Dinosaur Soft Tissue Issue is Here to Stay | The Institute for Creation Research

Dinosaur Soft Tissue Issue is Here to Stay

In recent decades, soft, squishy tissues have been discovered inside fossilized dinosaur bones. They seem so fresh that it appears as though the bodies were buried only a few thousand years ago.

Since many think of a fossil as having had the original bone material replaced by minerals, the presence of actual bone--let alone pliable blood vessels, red blood cells, and proteins inside the bone--is quite extraordinary. These finds also present a dilemma. Given the fact that organic materials like blood vessels and blood cells rot, and the rates at which certain proteins decay, how could these soft tissues have been preserved for ten thousand, let alone 65 million or more, years?

These soft tissues have met with hard resistance from mainstream science, and some scientists have even discounted or ignored them. But fresh studies keep finding fresh tissue, making the issue difficult to dismiss. Either the vast evolutionary ages assigned to these finds are dramatically erroneous, or "we really don't understand decay" rates of the soft tissues and proteins.1

Paleontologists who have analyzed the tissues, visible through their microscopes and squeezable with their tweezers, insist that something is fundamentally wrong with laboratory data on biochemical decay rates.2 In turn, biochemists are confident that their repeatable experiments show that the soft tissues should not be there after all this time. To try to get around the hard facts of soft tissues, some scientists have even proposed that the blood vessels and red blood cells in question were bacterial slime. This was thoroughly refuted, however, by research showing that the dinosaur tissue contains a collagen protein that bacteria do not produce.3

This dilemma between the science of biochemistry and the belief in millions of years is not going away. In addition to the well-characterized tissues from a T. rex reported by paleontologist Mary Schweitzer in 1997,4 2005,5 and 2007,6 new soft tissue finds keep surfacing. Schweitzer published a report on another sample in Science in 2009,3 this time from a hadrosaur, in which the precise characteristics of dinosaur biochemicals were verified by a third party. This was necessary to confirm the reality of the soft tissues to an incredulous scientific community. (Similarly, Schweitzer's 2007 results have also been verified.7)

Yet another hadrosaur has been described by UK scientists as "absolutely gobsmacking."8 Its tissues were "extremely well preserved" and contained "soft-tissue replacement structures and associated organic compounds."9

Schweitzer's team recently concluded that "the most parsimonious explanation, thus far unfalsified, is that original molecules persist in some Cretaceous dinosaur fossils."3 But biochemical decay rates showing that soft tissues would be dust after all this time are also thus far unfalsified (i.e., have not been disproved). Therefore, the millions-of-years age assignments must go.

However, if the deep time goes, then so does the grand story of evolution that depends on it. For many, that is too sacred an assumption to dare alter. Biblical data, however, not only provide the timeframe for the death of these dinosaurs in Flood deposits a few thousand years ago, but also a mode of deposition in agreement with observable data that their demise occurred when they "fell into a watery grave."8

References

  1. Fields, H. 2006. Dinosaur Shocker. Smithsonian magazine online. Published May 2006, accessed July 20, 2009.
  2. For example, see Bada, J. L., X. S. Wang and H. Hamilton. 1999. Preservation of key biomolecules in the fossil record: current knowledge and future challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 354 (1379): 77-87.
  3. Schweitzer, M. H. et al. 2009. Biomolecular Characterization and Protein Sequences of the Campanian Hadrosaur B. canadensis. Science. 324 (5927): 626-631.
  4. Schweitzer, M. and T. Staedter. 1997. The Real Jurassic Park. Earth. 6 (3): 55-57.
  5. Schweitzer, M. et al. 2005. Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. Science. 307 (5717): 1952.
  6. Asara, J. M. et al. 2007. Protein Sequences from Mastodon and Tyrannosaurus Rex Revealed by Mass Spectrometry. Science. 316 (5822): 280-285.
  7. Bern, M., B. S. Phinney and D. Goldberg. 2009. Reanalysis of Tyrannosaurus rex Mass Spectra. Journal of Proteome Research. Published online July 15, 2009.
  8. Mummified dinosaur skin yields up new secrets. The University of Manchester press release, July 1, 2009.
  9. Manning, P. L. et al. 2009. Mineralized soft-tissue structure and chemistry in a mummified hadrosaur from the Hell Creek Formation, North Dakota (USA). Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Published online before print, July 1, 2009.

Image Credit: Christian Darkin / Photo Researchers, Inc.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Thomas, B. 2009. Dinosaur Soft Tissue Issue Is Here to Stay. Acts & Facts. 38 (9): 18.

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Forged in Faith: The Hard Work of Making Disciples | Creation.Live...
Jesus commanded that we make disciples, but what does that mean in this modern world? Has the church gone soft?   Hosts Trey and...

NEWS
Algal Microfossils Show No Evolution
Creation scientists maintain that if something is living, then it’s automatically complex. This applies to organisms ranging from a single bacterium...

CREATION PODCAST
Rapid Erosion Devastates Deep Time! | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Erosion takes place slowly, over millions of years, right? That's what mainstream science tells us anyway. Or, does erosion happen far more...

NEWS
Flood Solves Land and Marine Mixing Near the Andes
A recent article published by Hakai Magazine claims to reveal secrets of an ancient inland sea that existed east of the Andes Mountains,1...

NEWS
T. rex Out of Nowhere
As one of the largest predators ever at 45 feet long, it’s no wonder school children are enthralled with Tyrannosaurus rex. But where did the...

NEWS
February 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11 NKJV) ICR February 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Evolutionist and ICR Research Both Attempting to Explain Fossil...
Recent evolutionary research is attempting to provide an explanation for why some animals became smaller over time. Or equivalently, it is attempting...

NEWS
Animal Features Did Not Evolve
There’s no doubt that animals in God’s creation have iconic features. The question is, did these features evolve or were they created that...

CREATION PODCAST
Taking a Closer Look at Uniquely Human Eyes | The Creation Podcast:...
While we might take them for granted, our eyes are incredibly complex organs. How do they work? Is it possible for eyes to have evolved over long...

NEWS
The Conserved Complexity of Eye Cell Types
The late leading evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, said the eye appeared at least 40 times “during the evolution of animal diversity.”1...