July 22, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Bear Tooth DNA Yields New Date Record: 400,000 Years

According to a story posted on Yahoo News, Swedish scientists found intact DNA in a bear tooth claimed to be 400,000 years old.  The team leader remarked, “It is usually hard to find DNA that is older than 100,000 years, and work on fossilized DNA mostly focuses on material that is a few tens of thousands of years old, at most.”

Is it credible to believe these fragile molecules could survive for more than a few thousand years, let alone half a million?  If and when they find DNA in dinosaur soft tissue (02/22/2006), evolutionary dating is going to be stretched to the snapping point.  But we’ve already seen that Charlie Gumby is as flexible as a cartoon superhero.

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Categories: Fossils, Mammals

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