Schweitzer Redux

Mary Higby Schweitzer has a name that is commonly tossed around in creationism-related discussions of preserved ancient soft tissue. She is most famous for her various impressive – though highly controversial – discoveries of soft tissues in Cretaceous dinosaur bones. Young Earth creationists like her because to them the things she found could not have survived tens of millions of years, and are therefore evidence in favour of a young Earth. Schweitzer, for her part, is not at all fond of the creationists and spends much of her efforts countering criticism of the reality of the tissue finds, as well as determining how they could have survived the ages.

One of the most famous criticisms is the claim that the discoveries consist of some sort of bacterial “biofilm.” As we already know from a couple of weeks ago Schweitzer has recently published another paper on this subject, which claims:

Multiple lines of evidence support endogeneity of osteocyte-like microstructures in two dinosaurs. We show the first binding of bone-specific monoclonal antibody to ‘cells’ of these dinosaurs. Four independent lines of evidence support the presence of a component chemically consistent with DNA. We propose a novel mechanism for the preservation of these materials over geological time.

Unfortunately the paper is not open-access, so I can’t tell you what the “novel mechanism” is at this point (I’ll see about getting my hands on it). Brian Thomas’ article – Dinosaur Bone Tissue Study Refutes Critics – opens: Continue reading