Cell biology Evolution Intelligent Design

Is there some reason that paleontologists do NOT want soft dinosaur tissue?

Spread the love

From Robert F. Service at Science:

For the last 20 years, Mary Schweitzer, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, has amassed a wealth of evidence that she’s isolated protein fragments from dinosaurs as much as 80 million years old. That bucks the conventional wisdom among paleontologists who argue that proteins, which are made of chains of amino acids, can’t survive more than 1 million years or so. So far, no group other than Schweitzer and her collaborators has managed to replicate the findings. She contends that’s because others don’t follow her methods. If Schweitzer is right and outside researchers eventually do confirm her findings, it could transform dinosaur paleontology into a molecular science. That, in turn, could help researchers answer long-standing questions, such as whether dinosaurs were warm- or cold-blooded, and work out the dinosaur family tree. (paywall) More.

Meanwhile, there’s the case of creationist Mark Armitage who was fired after a similar finding:

In May 2012, Mark Armitage made a discovery that he had dreamed of for years. While digging in Montana, he uncovered one of the largest triceratops horns ever found in the Hell Creek Formation, a legendary stack of fossil-bearing rocks that date to the last days of the dinosaurs. Armitage drove the horn back home to Los Angeles, California, where his microscopic examination revealed that it contained not only fossilized bone but also preserved layers of soft tissue. “They were brown, stretchy sheets. I was shocked to see anything that was that pliable,” he says.

In February 2013, he published his findings in Acta Histochemica, a journal of cell and tissue research (M. H. Armitage and K. L. Anderson Acta Histochem. 115, 603–608; 2013). Two weeks later, he was fired from his job at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he managed the biology department’s electron and confocal microscopy suite.

Never mind the age of the planet just now: Any chance that soft tissue would blow a bunch of tenure track research out of the water in these hard academic times?

Armitage’s case was recently settled for an undisclosed sum. After “one university official shouted at him, ‘We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!’”, one rather hopes it’s enough cash to finance further research. Leaving it all to the ‘crats, boffins, and faculty lounge lizards is beginning to sound suspicious at this point.

See also: Developing story: Young Earth creationist microscopist, fired in wake of finding soft tissue from dinosaurs, sues

Dinosaur found with preserved skin

and

Dinosaur found with preserved tail feathers, skin

12 Replies to “Is there some reason that paleontologists do NOT want soft dinosaur tissue?

  1. 1
  2. 2
    aarceng says:

    Protein fragments would be undetectable after 1 million years. Dinosaur fossils are over 60 million years old.

    Which statement do I need to reject to preserve my worldview?

  3. 3
    News says:

    Origenes at 1, great clip!

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    Any chance that soft tissue would blow a bunch of tenure track research out of the water in these hard academic times?

    It’s what Schweitzer has built her scientific career on, so I’m guessing not.

  5. 5
    News says:

    Bob O’H at 4, I see where lots of people think that what Schweitzer is saying can’t be true…

    People say that kind of thing for a variety of reasons; pays to know what they are in a specific case.

    I’m guessing that in this case a sheetstorm of little scandals and suppressed findings underlie the previous less-than-eagerness to consider the possibilities, awesome as they may be.

  6. 6
    polistra says:

    Looking at one of Schweitzer’s non-paywalled articles…

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1685849/

    It’s clearly written. What she’s doing with the dinosaurs is reverse-engineering the mineralization that preserved the tissues. In the right environment the organic chemicals were substituted in a consistent way by iron and other minerals. She ‘decrypts’ the process to get the original organic plaintext.

    (Oops… decrypts wasn’t meant as deadpan humor!)

  7. 7
    RodW says:

    News asks:

    Any chance that soft tissue would blow a bunch of tenure track research out of the water ..

    No. But as the article mentions…

    .. it could transform dinosaur paleontology into a molecular science. That, in turn, could help researchers answer long-standing questions…

    …and that would create a lot of new tenure track research.

  8. 8
    News says:

    Well, RodW at 7, if dinosaur paleontology were transformed into a molecular science, much previous research would be obsolete. Not only that, but people trained differently from the current lot would likely be paleontologists.

    It’s not that anyone is necessarily trying to suppress it. The current crowd reminds me rather of 60 word-a-minute typists at the dawn of word processing. Left behind. I remember that period well…

  9. 9
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    News @ 8:

    It’s not that anyone is necessarily trying to suppress it.

    Give it time, they will suppress the truth. If you’re a Darwinist, it’s what you do.

    Armitage was fired because his totalitarian colleagues did not want anything else to be discovered on soft tissues in dinosaurs.

    Similarly, Dr. Allen Snelling was blocked from collecting rocks from the Grand Canyon (in lower amounts and less intrusively than others whose permits were approved) because the Grand Canyon officials did not want anything else to be discovered on a possible young age of the Grand Canyon. What these park officials did for three years was not science or administration; it was corruption and attempts to gut their enemies in a way that would make Lois Lerner proud.

    https://answersingenesis.org/about/press/2017/06/28/grand-canyon-scientist-creationist-receives-permits/

    They may not fully understand their own motives, but suppressing the truth is at the core of what they do. So we can expect more of it from them, much more.

  10. 10
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    Dr. Andrew Snelling

    P.S. Why can’t comments be edited even through the clock shows almost five minutes left of the 20 min edit time?

  11. 11
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    Somewhat O/T: here’s another case of suppression of the truth by people who know better (why else would they keep hiding their “work”?). They misled a whole continent and nation about supposed rising temperatures, and it’s been revealed that their shenanigans (i.e., corruption, misfeasance, malfeasance and yes, truth suppression) have raised the temperature record more than the claimed increase due to CO2.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2017/.....years-ago/

    Meanwhile, their lies led to the wrecking of the electric system of the entire continent, but instead of being chastened, they are pressing for more. http://joannenova.com.au/2017/.....-in-perth/. Lies have consequences, in origin and diversification of life research as well as in supposed catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW).

    Truth suppression: if you’re a Progressive, it’s what you do!

  12. 12
    aarceng says:

    polistra @ 6
    Interesting that she doesn’t even consider the alternative hypothesis that the geological dating is wrong.

Leave a Reply