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Creationists: Dinosaur bone tissue supports young earth belief

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Paleontologists are eager to extract biological data from the remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex discovered in Montana while creationists are heralding the discovery as further evidence that the earth is just a few thousand years old rather than millions.

In an article published March 25 in the journal “Science,” a research team revealed that a dinosaur bone discovered in 2003 yielded soft tissues, including blood vessels and possibly cells that “retain some of their original flexibility, elasticity and resilience,” according to The New York Times.

Scientists found the tissue when the thigh bone they were excavating was too long to fit in a helicopter and had to be broken in two pieces. They then realized fossilization was not complete and could possibly lead to understanding more about the mysterious creatures.

A creationist group based in northern Kentucky, Answers in Genesis, responded to the discovery by declaring that it offers “immensely powerful support to the idea that dinosaur fossils are not millions of years old at all, but were mostly fossilized under catastrophic conditions a few thousand years ago at most.” Evolutionists believe dinosaurs were made extinct 65 to 70 million years ago.

Researchers hope to extract DNA from the tissue as well as proteins, which are less fragile and more abundant than DNA, The Times said. Proteins could answer questions about dinosaur gender, whether they were hot- or cold-blooded and tyrannosaurus’ relationship to modern birds such as the ostrich.

“Tissue preservation to this extent has not been noted before in dinosaurs,” said Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University, who led the team that discovered the tissue.

But Carl Wieland, head of Answers in Genesis-Australia, said he expects evolutionists to simply modify their paradigm rather than discard it based on the new evidence.

He recalled Schweitzer’s discovery a few years ago of what appeared to be blood cells in a Tyrannosaurus rex specimen.

An Answers in Genesis news release March 26 recounted Schweitzer as saying, “It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it…. The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?”

Wieland said Schweitzer’s reaction was to question the evidence rather than the paradigm, so he held out little hope that the most recent discovery would lead to evolutionists adjusting their timeline.

The discovery may, however, cause scientists to be more careful with their excavations, allowing that tissue might be present in each bone they recover.

Paleontologist Thomas Holtz of the University of Maryland told USA Today the Montana case is remarkable but may not be unique.

“It’s astonishing. But if it’s confirmed, the biggest implication is that we don’t know if this is even rare,” he said. “There might be many more such preserved tissues inside fossils.”

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