Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Soft tissue found in T-Rex bones

According to a recent article on Slashdot, a newly-broken thigh bone from a Tyrannosaurus Rex was found to contain stretchy, soft tissue inside. The bone marrow was not fossilized, as one might expect.

Last year, paleontologists excavating a T-Rex fossil skeleton in Montana successfully extracted the femur (thigh bone) of a T-Rex from the earth. Unfortunately, the only transport from the site was via helecopter, and the helecopter was too small the carry the whole femur. So the femur was deliberately broken so it would fit on the helecopter. When this was done, soft, stretchy tissue was found in the center of the bone, possibly even containing blood cells.

The California Academy of Sciences web site contains this photo of the reddish, meaty tissue which (according to archaeological dating) has persisted unfossilized after 70 million years.

As the Slashdot readers pointed out, the implications for this find are enormous. Either the standard methods of dating dinosaur bones are wrong (which is what the creationists are saying), or else fossilization doesn't work the way people have traditionally thought.

And since that tissue contains DNA, is it possible that a Jurassic Park scenario of cloning a Tyrannosaurus Rex might be closer than we imagine?

2 Comments:

Blogger Joe B. Whitchurch said...

I noticed people are not touching this post with a ten foot, politically and scientifically correct pole. The Smithsonian magazine which I link on one of my puddleglum blogs reveals that the discoverer of the first batch is a Christian but is convinced that nothing in creation (nature) gives evidence of God or some such.

So she is apparently an 'approved' theistic evolutionist or some such and thus able to be published. Perhaps she just doesn't have tenure yet or has never read Romans 1:18f. As one who generally leads with ID but has some questions related to a younger earth, I knew a geologist from Rockford, Illinois about 30 years ago named Dr. Douglas Block. Dr. Block was at a archeological dig that he went to his grave believing showed that a human footprint was in time fossilized as a contemporary with a dinosaur.

The naturalists, the 'correct' theistic evolutionists, the ID people can laugh but why not consider rethinking the dinosaurs' extinction date? Does doing so really HAVE to diss an entire scientific theory? I believe Dr. Block was one of the most principled and honest researchers I've ever met and I do not believe he was lying on this one. It certainly did not benefit him. In fact it punished him as an academic in a public college. Ah the correctness of free inquiry..

Others have spoken of fossilization processes associated with the petrified forest and what happened in connection with Mount Saint Helen's and the aftermath. Isn't it time for a whole lot of science to be open to a whole lot of re-thinking?

One can still choose to believe we are the products of alien space ship genetic dumping or hyper-punctuated whatevers. But why all the gymnastics to preserve Darwin with all the devil in the details?

I'm not scientists so if other bloggers flame away at me, I'll let them have at it. I just wonder and ask questions. I would hope others might as well instead of saying as one has said, that decay must happen at different rates than we thought at different times in history. Now that, if one didn't know better, sounds just like a young-earth person justifying the aged ones (Seth and Melthusala, etc.) of early Genesis. Come on, get real. LOL.

So Eric, what are your thoughts...between the lines here? I've always assumed you were more scientific in orientation with some sympathies in the ID direction, and not so in the younger earth vein. What think ye?

12:03 PM  
Blogger Jon Trott said...

Okay, this is an interesting story. But my first question has nothing to do with young earth, old earth, or theistic evolution.

I wondered about that flesh...

What does dinosaur taste like?

9:42 PM  

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