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Creation Science Fiction

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Dinosaur Soft Tissue Preservation Explained By Iron In Hemoglobin

This is an updated version of a post I made about a year ago since recent data confirms the role iron plays in preserving soft tissue from dinosaurs and other animals for up to 247 million years.
Many creationists have adopted Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s discovery of soft tissue preserved inside dinosaur fossils, but they mock or make light of the research she has done over the past 10 years and her conclusion that iron in hemoglobin is the reason we find preserved soft tissue. There is also a misconception that this “soft tissue” is found soft, stretchy, and pliable when it is discovered. Soft tissue describes a type of organic matter, not the physical state it is found in. Some samples have been made flexible after soaking them in acid or solutions for days or even weeks to remove mineralization.
Most dinosaur fossils do not contain preserved soft tissue, but under the right conditions preservation may occur naturally. Dr. Schweitzer’s lab experiments with iron found in hemoglobin showed it only took a matter of weeks for soft tissue to reach a state of preservation. Once the tissue has reached a state of preservation and is encased in solid bone, especially permineralized bone, it can last indefinitely depending on environmental conditions. Dr. Schweitzer’s work studying the role iron plays in hemoglobin has been confirmed by at least four other independent studies that came to the same conclusion:
1) 247 Million Year Old Reptile Tissue Preserved By Iron In Hemoglobin.
Spectroscopic Studies on Organic Matter from Triassic Reptile Bones, Upper Silesia, Poland Published: March 15, 2016
"The preservation of molecular signals of proteins within the "blood vessels" was most likely made possible through the process of early diagenetic iron oxide mineralization."
2) 46 Million Year Old Mosquito Preserved By Iron In Hemoglobin
"Heme, the oxygen-carrying group of hemoglobin in the host’s blood, was identified in the abdomen of the fossil mosquito by nondestructive mass-spectrometry analysis. Although large and fragile molecules such as DNA cannot survive fossilization, other complex organic molecules, in this case iron-stabilized heme, can survive intact and provide information relative to the mechanisms of the fossilization process.
3) 195 Million Year Old Dinosaur Collagen And Protein Preserved By Iron In Hemoglobin.
"The in situ synchrotron radiation-based Fourier transform infrared (SR-FTIR) spectra exhibit the characteristic infrared absorption bands for amide A and B, amide I, II and III of collagen. Aggregated haematite particles (α-Fe2O3) about 6∼8 μm in diameter are also identified inside the vascular canals using confocal Raman microscopy, where the organic remains were preserved. We propose that these particles likely had a crucial role in the preservation of the proteins, and may be remnants partially contributed from haemoglobin and other iron-rich proteins from the original blood."
4) Feathered Dinosaur Tail with Primitive Plumage Trapped in Mid-Cretaceous Amber Preserved By Iron In Hemoglobin
“Based on analyses further described in the Supplemental Information, SR μ-XFI shows that iron is present in the carbonized soft tissues and as a series of fine linear features corresponding to exposed plumage (Figure 2). Copper is slightly more abundant in amber containing plumage, but this signal is cryptic and not a clear indicator for preserved pigments. Elements such as Ca, Sc, Zn, Ti, Ge, and Mn appear to be associated with clay minerals filling voids in the amber. We derived the valence state of iron in the sample qualitatively by comparison to the standard XAS of Fe foil, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, and FeO. Our calculations indicate that more than 80% of iron in the sample is ferrous (Fe2+).”