Soft tissue preservation

Seems relevant to recent conversations here:


My goodness, the number of different techniques utilized! The idea of finding preserved proteins of a T. Rex is just unbelievable.


This was from a presentation on collagen proteins and am acquainted with a creationist Dermatologist and researcher…

This is a fasta format listing of the amino acids, and I highlight in red the salient characteristics of collagen, namely the repeated G-x-x motif. The Yellow markings on the “C” - Cysteines are the disulfide crosslink positions of collagen. It was agony to put together this diagram as I had to draw from various sources…

There are other colored markings which I can explain for those who want to be tortured with chemical details…

I SUSPECT, in order to preserve the collagen 3D structure of the collagen helix
that the homochirality must be presevered as well, since the related structure of alpha helices will fail without homochirality, and racemization will destroy it. I think its early to say, but I’ve argued racemization dating is problematic for the claim of an old fossil record since there is not enough racemization, and there is modest invariance of racemization levels across strata.

For that reason, I can’t in good conscience say the case of an old fossil record is settled (that question is formally separate from the age of the Earth as the Earth could be billions of years old, but the fossils young).

Just to be clear most of the actual protein sequence in these samples is gone or so chemically degraded it can’t be sequenced. They have a few handful of fragments of the original sequence left. This is what was left of the Tyrannosaurus α-collagen 1 sequence:

[lots missing sequence]
[huge gap]
[huge gap]
[huge gap]
[huge gap]
[lots missing sequence]

From(supplementary information in):
Schweitzer MH, et al.: Biomolecular characterization and protein sequences of the Campanian hadrosaur B. canadensis. Science. 2009 May 1;324(5927):626-31. [doi:10.1126/science.1165069]

*Edit: Corrected the reference.


So what you’re saying is the mote you’re imagining here outweighs the beam of all the other methods of dating fossils. Also, how is this relevant to the topic?


Please don’t quote Jordan Peterson in any context. So what are you saying? Why isn’t it what I paraphrased?

Torture us. Please …


Lots of little gaps too :slight_smile:
And a fish, and a gun, and a location device…

Like Art, I find your misrepresentations of undergraduate-level chemistry and biology to be entertaining, not tortuous.

More on this, please. :grin:

But the real point here is that they are shooting themselves in the foot by claiming such pristine methods of preservation. Because if their theory is right, that would mean that virtually no surrounding elements were able to penetrate and contaminate the soft tissue that was found inside the fossil. And those would be the perfect conditions under which to conduct an excellent carbon analysis on the remaining blood vessels and collagen and return a date that everyone could trust to be very nearly accurate.

So, in their argument, they have reversed the very thing they set out to do. Because we all know what a carbon analysis would return on that T Rex – namely, an age of mere thousands of years. Will they do it? Of course not. They are afraid of what they would find (and then there is the matter of funding $$$). Thus, their failure to conduct honest science disqualifies their entire endeavor.

This article and research amounts to so much hay.

@r_speir Why do you say this? Because you believe these animals to be mere thousands of years old?

@mercer @Art @Roy : Would this be a fair test? Would we expect that there would be no contamination because the tissue was preserved? And, if so, would this not be a wonderful opportunity to put this issue to sleep (that life is only merely thousands of years old?)

True. C-14 dating will always return an age of up to about 50 thousand years, give or take, and T-Rex would not be an exception. YEC habitually knocks the accuracy radiometric dating, and yet when instrumental analysts do stipulate a limitation of the technology, YEC insists that those limits be exceeded. The air you breath is rich in contaminating C-14; all instruments have inherent sensitivity limits. This limitation of C-14 dating, and the reasons, has been discussed on this forum over and over and over again. And then again.


Note that literally thousands of Pleistocene aged remains of extinct creatures (mammoths, woolly rhinos, dire wolves, etc.) have been C14 dated back to 50,000 years ago. The YECs won’t touch this data, won’t even acknowledge it exists. Now C14 dating a dino will supposedly produce valid results?

I know, no one expects consistency from the YEC crowd.


This is what I’m asking about above, as well. Carbon dating has an effective range of 50k years, right? So, if something is dated to 50kya, then it is really fifty (or more) thousand years old, right? Or is this incorrect?

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If it’s more than 10,000 years old (or 6,500 for post flood items) then YEC has a problem with any type of dating.

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Correct. With radiocarbon dating if you get a reading on organic material down to the noise floor of the AMS machine then the sample is at least 50K years old and possibly older.


Çatalhöyük, a very well known and studied Stone Age settlement discovered in Turkey (though not the only one!) is thought to have started over 9000 years ago. I believe that was determined by C14 dating of pottery and other items. However AIG ignores the commonly accepted age and instead explains that it started only after Babel and the following Ice Age, while offering no evidence whatsoever for this date.


So, then, would it not be interesting to see what radiocarbon date one would get? At least for those of us here? Or would one simply never perform such dating because the species is known to have been extinct millions of years outside the effective range?

C14 testing destroys the sample. I doubt the trace amounts of biomaterials found would even be enough to run a test on, and no one in their right mind would destroy such rare and invaluable scientific material. There are plenty of other dino fossils around if any YEC wants to waste the time and money having them C14 tested.


If YEC wants to perform C-14 dating on dinosaurs, let them take the buzz saw to their own Ebenezer, the Allosaurus fossil on display at the Creation Museum. It would be pointless, but it’s their bones.

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