Sloppy CNN; Earth’s core has slowed so much it’s moving backward, scientists confirm. Here’s what it could mean

(CNN) Earth’s core has slowed so much it’s moving backward, scientists confirm. Here’s what it could mean. The headline is false. The core is not moving backwards.

See (CNN) Earth’s inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests. Quoting,

This is baloney. The cited study, Multidecadal variation of the Earth’s inner-core rotation, claims no such thing. Quoting from the abstract,

Differential rotation of Earth’s inner core relative to the mantle is thought to occur under the effects of the geodynamo on core dynamics and gravitational core–mantle coupling.

The word in red is omitted. CNN, you could have used “relative.”

The difference in the speeds of rotation of the inner  core and the mantle, regardless of direction, is about that of a near-frozen inchworm. If you were looking at it, you would see nothing.

How much must be lost in translation?

The body of the new article contains the error. Quoting,

This inner core has intrigued researchers since its discovery by Danish seismologist Inge Lehmann in 1936, and how it moves — its rotation speed and direction — has been at the center of a decades-long debate.

The direction of rotation has never changed or been the subject of inquiry, only the speed relative to the mantle. The difference is very small, a few hundred yards per year at the core/mantle boundary, which the article fails to mention. Contradicting itself, the article also  contains a correct statement:

“Differential rotation of the inner core was proposed as a phenomenon in the 1970s and ’80s, but it wasn’t until the ‘90s that seismological evidence was published,” said Dr. Lauren Waszek, a senior lecturer of physical sciences at James Cook University in Australia.

Differential  is key. Do the article authors understand how key it is?

This reporting, with the repetitive propagation of scientific falsity, stands in stark contrast to  CNN’s impeccable politics.  Perhaps it echoes the conceit of Socrates, who, as one of the first humanists, claimed he  could learn every thing of  importance from “the man in the city.”

The world inhabited by Socrates was nontechnical, powered by slaves, animals, and war. Our world is highly technical. Errors such as the above are not as harmless as they seem. In the minds of the public,  such errors corrode the scientific concept of objective truth.

We last paid the price with COVID.