The AiG article started off like this:
"Actual red blood cells in fossil bones from a Tyrannosaurus rex? With traces of the blood protein hemoglobin (which makes blood red and carries oxygen)? It sounds preposterous—to those who believe that these dinosaur remains are at least 65 million years old."
That's funny, if you read the Q&A session NOVA held with Dr. Schweitzer, you would come away with the impression that red blood cells were NOT found:
"Q: It looks as if the T. rex may have nucleated red cells. Is this so?
Judith Chester, Santa Fe, New Mexico
A: Well, there are small, red structures within the vessels that look like nucleated red cells. So on the surface, this is a case of "if it looks like a duck…." But after 70 million years, just because something looks familiar doesn't mean that that is what it is. The fossil record can mimic many things, so without doing the chemistry to show that there are similarities to blood cells at the molecular level, I do not make any claims that they are cells. "
No Hemoglobin. No red blood cells. Remnants of hemoglobin and what appeared to be red blood cells were found. AiG has responded to a reader's doubts on this matter:
"This seems rather disingenuous, since they saw what appeared to be red blood cells under the microscope. Obviously, this was stunning, and it was Dr Horner who, as we cited, suggested to Mary Schweitzer that she try to disprove that they were red blood cells that were being seen by these people under the microscope. The immunological reaction was the factor that, coupled with the histological appearance, made it more than reasonable to claim that these were actual red blood cells (i.e. their remains). As you will see from the rest of this, they have most definitely not succeeded in disproving that these are red cells."
Note that they were unable to disprove that these were red blood cells, they did not prove they were red blood cells. We do not have to prove a negative, it is on them to prove the positive. So basically, AiG is arguing that this point is "rather disingenuous..."; But if it is, why did they have to inflate the finding in the first place?
He goes on:
"It should surely qualify as ‘wishful thinking’ to try to believe that red blood cells and at least part of some hemoglobin molecules could last 65 million years."
Again, not according to her. A North Carolina University News Release had this to say:
"She [Dr. Schweitzer] believes that heavy metals, specifically iron, may have played a role in preserving these structures. Hemoglobin, the protein inside a red blood cell, contains iron, and when this protein breaks down, the iron is released and becomes unstable. When the iron attempts to restabilize, it creates free radicals, which cause “cross linking,” or the binding together, of tissues. In living creatures, this cross linking explains why your skin loses elasticity as you age.
Once cross linking occurs in a cell or vessel, the structure usually becomes insoluble, meaning that it won’t dissolve, and may not degrade further. Schweitzer believes that heavy metal cross linking could be one mechanism by which soft tissues may be preserved within the fossils she’s studied."
Finally, Dr. Mary answered the question about whether this was evidence for a young earth or not:
"Q: Many creationists claim that the Earth is much younger than the evolutionists claim. Is there any possibility that your discoveries should make experts on both sides of the argument reevaluate the methods of established dating used in the field?
Carl Baker, Billings, Montana
A: Actually, my work doesn't say anything at all about the age of the Earth. As a scientist I can only speak to the data that exist. Having reviewed a great deal of data from many different disciplines, I see no reason at all to doubt the general scientific consensus that the Earth is about five or six billion years old. We deal with testable hypotheses in science, and many of the arguments made for a young Earth are not testable, nor is there any valid data to support a young Earth that stands up to peer review or scientific scrutiny. However, the fields of geology, nuclear physics, astronomy, paleontology, genetics, and evolutionary biology all speak to an ancient Earth. Our discoveries may make people reevaluate the longevity of molecules and the presumed pathways of molecular degradation, but they do not really deal at all with the age of the Earth."