Age of the Earth Creation/evolution Science

Soft squishy tissue in 80 million year old dinosaur bones?

Dr Mary Schweitzer even identified the gender of a dinosaur from the bone tissue from its femur.

This video clip is taken from a “60 Minutes” program. Dr Mary Schweitzer discovered flexible ligaments and blood vessels, blood cells, hemoglobin and squishy soft tissue in dinosaur fossils that were supposed to be 68 and 80 million years old.  This was first published this in 1993.1 Then later in 1997,2 and more in 2005.3  In 1993 and 2005 it was in the prestigious journal Science.

How can such tissue survive 80 million years? It can’t. Those dinosaur bones are no more than 4500 years old, probably from dinosaurs killed in Noah’s flood.  But can she or any of her secular colleagues see that they are blinded by their evolutionary worldview?

This evidence, when properly interpreted, makes much more sense in a biblical creationist worldview. The world is only about 6000 years old and dinosaurs were created by God on the sixth day of Creation, the same day God made man. Hence these fossils cannot possibly be tens of millions of years old.

Put on biblical glasses and look at the very same evidence through the lens of God’s Word. It makes much more sense.

Here is another interview from about 2005.

Update 22/07/2014

Mary is an evangelical Christian. Read her interview of 21/7/2014 with BioLogos, an organisation that promotes theistic evolution–the notion that God used evolution to create (an oxymoron, in my opinion).  In the interview she admits the possibility of the dino bones not being that old, but she defers to what she calls ‘science’, which really is scientism.


  1. Morrell, V., Dino DNA: The hunt and the hype, Science 261(5118):160-162, 9 July 1993; article quotes Mary Schweitzer saying it gave her ‘goose bumps’. ‘It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone. But of course, I couldn’t believe it . . . the bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?’
  2. Schweitzer, M., et al., Heme compounds in dinosaur trabecular bone, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94:6291–6296, 1997
  3. Schweitzer, M., et al., Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex, Science 307(5717):1952-1955, 25 March 2005.

Additional Reading

  1. Why believe in God in an age of science?
  2. ‘Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery’
  3. Why is a 6000-year-old universe so hard to believe?
  4. 6-Day Creation of the Universe
  5. Squirming at the Squishosaur

By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

4 replies on “Soft squishy tissue in 80 million year old dinosaur bones?”

Yes, and she tested the principle mechanism on an ostrich bone for a period up to two years. Her paper (your second weblink) states “Haemoglobin (HB) increased tissue stability more than 200-fold, from approximately 3 days to more than two years at room temperature (25°C) in an ostrich blood vessel model developed to test post-mortem ‘tissue fixation’ by cross-linking or peroxidation.” After that it is only extrapolation. Extrapolation from 2 years to 80,000,000 years. And why choose an ostrich bone? Because dinosaurs evolved into birds so they must be related….eh? It is utterly impossible to test her conjecture by operational science. Her fossil belongs in the realm of historical (not repeatable in the lab) science. EVOLUTION IS NOT OPERATIONAL SCIENCE!


In the ostrich, iron accumulations formed quickly on certain parts of the ostrich tissue, and it was these elements that resisted decay for the longest, showing that iron can enhance preservation in modern animals, specifically extant dinosaurs. In both T. rex and B. canadensis, the same is found – iron is found strongly associated with structures like blood vessels:


The science that is done in the lab is operational science and is what it is. The next step to extrapolate that to millions of years is ‘story telling’—at best, historical science. But there is no way to test the conjecture, i.e. that the preservation method works over the tens of millions of years needed. So I agree it works for short periods of time in modern animals, but there are no “extant” (still in existence; surviving) dinosaurs, unless you mean by that “ostriches are extant dinosaurs”? If so, it is ‘special pleading’.


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