'Adam and Eve' theory: Catastrophe as Earth's magnetic poles reverse?

The "Adam and Eve" theory is gaining momentum on TikTok, according to which every 6,500 years a disaster on the scale of the biblical "flood" strikes the Earth. Is it true?

 'The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man’ by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens, circa 1615 (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
'The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man’ by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Pieter Paul Rubens, circa 1615
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

The conspiracy theory known as "Adam and Eve" theory has recently resurfaced on TikTok following its appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast. It claims that every 6,500 years, a major disaster occurs on Earth.

However, let's establish from the outset that this theory is false and unfounded, despite its considerable following.

Joe Rogan's podcast recently sparked a series of viral TikTok videos promoting this outlandish climate change theory. It was initially outlined in a book that also proposed Jesus lived in India for 18 years and was abducted by aliens after his crucifixion, raising concerns about its credibility. The episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which aired on January 18, featured an interview with YouTuber and self-proclaimed "researcher" Jimmy Corsetti. During the conversation, Rogan introduced the "Adam and Eve theory," an idea lacking evidence and originating from The Adam and Eve Story a book published in 1965 by Chan Thomas—an electrical engineer who claimed to possess psychic abilities.

Thomas, formerly associated with the US Air Force, argued in his book, partially published by the CIA in 2013, that the Earth's magnetic poles flip 90 degrees every few thousand years, leading to the demise of various ancient civilizations. According to Thomas, these pole shifts will result in apocalyptic weather events. He claimed that the first flood occurred during the time of Adam and Eve, the second during the story of Noah's Ark, and a third catastrophic event is impending.

Although this conspiracy theory had previously garnered minimal attention, it gained traction on Rogan's popular podcast in January. Rogan questioned Corsetti, host of Bright Insight, about the validity of the theory, asking, "Could there be a situation where the magnetic poles really change?" Corsetti responded by asserting that the theory was scientifically proven, referring to Thomas's work.

Corsetti elaborated on the idea, arguing that the reversal of the magnetic poles would cause the Earth to essentially stand still, leading to unprecedented overheating. He also mentioned that wind and water would maintain their momentum, as winds at the equator move at speeds of approximately 1,609 kilometers per hour. According to the theory, this cataclysmic event would result in extreme weather phenomena, including tsunamis. Corsetti specified that the reversal occurs in cycles of 6,500 years, with a 90-degree flip, followed by a correction around the seventh day.

Rogan remarked, "It's not to say that we aren’t polluting, we certainly are, and it's not to say that we shouldn't improve, we certainly should, but if the f***ing magnetic poles might shift and we might get hit by a giant rock from space, we might have bigger problems. If we're going to be concentrating on nonsense, which is really par for the course with human beings, we're going to be concentrating on these things we’re really not going to fix over the short-term, when something might happen that makes all of it a moot point."

However, experts categorically refute these claims, labeling them baseless and lacking scientific support. Media Matters for America, a nonprofit organization, reported that the theory and excerpts from the interview accumulated over 20 million views on TikTok within six months, without addressing its fallacious nature.

Martin Melanczak, a senior research scientist at the NASA Research Center, dismissed the theory, telling The Verge, "That is total bogus. If that’s what happened every 6,500 years, we would certainly see it; it would be in all the records. The amount of energy to bring that about is tremendous. And you know, there’s nothing to initiate it."

A blog post on NASA's website also affirms this standpoint, stating, "there’s no evidence that Earth’s climate has been significantly impacted by the last three magnetic field excursions, nor by any excursion event within at least the last 2.8 million years."

Fossil records similarly do not demonstrate that significant pole reversals triggered major upheavals, particularly not catastrophic events like the biblical "flood."

So, what can we expect and when?

Magnetic pole flips and global apocalypses: What does the science say?

The TikTok videos give the impression that this change will occur swiftly; however, scientists disagree. According to NASA, Earth's magnetic poles have flipped 183 times in the past 83 million years, and several hundred times in the past 160 million years. The timing of the next reversal remains uncertain, but it takes place over hundreds to thousands of years, rather than overnight.

Scientists currently have no reason to believe that a sudden pole reversal is imminent. While the Earth's magnetic poles do change, with the magnetic north and south poles shifting over time, these alterations transpire gradually. Magnetic pole reversals do occur approximately once every 200,000 to 300,000 years, but the last reversal likely transpired around 800,000 years ago. NASA explains, "Because the forces that generate Earth’s magnetic field are constantly changing, the field itself is also in continual flux, its strength waxing and waning over time. This causes the location of Earth’s magnetic north and south poles to gradually shift and to completely flip locations about every 300,000 years or so."

For a planetary turnover to occur, certain physical factors must come into play. Currently, the Earth's upper atmosphere lacks the necessary energy for such an event. Furthermore, the air does not contain iron, and therefore, there is no known physical mechanism connecting weather conditions on Earth to electromagnetic currents in space. Electromagnetic interactions solely impact the Earth's ionosphere, which begins at an altitude of 60-90 km above the Earth's surface and extends over 500 km. They do not influence weather and climate patterns on the surface.

A 2014 report by Berkeley News stated that even if magnetic fields were to change throughout a person's lifetime, it would not result in a major disaster or damage to power grids. In such a scenario, the weakened magnetic field could potentially increase the risk of solar flares, disrupting electrical infrastructure, power grids, and satellites. However, as previously mentioned, fossil evidence does not indicate any significant extinction events caused by pole reversals, nor does the geological record reflect an increase in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Media Matters remarked, "While it was not written to provide an alternative explanation for climate change, The Adam and Eve Story provides a framework for interpreting its effects outside of an anthropogenic explanation. This narrative, which shifts blame away from our fossil fuel economy onto planetary forces beyond human control, can serve as climate misinformation." The organization emphasized, "In the past, the Earth's orbit, the Sun, and cosmic rays have all similarly been used to provide alternative explanations for climate change," they added. "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels. The only way to avert increasing social, political, and ecological effects of climate change is by transitioning away from a fossil fuel economy."