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Creation 36(1):12–14, January 2013

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Double-decade dinosaur disquiet

For twenty years now, dino bones have progressively divulged their contents to researchers who did not expect to find the likes of DNA and radiocarbon ‘millions of years’ after dinosaur extinction.



Many dinosaur fossils include real bone—they are not completely mineralized, i.e. are not yet ‘rock’. And what is found inside those dinosaur bones is a huge surprise to many people. A series of discoveries since the early 1990s has revealed dino bones with blood cells, hemoglobin, fragile proteins, and soft tissue such as flexible ligaments and blood vessels. And of special note: DNA and radiocarbon.

This is enormously confronting for evolutionists, because how could such bones possibly be 65 million years old? As one of the researchers involved in the discovery of dinosaur blood cells, Dr Mary Schweitzer, said:

“If you take a blood sample, and you stick it on a shelf, you have nothing recognizable in about a week. So why would there be anything left in dinosaurs?”1

Why indeed? Unless of course they haven’t been extinct for millions of years, and their remains were preserved quickly under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago, or even more recently. But so entrenched is the evolutionary paradigm in the scientific community, that it soon became known that Dr Schweitzer was having trouble getting her results published. “I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible,” says Schweitzer. “I wrote back and said, ‘Well, what data would convince you?’ And he said, ‘None.’”2

Schweitzer recounts how she noticed that a T. rex skeleton (from Hell Creek, Montana) had a distinctly cadaverous odour. When she mentioned this to long-time paleontologist Jack Horner,3 he said, “Oh yeah, all Hell Creek bones smell.” But so ingrained is the notion among paleontologists that dinosaur bones must be millions of years old that the ‘smell of death’ didn’t even register with them—despite the evidence being right under their noses.4 Schweitzer herself does not seem able or willing to escape the long-age paradigm, despite her direct involvement in many of the discoveries. Note the timeline of these findings across two decades—pointed and regular reminders that something is very wrong with dinosaur-millions-of-years ideas:

In 1993, dinosaur bone blood cells give Mary Schweitzer ‘goosebumps’.5,6

In 1997, hemoglobin, as well as recognizable red blood cells, in T. rex bone.7,8,9

In 2003, evidence of the protein osteocalcin.10

In 2005, flexible ligaments and blood vessels.11,12,13

In 2007, collagen (an important structural protein in bone) in T. rex bone.14,15

In 2009, the fragile proteins elastin and laminin, and further confirmation of collagen—in a duck-billed dinosaur.16,17 (If the dinosaur fossils really were as old as claimed, none of these proteins should have been present.)

In 2012, bone cells (osteocytes), the proteins actin and tubulin, and DNA(!) were reported.18,19 (Measured rates of decomposition of these proteins, and especially DNA, show that they could not have lasted for the presumed 65 million years since dinosaur extinction. This is more in keeping with the biblical timeframe of thousands of years.)

In 2012, radiocarbon was reported.20,21 (But carbon-14 decays so quickly that if the remains were even 100,000 years old, none should be detectable!)

Note that the attempts by evolutionists to explain away many of these findings as contamination, and also their unconcealed moves to stifle reporting of the radiocarbon result in particular,20,21 testify to an unwillingness to face up to evidence that challenges the long-age paradigm. A truly open-minded observer must surely ask, “Why?”

Editor’s note: After the 2012 poster retraction, further research appears to confirm radiocarbon in fossil material. One study included a list of 50 out-of-place radiocarbon results from fossils, coal, and wood found in Cenozoic, Mesozoic, and Paleozoic settings. (Thomas, B., and V. Nelson. Radiocarbon in Dinosaur and Other Fossils. Creation Research Society Quarterly 51(4): 299–311.) Similarly, a 2019 Ph.D thesis described radiocarbon in various fossils, including three results from dinosaur bone collagen. The study used an array of tactics to search for a source of contamination but found none. The author concluded, “Taken together, all these results are most consistent with the hypothesis that 14C in Mesozoic and possibly older materials represent a combination of primary and secondary sources, with the caveat that no known cause of secondary sourcing stands out.” (Thomas, B. D. Collagen remnants in ancient bone. PhD Thesis, University of Liverpool, 2018. (ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2018).”
Posted on homepage: 2 December 2013

References and notes

  1. Yeoman, B., Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery, Discover 27(4):37–41; p. 39, 2006. Return to text.
  2. Yeoman, B., Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery; caption of a picture of Dr Schweitzer, p. 37, top right; see screenshot, because the quote has disappeared from online versions. Return to text.
  3. Renowned for many dinosaur discoveries, e.g. he led a team that retrieved over 80 fossil specimens from a single site in Mongolia. See: Walker, T., Massive graveyard of parrot-beaked dinosaurs in Mongolia—Paleontologists puzzle about the cause of death but miss the obvious clue, creation.com/dino-graveyard, 26 October 2007. Return to text.
  4. For more on this see: Catchpoole, D. and Sarfati, J., Schweitzer’s dangerous discovery, creation.com/schweit, 19 July 2006. Return to text.
  5. Morell, V., Dino DNA: The hunt and the hype, Science 261(5118):160–162, 1993. Return to text.
  6. Dinosaur bone blood cells found, Creation 16(1):9, 1993; creation.com/t-rex-blood. Return to text.
  7. Schweitzer, M., and 8 others, Heme compounds in dinosaur trabecular bone, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94:6291–6296, 1997. Return to text.
  8. M. Schweitzer, M. and Staedter, I., The Real Jurassic Park, Earth, June 1997, pp. 55–57. Return to text.
  9. See also: Wieland, C., Sensational dinosaur blood report! Creation 19(4):42–43, 1997; creation.com/dino-blood. Return to text.
  10. Specifically, bones of an Iguanodon ‘dating’ to 120 million years of age contained enough of the protein osteocalcin to produce an immune reaction. Embery, G., and 5 others, Identification of proteinaceous material in the bone of the dinosaur Iguanodon, Connective Tissue Research 44 Suppl 1:41–46, 2003. Return to text.
  11. Schweitzer, M. and 3 others, Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex, Science 307(5717):1952–1955, 2005. Return to text.
  12. Stokstad, E., Tyrannosaurus rex soft tissue raises tantalizing prospects, Science 307(5717):1852, 2005. Return to text.
  13. See also: Wieland, C., Dinosaur soft-tissue find—a stunning rebuttal of ‘millions of years’, creation.com/stretchy, 25 March 2005. Return to text.
  14. Schweitzer, M. and 6 others, Analyses of soft tissue from Tyrannosaurus rex suggest the presence of protein, Science 316(5822):277–280, 2007. Return to text.
  15. See also: Doyle, S., Squishosaur scepticism squashed—Tests confirm proteins found in T. rex bones, creation.com/collagen, 20 April 2007. Return to text.
  16. Schweitzer, M. and 15 others, Biomolecular characterization and protein sequences of the Campanian hadrosaur B. canadensis, Science 324(5927):626–631, 2009. Return to text.
  17. Also see: Wieland, C., Dinosaur soft tissue and protein—even more confirmation! creation.com/schweit2, 6 May 2009. Return to text.
  18. Key extract from the paper’s summary: “These data are the first to support preservation of multiple proteins [viz. actin, tubulin, PHEX, histone H4] and to present multiple lines of evidence for material consistent with DNA in dinosaurs.” Schweitzer, M. and 3 others, Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules, Bone 52(1):414–423, 2013. Return to text.
  19. See also: Sarfati, J., DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bone, J. Creation 27(1):10–12, 2013; creation.com/dino-dna, 11 December 2012. Return to text.
  20. Press release “Dinosaur bones’ Carbon-14 dated to less than 40,000 years—Censored international conference report” and additional information, newgeology.us/presentation48.html, accessed 27 December 2012. Return to text.
  21. See also: Wieland, C., Radiocarbon in dino bones—International conference result censored, creation.com/c14-dinos, 22 January 2013. Return to text.

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