Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dinosaur Blood B.S.

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."


Baconeater said...

I'm all for full articles. You should also email Mojoey and join the atheist blogroll for more exposure:

AIGBusted said...

Thanks Bacon Eater, I believe I will!!R

Ojalanpoika said...

I have collected documented mosaics, cave paintings, bronze seals etc. of dinosaurs made by the ancient man here:

Dinoglyfs and dinolits they are, really.

Such fresh fossil samples indicate that the geologic time scales are naiiive. Here's another news along the lines:
Biochemist, systems biologist

Anonymous said...

I must agree with AiG about the "dinosaur blood" issue.
Currently I am studying to become a Cryptozoologist. I have written numerous articles and authored a book on the subject. The evidence for dinosaurs living until recently or still living is overwhelming.

Cryptozoology Researcher

Fierce Almond said...

Well, the article is pretty old...

but, I have something to say about it so, hey.

@Ojalanpoika: Wow! Pictures of dinosaurs from recent times! They must have seen dinosaurs!

They couldn't have figured out what dinosaurs would look like the same way we have? We have a pretty good idea of what they would look like on the sole fact that we found bones, and pieced them together.

Also, ancient people were not dumb. They had just as intense an imagination as us. Who is to say, they didn't just think up these animals? I can go carve a picture of a flying turtle into a rock, right now. That doesn't mean that they exist.

Many of the photos are obvious fakes, recent drawings, or completely unrelated to dinosaurs at all.


You have no proof whatsoever, just as creationists have no proof. I want to make this clear, just as the scientific community should; Written stories, pictures, and eyewitness accounts are NOT proof.


Ojalanpoika said...

So the ancient and documented dinosaur details are not accepted as proof.

But these were, indeed, accepted:

Teri said...

I don't get it, you start off by saying there was no claim to finding red blood cells yet her research states it and this "may make people reevaluate the longevity of molecules". If research shows it doesn't last then maybe the creationist are right. I guess you have an agenda and also believe the Smithsonian is wrong

AIGBusted said...


Original red blood cells may not be in the dinosaur bone. But there may be some biological molecules, like heme (NOT hemoglobin), that are present in the bone.

Dr. Schweitzer has proposed a mechanism for the preservation of these molecules.

I guess you have an agenda and also believe the Smithsonian is wrong, since the article clearly states that geologists have proven the Hell Creek formation (where the bone was discovered) is 68 million years old.

Unknown said...

please read the may 2006 issue of smithsonian magazine. I believe it says that the doctor says it is rbc

AIGBusted said...

"please read the may 2006 issue of smithsonian magazine. I believe it says that the doctor says it is rbc"

I read the article online at Smithsonian Magazine's website. The article doesn't say that these are definitely red blood cells. And the material I cite in this post refutes the notion that they must have been rbc's.

Unknown said...

All this proves is that, neither scientist nor creationist know anything for sure.

I have a very hard time believing that anything close to a red blood cell could survive for 68 million years. A much harder time than believing that Dinosaurs walked the earth with ancient man.

I'm no scientist though. But I did take Bio 101 twice in college(lol).

I'm a Christian and Creationist but I welcome all kinds of ideas. I love debating things and I love hearing both sides to every story. I just wish both Creationist and Scientist could agree that either one could be right or wrong.

Shoot, both of them could be wrong. That's the beauty of it. We may never know. But, I'm confident that I will find out one glorious day when God reveals his ways.

Till then, I plan to make it my job, through science, to reveal as much as God will allow me.

John Lehenbauer said...

We're waiting for your explanation about how the universe came from nothing. Please write a full article on this and show me the science behind your beliefs on this.

Unknown said...

" They couldn't have figured out what dinosaurs would look like the same way we have?" Is that even an argument? I swear, this is what society believes. Do you honestly believe, Indians went digging over 4000 years ago, found dinousaur bones, reassembled them, figured out the anatomy, muscular sequence, habitat description, food source, and 'skin' texture, then started making carvings and pictures of many different fossils, and spread legends of their existence, and just so happened to treat them as real as any other animal. They must have faked documentations of them as well, and somehow made very accurate portrayals of them. It's also odd that EVERY continent on the globe had legends, and documentations about them.

Unknown said...


You gatekeeping s.o.b. "You have no proof! Your evidence is not evidence because it goes against what I believe!" Truth is bud, you are the one with no proof. Every time the higher critics dismount their unicorns to criticize Biblical truth, they are sent back to the drawing board. Every Time. Son. So the next time you decide to exclaim, "No Proof!", when its clearly sitting in front of your face just know that it doesn't make you a genius, it makes you a moron.