Incredibly Fragile Dinosaur Soft Tissue

Two images of the delicate, one-way valves from veins. They were found in in dinosaur soft tissue!
(Image copied from the presentation embedded below)

Mark Armitage and James Solliday at the Dinosaur Soft Tissue Research Institute have been doing some amazing work. On October 5th, Mr. Armitage presented their findings at Lower Columbia College. Apparently, he has not yet received the video of that presentation, so he kindly posted a quick overview of the content. To me, it is astounding:

While everyone should watch all 15 minutes of the presentation, I want to highlight the things that I think are most important.

At 2:29, he shows two images that elicited an audible gasp from me when I first saw them. To understand just how incredible the images are, you need to know that there are one-way valves found in vertebrate veins. This is because the blood pressure in a vein is so low that blood can actually travel backwards. To prevent that, there are delicate, one-way valves throughout the veins. They open when the blood is flowing the correct way, and they close to prevent it flowing backwards. In the left-hand part of the image at the top of the post (copied from the presentation), you see a circle with what looks like a partially-opened tent flap. The circle is the base of the valve, and the “tent flap” is the delicate membrane that opens and closes. In that image, the valve is partly open. On the right-hand side, the valve is fully open.

This is incredible to me, because I have tried to dissect animals and extract these valves. I have never been able to. They are so delicate that I end up destroying them in the dissection process. Now, of course, I am not much of a biologist, and I am even less of an expert at dissection. Nevertheless, my experience with them indicates that they are absurdly delicate. Yet, here they are in a dinosaur fossil! Not only does this give evidence that the fossil is not millions of years old, but it also shows that these are definitely not structures that come from fungi or bacteria which recently invaded the fossil. Bacteria and fungi do not build structures with these delicate, one-way valves! He also presents other evidence that rules out bacterial and fungal contamination.

At 8:22, he shows red blood cells from a fossil that is supposed to be 400 million years old! The cells have the appropriate size and shape for red blood cells. Later on (12:05), he shows a blood vessel from a dinosaur fossil that has not even collapsed! It has an air bubble in it. When he does a stain test to see what is in the blood vessel, the test indicates that there is RNA in the blood vessel!

At 6:47, he shows what appears to be blood clotted in the tissue. He shows how it behaves just like you would expect blood to behave when exposed to polarized light, and he also shows that iron from the blood has not spread into the bone tissue. This is important, because Dr. Mary Schweitzer has proposed that iron might be preserving the soft tissue found in dinosaur bones. There has already been several arguments (see here and here) that seem to invalidate Dr. Schweitzer’s hypothesis, but this observation is the nail in the coffin. Iron can’t be preserving bone tissue if it doesn’t spread into the bone to begin with!

I have said this before and will say it again: It’s a wonderful time to be a young-earth creationist!

NOTE: A commentor made the great suggestion that I post a link if you want to support Mr. Armitage’s research. Here it is:

Donate to the Dinosaur Soft Tissue Research Institute.

10 Comments

  1. Sj says:

    Mind-boggling–are they planning to publish this in a secular journal?

    1. Jay Wile says:

      He has published his other results in secular journals, so I assume he plans to do that again.

  2. John Strange says:

    Wow, this is insane! Awesome stuff.
    Do you have any idea what the evolutionary argument against this would be?

    1. Jay Wile says:

      I would think it would have to focus on trying to find a mechanism to significantly slow the decay. As I say in the post, Dr. Schweitzer has suggested that iron from the blood can reduce the rate of decay, but that doesn’t seem to work in fossils. Others have suggested that the proteins undergo oxidation to form Advanced Glycoxidation Endproducts and Advanced Lipoxidation Endproducts, which are resistant to decay. However, I don’t think that such delicate structures would be preserved when the proteins underwent oxidation like that. Their structures would almost certainly crumble.

  3. John D says:

    Wow!!! First off, we should definitely all pray that Mr. Armitages open heart surgery has God’s healing hand guiding the way. I noticed right away he’s lost some weight and I pray that this coming year will bring him the best of health.

    Secondly, this is all incredible! I sent a small sum to Mr. Armitages research fund when he was terminated from his University position for publishing his controversial research paper. Talk about money well spent! I think furthermore, Christians should prayerfully consider funding him further. Dr. Wile maybe you can post a link ?

    Lastly, in response to the post above, although Armitage was careful in sticking to the scientifically accepted fossil dates for his presentation, I assume he is blackballed from secular publishing. This research is so fantastic though… I do wonder if the journals will be able to maintain their distance.

    1. Jay Wile says:

      I don’t think he is blackballed from secular publishing. His first two articles were in secular journals. He just doesn’t mention the obvious young-earth implications of the research. Good idea about posting a link. I will.

  4. red says:

    I’m still confused about something: While I appreciate Dr. Schweitzer’s work, genius!, why weren’t we told of soft tissues long before her? Crichton mentioned them in his novel, Jurassic Park. DNA, as well. This is how Gen cloned dinosaurs in the film. And, how many different theories will deep-time researches need before they try to brush it under the rug? The fourth attempt to prove deep-ages of fossils is the toast model, but the only ones being burned are the researchers. Yes, I do get a lot of hate mail from militant atheists, tho I doubt it’s anywhere close to your load 🙂 Peace!

    1. Jay Wile says:

      I think the reason we only heard about them after Schweitzer is that her evidence was more compelling than earlier studies. Scientific studies of biomolecules in fossils that are supposed to be millions of years old date back to 1954, as far as I can tell. However, the possibility of contamination was high in most of those experiments. As time went on, some structures like blood vessels were found, but even the authors were skeptical. A 1998 study, for example, said they found blood vessels and bodies that looked like erythrocytes (red blood cells). However, the authors actually put “dinosaur erythrocyte” in quotes, indicating that they didn’t even believe it themselves. Most paleontologists during those years thought that all of these structures were biofilms produced by modern bacteria that had invaded the fossil. Schweitzer was the first to do several chemical tests to rule out biofilms. This made the case much more compelling.

  5. A study has been published in the scientific journal Gondwana Research claiming that feathered dinosaur fossils has been discovered in Australia. Have you read this paper? Any comment?

    1. Jay Wile says:

      I had not seen that. Thanks for alerting me to it. I will read it and probably comment on it here.

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