14
   

How can dino bones be millions of year old?

 
 
EndZone
 
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 04:56 am
Hey guys I don't know if this topic was posted or discussed before, I didn't have time to go through everything here as I needed an answer quick.

I'm not a science buff at all, in fact a huge noob but please help me on this issue. I recall radiocarbon dating weren't accurate after about 12,000 years so how do they believe dino bones could be millions of year old? Also and excuse my lack of scientific knowledge again, but wouldn't the bones erode or disappear after millions of years?

Thanks
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 15,997 • Replies: 83

 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 05:08 am
Farmerman will be able to give a comprehensive answer, if he shows up. However, fossils don't necessarily rely upon radio-carbon dating. They are often dated by the geological strata in which they are found. Which also helps to answer your second question. Most fossil remains, regardless of age, are preserved because they are covered by a layer of material--often sedimentary material. (Animal dies near a river or inland sea, and is covered by sedimentary material from the action of the water.)

There are others far more knowledgeable on this topic than am i. You will get a good answer from any of them who appear. If the goofballs from the god-squad show up, they'll deny that any of it true.
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 05:10 am
bookmarked
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 09:13 am
The bones aren't really bones. The original material has been replaced by a silicone compound. In other words, they are petrified. The fossels, then, can only be preserved when the conditions for petrification are present.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 04:04 pm
Re: How can dino bones be millions of year old?
EndZone wrote:
I'm not a science buff at all, in fact a huge noob but please help me on this issue. I recall radiocarbon dating weren't accurate after about 12,000 years so how do they believe dino bones could be millions of year old?


Radiocarbon dating (which relies on the decay of carbon14) is reliable to approx 50,000 years. The 12,000 number comes up fairly often because people misunderstand the concept of a "half-life". The half-life of carbon 14 is 5,568 years. People incorrectly assume that it's full life would be double that number or 11,136 years. (In truth, If carbon14's strength at the time of death is "1" then it's strength when it reaches it's 1st half-life would be ".5" and on it's 2nd half-life would be ".25", etc...)

But radiocarbon dating is only one method of estimating the age of an item. On older items they use radioisotope-dating which measures the decay of Uranium235 which has a half life of 700 million years. Radiisotape dating can't be used on the fossils directly but it can be used to measure the age of the sediments that the fossils is buried in. Several religious groups use this as an "out" to try and claim that the fossils could have been buried by older sediment (in mudslides for example) or intentionally by humans but if you look at the sheer number of fossils found and dated that doesn't hold up to any sort of logic.
goodfielder
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 04:37 pm
Thanks roger and fishin'.
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 04:48 pm
Roger has made an important point, fossils were once bone, but they are now rocks.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2005 07:20 pm
<nodding>

Fossilized bone, wood, egg shells, etc are made when the items are burried under some sort of material that dissalows decay to obliterate the item. Then, over long periods of time, the molecules of once living tissue (or shells) are replaced by leaching minerals and turned to stony artifacts.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Nov, 2005 07:31 pm
Re: How can dino bones be millions of year old?
Roger and fishin' are correct.
0 Replies
 
nana shake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Nov, 2005 01:31 am
Carbon Dating isnt used for very old fossils. Other methods are used for older ones, because otherwise the results would be incorrect.
And some bones are hardy and do not decompose, whereas others do. Thats partially why our fossil records are incomplete:
1. It's not possible to search everywhere in the world for fossils
2. Some decompose before we have a chance to find them and study them.
0 Replies
 
g day
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Nov, 2005 01:12 am
Okay radioactive dating uses different isotope combinations for different assumed ages. There are over 10 simple pairs of increasing exotic and slower decaying isotopes you use for different ages - up to and over 10 million years.

This is then combined with dating of rocks and soil layers where your bones are found, and various techniques are used there to reality check your findings.

Finally bones can calicify (turn to rock) and last a very long time in the right circumstances.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Nov, 2005 08:51 am
Re: How can dino bones be millions of year old?
EndZone wrote:
Hey guys I don't know if this topic was posted or discussed before, I didn't have time to go through everything here as I needed an answer quick.

I'm not a science buff at all, in fact a huge noob but please help me on this issue. I recall radiocarbon dating weren't accurate after about 12,000 years so how do they believe dino bones could be millions of year old? Also and excuse my lack of scientific knowledge again, but wouldn't the bones erode or disappear after millions of years?

Thanks


Bones could be almost any age. Meat on the other hand...

A few months ago, and this was on all the major newswires, there was a story about some people breaking a tyranosaur leg bone in half to get it onto a helicopter from a place from which there was no other way to get it out of, and finding soft tissue inside the bone.

This is what tyranosaur meat looks like:

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/050324/050324_trex_softtissue_hlg10a.hlarge.jpg

Does any of that look like it's 70 million years old to you? I mean, I've seen two-week-old roadkill which looked worse.

The MSNBC Version of the Story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7285683/
0 Replies
 
ohnono
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 07:42 am
Those images are zoomed in very far, the length of the picture is a few millimeters.

The soft tissue that was removed from within the bone was processed before it was photographed. It didn't look like that straight out of the bone. They have rehydrated and demineralized it.

Given the right conditions soft flesh can survive indefinitely. It was assumed that such conditions would be unlikely to occur. However noone could be sure it wouldn't. In this case the tissue was effectively encased within the bone.

A later study found that some of the t-rex soft tissue is similar to soft-tissue found uniquely within modern bird bone, further lending credibility that modern birds descended from dinosaurs:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=104184&amp;org=GEO&amp;from=news
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 07:47 am
I can't get past the idea that Gunga thinks meat (which is muscle) is found in the middle bones.

I guess things have evolved drastically since I went to school.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 08:46 am
parados wrote:
I guess things have evolved drastically since I went to school.


The discovery of residual soft tissue inside some bones was a recent major discovery.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 08:57 am
I don't believe, however, that it is accurate to define the marrow of the bone as "meat" . . .
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 10:47 am
Setanta wrote:
I don't believe, however, that it is accurate to define the marrow of the bone as "meat" . . .


I agree. But given Gunga's history, this is probably the closest he's every gotten to actually making any sense, so I didn't want to squeeze too tightly Smile
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  0  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 11:02 am
I'll take "Because like Budweiser, bones come stamped with a "born on date" for $300, Alex.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 12:31 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
Setanta wrote:
I don't believe, however, that it is accurate to define the marrow of the bone as "meat" . . .


I agree. But given Gunga's history, this is probably the closest he's every gotten to actually making any sense, so I didn't want to squeeze too tightly Smile


Lowering your standards to fit the source, eh?
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Dec, 2005 12:49 pm
Setanta wrote:
They are often dated by the geological strata in which they are found.

If the goofballs from the god-squad show up, they'll deny that any of it true.


<pops self on forehead>

Strata!

I just finished this book about Mormons, written by an "outsider".
The question came up of why no one could seem to find remains of Native American of Middle East descent through carbon dating, during the time (10,000 years ago) when they supposedly lived here.

I was so overcome by that time with all f*cked upidness of the whole thing (particularly about them using horses as draft animals and growing wheat 10,000 years ago in the Americas) that I completely forgot about the dinosaurs.

That's Set, for once again setting me on the right path.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Evolution 101 - Discussion by gungasnake
Typing Equations on a PC - Discussion by Brandon9000
The Future of Artificial Intelligence - Discussion by Brandon9000
The well known Mind vs Brain. - Discussion by crayon851
Scientists Offer Proof of 'Dark Matter' - Discussion by oralloy
Blue Saturn - Discussion by oralloy
Bald Eagle-DDT Myth Still Flying High - Discussion by gungasnake
DDT: A Weapon of Mass Survival - Discussion by gungasnake
 
  1. Forums
  2. » How can dino bones be millions of year old?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/14/2019 at 05:11:17