"Soft Tissue" again

I’ve seen a number of my YEC friends on Facebook post the following link claiming it as evidence for a young earth. I went back and read a few blog posts about the soft tissue, but I was curious, what would your response be? Would you try to engage the topic, or would you just roll your eyes and move on? If you engaged it, how would you respond?



I would point out how a thin layer of oxidized copper preserves copper for centuries. A similar process is at work with fossilized collagen.

I might say something like, “it is great to see how science is learning more about this fascinating creatures. It would really be great if we could find DNA, but alas the oldest known DNA has been found in 800,000 year old ice cores. What do you think of the possibility of cloning wooly mammoths, even though they died out 10,000 or so years ago, and their DNA is abundant is frozen carcasses.”

More likely would either say nothing or comment that this confirms what we already knew, and hopefully will help us understand things better.

Is it too soon to ask for Jurassic Park?? :dizzy_face:

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You mean Pleistocene Park? There has been talk by scientists about “de-extinction.”

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Here’s a BioLogos article about previous soft tissue discoveries.

It’s really cool that science is advancing so much that we’re able to find a lot more than we ever thought we’d be able to get out of such old bones! But—you knew there was a but, right?—it doesn’t really change anything as far as dating them goes.

You might also ask, if you wanted, why Siberia (and other arctic locales) have lots of frozen intact mammoth carcasses and lots of fossilized dinosaur bones, but zero frozen intact dinosaurs?


@beaglelady I didn’t know that was even a word until now. Let us make a startup and go into the de-extinction business :moneybag:

@Lynn_Munter I doubt there are frozen dinos, but I think that there are some frozen Neanderthals somewhere out there

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We all know how Jurassic Park turned out. Let’s not and say we did lol

Oooooooooo… that’s a good one! I wish I had thought of that one.

I hope you don’t mind if I mention your name in attribution when I mention this, okay?

I’m going to call it the “Munter Mammoth Conundrum” !

@gbrooks9 Haha you flatter me! Go for it! :blush:

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Interesting idea! It would depend how much time they spent in far north/permafrost environments, and still would be improbable that we’d actually find them even if there was one or two out there. Also, it’s much more common to find herbivores than predators, and Neanderthals ate mostly meat, more than modern humans (and therefore would have had lower population density when ‘modern’ humans started coming up from Africa).

I wonder if it might not be more likely to find a Neanderthal in a peat bog?

Of course, YECs who frequent websites like AIG and ICR will say that there is no such thing as “800,000 year old ice cores.”

As to the 10,000 years old mammoth carcasses with intact DNA, could you explain what you mean by bringing that up with YECs? They freely admit that DNA can last (to some degree) for about a million years in some cases. (Or, at least, that’s how their argument goes that they learned at AIG.) So I’m not clear what your response is meant to tell them. They already admit that DNA can last for many thousands of years. Their argument is that they deny DNA lasting for millions of years.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your argument and strategy in getting them to think.

I was not very clear, and perhaps my thought process could use more coffee, but I was thinking of exploring the fact that DNA should be there if the fossils were only 5 thousand years old, and it is not, throwing the mammoth thing in just to confirm that abundant dino DNA could easily be found if their timeline were correct, something they should agree with, since we find DNA elsewhere.

Wouldn’t they simply answer, “Yes, dinosaur DNA is there. That’s what all of the excitement is about! Scientists are going back and analyzing dinosaur fossils now that they have more sensitive tests, and sure enough, the dino DNA is indeed there. Just like we would expect.”

So I guess I still don’t quite understand your point as to how your argument would cause any YEC to pause and think. You appear to be reinforcing what they already believe about “young” dinosaur DNA. Moreover, they would quote anti-YEC scientists who tell them that “you can’t expect every dead animal to become a fossil and you can’t expect every fossil to have been preserved in such a way that DNA survives intact.”

There is that. What would your response be?

I haven’t a clue. I have yet to make any headway against a Young Earth Creationist who is convinced that “soft tissue” proves that dinosaurs lived with humans!

I got nothin’.

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Then your YEC person should be able to explain why, if dinosaurs lived with humans, then dinosaurs lived with Elephants, and Giraffes and Rhinos…

So where are the bones systematically appearing anywhere with those Dinosaur bones?

It’s the lack of all Large Mammals Anywhere with Dinos that is one of our best proofs…

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Ultimately, the debate about evolution depends on the age of the earth, and collagen in Dino fossils is not much of an argument either way at this point in our knowledge. I think if presented that as evidence, I would say it is irrelevant, though not inconsistent with an old earth, but the real evidence comes from multiple independent disciplines that confirm one another, including physics with dating techniques, astrophysics with measurement of distances in light years, geology, plate tectonics and so forth.
Those obviously have had responses from fro the YEC community, but might crack open the door to discuss different interpretations of the Bible, that are independent of scientific interpretation. You can discuss problems with the literal plain reading approach, such as days before the sun appeared, the idea of a firmament the mistaken cosmology of the plain reading, and perhaps guide the discussion over to something actually useful, such as what message you think God was trying to convey and how that affects how you live your life and relate to him.
Intimately, it may be futile as suggested, but at least planting the seed that you don’t have to reject God if you come to reject the YEC interpretation may someday be meaningful for that individual.

I usually point to the lack of angiosperm pollen in dinosaur strata—because YECs say “We would expect all mammals to run away from dinosaurs to avoid getting eaten!”

Of course, ya can’t win in such discussions.


And yet we find plant eating and meat eating dinosaurs together all the time in the same sedimentary levels… you can’t outrun your place in time…

Herbivores and saber tooth lions …

Okay… how about this … if Hippos and herbivore dinos stick together to avoid being eaten… how come we don’t FIND them together…

I think you gave up too soon on this one…

Pair up the Carnivore dinos and mammals… and the herbivores …and the YECs still got NADA!!!

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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