Saturday, April 14, 2007

WOW !! I guess we're gonna have to rethink these fossilization processes, eh?

Everybody loves a dinosaur story, so you should enjoy this one.

Here is a link for the April 13, 2007, NY Times (NYT) article telling about the stunning identification of protein in the famous Montana T-rex whose femur was found two years ago to contain recent-appearing material:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/science/13dino.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Similar to the worldwide surprise when the stretchy, fresh-appearing material was found in the T-rex femur two years ago, the researchers' reaction to actually finding substantially intact protein is, like, "Wow ... we thought the absolute max for proteins to be preserved in the natural environment was one million years tops. We did not know these molecules could last so long. We will have to rethink this." But the article seems clear that all the rethinking is in understanding of fossilization processes, not in questioning the time scale.

But informed creationists such as your fearless blogger reply, "Well, duuhh, what is the big surprise? We expect to find stuff like this.".

Hmmmm ... seems that as discoveries such as the "fresh appearing", "stretchy", protein-bearing T-rex material continue to come to light, even the slow folks may begin to say there is something wrong with the 70-million years story of T-rex's age. Just like insect DNA in amber "millions of years" old. And the bacteria revived (I think in the year 2000) from water trapped in crystals recovered from a New Mexico borehole at a depth of 2000 feet in a layer of rock said to be 250 million years old. You can read about the bacteria in:

BBC News, Row over ancient bacteria, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1375000/1375505.stm,
19 June 2001; reporting on Graur and Pupko’s paper in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Like eating fish with bones, however, just be sure to read the FACTS and don't swallow too hard or too quickly on the opinions and assertions.

And the beat goes on. For the discerning, a close look at the NYT dino protein article will reveal the discomfited dance to make sure the evolution myth is preserved - yea verily, trumpeted - intact. And does anyone note the precision with which some ignorance is quantified? How about that T-rex was 68 million years old? Not 65M or 70M, but 68M (68.0?).

So preservation of ancient biomaterials is now being rethought , since they are sure that protein could not last beyond 1 million years. They are still sure of the 68.00 million years, but now not so sure of their ideas of preservation of "ancient" biomolecules.

Hey reader, are you really getting the import of this? Dino is "known" to be 68.000M years old while her/his femur has protein which is "known" to not last any more than one million years. This is a pretty big rub here.

Maybe the rethinking needs rethinking. Since the longevity (or lack of) for proteins in the natural environment has some supporting observational data, why not rethink the (unobserved) 68.0000 M years?

How a bit more? In the NYT T-rex article, I do not see mention of anyone looking for DNA in the femur material. Likely it will never happen with Dr. Schweitzer's group since DNA is well known to substantially break down in the natural environment in several thousand years. And since the sample is 68.000M years old, finding any intact DNA segments in the sample is unthinkable. So the unthinkable investigation is not performed?

Maybe young earth creationists will likely have to go find their own T-rex femur to play with. I hope some of us are digging.

May the blessings of our Creator be upon us all as we seek to understand and enjoy His world which He has put into our stewardship. And may His mercies of forgiveness be upon us in our consistent failures in that stewardship.

Respectfully submitted,
D.U.

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