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Author Topic:   Soft Tissue Surviving 65 Million Years?
RDK
Junior Member (Idle past 3776 days)
Posts: 26
From: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Joined: 11-23-2008


Message 1 of 77 (508728)
05-15-2009 8:20 PM


Recently I came across a Smithsonian article about a paleontologist team finding soft tissue and blood cells in T. Rex bone:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaur.html

Of course, almost as if on cue, creationists pounce on this finding and declare it a victory for their side. "There's no way soft tissue could have survived for 65 million years!" they joyously proclaim.

In standard creationist fashion they completely ignore the details. For one thing, the article states that the bones are dated to be circa 65 million years, so if it's the age that's tripping them up, then they have a problem with the bones themselves as well as the general Hell Creek region, not the tissue. And just because soft tissue happened to survive for that long a time period doesn't mean the entire field of evolutionary biology is wrong; it means that paleontologists have made some incorrect assumptions about how fossilization and decay works. Fossilization isn't an easily occurring process by any stretch of the imagination; it's relatively rare and we know very little about all the details of fossil formation. The specific situation with the T. Rex skeleton could have been a special case, something to do with how it died or how the body was preserved.

Even so, soft tissue occurring in fossil findings is nothing new to anyone familiar with paleontology. Entire mammoths that have been preserved almost perfectly have been found, and the earliest mammoths go back to about 4.8 million years. Even if soft tissue did imply an earlier date, there's no good reason for creationists to jump to 4,000-6,000 years. And they bash us for making unfounded assumptions?

Oddly enough, the article states that the nature of the soft tissue found in the bone cells points to the female T. Rex having formed a medullary layer in the femur that is common in many species of bird when they become pregnant. The medullary is used to draw calcium that forms the eggshells used to develop their young in. On top of this, the cell specimens found in the fossil have been closely compared with similar cells found in modern day ostriches, and bear many structural and functional resemblances.

Dinosaurs related to birds? How inconvenient for creationists.

In any case, there is nothing whatsoever in this research that suggests either that man and dinosaurs coexisted or that the fossilized remains studied are younger than believed. If anything, Schweitzer's find gave us an opportunity to look deeper into something we may need to have a deeper understanding of in the future: fossilization and tissue decay.


Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Coragyps, posted 05-16-2009 12:59 PM RDK has not yet responded

  
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