These articles concern analysis of dinosaur bones found
recently in Montana. The first can be seen at the Creation Science Movement web
site, the second at the Answers in Genesis web site. They are reproduced here
Astonishing T. Rex Soft Tissue
Find Seriously Challenges Evolution
Andrew Sibley 29th March 2005
Researchers have recently found soft tissues, including blood vessels, bone
cells and even what looks like blood cells within the thighbone of a
tyrannosaurus rex specimen that has not yet fully fossilised. While the theory
of evolution asserts this bone to be 68 millions years old, this astonishing
find seriously challenges the dogma of millions of years of supposed
This bone was found in the Hell Creek Formation sandstones of Montana, USA, and
labelled MOR (Museum of the Rockies) 1125. In order to move the large bone that
had been encased in a plaster jacket for protection by helicopter, it was
necessary to cut it in two, and it was found to be hollow inside with an
un-fossilised appearance. Instead of treating the bone with preservative it was
instead sent for analysis to Dr Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State
University who studied the structure. Schweitzer has previously identified soft
tissues, including haemoglobin protein within tyrannosaurus rex bones, but
previous finds have gained less attention.[i]
As reported in the journal Science,[ii]
Schweitzer used a chemical treatment to dissolve the calcium bone structure,
while leaving soft tissue parts intact. She found a degree of preservation that
had not been seen before, with the flexible and transparent soft tissues still
intact. According to the BBC website she is reported to have said that;
It still has places where there are no secondary
minerals, and it's not any more dense than modern bone; it's bone more than
This evidence is very uncomfortable for evolutionary scientists and according to
the BBC website other researchers have tried to play down the finds by
questioning the evidence.[iv]
But Schweitzer is reported to have found intact blood vessels together with
cells known as osteocytes, which are essential for bone construction. Schweitzer
was also able to squeeze out cells from the blood vessels, which looked
remarkably like red blood cells with their internal structure visible.
Schweitzer has not yet tested for DNA, but believes that original proteins are
present in the structure, and further tests are continuing.
This is a truly remarkable find and challenges the evolutionary long age dating
assertions of millions of years that are so often trotted out by researchers
without any objective evidence. Other researchers committed to the theory of
evolution are so troubled by the findings that they are seeking to challenge the
evidence instead of letting the evidence challenge the theory. It is unthinkable
that proteins could survive for millions of years, but instead points to the
bones being of the order of several thousand years old. In fact it is remarkable
that such structures have survived even for several thousand years. Creationist
scientists believe that the dinosaurs were buried during the time of Noah in
flood sediments around 4400 years ago. We look forward to publication of further
evidence for proteins in this bone as it is presented.
Shedding more light on the new startling find of soft tissue in a T. rex
March 28, 2005
Scientists have recently made the startling discovery of a dinosaur skeleton
that still retains well preserved soft tissue including blood vessels, cells and
previous story—with photos). This comes as a big surprise to evolutionists
who believe that dinosaurs all died off at least 65 million years ago. It
certainly taxes one’s imagination to believe that soft tissue and cells could
remain so relatively fresh in appearance for the tens of millions of years of
supposed evolutionary history.
Still, as we
noted eight years ago, this is hardly the first report of soft tissue—and
even cells—in dinosaur fossils. Evidence of small blood vessels, cells and even
molecular information in dinosaurs has all been previously described.
In the March 25 issue of the journal Science, it has been reported that
a team led by Dr. Mary Schweitzer of Montana State University2
found flexible connective tissue and branching blood vessels, as well as intact
cells that have the appearance of red blood cells and osteocytes (bone cells) in
the femur (thigh bone) of a “68-million-year-old” Tyrannosaurus rex
from the Hell Creek formation of Montana. The dinosaur was deposited in
sandstone of “estuarine” origin, meaning that the animal was buried in rock
layers laid down by water (no surprise here for the creationists—see
catastrophe). The bones were mostly detached from each other but well
Since the bone looked relatively unfossilized, researchers, using weak acid,
dissolved the mineral from a piece of the dinosaur bone (much the same way as
the common science class exercise where chicken leg bones are soaked in vinegar
for a week to make them rubbery). In fresh bones, the acid removes the hard
mineral, leaving only organic material such as fibrous connective tissue, blood
vessels and various cells. By comparison, if one were to demineralize a typical
well-permineralized fossil, there would be nothing left. The acid-treated T.
rex bone fragment, however, produced a flexible and elastic structure
similar to what you would get from a fresh bone.
When the demineralized T. rex bone was examined under the microscope,
it revealed small branching translucent blood vessels with what appeared to be
red blood cells inside. The interior walls of the blood vessels were examined
in the scanning electron microscope and appeared to be lined with closely packed
endothelial cells. These are the specialized cells that line all blood vessels
and the heart. The bone also appeared to contain cells bearing numerous slender
processes very much like the cells (osteocytes) one sees in fresh bone
Naturally, the investigators were puzzled how a 68-million-year-old bone could
have the appearance of essentially fresh bone after demineralization. They
speculate that this remarkable preservation might be a special form of
fossilization involving “undetermined geochemical and environmental factors”
that preserve fossils right down to the cellular level and perhaps beyond.
Needless to say, there was no consideration given by these evolutionists to the
possibility that the dinosaur bone was nowhere near as old as they think.
The report would have been an interesting scientific contribution if the writers
would have ended on the note that old dinosaur bones look surprisingly young.
But this would hardly serve as evidence for their millions of years of
From dinosaurs to ostriches?
Then, in an obvious effort to capitalize on the current “birds are dinosaurs”
craze in evolutionism, the authors go on to compare the microscopic anatomy of
their well-preserved dinosaur bone to a bone from a bird. For some unexplained
reason, they chose an unidentified area of an unidentified bone from a recently
Using the light microscope and scanning electron microscope, they gleefully
reported that the general appearance of blood vessels, connective tissue and
cells from both the dinosaur and the ostrich are “virtually indistinguishable.”
Specifically, they report that the blood vessels have the same branching tubular
appearance and appear to be lined with the same type of cells with nuclei. The
nearly transparent vessels contain the same presumed red blood cells. The bones
of both have the same presumed osteocytes, with the same cytoplasmic processes
imbedded in the same fibrous connective tissue. The unstated conclusion is that
this similarity in microscopic structure proves that dinosaurs and birds are
closely related through evolution.
One cannot help but wonder if this was the first time these paleontologists
looked at soft tissue or bone through the microscope. You see, all of the
similarities they describe would be expected in essentially any amphibian,
reptile, bird or mammal. All small blood vessels are tubular and branched. All
blood vessels, as well as the heart, are lined with special cells called
endothelial cells. Among other things, these cells are necessary to avoid
clotting of the blood inside the vessel. And of course, all blood vessels
contain … blood cells.
Nearly all bones are produced by special cells called osteoblasts that secrete a
special organic matrix that attracts minerals to deposit in close association
with connective tissue fibers (collagen) and other bone-specific organic
components. In most bones, these cells develop long processes and become buried
in the very matrix they secrete (prior to mineralization), at which time they
are called osteocytes. While osteocytes are found in essentially all bone (with
the exception of some fish), their function is not well understood.
While the authors report what appear to be red blood cells in both the dinosaur
and the ostrich, they do not mention the presence of nuclei in the red blood
cells. Erik Stokstadt, however, reporting on this study in Science Now
( 24 March 2005), claims that “inside these [dinosaur red blood cells] are
smaller objects similar in size to the nuclei of the blood cells in modern
birds.” If indeed, the dinosaur red blood cells do contain nuclei, this would
hardly be surprising for a reptile, and certainly would not prove their presumed
evolutionary relationship to birds. All amphibians, reptiles and birds have
nucleated red blood cells. Even mammals have nucleated red blood cells in their
Sadly, we have become accustomed to reading published reports pertaining to
evolution and its millions of years in both the popular and scientific
literature that are highly biased and lacking in scientific substance. But this
study and report by Schweitzer and co-workers are lacking in merit even by
evolutionary standards. While the report of yet another dinosaur fossil with
evidence of soft tissue is interesting in itself, why did the authors choose to
compare the histology (microscopic anatomy) of this bone to an unidentified bone
from a bird—and why an ostrich? Why not compare the histology of the dinosaur
bone to that of some living reptile? After all, dinosaurs are
The answer to this question is obvious. It wouldn’t be very interesting to
report the well-known fact that unsectioned blood vessels, blood cells, bone
matrix and bone cells of most vertebrates look similar at the level of detail
observed in this study.
One must assume that the standards for publication in even the most prestigious
scientific journals like Science are quite different for evolution than
for any other branch of empirical science. Evolutionary paleontology also
appears to be the branch of science in which so many of its proponents are so
dug-in with their beliefs that their thinking promises to remain buried in the
sand, regardless of where their own facts lead.
Science, Vol. 307, pp. 1952-1955, March
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Also at North Carolina State University.
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