Default default post thumbnail

Stars, Cells, and God | Soft Tissues in Fossils and Evidence for the Planet Theia

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Hugh Ross as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Soft Tissues in Fossils A research team from the University College Cork (UCC), Ireland, published two separate reports in which they present evidence for melanin pigments and keratin filaments in fossilized feathers. The researchers developed models for the chemical alterations of melanin and keratin during fossilization. Using these models, they identified degradation products in fossilized feathers that age-date 120 to 130 million years old. Young-earth creationists cite the recovery of soft tissue materials in fossils as evidence that Earth is only 6,000 years old, and the fossil record is the result of a global deluge. They argue that it’s impossible for biological materials to survive for millions of years and, therefore, the fossils must be thousands of years old. In this episode, biochemist Fuz Rana describes the UCC researchers’ work and explains how certain biological materials can endure in fossils for tens of millions of years, negating the claims of young-earth creationists. Resources: Taphonomic Experiments Reveal Authentic Molecular Signals for Fossil Melanins and Verify Preservation of Phaeomelanin in Fossils Preservation of Cornelius B-Proteins in Mesozoic Feathers Additional Resource: Fazale Rana, Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth Evidence for the Planet Theia The only plausible explanation for the origin of the Moon is that a collision between two rocky planets, Theia and the proto-Earth, occurred when the solar system was about 90 million years old. However, direct evidence for the existence of Theia has been elusive. Now, simulations performed by 12 astrophysicists (combined with seismic measurements) show that two large regions, thousands of kilometers across, deep in Earth’s mantle are denser than the surrounding mantle. Therefore, these regions must be the remains of Theia’s iron-rich mantle that sank and settled above Earth’s core, where it deposited an extraordinary high density and exceptional abundance of the heaviest elements. Resources: Moon-Forming Impactor as a Source of Earth’s Basal Mantle Anomalies