More on Soft Tissue

12 Nov 2018

It seems not everyone is satisfied by the new explanation of why soft dinosaur tissue would survive for 100 million years. Robert sent in a link at ... where David Coppedge, an ex Cassini Mission scientist, presents the case for a Young Earth point of view on dinosaurs. This is the opposite angle to that in the research paper at Nature Communications (see earlier post on the subject on November 11th, yesterday). Coppedge says the new hypothesis relies on i) an oxidative environment, ii) sandstone and limestone, iii) formation of end products that resist decay, and iv) the end products being hydrophobic (so that they are undamaged by water). If you get all of these conditions you might get a matrix to extrude from the original material that coan preserve the soft tissues for hundreds of millions of years by forming cross links between proteins). Hence, one might conclude you should not find soft tissue in reducing environments. He then sets about deconstructing their described experiment.

Next, we have a link to the Institute for Creation Research and Brian Thomas who seems hopeful the whole geological column is about to come crashing down. He sounds like a hopeful revisionist historian who has a pet theory on slashing the chronology but deliberately ignores the archaeology layers (stone, copper, bronze, iron, Roman and medieval). The geological column is real and a bit of reading up on how it came about would be useful - such as the work of William Smith who composed the first geological map of England and Wales. He was an engineer in charge of building canals across various parts of England and Wales and had practical experience of the layering process, using the geology to devise the route of his canals. We seem to have two opposing extremes here - the young earthers who see most of geology as evidence of 'The Flood' (and ignoring the idea of 'floods' and 'glaciation' etc). At the other extreme we have the uniformitarians who see virtually all geology within the concept of erosion over enormous periods of time. There is of course a middle way - catastrophism. This interprets the geological column as a series of catastrophic events with sedimentary layers laid down quickly (but not all the time) divided by long periods when nothing much happened on the catastrophic front and evolution was able to proceed unaffected by tidal waves, earthquakes, storms, and volcanic explosions etc. These events have to be global of course in order to create a geological column which means the catastrophes have to be somewhat bigger than your average hurricane or tsunami or forest fire etc. One can see then that the geological column need not be visible everywhere - and can be obliterated at other locations (and so on). It also means that dinosaurs might have been buried quickly and deeply together with vegetation and muds and sands etc and this might be why soft tissue is preserved in some situations. Just a thought.