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Blinkered scientists look past the obvious

We recently received this fascinating account from a UK correspondent, prompted by David Catchpoole’s recent article Double decade dinosaur disquiet in Creation magazine:


Dear Dr Catchpoole,

I was pleased to read your article “Double decade dinosaur disquiet” in the 2014 Vol 36 No.1 of Creation Magazine. What particularly interested me was your mentioning how a T. rex skeleton had a distinctly cadaverous odour. Also the later quote, “Oh yeah, all Hell Creek bones smell.”

This is the first time I can remember the mention of fossils smelling in any literature I have read, and my interest in Creation issues began with the reading of The Genesis Flood back in 1969.

At one time I taught in a primary school in Oxfordshire, UK. During 1972 I had a second year junior class of 8.5-9.5 year children.

One day several boys brought in chunks of limestone from the local quarry. We broke these up and extracted many beautifully preserved bivalve shells. These we mounted on ceramic tiles and varnished.

They were quite splendid specimens and the children were delighted with them and subsequently took them home for the holidays!

What impressed and perhaps astonished me was the experience of opening up a piece of limestone with a hammer and chisel. The limestone was densely packed with sea shells and, as it split apart and the dust arose, there was a distinct smell of shell fish and seaside aromas!

Interestingly this led on to quite a bit of discussion with the children about the age of the rocks.

If one could still smell these dead sea creatures then they couldn’t possibly be millions of years old—could they? Instead of evolution, Noah’s Flood was the real answer to fossilization and the explanation of how sea shells and multitudes of other creatures were destroyed and rapidly buried.

After this many questions and ideas were raised by the children regarding the Bible and the Lord Jesus, including His second coming!

So our exciting experience breaking up rocks was by no means a wasted time.

Yours sincerely in Christ Jesus,

Bob L
(United Kingdom)

CMI’s David Catchpoole and Warren Nunn respond:

Thank you Bob for your encouragement. The reactions of scientists to cadaverous smells from fossils as well as finding blood cells, blood vessels and proteins like collagen in them is a bit like those cartoon characters with a bewildered look in their eyes who can’t see the obvious—even though the other characters and the audience can see it all too easily.

Dr Mary Schweitzer and others who report such occurrences—if they did not have their evolutionary blinkers on—might have concluded (as did your students) that fossils from which smells emanate could not be millions of years old.

It’s worthwhile going back over some of the developments since Dr Schweitzer’s initial findings in the 1990s which shocked evolutionists because the ‘shocks’ have kept coming.

  • In 2005, flexible ligaments and blood vessels. See Dinosaur soft-tissue find—a stunning rebuttal of ‘millions of years’.
  • In 2009, the fragile proteins elastin and laminin, and further confirmation of the presence of collagen (an important protein in bone). The protein evidence was inescapably building up against long-age ideas, adding to the 2003 finding of osteocalcin in dinosaur bone. If the dinosaur fossils really were tens of millions of years old as claimed, none of these proteins should have been present. See Dinosaur soft tissue and protein—even more confirmation!
  • In 2012, bone cells (osteocytes), the proteins actin and tubulin, and even DNA! Under measured rates of decomposition, these proteins, and especially DNA, could not have lasted for the presumed 65 million years since dinosaur extinction. This is dramatic support for the Bible’s timeline, with its maximum age of the earth of 6,000 years. See DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bone.
  • In 2012, radiocarbon in dinosaur bones. But carbon-14 decays so quickly that if the remains were even 100,000 years old, none should be detectable! See Radiocarbon in dino bones—international conference censored.

When some of Dr Schweitzer’s comments about her discoveries are considered in relation to the improbability of it all, it’s as though she’s leaning right on the ‘obvious’ when she says:

When you think about it, the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say that it should be gone, it should be degraded completely.1
Science via AP (From www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/)9531-trex_softtiss
A. The arrow points to a tissue fragment that is still elastic. It beggars belief that elastic tissue like this could have lasted for 65 million years.
B. Another instance of ‘fresh appearance’ which similarly makes it hard to believe in the ‘millions of years’.
C. Regions of bone showing where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones which lack this structure. But these bones are claimed to be 65 million years old, yet they manage to retain this structure.

In one of her papers, Dr Schweitzer also noted:

The presence of original molecular components is not predicted for fossils older than a million years, and the discovery of collagen in this well-preserved dinosaur supports the use of actualistic conditions to formulate molecular degradation rates and models, rather than relying on theoretical or experimental extrapolations derived from conditions that do not occur in nature.2

As well, after Dr Schweitzer found elastic blood vessels and other soft tissue, she checked and rechecked her data and concluded: “It was totally shocking. I didn’t believe it until we’d done it 17 times.”3

But nothing, of course, will shake Dr Schweitzer’s commitment to the long-age paradigm:

It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: ‘The bones are, after all, 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’4

The obvious ought to be obvious—and open-minded people can see it. When is the evolutionary fraternity going to wake up? ….

Published: 24 May 2014

References and notes

  1. Schweitzer, M.H., Nova Science Now, May 2009, cross.tv/21726; See also Wieland, C. and Sarfati, J., Dino proteins and blood vessels: are they a big deal?, creation.com/dino-proteins, 9 May 2009. Return to text.
  2. Schweitzer, M.H., et al., Analyses of soft tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex suggest the presence of protein, Science 316(5822):277–280, 2007. Return to text.
  3. Schweitzer, cited in Science 307:1852, 25 March 2005. Return to text.
  4. Schweitzer, M.H., Montana State University Museum of the Rockies; cited on p. 160 of Morell, V., Dino DNA: The hunt and the hype, Science 261(5118):160–162, 9 July 1993. Return to text.