Re: [asa] Dino DNA (was: Dawkins on the fossil record)

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Sat Dec 05 2009 - 18:32:34 EST

> One thing that may be upsetting to evolutionist is the (maybe) DNA in dinosaur bone.  Dinosaurs are supposed to be too ancient to be able to leave DNA.  (This is still under investigation as I understand it.)<
> RE:

The report is of preserved protein, not DNA. DNA does poorly in the
presence of water (e.g., in amber) or heat, among other things.
Protein can be much more durable.

"Proteins such as collagen are far more durable than DNA, but they had
not been expected to last the 65 million years since the dinosaurs
died out. "

Such hype (or worse, the claim that any "soft" material would be lost
by then) was commonplace in association with this article. What was
actually impressive was showing that there was readable protein
sequence, though generating more comparative data for modern
archosaurs would have been a good idea.

I've worked some and my grad advisor works a lot with protein-based
material in fossil shells over 5 times as old as T. rex. Other
flexible organic materials like polysaccharides and lipids (e.g.,
cellulose) are known far older, such as Precambrian algal cysts. In
fact, a standard way to isolate durable organic material like spores,
pollen, and arthropod cuticle from sediment is to process it with
hydrofluoric acid. The minerals are destroyed and the organics are
left behind. This stuff does not go away easily. But hyped publicity
has provided loads of quotes for young earth misuse.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Sat Dec 5 18:33:08 2009

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