It appears that the Creation Museum's Ken Ham hopes to use donated bones and his specially patented "observational science" to prove once and for all that dinosaurs were present on the Earth only a few thousand years ago -- rather than over 65 million. Together with creation scientist Dr. David Menton, Ham says he soon hopes to publish findings from the study of the bones -- hinting that what he thinks they'll find will be world-changing.
It should be understood that Ken Ham routinely dismisses findings of paleontologists, geologists, and other scientists who look at the evidence on Earth to determine what it must've been like before recorded history. In Ham's worldview, there are two types of science: historical and observational. He considers things in the present to be "observational science," which can be seen, and when confronted with evidence for anything he categorizes as historical science, retorts, "Were you there?" (See his debate with Bill Nye.)
According to a new post on the Answers In Genesis site, though, Ken Ham believes that Dr. David Menton can, indeed, look at fossilized dinosaur bones and determine things that certainly happened before either of them was born, at least.
Ham explains that the bones were donated to his museum by a couple who found them on their South Dakota ranch, and that they have been identified as the bones of an Edmontosaurus. Ham and Menton are very excited about examining these bones, and in particular, Menton thinks there may be bone marrow in one portion.
After mocking the notion that these bones are "63 million years old, give or take a few minutes," Ham goes on to express delight in what he believes they will soon prove.
"If Dr. Menton finds what he is looking for, you can count on a big write-up for Answers in Genesis in the near future!"Dr. Menton, incidentally, is not a paleontologist, but a biologist and anatomist, according to his AIG bio.
Soft tissue surviving in dinosaur bones isn't an entirely new idea -- according to Smithsonian Magazine, a Tyrannosaurus Rex bone with soft tissue still present was discovered a decade ago. Even then, young Earth creationists quickly hijacked the discovery as evidence that donosaur fossils were not millions of years old after all -- but the scientists who are familiar with the study of these bones say that it shows, instead, a misunderstanding about how decay works.
Paleontologist Mary Schweitzer, who discovered this first dinosaur soft tissue -- more has been found in other fossilized bones since -- says it's upsetting that creationists like Ken Ham distort her work. She knows the fossil she was working with is 68 million years old.
How does she know this? In part because the fossil comes from the Hell Creek formation -- one of the most extensively studied fossil excavation sites on Earth. The site has clearly defined strata, and the fossils there range from 65 million to 70 million years old.
What else is interesting and relevant about the Hell Creek site? Well, it happens to be where Ken Ham says his museum's new fossils come from, as well.
It's not clear whether Dr. David Menton and the Creation Museum staff have intentions to use any methods other than "taking pictures and looking at samples under [Menton's] microscope" to determine the age of the bones, or whether finding soft tissue would be sufficient "evidence" to claim proof of a young Earth and co-existing humans and dinosaurs -- but it is clear that Ken Ham hopes he'll soon be using these bones to prove that entire fields of science are fabricated and flat-out wrong.
[Photo by:Mark Lyons/Getty Images]