DNA half-life only 521 years, so is dino DNA and insect amber DNA young?



If paleontology lives by radiometric dating, it also dies by radiometric dating. Either DNA trapped in 200 million-year-old Jurassic insect amber is young or it has some unexplained source. I argue it is young. Radiometric C-14 dates of fossils say the fossils are young. As I’ve said many times, the radiometric date of 65 million-year-old rocks is irrelevant to the radiometric date of the actual physical tissue of a fossil. I could bury a living dog in 65 million-year-old rocks, and the age of rocks will have nothing to say of the age of the dog. The best inferences for time of death of a fossil: half-life of C-14, half life of DNA, half-life of amino acids, etc., NOT the age of the rocks they are buried in…

From Nature News

After cell death, enzymes start to break down the bonds between the nucleotides that form the backbone of DNA, and micro-organisms speed the decay. In the long run, however, reactions with water are thought to be responsible for most bond degradation. Groundwater is almost ubiquitous, so DNA in buried bone samples should, in theory, degrade at a set rate.

Determining that rate has been difficult because it is rare to find large sets of DNA-containing fossils with which to make meaningful comparisons. To make matters worse, variable environmental conditions such as temperature, degree of microbial attack and oxygenation alter the speed of the decay process.

But palaeogeneticists led by Morten Allentoft at the University of Copenhagen and Michael Bunce at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, examined 158 DNA-containing leg bones belonging to three species of extinct giant birds called moa. The bones, which were between 600 and 8,000 years old, had been recovered from three sites within 5 kilometres of each other, with nearly identical preservation conditions including a temperature of 13.1 ºC. The findings are published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B1.

Diminishing returns

By comparing the specimens’ ages and degrees of DNA degradation, the researchers calculated that DNA has a half-life of 521 years. That means that after 521 years, half of the bonds between nucleotides in the backbone of a sample would have broken; after another 521 years half of the remaining bonds would have gone; and so on.

The team predicts that even in a bone at an ideal preservation temperature of −5 ºC, effectively every bond would be destroyed after a maximum of 6.8 million years. The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier — perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.

“This confirms the widely held suspicion that claims of DNA from dinosaurs and ancient insects trapped in amber are incorrect,”



Mark Armitage was fired because his data dared to question the mainstream. And now we find dino blood with dino DNA that can’t be more than a few million years old, maybe even on the order of thousands of years with a DNA half-life of 521 years! And what about DNA insect amber? Armitage was fired, but his claims continue to be vindicated by mainstream science. His career martyrdom was not in vain.

We can assume for the sake of argument the universe is old, the Earth is old, that even many fossils are old, but if some fossils are proven young (like the dinos and insects) paleontology will go into anarchy and evolutionism won’t even have a coherent chronology to go on. One does not have to be a YEC to realize the latest discoveries are good news for ID because it casts doubt on the claims of Darwinist interpretation of the fossil record.

1. HT: Darwin then and now

Evolution was once a theory in crisis, now evolution is in crisis without a theory.

2. Hope Ken Ham bashes Bill Nye with this in debate.


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