Soft Tissue Preservation in Fossils: The Hemoglobin Challenge by Joel Duff

Biologist Joel Duff says,

Young-earth creationists frequently tell their audience that hemoglobin is found in ancient fossils inside blood cells. Their audience might be forgiven if they believe that what is in these fossils is hemoglobin just like what is found in your red blood cells. But they would be wrong. What has been found are the highly modified remains of breakdown products, or “hemoglobin-derived porphyrins,” of what once were large macromolecules. That doesn’t sound as sexy but it is a more accurate description of what has been reported in the scientific literature.

So Duff is issuing a challenge: He wants these YECs (there name is legion for they are many) to stop the deception. He promises to commend those who do change their message, and call out those who keep lying. How many will change their tune?

Watch the video here: Soft Tissue Preservation in Fossils: The Hemoglobin Challenge

The video is lengthy but worth watching. It includes a very good description on exactly what has been found and what has not been found. Keep it handy for the next time a YEC makes this claim.


Of note . . .

Mary Schweitzer was one of the first scientists to describe soft tissue in dinosaur fossils. She was once a YEC, but moved away from creationism while getting her undergrad/grad degree.


She looked at the evidence and reconsidered her position. If only all YECs could be so honest.


I’m curious- have any YEC sources explained aragonite leaching? and why it happens only in deposits below non-leached ones?

The most obvious effect of aragonite leaching is that most mollusk shells disappear, usually becoming molds. The few exceptions include most epitoniids (wentletraps), some muricids (murexes), scallops, and oysters. Their shells are already made out of calcite.

And what about single crystal calcite or silica-replaced shells? Where the microstructure is preserved, meaning that a few molecules of aragonite at a time were replaced?


I think they are busy solving the heat problem, and they will get right to the aragonite leaching issue ASAP.

btw I had never heard of aragonite leaching, so thanks for that.

Yeah, me too.

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For reference, it seems to take somewhere between 100,000 and 350,000,000 years, depending on conditions. Most deposits in the Carolinas from the Miocene and some Pliocene deposits are leached.


We have talked to her before! :slight_smile:


Note that the headlines and popular articles from many sources within conventional science produce an almost equally misleading impression of “perfectly preserved”. Besides the careless hyperbole, it also neglects the typical fossil, which is definitely not perfectly preserved.


Yes. I have seen wording suggesting “perfectly preserved soft tissue” applied to completely permineralized fossils.


Obligatory PhD Comic:


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