Joel Duff: "James Tour Confidently Preaches Dino Blood Error"

Joel Duff’s “hemoglobin challenge” continues.

I’m surprised James Tour is still making this kind of claim about dinosaur blood. As Joel Duff summarizes in the introduction to his video:

In a recent video he [Tour] claims he really knows chemical bonds and therefore he can tell us the fact that dinosaur fossils have been found with unfossilized blood cells in them is biochemical proof that the dinosaurs could not have lived very long ago. The problem is that Dr. Tour’s confidence in his knowledge of chemistry does not make him immune to making inferences based on false information. He hasn’t vetted his sources and so comes to wrong conclusions despite sounding extremely confident in himself. To date, no intact non-fossilized blood cells have ever been confirmed in dinosaur fossils. Instead, what some researchers have found are structures that resemble blood cells. In some very unusual cases, these structures may contain some original biomolecules usually in highly modified form eventually resulting in some highly stable molecules, such as porphyrins from heme molecules that may remain unchanged for millions of years.

I see @Rumraket posted the first comment in response to Duff’s video. And he drove home an important point about surviving dinosaur collagen fragments:

Incidentally they have sequences more similar to those of birds, than those of extant mammals or extant reptiles, showing that the Dinosaurs they are derived from were most closely related to birds as paleontologists already thought. :slight_smile:


Wait. So Tour is now, or perhaps has always been, a YEC?


My level of surprise is genuinely zero.


I see Tour’s video where he appeared to argue for Covid vaccines is now hidden on his channel and can’t be searched on youtube. I had to search this forum to find a link to it. He’s really falling into his conservative conspiracy bubble more and more?


Tour as much as says that proteins cannot last in water for more than a few days. If only that was the case - working with RNA, whose worst enemy in the lab is traces of RNAse floating around in the environment, would be so much easier if Tour were speaking the truth.

A test of this that anyone can do - buy or borrow a tube of bovine serum albumin (typically provided with restriction enzymes) and let it sit in the refrigerator. Every week or month, run and stain a gel. If Tour were correct, after a week, you not see a band of BSA. After a year, most certainly not.


Are we sure that Tour hasn’t been quote mined (clip mined)? @Joel_Duff mentions a cut in the video.

Original 2 minute video here.

Tour is pretty emphatic that the supposed discovery of “not fossilized” red blood cells and collagen precludes dinosaurs being millions of years old. It is apparent that he does not accept that geologists know their area of science as much as he “really” knows his area of science. Tour’s CV has much more depth that is usual with ID proponents, and I am genuinely taken back by his naivety on display here, not to mention his appeal to authority, that being himself.


OK, I tracked down the full original video, and it does provide some broader context, where Tour does not come across as so much YEC as hopelessly or conveniently agnostic concerning the age of the earth. A lot of straw manning also goes on.

At 44:25 he cops out with “I have no idea how old the earth is”,


He may separate the age of the earth from the age of dinosaurs, because he clearly has an opinion on the age of dinosaur fossils. In fact, by his reasoning, dinosaur fossils of the sort he thinks exist, with intact erythrocytes and proteins, can be only a few weeks old at most.

1 Like

Is Tour still working as a chemist?

1 Like

Thanks for doing the legwork! Here, have a badge. :name_badge: :slight_smile: