be available to ‘free’ iron, operating with water, under
Fenton chemistry reaction conditions, which yield
hydroxyls and peroxyls that supposedly stabilize the very
tissues they are destroying. The soft tissues we observe
must somehow have been miraculously sequestered
from enzymatic actions and hydrolysis, while some
‘stabilization’ using these chemicals supposedly
occurred. The ‘free’ iron must have been ripped away
from the heme—an “extremely stable compound” (p.
61) which prevents the iron from actually being ‘free’.
The ‘free’ iron must avoid combining with oxygen in
the presence of water, forming iron oxide compounds.
Moreover, one other miracle, which must occur, is that
all of this must take place in less than about 20 minutes
before all of the blood clots make the ‘free’ iron less
Rana also identifies the presence of microorganisms,
which would be the ‘death-knell’, as it were, to preserving
soft tissues. Once again, hemoglobin purportedly
comes into play in a miraculous way by serving as
an antimicrobial, all-purpose disinfectant, protector,
stabilizer, formaldehyde-fixing marvel that solves the
problems that need solving and ignores the ones that
need ignoring. In this case ‘you can have your soft tissue
and you can eat it too’.
6. It is at this point that Rana fully endorses the ‘iron
preservation’ experiment, discussed above. It seems
every creationist knows about this infamous and naïve
experiment, and every evolutionist uses it to silence
any opposition to its miraculous powers at preserving
stunning cells and tissues for eons. Some of my objections
to it must be answered by evolutionists, like Rana, if they
wish to preserve credibility in the world of science.
a. Schweitzer et al.’s materials and methods for the
‘iron preservation’ paper,
11 (which at one time were
only available by searching the Proceedings of the
Royal Society B website) are most telling. It appears,
however, that the materials and methods ‘electronic
supplemental material’ is no longer available online,
at least not at the URL printed in the Schweitzer et al.
paper. Nevertheless, the lengths that these workers had
to go to gain access to the ‘free’ iron was monumental.
Firstly, chicken and ostrich blood was combined with
EDTA, which would have prevented any clotting.
Next the blood solution was high-speed centrifuged
multiple times to remove all plasma (which contains
clotting proteins and enzymes), all platelets, and all
white cells. Then, after subjecting the remaining red
blood cells (RBCs) to a lysing solution on ice, which
broke all of the RBC membranes, only hemoglobin
was left. This is what the fresh tissues were soaked in
for two years. This preparation of raw hemoglobin is
hardly representative of conditions in the Hell Creek
b. Schweitzer et al.
11 used mass spectrometry (MS) to
identify nine peptides (almost complete proteins) in
dinosaur osteocytes, yet no MS was employed to study
these peptides for results of hydrolysis, an easy test to
do. The damage that hydroxyl and peroxyl molecules
do to amino acids, such as asparagine and glutamine,
would have been evident due to oxidation. Additionally,
evidence of hydrolysis could have been looked for. We
are told that the Hell Creek Formation was deposited
under inland shallow seas, therefore hydrolytic damage
should show up if Fenton reactions were active in
the presence of water in these tissues. Moreover, as
discussed above, the hydroxyls and peroxyls produced
by Fenton chemistry are well known to be highly
destructive to tissues.
10, 14 Damage to these amino acids
would be observable. What is more, Schweitzer et al.
explicitly state, “Oxy radicals facilitate protein cross-
linking like formaldehyde”, and then they reference
Hawkins and Davies15, whose cite some 240 papers
showing that hydroxyls actually destroy tissues.
Notwithstanding the problems mentioned above
in liberating the ‘free’ iron from the clotting, the
hemoglobin, and the heme molecule, plus the
miraculous ‘fixation’ of Fenton reaction oxy radicals,
Schweitzer et al.
11 merely examined the incubated
tissues with light microscopy (only light micrographs
were published) after the two-year experiment. No
further detailed analysis was done.
Rana1 makes mention of the iron filaments found
in concentrated form, and only in some samples by
Schweitzer, but this reminds one of the well-known
pooling of blood products at the lower portions of limbs
and bodies after death, called livor-mortis. In fact,
when I spoke at the Microscopy Society of America
meeting in 2013, I flipped one of Schweitzer et al.’s11
figures upside down and asked how iron filaments
could reach across large swaths of tissue and provide
fixation? Every head in the room bobbed up and down
c. Incubating soft tissue in highly prepared hemoglobin
for two years in a laboratory container at constant
temperature in the absence of water, heat, the freeze–
thaw cycle of the Montana winters, microbes, bacteria,
plant roots, fungal mats, insects, rodents, and all of
the other naturally occurring environmental factors is
unrepresentative of the conditions that these dinosaur
remains were buried in. A more realistic experiment
should be done that includes all these factors.
7. Rana admits that high temperatures are more detrimental
to the preservation of soft tissues than are cooler