the conclusion, and even the appendix include arguments
directed specifically at those of us who hold to a young
Barely five paragraphs into the introduction, Rana
launches his attack on young-earth creationists. Initially he
begins his treatment of YEC teaching by pitting it against
“true science” and characterizing YECs as having “only
a line of reasoning” in the face of “true scientific fact”.
It is not surprising that I am the first young-earth
creationist that Rana names (in the very paragraph
following his opening salvo against YECs). To his credit,
Rana does correctly report that I published original
scientific findings on soft tissue, being the first to report
on soft tissue in a Triceratops horn.
3 However, as you will
note in my review of chapter 4 below, Rana exposes his
ignorance of the true significance of that work.
A glaring example of this lack of understanding is
seen when Rana uses the phrase “soft tissue remnants”
(eleven times in the introduction alone). By doing so, he
illustrates a conspicuous disregard of the stunning and
copious numbers of fantastically preserved bone cells
(osteocytes) I have found not only in Triceratops but also
in Nanotyrannus vertebra and metatarsals (figures 1 and 2).
Nanotyrannus is a recently erected genus related to T. rex.
Chapter 3 of the book is a review
of the radiometric dating methods.
There are many fine resources
available that discuss and expose
this topic from a YEC and biblical
point of view.
4 However, Rana must
mount a vigorous reinforcement of
radiometric dating at this juncture,
because stunning dinosaur soft cells
appear to throw these other dating
methods ‘under the bus’. Rana even
writes, on page 12: “The goal of
chapter three is to demonstrate why
radiometric dating is trustworthy
[emphasis in the original].” That’s
a curious statement if radiometric
dating is unquestioned.
Nevertheless, Rana dives into
radiometric dating methods in
chapter 3 with a thorough enough
review. He devotes significant time
to the intricacies and technicalities
of the methods, and that it requires
the use of “experts who have
spent years working with these
techniques” (chapter 3, p. 44) to understand it, and
“geochemists who possess a good understanding” to get
it right (p. 45). He mentions in passing, however, that it
can be “tricky” and that “rare exceptions do exist where
chemical and physical processes do alter the radioactive
decay rate” (p. 41). It is a shame that he misses the
opportunity to share with his readers that there has been
an observed solar influence on some nuclear decay rates.
If we are just now discovering influences on some decay
rates such as these solar ones, who knows what other
influences that we know nothing about might also alter
these ‘constant’ rates?
It is in this chapter, however, that Rana must be
corrected on two very important misrepresentations. The
first is his conspicuous misunderstanding that
“Armitage … uncovered soft, flexible brown
sheets about 8 inches by 4 inches [ 20 cm x 10 cm]
in size from the Triceratops fossilized horn after
soaking pieces of it in a mild acid bath for a month
[emphasis added]” (chapter 3, p. 50).
The Triceratops horn,
7 was not fossilized
(permineralized). It responded to and was decalcified by
the very weak acid EDTA that is used in pathology labs
daily to decalcify bone (essentially EDTA serves to remove
Figure 1. Osteocytes recovered from Nanotyrannus vertebra