February 22, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

Ignoring the Sauropod in the Room

Evolutionists continue to ignore
dinosaur soft tissue as they
pontificate about fossilization


The discovery of intact, original soft tissue in dinosaur bones should have been a game-changer. Evolutionists still have no explanation for it, other than the absurd claim that the tissues must be able to last for over 100 million Darwin Years. This is like Lucy in Peanuts pontificating about a large black object on the sidewalk being the queen bug, with all the other bugs serving it. When Charlie Brown pointed out it was a jelly bean, Lucy pondered aloud, “I wonder how a jelly bean ever got to be queen?” In like manner, Darwinists are pretending that dinosaur soft tissue could last for a hundred million Darwin Years.

Understandably, Darwin Party loyalists are reluctant to part with their precious Deep Timeline, but one would think they would at least consider the evidence of soft tissue in their discussions. Watch as two news items waltz around this sauropod in the room, ignoring it even exists.

When does a bone become a fossil? (New Scientist, 15 Feb 2024). Michael Marshall had a golden opportunity to discuss dinosaur soft tissue in this article, but ignored it completely. Sure, he focuses mainly on human bones, but he talks about the speed of mineralization of bones, a process called taphonomy. “As organic material in a bone gets replaced by minerals over time, it becomes a fossil,” he begins. “But that can happen at different rates even within the same individual.” Granted, but at the slowest possible rate, how long would it take?

To get my head around this, I’ve been exchanging emails with Jessica Thompson at Yale University. One of her interests is taphonomy: the study of how organisms decay – or are preserved or fossilised – over time.

Marshall and Thompson discussed conditions like temperature, pH and groundwater.

You can even get different levels of preservation within the same individual. “If there is a burial in a cave and one bone has a drip over it that is constantly dripping mineral-rich water… it will fossilise differently from another part of the skeleton that is lying in a more dry area,” Thompson says.

Even so, a bone becomes a fossil when it has become completely replaced by minerals, or permineralized. What is the upper limit on the age of a human fossil? Thompson says it is “theoretically possible” for some material to remain 6.5 million years, but practically speaking, the two agree, it is far shorter than that: about 40,000 years.

This means the hominin extinctions all happened just a little too long ago for us to have much hope of finding unfossilised remains. It might be possible to find some Neanderthal bones that have fossilised unusually slowly and are still somewhat “fresh”, but we’d have to be lucky: while 40,000 years isn’t a huge span of time compared with the full hominin timeline, it’s long enough for fossilisation.

In other words, ours is the only species for which we are likely to find unfossilised remains. The others have turned to stone.

But 40,000 years is just 3/5 of 1% of the length of time ago that the dinosaurs allegedly perished. Their statement cannot be true. For nearly three decades now, scientists have found blood vessels, collagen, proteins, DNA, apparent red blood cells, mummified skin and bone cells from dinosaurs. This is prima facie evidence that the Darwinian timeline is wrong! Why won’t Marshall and Thompson even look at the evidence fairly? (See Brian Thomas’s list of published papers about soft tissue.)

A Lighthouse in the Gobi Desert (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, 14 Feb 2024). This article discusses fossils with “exceptional preservation” (known by the German word lagerstätten ), and what they reveal about evolution, if anything.

A new study quantifies the impact of the world’s great fossil sites on our understanding of evolutionary relationships between fossil groups and discovers the key to understanding lizard evolutionary history in the Gobi Desert.

Exceptional preservation: isn’t that a perfect opportunity to bring up dinosaur soft tissue? They talk about all major animal groups, but no mention of it. Nothing! They mention soft tissue only in reference to well-preserved bodies that they believe are permineralized.

“We often think of lagerstätten deposits as preserving soft tissues and organisms that rarely fossilize, or especially rich concentrations of fossils. What makes the Gobi squamate record unique, is that it includes both exceptionally complete skeletons, and a high diversity of species from across the group’s family tree,” said Smith.

This is dodging the sauropod in the room. What are they afraid of? Bring it up! To fail to mention this game-changing fact amounts to misleading the public.

Quantifying the effects of exceptional fossil preservation on the global availability of phylogenetic data in deep time (PLoS One, 14 Feb 2024). This is the peer-reviewed open-access paper on which the above press release was based. I read the whole paper, looking for any hint that the authors might address the sauropod in the room: the presence of original, un-mineralized dinosaur soft tissue. Again, nothing. They completely ignored it, even though they discussed dinosaurs, birds and lizards. They don’t even refer to Mary Schweitzer’s important work in the footnotes. Instead, it’s all about “understanding evolution.”

Fossil deposits with exceptional preservation (“lagerstätten”) provide important details not typically preserved in the fossil record, such that they hold an outsized influence on our understanding of biodiversity and evolution. In particular, the potential bias imparted by this so-called “lagerstätten effect” remains a critical, but underexplored aspect of reconstructing evolutionary relationships. Here, we quantify the amount of phylogenetic information available in the global fossil records of 1,327 species of non-avian theropod dinosaurs, Mesozoic birds, and fossil squamates (e.g., lizards, snakes, mosasaurs), and then compare the influence of lagerstätten deposits on phylogenetic information content and taxon selection in phylogenetic analyses to other fossil-bearing deposits.

On they go with their charts and tables, concluding that different kinds of lagerstätten can and do bias their “understanding” of evolutionary relationships in some cases. But stop ignoring the sauropod in the room! Dinosaurs with original blood vessels, blood cells and bone cells are screaming at them. Are they deaf?

What kind of “phylogenetic understanding” of “evolution” can be gained by ignoring this significant fact of fossils: original, un-mineralized soft tissue? Thomas’s list shows that the phenomenon appears throughout the geologic column. If decay and fossilization are as rapid as taphonomy tests indicate, it has the effect of squeezing the entire fossil record into the recent past. It changes the whole story of life on earth. Is that why evolutionists cannot bear talking about it?

Common Sense About Fossilization

In his recent presentation for Logos Research Associates, Dr Leonard Brand, professor at Loma Linda University and a field geologist with wide experience and observation, talked a lot about taphonomy. He showed what happens to animal remains when they die: they decay rapidly. He showed that very special circumstances, like rapid burial in a flood, are required to make a fossil, especially one with exceptional preservation. He mentions soft tissue as a defeater for deep time.

Dr Brand’s focus in the presentation was on whether the post-Flood boundary corresponds to strata labeled Paleocene or Pliocene, and how the evidence from fossils changed his own mind to place the boundary at younger dates. Aside from that purpose of his talk, it’s clear that he sees the observable, tangible, visible fossil evidence as proof they are not and cannot be millions of years old.

Dr Brand was also the principal investigator of a spectacular fossil discovery in Peru: hundreds of perfectly-preserved whale fossils buried in diatomaceous earth. He showed a photo of those fossils in his talk. We reported on that find back on 2 Feb 2004, and shared why that discovery also required recent rapid burial.

We highly recommend seeing Dr Brand’s presentation on the Logos Research Associates YouTube channel. Why is it, do you think, that it is only Biblical creationists who are talking openly about original soft tissue in fossils, and its implications?





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Categories: Dinosaurs, Fossils

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