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Dinosaur Bones: Just How Old Are They Really?

This article can be found on Answers in Genesis

In the above article the creationists have taken considerable liberties with Professor Philip J. Currie's book 101 Questions about Dinosaurs, distorting the book's message to make it appear as if Professor Currie supported young earth creationism. Creationists often misquote long dead scientists in an effort to lend credence to their repeated distortions of accepted scientific principles, but this time they chose to misrepresent a very much alive (and most unimpressed) scientist in Professor Currie.

Professor Currie sent the following to evolutionist Ron Tolle who drew the professor's attention to the AiG article. Ron has an excellent  web site Is Creationism for Real?

Hi Ron:

No, we were not aware that our book was used that way, and would be happy to write a disclaimer.

The article that quotes our book 101 Questions about Dinosaurs is not so much inaccurate as it is misleading. Palaeontologists and geologists do not use the degree of mineralization to determine the age of a fossil animal. It is as meaningless as trying to determine when Joe Blog was last in New York on the basis of the fact that he was in Chicago on June 1, 1987. Unless you know the complete history of what happened leading up to June 1, 1987 (where he went, how he was travelling, how fast he was going, how far it is to New York, etc.), you can never calculate when he was last in New York. It is the same with the fossilization process. There are too many things involved in the process to use the degree of mineralization as an estimator of time.  Nevertheless, it can give you a general idea of age.

If we took all known dinosaur bones and compared the amount of mineralization to the amount of mineralization of bones at a historic site from several thousand years ago, you would clearly see that the degree of mineralization is perhaps 90% in the dinosaur material, and less than 5% in the bones from several thousand years ago.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Philip J. Currie

Professor Currie is the Curator of Dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

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