Soft Tissue Discovered in Tyrannosaurus Rex Fossils

The astonishing discovery of flexible soft tissues in the fossilized bones of a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex1 has been upsetting for those committed to the “old earth” model of Darwinian evolution.  Under ordinary conditions, the body of any dead animal will predictably decay very rapidly, with microbes destroying any soft tissue left by insect scavengers within a matter of weeks.  If the carcass is rapidly buried by sediment, a requirement for fossilization, it would be protected from scavengers.  Furthermore, any rapid drying of the sediment could inhibit microbial growth and slow down degradation of the soft tissue.  However, how likely would it be for delicate blood vessels to remain intact, or tiny red blood cells?  Would collagen remain flexible, even stretchy, for 70 million years?  Dr. Mary Schweitzer published a follow-up study of her initial findings in 2007.2  Amazingly, she found soft tissue in fossils was not rare: nearly half of their bone samples from the Jurassic Period (145 to 200 million years ago) contained preserved soft tissue.  It was even possible to perform amino acid sequencing of samples.  In seeking to explain how soft tissue could remain so very long, the researchers hypothesized that elemental iron could have been involved, somewhat like formaldehyde preserves biopsied tissue today.  Since Dr. Schweitzer’s discovery in 2005, others have reported that they, too, have found soft tissue preserved within ancient fossils.  These findings include eyeballs from an extinct bird3, an entire dinosaur brain (dated 133 million years old), with discernible capillaries and meninges4, as well as soft tissue from duckbill dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, embryonic sauropods, mosasaur, scorpions, and even tube worms dated 551 million years old.

Who could have imagined that delicate soft tissues could remain so long?  It defies any reasonable belief, as well as scientific research.  Researchers studying soft tissue degradation examined 158 Moa bones buried in New Zealand at known times in the past few centuries, and by measuring the surviving mitochondrial DNA in each specimen, they were able to calculate the rate of decay.  At the rate they calculated, there would be no detectable DNA after 650,000 years, let alone 70 million years.  In another study measuring the survival rate of collagen in cow and human bones, it was calculated that collagen could conceivably survive under some conditions for several hundred thousand years, but certainly no longer than a million years5.

The problem here, is that for the evolution model of life (by random mutations) to seem believable, Carl Sagan’s time frame of “billions and billions” of years is absolutely required. Because C14 dating is invalid beyond 12,000 years, and other radioactive dating methods require questionable assumptions on the initial proportion of the elements, sedimentary strata are dated using circular reasoning.  Fossils are dated by their strata, and the strata are dated by key fossils.  If fossilized dinosaur bones must actually be less than one million years old to have preserved soft tissue, the entire superstructure of Darwinian evolution falls apart, and the entire humanist educational establishment loses its chief scientific rationale.  More than that, the “young earth” creationist explanation for the origin of life suddenly becomes attractive, as does the Noah’s Flood explanation for the vast sedimentary rock deposits around the globe.  For atheists, that would be intolerable, for it would support the idea that the Bible is exactly what it claims to be, the authoritative Word of God.

All this, of course, leads us back to Noah’s Boys.  Written for all ages, these exciting tales of romance and adventure give us an idea what it was really like in those final years before Noah’s Flood.  Look for the next book to come out this year!
G.M. Horning


1. Schweitzer MH, Wittmeyer JL, Toporski JK.  Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex; Science  2005; 307 (Issue 5717): 1952-1955; (25 Mar 2005)

2. Schweitzer M. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Nov 26, 20133.

3. Geggel L. “This bird eyeball survived 120 million years.  1/11/2018

4. David Norman, paleontologist at the University of Cambridge, as reported to the Geological Society of London in October 2016

5. For more information, see the excellent articles on “Solid Answers on Soft Tissue” by Brian Thomas, Science Writer for the Institute for Creation Research, including April 3, 2016.


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