Return of the Videos

Yes, folks: That's a Video!

After an absence of a good two months the Institute for Creation Research’s That’s a Fact has finally made a comeback. But will it last?

The new video is called Dino Cells, and returns for the nth time to the subject of soft tissues in fossils:

A usual I can’t embed, so you get a screenshot until that changes.

Walk into any natural history museum and you’re likely to see an enormous T. rex skeleton staring you in the face. But of course, unlike Hollywood movies like Jurassic Park the dinosaurs we see today are just fossils.

Can anybody tell me what the fossil at 0:18 is of? It looks almost like a… bird.

Palaeontologists dig up all kinds of fossils, mostly just small bones or seashells, but occasionally they discover unusual fossils, like squid with ink, or lizards with skin, or even a T. rex with blood.

The squid and T. rex should be familiar to you, and we shall get to them shortly. The Lizard is not discussed and has not previously come up anywhere except as similarly oblique mentions. The corresponding DpSU was Green River Formation Fossil Has Original Soft Tissue from May 12, 2011, and is thus slightly too old to have been covered here. All that is needed, however, is a quote from the text of the paper:

The Green River Formation is universally recognized as a major hydrocarbon reservoir and has been studied in detail for over 80 years. These hydrocarbons are derived from the degradation of ancient organisms (higher plants being the likely dominant contributor) and not from modern sources. Therefore, the survival of organic compounds for 50 Myr within the Green River Formation is not problematic.

Back to the video then:

That’s what scientists uncovered in Montana in 1990: bones with soft blood vessels inside. And when they examined the blood vessels in the lab they found dinosaur blood cells.

Did they actually find that the blood vessels were ‘soft’? I’m not sure. The ICR may be assuming that “soft tissue” means that it must be squishy, or just spinning it that way to their viewers.

In any case, this find was last discussed in Özti’s Blood just a few weeks ago. My conclusion was that a) there is some doubt about this find and b) even if true it does not demonstrate that the fossil is recent. It is possible, for example, that even if the finds are really from blood that they still have been mineralised: the actual organics, which is what the creationists claim could not survive millions of years, need not still be present.

You may notice that the blood cells being paraded across the screen here at around 0:40 (you can see them in the screenshot above) are clearly not dinosaurian – these lack a nucleus like your stereotypical mammalian blood cell.

Other discoveries around the world include fossils with hair, feathers, and even skin, which makes a palaeontologist scratch his head, because things like skin and blood can only last thousands of years.

How do we know that? That, really, is the fundamental problem with this creationist argument. We cannot actually make a proper judgement about whether an example of preserved soft tissue could or could not survive to be the age it is without specifics (that is, detailed information about where it was buried), and this laundry list from the ICR does not provide any such thing.

And what about that squid fossil? In 2009 scientists found a dried ink sack inside. When they made that ink wet they were actually able to write with it.

This topic was covered in Old Ink, and while there doesn’t seem to be any question about the finds authenticity it does not prove a young Earth either. Being able to write with the ink certainly does not, as the important part is whether the underlying chemicals still exist, not that it still functions as ink. This also provides a good example of how the ICR’s readers are being manipulated and mislead, even when the ICR does not actually make a certian claim or says the opposite: a facebook commenter said “Heck, the ink in my pens drys [sic] out in a couple of years!” Similarly, on the whole Sauropod-farting story somebody said “Death by farting. Way to go scientists.” This even despite the fact that Thomas had explicit stated that the scientists never said any such thing!

A lot of scientists insist that dinosaur fossils are many millions of years old, but the facts of science tell a different story – that squid with ink, lizards with skin, and dinosaurs with gooey blood vessels, can only have been buried a short time. Which is exactly what the bible has said all along, because God created all living things, including man, just a few thousand years ago. Even that enormous T. rex at the museum.

The bible talks about the process of fossilisation, and organic chemicals, and all the rest of it? News to me.

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5 thoughts on “Return of the Videos

  1. “Can anybody tell me what the fossil at 0:18 is of? It looks almost like a… bird.”

    I think it’s a fabrication. The main skeleton is definitely of a bird (large sternal keel, fused synsacrum) but the arm is strange. The scapula appears to either be 2 divergent rod-like bones, or possibly a triangular structure like mammal. Bird scapulae are rod-like and lie flat along the dorsal ribs — would be unlikely to be disarticulated like this. Also, the hand appears to have separate digits and not represent a fused up carpo-metacarpus. plus is too short for a bird carpo-metacarpus. The head of the humerus looks particularly mammalian (as best as I can tell from size of image). It think it’s a chicken skeleton (because of the shallow sternal keel) with the arms of a rat mocked up to look like a fossilized skeleton. And That’s a Fact!

    “You may notice that the blood cells being paraded across the screen here at around 0:40 (you can see them in the screenshot above) are clearly not dinosaurian”

    And the femur they show is a horse femur.

    “Other discoveries around the world include fossils with hair, feathers, and even skin”

    *Fossilized* hair, feathers, and skin, yes. Are they admitting to feathers on dinosaurs yet?

    • So it might not even be a real fossil? They get all their pictures from stockphoto sites, so they can’t be blamed completely, but even so it’s fairly ironic. I hadn’t noticed that the femur was off, and I think they’ve used that picture before, so hmm…

      And I don’t think they’ve conceded the feathers yet. Maybe next month.

    • Honestly, it’s difficult to say with such poor resolution. But, while the body and legs, etc. are definitely avian, the arms look weird to me and more mammalian. I could be wrong. I’m not wrong about the horse femur!

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