Fossil Soft Tissue

“Bone slices from the fossilized thigh bone (femur) of a Tyrannosaurus rex found in the Hell Creek formation of Montana were studied under the microscope by [Dr. Mary] Schweitzer.  To her amazement, the bone showed what appeared to be blood vessels of the type seen in bone and marrow, and these contained what appeared to be red blood cells with nuclei, typical of reptiles and birds (but not mammals).  The vessels even appeared to be lined with specialized endothelial cells found in all blood vessels.”  Dr. David Menton, Answers, Oct.-Dec. 2012, p.50, 51

SOFT TISSUE IN FOSSILS

By David Menton –  Answers Magazine – Oct.-Dec. 2012, p. 50,51

ASK THE AVERAGE layperson how he or she knows that the earth is millions or billions of years old, and that person will probably mention the dinosaurs, which nearly everybody “knows” died off 65 million years ago. A recent discovery by Dr. Mary Schweitzer, however, has given reason for all but committed evolutionists to question this assumption. Bone slices from the fossilized thigh bone (femur) of a Tyrannosau-rus rex found in the Hell Creek forma­tion of Montana were studied under the microscope by Schweitzer. To her amazement, the bone showed what  appeared to be blood vessels of the type seen in bone and marrow, and these contained what appeared to be red blood cells with nuclei, typical of reptiles and birds (but not mam-. mals). The vessels even appeared to be lined with specialized endothelial cells found in all blood vessels.

Amazingly, the bone marrow con­tained what appeared to be flexible tissue. Initially, some skeptical scien­tists suggested that bacterial biofilms (dead bacteria aggregated in a slime) formed what only appear to be blood vessels and bone cells. Recently Sch­weitzer and coworkers found bio­chemical evidence for intact frag­ments of the protein collagen, which is the building block of connective tissue. This is important because collagen is a highly distinctive pro­tein not made by bacteria. (See Sch­weitzer’s review article in Scien­tific American [December 2010, pp. 62-69] titled “Blood from Stone.”)Some evolutionists have strongly criticized   Schweitzer’s   conclusions because   they   are   understandably reluctant to concede the existence of blood vessels, cells with nuclei, tissue

Elasticity, and intact protein fragments in a dinosaur bone dated at 68 million years old. Other evolutionists, who ‘find Schweitzer’s evidence too compelling to ignore, simply conclude that there is some previously unrecog­nized form of fossilization that preserves cells and pro­tein fragments over tens of millions of years. Needless to say, no evolutionist has publically considered the pos­sibility that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old. An obvious question arises from Schweitzer’s work: is it even remotely plausible that blood vessels, cells, and |protein fragments can exist largely intact over 68 million years? While many consider such long-term preservation [of tissue and cells to be very unlikely, the problem is that no human or animal remains are known with certainty to the 68 million years old. But if creationists are right, dino­saurs died off only 3,000-4,000 years ago. So would we expect the preservation of vessels, cells, and complex mol-lecules of the type that Schweitzer reports for biological tissues historically known to be 3,000-4,000 years old?

The answer is yes. Many studies of Egyp­tian mummies and other humans of this old age (confirmed by historical evidence) show all the sorts of detail Schweitzer reported in her T. rex. In addition to Egyptian mummies, the Tyrolean iceman, found in the Alps Hn 1991 and believed to be about 5,000 years old, shows such incredible preservation of DNA and other microscopic detail.

We conclude that the preservation of vessels, cells, and complex molecules in dinosaurs is entirely consistent with a young-earth creationist perspective but is highly implau­sible with the evolutionist’s perspective about dinosaurs that died off millions of years ago. ■

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