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Offline lefebvre_fan

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Dinosaurs
« on: April 07, 2011, 03:40:17 PM »
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  • I've been doing a lot of reading today on dinosaurs and what Catholics are supposed to make of them, and I've come across a few interesting news articles (all from secular sources). I wasn't really sure where to put this, since there's no science and technology section (perhaps something to consider?  :wink:).

    Quote
    T. Rex Soft Tissue Found Preserved
     
    Hillary Mayell
    for National Geographic News
    March 24, 2005
     

    A Tyrannosaurus rex fossil has yielded what appear to be the only preserved soft tissues ever recovered from a dinosaur. Taken from a 70-million-year-old thighbone, the structures look like the blood vessels, cells, and proteins involved in bone formation.

    Most fossils preserve an organism's hard tissues, such as shell or bone. Finding preserved soft tissue is unheard of in a dinosaur-age specimen.

    "To my knowledge, preservation to this extent—where you still have original flexibility and transparency—has not been noted in dinosaurs before, so we're pretty excited by the find," said Mary H. Schweitzer, a paleontologist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

    The findings may provide new insights into dinosaur evolution, physiology, and biochemistry. They could also increase our understanding of extinct life and change how scientists think about the fossilization process.

    "Finding these tissues in dinosaurs changes the way we think about fossilization, because our theories of how fossils are preserved don't allow for this [soft-tissue preservation]," Schweitzer said.

    Uncovering T. Rex

    For three years scientists from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, excavated the T. rex from sandstone at the base of the nearby Hell Creek formation. The dinosaur was relatively small and around 18 years old when it died.

    "The dinosaur was under an incredible amount of rock," said Jack Horner, a curator of paleontology at the museum. "When it was collected, the specimen was very far away from a road, and everything had to be done by helicopter.

    "The team made a plaster jacket to get part of the fossil out, and it was too big for the helicopter to lift. And so we had to take the fossil apart.

    "In so doing, we had to break a thighbone in two pieces. When we did that, it allowed [Schweitzer] to get samples out of the middle of the specimen. You don't see that in most excavations, because every effort is made to keep the fossil intact," said Horner, a co-author of the study.

    A certain amount of serendipity lead to the discovery.

    Because the leg bone was deliberately broken in the field, no preservatives were added. As a result, the soft tissues were not contaminated.

    The museum, which is a part of Montana State University, has a laboratory that specializes in cellular and molecular paleontology (the study of prehistoric life through fossil remains).

    The study authors also looked at several other dinosaur fossils to see whether there was something unique about this particular T. rex fossil.

    "There's nothing unique about the specimen other than the fact that it's the first that's been examined really well," Horner concluded. Other dinosaurs, in other words, are probably similarly preserved.

    Soft Tissues

    Schweitzer's background is in biology, and she performed a number of tests on the fossils that are common medical practices today.

    The paleontologist and her colleagues removed mineral fragments from the interior of the femur by soaking it in a weak acid. The fossil dissolved, exposing a flexible, stretchy material and transparent vessels.

    The vessels resemble blood vessels, cells, and the protein matrix that bodies generate when bones are being formed.

    "Bone is living tissue, is very active tissue, and has its own metabolism and has to have a very good blood supply," Schweitzer said.

    "So bone is infiltrated with lots and lots of blood vessels in its basic structure. When bone is formed, it's formed by cells that are specific for bone, that secrete proteins like collagen and form a matrix."

    Further chemical analysis might enable the scientists to answer long-standing questions about the physiology of dinosaurs. For instance, were they warm-blooded, cold-blooded, or somewhere in between?

    If protein sequences can be identified, they can be compared to those of living animals. This might allow a better understanding of how different groups of animals are related.

    The find may potentially change field practices, perhaps by encouraging more scientists to reserve parts of fossils for cellular and molecular testing.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/03/0324_050324_trexsofttissue.html


    Quote
    Protein scraps help fill in dino family tree

    Fri, Apr 25 2008

    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scraps of protein from the bones of a 68 million-year-old dinosaur and a mastodon carcass confirm their places in the family tree of life on Earth, researchers reported on Thursday.

    The same team that established Tyrannosaurus rex is a distant relative of chickens filled in more gaps, showing that the dinosaur was far more closely related to living birds than to alligators.

    And a 500,000-year-old mastodon is clearly a close relative of elephants, John Asara and colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston reported.

    They said their analysis of the ancient preserved proteins can be used to fill in all sorts of gaps in the tree of evolution. But it also shows that classical methods, based on studying an animal's bones and other physical structures, are accurate.

    "If you ... just use molecular data, you can come to the same conclusion," Asara said in a telephone interview.

    Asara's team used collagen taken from a remarkable find -- the leg bone of a T. rex sealed in stone and broken when researchers had no other way of removing it.

    Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University was able to get soft tissue and then protein out of the bone in 2005 -- something previously considered impossible. She also got protein out of the much younger mastodon bone.

    Asara's team looked at the protein on a molecular level and designed a computer program to analyze it. A year ago, they established that the Tyrannosaurus was related to modern chickens and ostriches and that the mastodon was related to living mammals.

    T. REX AND BIRDS

    Now, reporting in the journal Science, they said they have established that the dinosaur is more similar to birds than to alligators or other reptiles such as anole lizards.

    "Last year we just made a very loose connection based on (protein) sequence identification and we had no reptiles," Asara said. "And now with very high probability we can make the connection of T. rex to birds."

    The mastodon "groups very nicely with elephants," he said. "We can get a very nice tree."

    Some of the computer programs take days to run, Asara noted. But they will keep seeking fresh samples from paleontologists.

    "You can't just grab things from museums," Asara said, because the protein in them will have degraded.

    Last September, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University reported his team had pulled DNA from the hair shafts of Siberian woolly mammoths that were 50,000 years old.

    Separately on Thursday, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley said they had used new rock dating methods to pinpoint the extinction of the dinosaurs more precisely than ever before.

    Their improved argon-argon dating method places the Cretaceous-Tertiary, or K/T, boundary at 65.95 million years ago, give or take 40,000 years. Earlier estimates had put it at 65.5 million years ago, with a 300,000-year margin of error.

    (Editing by Xavier Briand.)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/04/25/us-dinosaurs-elephants-idUSN2431228620080425


    Quote
    Scientists question dinosaur soft tissue find

    Tue, Jul 29 2008

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Soft tissue taken from preserved dinosaur bones may not be dinosaur protein at all, but bacteria, paleontologists said on Tuesday.

    Dinosaur experts made headlines around the world when they found what appeared to be soft tissue in a broken Tyrannosaurus rex thighbone.

    Last April, a team at Harvard University in Massachusetts said they had analyzed a small amount of protein from the sample and shown it had characteristics of living bird and, more distantly, alligators.

    But paleontologist Thomas Kaye of the University of Washington in Seattle challenges this idea and says he has seen similar structures and shown them to be bacteria. Specifically, he said, the structures look like bacterial biofilm, a slimy substance that the microbes often form.

    "We are not experts in the field," Kaye admitted in a telephone interview. "We are not disagreeing with the fact that their instruments detected protein. We are offering an alternative explanation."

    Mary Schweitzer of North Carolina State University had analyzed the material taken from the 68-million-year-old thighbone and found not only what looked like collagen, but structures akin to tiny blood vessels.

    Kaye, who looks at ancient material using an electron microscope, said he was trying to duplicate their findings. He said he went to the same formation where Schweitzer's sample came from, dug up a 65-million-year-old dinosaur bone, cracked it open, and looked at it.

    Writing in the Public Library of Science journal PloS One, he said he dissolved tissue in acid just as Schweitzer had done.

    What had been identified as remnants of blood cells were actually structures called framboids -- microscopic mineral spheres that contain iron," Kaye's team reported.

    They tested a variety of other bones, including a turtle's, and found similar structures.

    "We determined that these structures were too common to be exceptionally preserved tissue. We realized it couldn't be a one-time exceptional preservation," Kaye said.

    He believes what was really inside the T. rex bone was biofilm created by bacteria that grew inside now-disappeared blood vessels and cells.

    Schweitzer's team said they had found unusually well preserved tissue and said it was unlikely to have survived in many samples.

    (Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Eric Walsh)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/07/30/us-dinosaur-tissue-idUSN2933635420080730
    "The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age."--G. K. Chesterton

    Offline Raoul76

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 03:49:30 PM »
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  • I was just wondering the other day if dinosaurs might be a giant hoax.  The fossils first began to be discovered routinely around the time of the theory of evolution.  Saying that dinosaurs existed for millions of years makes the creation of man as Adam look implausible.

    It seems some conspiracy types have had the same idea, I'm looking at some sites now.  But don't go around calling me a dinosaur negationist just yet  :tinfoil:

    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS


    Offline Telesphorus

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #2 on: April 07, 2011, 03:52:13 PM »
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  • Quote from: Raoul76
    I was just wondering the other day if dinosaurs might be a giant hoax.  The fossils first began to be discovered routinely around the time of the theory of evolution.  Saying that dinosaurs existed for millions of years makes the creation of man as Adam look implausible.

    It seems some conspiracy types have had the same idea, I'm looking at some sites now.  But don't go around calling me a dinosaur negationist just yet  :tinfoil:


    The existence of dinosaurs and other fossils isn't in doubt.  The stones around here are full of marine fossils.  The only real question is to how old they are.

    What's interesting about the T-Rex soft tissue is that it didn't seem to sway those who believe in the 63 million years ago extinction time-frame one bit.  

    Now there is a claim it is something else - which is interesting.

    Offline Jehanne

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 03:53:52 PM »
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  • They are dead animals; probably sharing a bilological relationship with modern birds.  Materialistic evolution is false -- it says that "you" are a product solely of your brain; in much the same way that your liver produces bile, your brain produces "you."  When you die, you will cease to exist, or so say the atheistic materialists -- Death is an endless, dreamless sleep.

    This view is abjectly false; we know this to be so because you, as a spiritual being united with a physical, corporeal body, have free will.  Atoms do not have free will, neither do computers, as much as AI researchers try to make them "think."  They never will; they will always be bound completely by the conservation laws of nature (energy, momentum, angular momentum -- miracles are simply "violations" of those laws.)

    Dinosaurs existed for the same reason that stars existed and continue to exist, for the Glory of the One and Triune God.  They were simply part of His Creation, which we can now admire from a "safe" distance, both in time and space.  However, we live in a fallen world, that of men but also that of angels, and all of Creation, dinosaurs included, suffered from that.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #4 on: April 07, 2011, 03:56:56 PM »
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  • For what it's worth:

    http://www.bible.ca/tracks/tracks-cambodia.htm

    The head looks like a rhino head though.


    Offline Telesphorus

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #5 on: April 07, 2011, 04:09:00 PM »
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  • Quote from: Raoul76
    It seems some conspiracy types have had the same idea, I'm looking at some sites now.  But don't go around calling me a dinosaur negationist just yet  :tinfoil:



    There was once a dinosaur negationist on a message board who was also an atomic bomb and nuclear power negationist.

    Not that one necessarily has anything to do with the other  :wink:

    Offline Elizabeth

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 04:14:23 PM »
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  • I was just at the Smithsonian and my opinion is that many of them are dragons.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    « Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 04:24:47 PM »
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  • Quote from: Elizabeth
    I was just at the Smithsonian and my opinion is that many of them are dragons.




    The fact that they make such an impression on children does suggest some sort of ancestral memory.


    Offline Lybus

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #8 on: April 07, 2011, 06:08:21 PM »
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  • Anything particularly wrong or controversial (at least among us) in saying that the dinosaurs are simply members of those giant creatures (man as well) who lived before the flood? Man was supposed to have been 8 to 12 feet tall in those days, and to live to near 1000 years. More Carbon in the air meant more plant life, and bigger animals.

    When the flood came, billions of animals and plants (probably closer to trillions) all got buried by the waves and into the Earth as it was thrashed about. Since all of these life forms had significant amounts of Carbon (especially the really big dinosaurs), much of the Carbon was lost, buried under the Earth. Thus, the reason why Life became smaller and we began to not live as long.
    It makes sense, at least to me. Everyone keeps talking about what killed the dinosaurs. It must have been a world catastrophe. Well, why not the flood?

    In regards to being a responsible man, would it be interesting to learn, after six years of accumulating all the wisdom you could, that you had it right all alon

    Offline lefebvre_fan

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #9 on: April 07, 2011, 08:35:57 PM »
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  • Quote from: Lybus
    Anything particularly wrong or controversial (at least among us) in saying that the dinosaurs are simply members of those giant creatures (man as well) who lived before the flood?


    I don't think there's much of anything that would be considered controversial among us.  :wink:

    Quote from: Lybus
    It makes sense, at least to me. Everyone keeps talking about what killed the dinosaurs. It must have been a world catastrophe. Well, why not the flood?


    Indeed, it seems to be the scholarly consensus that it must have been a sudden, catastrophic event (referred to as the "Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event") that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs (as well as many other species). They argue that it must have been a massive asteroid, or increased volcanic activity, or some such disaster. Like you said, wouldn't massive flooding be just as plausible a theory? (Ah, but even admitting the possibility is anathema to the scientific establishment, since it would be admitting the possibility of the truth of the biblical account). Well, it's certainly an interesting topic to study, that's for sure.
    "The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age."--G. K. Chesterton

    Offline Raoul76

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    « Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 08:39:06 PM »
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  • Telesphorus said:
    Quote
    The existence of dinosaurs and other fossils isn't in doubt.  The stones around here are full of marine fossils.  The only real question is to how old they are.


    Marine fossils aren't proof of dinosaurs.

    Look, there are two ways this can work.  Either the dino thing is a big hoax, or else, between the time of Adam and Eve and Abraham, or even after Abraham, there were some species of big lizards that are now extinct, dragons, basilisks, etc.  If we have Komodo dragons now, I don't see what's improbable about even bigger species of lizards running around.

    The "Land Before Time" fantasy as portrayed, with "cavemen" running around throwing torches at dinosaurs, is ridiculous, however, and yet this is presented by so many scientists as an accurate presentation of what the Earth was once like.  Hence, my faith in them is low.  Look how many of these "scientists" went along with global warming.  We live in an age that has PROVEN that huge hoaxes are real.

    I hesitate to say there were never any dinosaurs at all, but just look at how many hoaxes there have been with people putting together skeletons out of whale bones and whatnot and then calling it a dinosaur and selling it to museums.  How is it that it wasn't until so recently that all these lizard bones were discovered, and that they can reconstruct these supposed creatures with perfect accuracy?  

    Let's say you find a dinosaur femur.  What are the chances that you would then find enough of the rest of the same animal's bones to put it back together, or how would you match your bone with the bones of others?  It seems to me the chances of being able to reconstruct a real dinosaur, if they existed, would be infinitesimal before the last twenty or thirty years with their huge computer databases.  Yet these things were reconstructed in the 19th century.  Something is fishy, whether or not big lizards once existed.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS


    Offline Matthew

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #11 on: April 07, 2011, 09:04:42 PM »
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  • Fascinating videos here -- I learned a lot!

    http://www.drdino.com/category/type/video/creation-seminars/

    Pay particular attention to this one:

    http://www.drdino.com/dinosaurs-and-the-bible-seminar-part-3/

    I liked part 2 a LOT. Amazing!

    You know that bit about how you can't just buy/read books written by Traditional Catholics? Well, that applies here. All you have to ignore is when he talks about "getting saved" and so forth. But he is educated, a former science teacher, and has specialized in this field for a long time.

    He has a LOT to teach us Traditional Catholics though, about how Bible-believers don't have a thing to worry about when someone shows you a dinosaur bone.
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    Offline Elizabeth

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    Dinosaurs
    « Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 12:23:28 AM »
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  • Quote from: Raoul76


    Look, there are two ways this can work.  Either the dino thing is a big hoax, or else, between the time of Adam and Eve and Abraham, or even after Abraham, there were some species of big lizards that are now extinct, dragons, basilisks, etc.  If we have Komodo dragons now, I don't see what's improbable about even bigger species of lizards running around.



      We live in an age that has PROVEN that huge hoaxes are real.

     

      Something is fishy, whether or not big lizards once existed.


    Lizards never stop growing, so it is not unreasonable to wonder whether there are some enormous dragons still alive today.  

    Of course there are holy saints like St. George and St. Martha involved with dragons.   There are numerous examples of dragons in art the world over,

    I need to go look for Komodo Dragons; I think some gigantic ones were discovered a few years ago.

    The dinosaur business is a great big hoax that is really fun to learn about.


    Offline Matthew

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    « Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 12:45:31 AM »
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  • Everyone needs to watch the videos I posted.

    Dinosaurs are not a hoax. They lived/live concurrent with human beings, and are found throughout recorded history, both written and pictorial.

    When God speaks to Job (putting him in his place; he says 84 verses basically humbling him) one of the things he talks about is the "behemoth" -- which is not a hippopotamus or an elephant, because those animals don't have a "tail like a cedar tree".

    The Bible never uses the word "dinosaur" because the term was coined in 1891. It uses "dragon", "leviathan" and "behemoth".

    In the book of Daniel, Daniel slew a dragon.

    I just watched Volume 3 about the dinosaurs. Fascinating, fascinating video. Well worth the 2 hours. Watch it this weekend when you have time.
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    Offline Elizabeth

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    « Reply #14 on: April 08, 2011, 02:23:20 AM »
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  • Yep, dinosaurs are dragons and they are really fun to learn about.

     

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