HOW CAN SOFT TISSUE FROM DINOSAURS LAST THOUSANDS OF YEARS?
Hey good morning everybody! Can you believe it is already 2015? And what a bang it came in here with a snow storm! Ahh but along with the snow storm comes great beauty. But here where I live, the snow doesn’t last very long as our average winter temperature is in the 50’s F (around 13 degrees C).
|Hadrosaur fossil that contain soft tissue. Picture from AIG|
And speaking of things that last (or rather don’t last), it has taken me a while to understand how soft tissue found within dinosaur fossils could last thousands of years. I can certainly understand why they don’t last millions of years--any biomass would long disintegrate before then…but wouldn’t that happen after a few thousand years too? Or even eight or nine hundred years? After all, that is a long time for what was once living tissue to retain its composition.
The answer is no. And this is why. Just like anything else soft tissue is subject to the second law of thermodynamics; everything goes from order to disorder unless energy is added. When an organic form (human, animal, or vegetation) dies, energy is no longer added to the body, the “system”. So everything begins to break down. Now in the case of fossils, where the soft tissue is encased by the surrounding mineralized structure, disintegration by reaction with oxygen is reduced. However, scientists have conducted experiments and there is one other factor that plays a major role. Temperature. Let’s take a closer look.
|Photos of Hadrosaur soft tissue including blood vessels, red blood cells and collagen. |
Picture from AIG.
“Scientists are doing lab experiments to see how long biological tissues and molecules can survive. So far, they have examined collagen and DNA. It’s nowhere close to 65 million years.
“Collagen Survival Rate—900,000 Years Max. Researchers placed bone fragments from modern cattle and humans into vials of distilled water. They kept a high temperature constant for 32 days. On a regular basis, they took samples to see how much of the collagen protein survived. From this, they calculated a rate of decay. This common protein might last several hundred thousand years, but no more than one million.
|Photo of T. Rex soft tissue. Picture from AIG|
“DNA Survival Rate—650,000 Years Max. Researchers examined 158 Moa bones buried in New Zealand at different known times, over the past few centuries. These bones were preserved under similar conditions and temperatures. The researchers then compared how much mitochondrial DNA survived in each specimen. From this, they calculated the rate of decay. At this rate, DNA would no longer be detectable after 650,000 years.
“Collagen is a tough, ropy protein found throughout bones, making them resilient and flexible. Oxygen and other chemicals react with collagen, whittling it into tiny molecules over time. How long does it last? Experiments reveal that it depends on the temperature. Heat increases the number of collisions between atoms and thus the rate of destructive chemical reactions. Bone collagen is so tough that if held at a constant temperature of 45°F (7°C), it might last for several hundred thousand years, but no more than one million. These results assume optimum burial and preservation conditions. So, hard science confirms bone collagen could have lasted, even at warmer temperatures, for the 4,300 or so years since Noah’s Flood, but should not have lasted a million years…(In addition) more recently, scientists analyzed the integrity of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 158 fossil Moa bones of various ages to determine a decay rate for mtDNA. Moas were giant flightless birds probably hunted to extinction several hundred years ago, last alive in New Zealand. The researchers calibrated their DNA decay rates with carbon dates taken from the same fossils. Accordingly, bone mtDNA could last no more than 650,000 years before it totally disintegrated. So, even the oldest possible ages for these biochemicals keep them from lasting one million years.”1 On the other hand these scientific analysis prove that soft tissue from dinosaur could easily last thousands of years.
|In most museums, science textbooks, and professional journals dinosaurs are listed as millions of years old. If that were true then there would be no soft tissue in these animals’ fossils. |
Picture from AIG
As a matter of fact, in the Jan.-Mar. 2015 Answers in Genesis, “Answers” Magazine, author Brian Thomas of the article “Solid Answers on Soft Tissue” has neatly wrapped up a list of quite a few original proteins found in fossils:
“Another observation confirms…that a recent Flood formed most fossils: the preservation of original proteins. A responsible look at the many scientific reports of original proteins in fossils from around the globe reveals that paleontologists have detected animal proteins in fossils like these:
- Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and a duckbill dinosaur from Montana
- Dinosaur eggs from Argentina
- Embryonic sauropod from southern China
- Psittacosaurus bones from China’s Gobi Desert
- Archaeopteryx from Germany
- Lizard from Wyoming
- Seismosaur from New Mexico
- Mosasaurs from Kansas and Belgium
- Scorpion from Pennsylvania
“The most amazing report I read recently described tube worm fossils from pre-Cambrian rock layers, obtained from deep Siberian cores. Because of their intact and still-flexible proteins, I almost laughed out loud over their evolutionary age assignment of 551 million years.
Researchers have used a wide variety of techniques to detect these proteins. The ultimate test is molecular sequencing, and secular scientists determined the sequence of amino acids in the tyrannosaur and duckbill collagens. But they have also used other very reliable techniques to inexpensively identify many kinds of proteins in Mesozoic fossils.6 Often, the proteins have lost much of their original integrity, but retain enough for clear identification. Like castle ruins, we expect these proteins to have crumbled only partly over several thousand years, but after a million years these proteins should have lost all their structure. Yet they persist, pointing to thousands of years.”
Ahh yes...I do believe our Creator God has thought of everything. He has included everything we need to understand our world. And even more so in this modern age when we have so many tools available to us to decipher the truth with precision.
It is a good time to be alive, and it is a good time to share this knowledge, for the harvest is plenty.
God bless and take care!
This week in the night skies; for the northern lats; “Wednesday, January 7. This evening you can finally see Comet Lovejoy in a moonlight-free sky again — if you look within an hour or so after dark (for most of the world's mid-northern latitudes). The comet is closest to Earth tonight, and it's also entering its brightest two weeks at 5th or 4th magnitude. But you'll have to know exactly the correct point in the sky to examine! See our updated article with finder chart: How To See Comet Lovejoy Tonight.”2
For the southern lats; “Even with full Moon, comet Lovejoy has been easy to see in binoculars. With the Moon waning and rising later the comet, which is brightening as it heads towards maximum brightness on January 11 should now be easily seen as a dimmish fuzzy star with the unaided eye. In binoculars it looks like a large ball of cotton wool and in even small telescopes a thin faint tail can be seen. For the next 7-8 days the obvious constellations of Orion and Taurus are your guide to finding the comet. The comet is currently around magnitude 4.8, and may get as bright as 4.5 or hopefully even brighter.”3