humphreys attempted to explain this through the introduction of White hole cosmology. The speed of light is a universal constant that cannot be altered without affecting other constants, likely creating a very different universe to the one we know. Because of this, a way must be found to explain why we are seeing light that has taken billions of years to arrive here. Humphreys attempts to explain this by having the Earth exist inside of a black hole, with the associated gravity-caused time-slowing effects, effectively having Earth's time running at a much slower rate than the rest of the universe.
It's a bit like the Star Trek: Voyager episode, Blink of an Eye. The Voyager crew encounter a planet experiencing a gravity induced time dilation effect, in which the passage of a minute for the ship in orbit would translate in to hours or days on the planet's surface. Anyone visiting the planet for a number of years could return to the ship and find that only a few minutes had passed for the crew of the ship. Neither Humphreys' work nor the Voyager episode are considered to be scientifically sound, with the former being dismissed as pseudoscience by all but creationists, and the latter dismissed as a below average and possibly plagiarized episode.
Magnetic-field formation model
Humphreys also postulated a model that would explain the gravitational fields of planets. Humphreys assumed that God created all celestial bodies out of water, which was then subsequently transmuted into the matter of which each body is presently made.
However, God apparently aligned about a fourth of the hydrogen atoms in the water molecules, which generated an aggregate magnetic dipole moment proportional to the mass of the body. (Well, except for Jupiter, but it seems as if God likes exceptions to the rule.) Once this field was in place, it created an electrical current, even as the water molecules fell out of alignment. The current was the first thing to keep the magnetic field going, even after the transmutation, because a magnetic field, once generated, doesn't immediately stop. Such a magnetic field would be subject to exponential decay, dependent on the mass and conductivity of the body's core.
Aside from the facts that it's unfalsifiable (how can one prove that God didn't?) and that it relies on the less-than scientific theory of transmutation, there's an interesting lack of proof for the theory and not-insignificant exceptions (such as Jupiter) and scientific consensus (and evidence) for the competing dynamo theory.
- Biography on Creation.com, which lists several related articles
- Humphrey's magnetic field formation paper, listed in the Creation Research Quarterly, December 1984.