By Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 6 Jan 2010
With the new year, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is claiming several great breakthrough finds in science as proof that the earth is young. One of these claims deals with soft tissue finds in fossils that are millions of years old.1
The findings listed by ICR include an 80 million year old hadrosaur fossil that contains proteins that were still intact, preserved salamander muscle tissue from an 18 million year old fossil, and 45 million year old yeast.
ICR claims that such finds prove that rocks once considered to be millions of years old must in fact be young. However, aside from their claim that soft tissue must imply a young age, they present no scientific evidence to back up their claim.
In contrast, the scientists who studied these unique finds fully accepted the ages of the finds as being millions of years old. They did not doubt that the hadrosaur was in fact 80 million years old. They fully accept that the salamander fossil is 18 million years old, and that the yeast is actually 45 million years old.
These finds do not call into question the age of the fossils. They do, however, issue a call for further research into how these fossils were preserved. Unfortunately, we cannot bury a dead animal and wait a million years to see what happens. We have to rely on laboratory experiments that last weeks, months, or a few years, at most. Therefore, we may never fully understand the fossilization process.
Why can we so easily dismiss the claims that these samples are young? We can do so because the geologic forces that buried them is well understood. Geologists are able to examine real-world sedimentation rates, and they show beyond doubt that rock layers take long periods to form. This is confirmed when we date the rocks using radiometric methods, which are also well understood.
When soft tissue is found in millions of years old fossils, its discovery does nothing to invalidate the geology behind its burial, nor the tried-and-true radiometric dating methods used to date them. Young earth proponents, however, accept neither the geologic principles nor the radiometric dating, and they will continue to parade such finds as proof of a young earth. But we can rest assured that such claims are meaningless.
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