LONDON – The discovery of well-preserved blood and proteins in a supposedly 75-million-year-old dinosaur fossil has stumped secular scientists and led one Christian apologist to herald the findings as evidence of a young Earth.
A team of scientists at the U.K.’s Imperial College London carefully examined eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones discovered in North America, scrutinizing the bones’ interiors with an electron microscope. The researchers were stunned when they discovered what appeared to be red blood cells in one of the specimens.
Upon closer examination, the British scientists identified an internal structure within the dinosaur cells, complete with nuclei and amino acids. Then, in addition to the blood cells, the scientists discovered excellently-preserved collagen, which is a common soft tissue.
The scientists published their findings last week in “Nature Communications,” emphasizing that the dinosaur bones they studied were “not exceptionally preserved.”
“It has long been accepted that protein molecules decay in relatively short periods of time and cannot be preserved for longer than 4 million years,” the researchers noted. They described the discovery of preserved blood cells and soft tissue as unprecedented and “very exciting.”
A number of similar discoveries have recently cast doubt on secular scientists’ claims that most fossils are millions of years old. As previously reported, scientists recently found protein-rich materials somehow preserved within ancient shells. Last year, a California university fired a biologist for discovering soft tissue on a Triceratops fossil and questioning evolutionary assumptions.
A report last week from “Discover” magazine explains the controversial nature of these finds.
“Many of these discoveries … have been contentious within the paleontological community, and the presence of molecular-level preservation in the fossil record remains controversial,” the magazine explained. “This is because proteins and other molecular components are thought to break down within about four million years.”
Ken Ham, a well-known Christian apologist and president of Answers in Genesis, believes the dinosaur fossils analyzed by the British scientists are not millions of years old after all. Rather, Ham says the discovery of preserved blood cells and tissues undermine secular assumptions and create a problem for evolutionists.
“How could soft tissue survive for 75 million years? Are evolutionists questioning their assumptions that the fossil is 75 million years old? Of course not!” Ham wrote in a blog post. “Instead, they simply assume the materials somehow survived for 75 million years because they believe on the basis of their evolutionary presuppositions that the fossil is that old.”
However, the existence of preserved blood cells and tissues in dinosaur fossils makes sense in the young earth Biblical worldview, Ham argues.
“This new find is consistent with the young age of the Earth as described in God’s Word and in no way confirms evolutionary ideas about the past,” he wrote. “Of course evolutionists can’t even consider the possibility that these bones are not millions of years old, as they have to have their supposed millions of years to propose their ideas of molecules-to-man evolution. Actually, believing in millions of years is a necessary part of the religion of naturalism (atheism).”
“But finds like the one the researchers in the London museum discovered affirm biblical—not evolutionary—ideas about the not-so-distant past,” Ham concluded. “We can trust God’s Word to provide us with an accurate history of Earth.”