Evolution in the News - May 2008
by Do-While Jones

No Longer Expelled

Mary Schweitzer, once expelled from the scientific community for publishing facts damaging to the theory of evolution, has been readmitted.

One of our members sent us an email saying that he had noticed the news media recycling the same old stories to try to prop up the theory of evolution. It just so happened that I was in Denver at the time, and the Denver Post published one of those old stories twice in two days, from two different sources. 1 2 Normally we would have ignored the old news, except for the fact that it mentioned Mary Schweitzer, and this was exactly one week after Ben Stein’s documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, opened in theaters. Although she was not mentioned in the movie, Mary is one of the scientists who suffered the kind of persecution Stein documented. She, however, found redemption and is back in good graces.

Mary’s trouble began when she found traces of dried blood in dinosaur bones. One would not expect proteins to survive for millions of years, so it naturally raised the possibility that dinosaurs have not been extinct for that long.

Biological materials generally degrade in the environment, and scientists who work with ancient DNA feel lucky when they find a sample that is 100,000 years old. Yet the T. rex protein specimen is more than 100 times older than that. 3

One might expect such an important discovery to be published in Science or Nature; but Mary published it in a minor, now-defunct magazine. 4 Why might that be? We can only guess.

I went to Montana in July of 1999, partly to go on a dinosaur dig, and partly to talk to Mary myself. She was no longer there. I learned from one of her friends that a very famous paleontologist (who shall remain nameless) had her expelled for publishing that article. Mary was expelled simply because she published evidence that creationists used against the theory of evolution. 5

Mary somehow managed to get a job at North Carolina State University. Remarkably, she even managed to get her research published in Science in March, 2005. 6 She did this by cleverly claiming that she had discovered a new form of fossilization that makes soft tissues that are millions of years old appear to be young. Not only that, it showed that dinosaurs were closely related to birds. We reviewed her article the following month. 7

Mary has now become the darling of evolutionists because she has managed to spin her results to “prove” that dinosaurs evolved from birds.

The results indicate that T. rex, chickens and ostriches are evolutionary siblings, all descended from a single unidentified predecessor. 8

The new work, being published today in the journal Science, builds on a 2007 analysis showing remarkably close similarities between T. rex collagen and collagen from modern-day chickens, but that work did not include comparisons to other living species. Collagen is the primary protein in bones. 9

Should we be surprised that the proteins in dinosaur bones are similar to the proteins in bird bones? What were they expecting? Polycarbonate?

Remember, it was 1997 when Mary first published her controversial discovery and was expelled by a famous paleontologist. That little fact seems to be forgotten when credit is given.

The dinosaur protein was obtained [from] a fossil found in 2003 by John Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in a barren fossil-rich stretch of land that spans Wyoming and Montana. Mary H. Schweitzer of North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences discovered soft-tissue preservation in the T. rex bone in 2005. 10

Oh, well. That must be the price one has to pay to get back in school.

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Footnotes:

1 Randolph E. Schmidt, AP, 24 April 2008, “Scientists study evidence modern birds came from dinosaurs”
2 Rick Weiss, Washington Post, 25 April 2008, “T. Rex tasted like chicken?”
3 ibid.
4 Schweitzer and Staedter, Earth, June 1997, “The Real Jurassic Park”, pages 55-57
5 Carl Wieland, Creation Ex Nihilo, Sept.-Nov. 1997
6 Schweitzer, et al., Science, 25 March 2005, “Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex”
7 Disclosure, April 2005, “Surprising Dinosaurs
8 Rick Weiss, Washington Post, 25 April 2008, “T. Rex tasted like chicken?”
9 ibid.
10 Randolph E. Schmidt, AP, 24 April 2008, “Scientists study evidence modern birds came from dinosaurs”