Carbon 14 in Dinosaur bones

Why is there Carbon 14 in Dinosaur bones? Is it possible that it is background Carbon 14, or is it a contaminate?

This article deals in depth with claims of certain creationist researchers that C14 was found in dinosaur bones.

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Good article, which points out the sad negative effect that such willful misrepresention has on the gospel message.
Also, just to be clear, there are no dinosaur bones, only dinosaur fossils, where the original biological carbon has been replaced by minerals, except perhaps in rare cases where trace amounts of collagen may persist.
Carbon may also be present through contamination, and through naturally occurring biofilms. Also, at the lower limits of detection, I understand that residual carbon in the testing equipment makes for noise which limits dating.

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what about the soft tissues/callagen found by Mary Schweitzer? Im so confused about that

Much has been said, but remember that the organic residual is tiny, and some of what people refer to as soft tissue, is mineralized structures in the shape of soft tissue: essentially microfossils rather than actual RBCs etc. though some actual residual blood vessels may be visualized. I am sure interesting developments are yet to come.
There seems to some real trace amounts of protein in the bones but of course if the dinosaurs really did die in or shortly after Noah’s day as per YEC interpretation , there would be abundant non- fossilized bone, DNA, and soft tissue, and that is not what is seen.

Here is a helpful article:

Incidentally, while I was looking for your first link I found this one from back in 2006. I thought it did a good job presenting what Schweitzer saw her research as and how it was co-opted by other groups.


Just in case you don’t have quite enough to end your confusion …

Regarding soft tissues, I came upon this blog that is a great overview. Lots other I interesting articles also:

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Excellent material at that link…

It just inspired me to create a new thread:

The Great Ark Fossil Mystery !!!

Where are the bones of Any of the species, pairs of which Noah brought on board the Ark?

In fact, Noah must have disobeyed God …

He must have taken Every One of those Animals alive on the Earth … because they do not share the fossil record with all of the Flood victims!

Best of the Best Extracts

. . . .from @jpm’s link to the “Dinosaur Soft Tissue” article!


The work by Mary Schweitzer and her colleagues has shown that at least some of the flexible tissues from deep within the dinosaur bones she examined is original organic material, not merely recent biofilm. However, these tissues have been significantly stabilized by cross-linking in the course of aging. While there is evidence for some heme units (heme is a stable portion of hemoglobin), there are no actual red blood cells.

For other fossil dinosaur samples, it is possible that the flexible material found in them is recent bacterial biofilm, not original organic molecules. Thomas Kaye presented convincing evidence that some of the flexible material he extracted from fossil dinosaur or turtle remains was biofilm. He also found that little red objects which initially looked like red blood cells in blood vessels were actually microclusters of iron oxide.

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That scientists are unable at present to give a complete account of the mechanism and trajectory of the preservation of modified proteins in the dinosaur bone pores is not some unique, embarrassing case. This situation arises constantly in the course of scientific discovery.

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Again and again young earth creationists have pointed to some observations such as bent rock layers, polystrate fossils, the amount of salt in the ocean, apparent mingled human and dinosaur footprints, the amount of helium in the atmosphere, polonium halos, or fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field, and claimed that since conventional (old-earth) science could not

  • explain these observations, [and]
  • the earth must be young.

But when genuine science is brought to bear on these issues, they are eventually readily explained within the framework of an old earth and accepted physics. It may take some years, however, to come to a satisfactory resolution. A number of these supposed evidences for a young earth are exposed here .

The absence of long, sequenceable chains of DNA in any dinosaur fossils indicates that these fossils are much older than the 6000-4500 year age allowable in young earth creationism.

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The traces of DNA fragments in Schweitzer’s fossils matched more closely to modern birds than to modern reptiles. The same held true for sequences of proteins. These trends conform to evolutionary expectations, since most biologists hold that today’s birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, whereas today’s alligators are more distant cousins.

Mary Schweitzer is a dedicated evangelical Christian, who has born with grace the attacks on her character and the misrepresentation of her work by young earth creationists.

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