New Dino Soft Tissue Explanation Is Toast
Evolutionists cannot deny the presence of soft tissue in dinosaur bones, but their explanation burns up in the heat of critical analysis.
Finally, some scientists have taken a hard look at the evidence of soft tissue in dinosaur bones. In Nature Communications, Jasmina Wiemann and six others, including noted paleontologists Derek Briggs and Mark Norell, bravely face the question: how can soft tissues that degrade rapidly still exist in fossils they believe are over 100 million years old? A press release from Yale is frank about the problem this poses for evolutionists who take long ages for granted:
Fossil soft tissue in dinosaur bones has been a controversial topic among researchers for quite some time. Hard tissues, such as bones, eggs, teeth, and enamel scales, are able to survive fossilization extremely well. Soft tissues, such as blood vessels, cells, and nerves — which are stored inside the hard tissue — are more delicate and thought to decay rapidly after death. These soft tissues are composed mainly of proteins, which are believed to completely degrade within about four million years.
Yet dinosaur bones are much older, roughly 100 million years old, and they occasionally preserve organic structures similar to cells and blood vessels. Various attempts to resolve this paradox have failed to provide a conclusive answer.
Notice the admissions they just made:
- Soft tissue has been a controversial topic for “quite some time” (more than 20 years, actually)
- Delicate tissues should decay (and do decay) rapidly after death.
- Proteins should completely degrade within 4 million years.
- The organic structures found in dinosaur bones resemble “blood vessels, cells and nerves.”
- Previous attempts to explain how they could last 100 million years have failed.
The Toast Hypothesis
Now comes their hypothesis, but it will it be toast like the earlier attempts? Actually, yes:
Burnt toast and dinosaur bones have a common trait, according to a new, Yale-led study. They both contain chemicals that, under the right conditions, transform original proteins into something new. It’s a process that may help researchers understand how soft-tissue cells inside dinosaur bones can survive for hundreds of millions of years.
Notice that they say their hypothesis “may” help long-agers come to grips with this major problem. Does it?
The hypothesis relies on (1) an oxidative environment, (2) sandstone or limestone, (3) formation of end products that resist decay, (4) the end products being hydrophobic, so they are not damaged by water. If you get these conditions, they believe, you might get a matrix to extrude from the original material that can preserve the soft tissues for hundreds of millions of years by forming cross-links between the proteins.
Accordingly, one should not find soft tissue in reducing environments. Their hypothesis can therefore be falsified. They tested some biological material in the lab, identified the brown stains they saw, and studied it for the end products they expected might preserve the soft tissues. They did not, however, watch it for 100 million years to see if it resisted decay.
Setting up Toaster Targets
Basically, they created a “maybe” story that can send paleontologists looking for more soft tissue in certain environments:
“Our results show how chemical alteration explains the fossilization of these soft tissues and identifies the types of environment where this process occurs,” Briggs said. “The payoff is a way of targeting settings in the field where this preservation is likely to occur, expanding an important source of evidence of the biology and ecology of ancient vertebrates.”
Why, this “targeting” of settings might even help Darwin on his snipe hunt:
In identifying brown vertebrate hard tissue fossils in light colored (oxidative) sediments as a target, our observation provides a first field guide to the search for endogenous soft tissues in fossil vertebrate remains as a basis for addressing a range of evolutionary questions.
But wait; if field researchers don’t believe that soft tissue can be found in reducing environments, will they even look for it there? Won’t they tend to look for evidence to confirm this new “toast” hypothesis? Finding more burnt “toast” on dinosaur bones (i.e., the end-products they believe can stabilize soft tissue), won’t they claim it proves that soft tissue can last hundreds of millions of years?
Manipulating the Bread
If you look at their Methods section, they took 35 samples of bone and, after photographing them, decided which ones came from oxidizing vs reducing conditions. Then they cleaned the samples ethanol, pulverized them, and decalcified them by washing them in hydrochloric acid “until complete structural disintegration was reached.” How many would suspect this might alter the raw material? They tried to be careful to avoid contamination, but outsiders might need to judge whether they were careful enough. Then, on the basis of brown precipitates in solution, they decided whether the proposed decay-resisting end products formed. This is certainly a lot more manipulation than the visibly-obvious microscope probing of stretchy material that Mary Schweitzer demonstrated on 60 Minutes. An unbiased observer of that program, which elicited gasps from the host, would certainly not think that was decay-resistant material that had undergone significant diagenesis (chemical modification since burial). It looked like the real original biological material, color, texture, stretchiness and all.
The best response to this new hypothesis might be to just look at Figure 1 in their paper, where they show blood vessels, osteocytes (bone cells) complete with filipodia (tiny hairlike projections) from dinosaurs, and spongy layers from a rhea and a dinosaur that appear identical. See for yourself in the open-access paper. Read where these came from, and how old the moyboys say they are. The new hypothesis requires that all these fine details had not significantly modified for over 100 million years, despite all that time for changes to have occurred in pH, oxygen, water, bioturbation and much more. Who are you going to believe, desperate evolutionists concocting a theory that’s toast to hang onto their precious millions of years, or your lyin’ eyes?
Look at the desperation in this statement from the paper, dressed up in jargon to sound less desperate:
The maximum longevity of original proteinaceous matter in vertebrate hard tissues has been estimated at 3.8 million years, although molecular remnants have been reported from older rocks. Thus, the preservation of originally proteinaceous soft tissues in Mesozoic fossils, although independently confirmed for oligopeptide-grade degradation products, appears anomalous not least because the preservation of originally proteinaceous remnants in fossil vertebrate hard tissues seems to be biased towards oxidative depositional environments, which are thought to favor decay. Reconciling this apparent contradiction requires a general mechanism to explain the potential transformation and stabilization of proteinaceous matter through diagenesis over millions of years. Such preservation has been attributed to isolation and stabilization by incorporation into minerals, organo-metallic complexing, and physical or chemical binding to mineral surfaces, and anhydrous sugar-protein crosslinking processes, but none of these models provides an explanation for patterns of originally proteinaceous soft tissue preservation in vertebrate hard tissues in deep time.
They are at their wit’s end. They’ve been launching ideas for years, and each one sinks. They have to make up a story – any story – to keep the creationists from having a victory party, where they will say, “We told you so! Dinosaurs are young. Charlie and Charlie’s* millions of years are a myth! *Lyell, Darwin
As usual, the evolutionists ignore creationist material on the subject. They cite six of Mary Schweitzer’s papers, but ignore Mark Armitage, who found osteocytes in a Triceratops horn and published a peer-reviewed paper on it (that cost him his job at a state university). They ignore all the other reports in creation magazines and creation journals. If you want to hear material on this fascinating subject that has not been whitewashed in the Darwin acid bath, you will have to read our previous articles tagged “dinosaur soft tissue” and check these other resources:
- Kevin Anderson explains the significance of soft tissue in the film Is Genesis History
- Bob Enyart keeps a running tally of soft tissue finds, with references, at Real Science Radio
- Brian Thomas has written several articles on the subject for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR)
So far, evolutionists have only focused on the preservation of proteins in dinosaur fossils. If they ever seriously address the reports of radiocarbon and DNA, that will be a bridge too far. The whole geologic column will come crashing down.