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giddyup
09-21-2005, 03:11 AM
Has this been discussed here before? I found nothing on it at Snopes. I know this place is "divided" between science and faith, so have at it...

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0325Dino_tissue.asp

Still soft and stretchy
Dinosaur soft tissue find—a stunning rebuttal of “millions of years”

by Dr Carl Wieland, AiG–Australia

25 March 2005

We previously announced the discovery of what seemed to be microscopic red blood cells (and immunological evidence of hemoglobin) in dinosaur bone (see Sensational dinosaur blood report! and response to critic).1 Now a further announcement, involving the same scientist (Montana State University’s Dr Mary Schweitzer2) stretches (pun intentional) the long-age paradigm beyond belief.

Not only have more blood cells been found, but also soft, fibrous tissue, and complete blood vessels. The fact that this really is unfossilized soft tissue from a dinosaur is in this instance so obvious to the naked eye that any scepticism directed at the previous discovery is completely “history”.


Science via AP
(From www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/)
A: The arrow points to a tissue fragment that is still elastic. It beggars belief that elastic tissue like this could have lasted for 65 million years.
B: Another instance of “fresh appearance” which similarly makes it hard to believe in the “millions of years”.
C: Regions of bone showing where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones which lack this structure. But these bones are claimed to be 65 million years old, yet they manage to retain this structure.



One description of a portion of the tissue was that it is “flexible and resilient and when stretched returns to its original shape”.3

The exciting discovery was apparently made when researchers were forced to break open the leg bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil to lift it by helicopter. The bone was still largely hollow and not filled up with minerals as is usual. Dr Schweitzer used chemicals to dissolve the bony matrix, revealing the soft tissue still present.4

She has been cited as saying that the blood vessels were flexible, and that in some instances, one could squeeze out their contents. Furthermore, she said, “The microstructures that look like cells are preserved in every way.” She also is reported as commenting that “preservation of this extent, where you still have this flexibility and transparency, has never been seen in a dinosaur before.”

It appears that this sort of thing has not been found before mainly because it was never looked for. Schweitzer was probably alert to the possibility because of her previous serendipitous discovery of T. rex blood cells. (It appears that the fossils were sent to her to look for soft tissues, prior to preservative being applied, because of her known interest.) In fact, Schweitzer has since found similar soft tissue in several other dinosaur specimens!


CREDIT: M. H. Schweitzer
Left: The flexible branching structures in the T. rex bone were justifiably identified as “blood vessels”. Soft tissues like blood vessels should not be there if the bones were 65 million years old.
Right: These microscopic structures were able to be squeezed out of some of the blood vessels, and can be seen to “look like cells” as the researchers said. So once again there is scope for Dr Schweitzer to ask the same question, “How could these cells last for 65 million years?”


The reason that this possibility has long been overlooked seems obvious: the overriding belief in “millions of years”. The long-age paradigm (dominant belief system) blinded researchers to the possibility, as it were. It is inconceivable that such things should be preserved for (in this case) “70 million years”.

Will they now be convinced?
Unfortunately, the long-age paradigm is so dominant that facts alone will not readily overturn it. As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn pointed out,5 what generally happens when a discovery contradicts a paradigm is that the paradigm is not discarded but modified, usually by making secondary assumptions, to accommodate the new evidence.

That’s just what appears to have happened in this case. When Schweitzer first found what appeared to be blood cells in a T. Rex specimen, she said, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: “The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’”6 Notice that her first reaction was to question the evidence, not the paradigm. That is in a way quite understandable and human, and is how science works in reality (though when creationists do that, it’s caricatured as non-scientific).

So will this new evidence cause anyone to stand up and say there’s something funny about the emperor’s clothes? Not likely. Instead, it will almost certainly become an “accepted” phenomenon that even “stretchy” soft tissues must be somehow capable of surviving for millions of years. (Because, after all, we “know” that this specimen is “70 million years old”.) See how it works?

Schweitzer’s mentor, the famous “Dinosaur Jack” Horner (upon whom Sam Neill’s lead character in the Jurassic Park movies was modeled) is already urging museums to consider cracking open some of the bones in their existing dinosaur fossils in the hope of finding more such “Squishosaurus” remains. He is excited about the potential to learn more about dinosaurs, of course. But—nothing about questioning the millions of years—sigh!

I invite the reader to step back and contemplate the obvious. This discovery gives immensely powerful support to the proposition that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old at all, but were mostly fossilized under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago at most.7

References
We have also reported on Identification of proteinaceous material in the bone of the dinosaur Iguanodon “dated” to 120 million years old (Connect Tissue Res. 2003; 44 Suppl 1:41–6). Return to text.
Also at North Carolina State University. Return to text.
Scientists recover T. rex soft tissue: 70-million-year-old fossil yields preserved blood vessels, www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/, 24 March 2005. Return to text.
Blood vessels recovered from T. rex bone, 24 March 2005, NewScientist.com news service. Return to text.
Kuhn, T.S., The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 3rd edition, University of Chicago Press, 1996. Return to text.
Science 261:,/b>160, July 9, 1993. Return to text.
Some dinosaur fossils could have formed in post-Flood local catastrophes. Return to text.

MartianMan
09-21-2005, 03:32 AM
Haha. I had a good laugh out of it. Am I suppose to respond to an article that tries to make a point that it doesn't really make?

Ottomaton
09-21-2005, 03:55 AM
This is an email conversation with the gentleman who was in charge of the graduate students who made the discovery (http://homepages.ius.edu/adrian/g180/jackhorner.txt) I've colored the professor's responses in blue to (hopefuly) make the text more legable.


From: John R. Horner [jhorner@gemini.oscs.montana.edu]
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 6:41 PM
To: Crenshaw, Adrian
Subject: RE: Student needs info: Dinosaur red blood cells


Yes, Adrian, you certainly may quote me.

Jack

>Dr. Horner,
> Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. There seems to
>be very little information on the web concerning Dr. Schweitzer's work
>except on Young Earth Creationists' sites so many may be mislead by bad
>interpretations of the data, may I quote you on my web page so that others
>looking for the same information as I can find it? Thanks again for your
>time.
>
>Adrian
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: John R. Horner [mailto:jhorner@gemini.oscs.montana.edu]
>Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 9:35 AM
>To: Crenshaw, Adrian
>Subject: Re: Student needs info: Dinosaur red blood cells
>
>
>Hi Adrian,.....Young Earth Creationists are like the "Flat Earth" people of
>last century, they latch on to pieces of straw, ignoring the bale.
>
>No cells have been found in any dinosaurs, but the remnants of red blood
>cells have been hypothesized on the basis of Heme, a kind of iron produced
>biologically. The discovery of heme, by my graduate student Mary
>Schweitzer, in a skeleton of T-rex (Not SUE, however, but the Museum of the
>Rockies Wankel T-rex) indicates that the remanants of cells can be
>preserved.
>
>1. Was it really blood? NO
>
>2. Does it mean anything? It means that under optimal conditions the
>fossil record can preserve some very interesting things that make it
>possible to hypothesize the nature of extinct organisms.
>
>Jack
>
>
>>Hello Dr. Horner,
>> I'm a college student with an interest in paleontology and I was
>>wondering if you could point me in the right direction. This e-mail really
>>should go to Dr. Mary Schweitzer, but I can find no e-mail address for her
>>and its my understanding that she studied with you. Ok, I need the straight
>>dope on something. Some young earth creationist sites have been reporting
>>that red blood cells have been found in a fossil T-Rex named "Sue"
>>(currently at the Field museum in Chicago). The young earthers are claming
>>this as proof that Sue was only a few thousand years old. Two questions:
>>
>>1. Was it really blood?
>>2. If it was, does it mean anything? (I don't know how long to expect such
>>cells to last)
>>
>>I would love to know more about this, but I have heard very little about it
>>from the evolutionists side and looking for objective information on the
>web
>>has turned up nil (just more creationist sites with the same or similar
>>article). I hope you read this and respond, I know you are very busy man
>>with all the research your doing and all the science shows I see you in.
>>
>>Thanks and good day,
>>
>>Adrian Duane Crenshaw


Personally, I really do appreciate that they approach arguements on their subject with a sense of fairness but one explanation from that website made me laugh out loud. They seem to start from the belief that genesis is 100% true, and bend the evidence to fit the premise. I respect their attitude, but I question their logic.

Here's the arguement that I speak of. (http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/405.asp) Excerpts below are the bits that I found silly. I've parsed the other stuff out.


Question
Some stars are millions of light-years away. Since a light-year is the distance traveled by light in one year, does this mean that the universe is very old?

Answer
Perhaps the most commonly used explanation is that God created light ‘on its way,’ so that Adam could see the stars immediately without having to wait years for the light from even the closest ones to reach the earth. While we should not limit the power of God, this has some rather immense difficulties.

It would mean that whenever we look at the behavior of a very distant object, what we see happening never happened at all. For instance, say we see an object a million light-years away which appears to be rotating; that is, the light we receive in our telescopes carries this information ‘recording’ this behavior. However, according to this explanation, the light we are now receiving did not come from the star, but was created ‘en route,’ so to speak.

This would mean that for a 10,000-year-old universe, that anything we see happening beyond about 10,000 light-years away is actually part of a gigantic picture show of things that have not actually happened, showing us objects which may not even exist


This violates Occam's razor. Why would God go to all this trouble to essentially deceive us? It is an example of bending the evidence to fit the conclusion when a much more logical conclusion stares you in the face.

I recently read a reference to an old quote defining a "savage" as someone who sees ghosts, but not the law of gravity. I can't find the source, but in a vague way that seems to summarize the argument above.

Again I generally think they play by the rules of discussion, and appreciate them for that. I just don't think that some of their answers make much sense.

wnes
09-21-2005, 08:33 AM
I hope christiananswers.net have their relevant section updated based on this dinosaur soft tissue discovery.