Soft Tissue in Fossils |

TBC Staff

An incredible discovery that shocked the “millions of years” camp is back—with further verification [Excerpts]

Ten years ago, anyone--scientist or otherwise--claiming to have discovered soft (i.e., unfossilized) dinosaur tissue would have been ridiculed and dismissed by the scientific community as a quack or a young-earth creationist. Yet within the last decade have come two such crushing blows to the idea that dinosaurs died out some 65 million years ago.

The first was the discovery of unfossilized dinosaur tissue at the center of a T. Rex bone by Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University. That discovery--and, specifically, papers published by Schweitzer and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center scientist John Asara--started an intense debate about whether the bones truly contained dinosaur tissue (see News to Note, August 2, 2008, item #2).

Now Asara and Schweitzer have supported their previous find by confirming the existence of proteins in the soft tissues of a hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur allegedly from 80 million years ago. Their new study, reported in Science, shows that “our T. rex discovery was not a unique occurrence,” said Asara, who continued:

“This is the second dinosaur species we’ve examined and helps verify that our first discovery was not just a one-hit wonder. Our current study was the collaborative effort of a number of independent laboratories, whose findings collectively add up to a robust conclusion.”

According to Asara, the team found nearly twice the number of amino acids that were found in the T. rex tissue. The fragments “showed marked preservation of original tissues and molecules, with microstructures resembling soft, transparent vessels, cells and fibrous matrix,” despite the fact that the fossil was found buried some 23 feet (7 m) deep in sandstone. The proteins the team confirmed were collagen, laminin, and elastin, as well amino acids including hydroxylated proline.

(Answers In Genesis, News to Note, Item 1).

[TBC: For tissue to remain soft after allegedly being fossilized for 80 million years is certainly a "mystery," as paleobiologist Mary H. Schweitzer notes: "The precise recipe of environmental conditions that lead to such molecular preservation is still a mystery, Schweitzer says. However, she notes, the team’s research suggests that the sudden burial of a dinosaur carcass in a porous, sandy material seems be one key to such exceptional fossilization."

"Porous" means that liquids may pass through a substance. That would hardly be key to explaining how moisture would remain after 80 million years. In other words, it remains after 80 million years of dehyrdration. That isn't a "mystery," it is an "impossibility." Consequently, it is much simpler to conclude that 80 million years have not elapsed.]