T. rex MOR specimen 1125 and my annoyance with AIG

Discussion in 'Science' started by Petrel, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. Petrel

    Petrel
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    Last year this month Dr. Schweitzer and colleagues obtained a broken T. rex femur fossil from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, which has been dated to 65-70 million years old. The fossil didn't appear as densely mineralized as expected, so Dr. Schweitzer decided to examine it. She demineralized fragments of the endosteal cavity. The result was tiny fragments (about 3 mm across) of a variably pliable network resembling connective tissue, with vessels that appeared to contain intact cells. Additionally, the sample showed slight affinity for bovine osteocalcin and chicken type I collagen. Through most of the article it is difficult to say if Dr. Schweitzer thinks these are actual preserved cellular and biomolecular components. Her conclusion indicates that she is not sure--probably the preservation is mostly morphological but hopefully some of the original molecular components might remain.

    Lest we leap to too hasty a conclusion, a research summary in that issue of Science says:

    Of course none of this troubled AIG a bit! They immediately proclaimed:

    When I read this last year I rolled my eyes and waited with interest to hear of the results of Dr. Schweitzer's molecular analysis, knowing it could take several years.

    AIG is not that patient. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of this find, they published another article, this time saying snidely that . . . well, I'll quote the most annoying fragments.

    Well, I found this irksome, so I went to see if she had published anything since last year. Interestingly she had, a mere three months after the first paper. She had found some fragments of unusual bone in the fossil, mentioned in her first paper, that got her thinking that it might be related to avian medullary bone, a special type of bone laid down on the inside of long bones and used for rapid calcium mobilization for egg laying. This type of bones is only found in birds and has not been found in crocodilians, even when hormonally stimulated.

    The existence of medullary bone in T. rex is a very exciting find, adding another piece of evidence to support the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs (I know anti-evolutionists would say that the last sentence of this quote is circular reasoning, but when you have a large amount of evidence, a new piece of evidence serves to confirm that theory while the body of knowledge can help confirm the validity of the new evidence--the evidence forms a network of mutually confirming facts). Oddly enough AIG failed to even recognize the existence of this paper.

    AIG first leaped to the conclusion that this pliable mesh was unfossilized tissue, then smeared a person's reputation by suggesting she is dishonest based upon no evidence, and then hid an inconvenient paper from their readers in order to leave them thinking that these findings do nothing but confirm a young earth. (Either that or they didn't bother researching before writing the second article, which is only a bit better.)

    Even as a Young Earth creationist I didn't think much of Answer's in Genesis' purported "answers," and now that I am no longer as predisposed to give them the benefit of the doubt I find they are downright disreputable.

    "Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex." M. Schweitzer, J. Wittmeyer, J. Horner, J. Taporski, Science 307, 1952-1955, (2005).

    "Tyrannosaurus rex Soft Tissue Raises Tantalizing Prospects." E. Stokstad, Science 307, 1852, (2005).

    "Gender-Specific Reproductive Tissue in Ratites and Tyrannosaurus rex." M. Schweitzer, J. Wittmeyer, J. Horner, Science 308, 1456-1460, (2005).
     
  2. Deacon

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    Nice analysis.
    Welcome to the club.

    Rob
     
  3. Petrel

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    Here is an article from Smithsonian Magazine covering Dr. Schweitzer's research and her reaction to YEC misinterpreting her work.

    Emphasis mine. Unfortunately this is true.

    Still no response from AIG, by the way. :D
     

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