Preservation: Upper Limit On DNA

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Life Sciences at The University of Manchester attempted to discover DNA in amber fossils which is great research by the way.  The fossils date back in the misguided evolutionary framework of 130 million years old.

What sparked such research? Back in the 1990’s a Hollywood movie called, Jurassic Park inspired people’s interest causing a study to be conducted and then skepticism with the study by the Natural History Museum, in London which tried to replicate the movie’s story theme of extracting DNA from insects in Amber that later supposedly produced Dinosaurs.

The research team used the most advanced and most improved sequencing techniques to date (second generation) using full forensic suits to avoid contamination.

In science daily

“According to Professor Brown: “In the original 1990s studies DNA amplification was achieved by a process called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which will preferentially amplify any modern, undamaged DNA molecules that contaminate an extract of partially degraded ancient ones to give false positive results that might be mistaken for genuine ancient DNA. Our approach, using ‘next generation’ sequencing methods is ideal for ancient DNA because it provides sequences for all the DNA molecules in an extract, regardless of their length, and is less likely to give preference to contaminating modern molecules.” 

What were the results? Here it is…

“We were therefore unable to obtain any convincing evidence for the preservation of ancient DNA in either of the two copal inclusions that we studied, and conclude that DNA is not preserved in this type of material. Our results raise further doubts about claims of DNA extraction from fossil insects in amber, many millions of years older than copal…”

Even though the resin is an ideal environment for preservation no ancient DNA was found even with a specimen that was determined to be 60 years old! So the movie was not confirmed with operational science and remains what of Hollywood’s biggest science fiction thrillers.

But what was the most interesting of all in this research, the team of evolutionists accidentally stumbled upon an upper limit on DNA preservation. How much of a limit? 100 million years, 50 million years? 10 million years? Nope! Not even 1 million years, rather  no DNA was discovered in Amber thought to be 10,600 years old so that is your upper limit!  What does this mean for evolution where we see claims of soft tissue in fossils like in T-Rex that is claimed to be 68 million years old?

The fossils are clearly not that old, it’s one of the benefits of the earth being only thousands of years old rather than billions of years old. Because evolution relies on long periods of time, evolutionary scientists are now questioning organic preservation? So in order to rescue evolution from this falsification, evolutionary scientists are most likely going to come up with a story line that will defy natural laws.

Instead of coming up with a science fiction scenario, why don’t they test organic preservation in the lab, subject the soft tissue to different elements or weather like conditions or none at all, and observe what the rate of decay is, then make some estimates on that without accounting for evolution’s requirement for long periods of time! Let the evidence speak for itself much like the research to obtain DNA in Amber did!


8 thoughts on “Preservation: Upper Limit On DNA

  1. Since when did Darwinist ever show any real concern for empirical evidence? And especially for any that did not conform to the modern synthesis. Just like the notion of “junk DNA” that once dominated evolutionary biology for so many decades, some things are better left untouched, lest it provide talking points for those pesky “creationists”. But the real truth is, it doesn’t matter what they find. They will simply say, that we have to readjust our views of physics and entropy, or just because they were wrong about some things, doesn’t mean evolution didn’t happen, or that the theory is simply evolving etc.

  2. One of the reasons why there are different reports for the viability of DNA is that what “viable” means is different in some contexts. In the case of amber they were looking at DNA that could be sequenced. Being able to amplify and sequence is different than finding any DNA residues. The study on Moas a while back showed that DNA is broken down into pieces less than 20bp long in under 100,000 years but to break it down into pieces less than 4bp is not known and could be many millions of years. I expect that amber actually accelerates the process of degradation as there are mammoth bones that are 4 to 10 thousand years old that have fragments of DNA that are hundreds to thousands of years old. There may well be nucleic acid left but it isn’t found in chains anymore and so can’t be sequenced. I personally wouldn’t be shocked if there are a few 2 or 3 bp pieces of DNA left in the T.rex bones but we dont’ have the technology today to identify such short pieces of DNA nor would we be able to contig them together to discover the sequences of their genes.

    I would also not that preservation of tissue is a whole different thing that preservation of DNA molecules. Tissues are chemically changed over time and so the Trex tissues are sort of cells that have some biomolecules left. Collegen is the one of the toughest proteins out there and the Trex collagen, though highly degraded, can still be recognized as such. If you take a Mammoth bone you will find fresh collegen that is almost completely unaltered. The question can be flipped then, if they earth is young then why aren’t all bones foudn with fresh tissues that are unaltered chemically and why isn’t DNA found in nearly every fossil. 4000 years since their preservation really isn’t long and we have thousands of items that are about that old (mammoths, human bones, canines,etc.._) that have plenty of ancient DNA that has been sequenced.

  3. Michael. (mistakenly) uses the absence of sequencable DNA in 10K-yeaqpr-old amber as evidence that DNA is preserved for only a few thousand years.

    Of the fossils scientists claim to be older than 10K years, a few contain DNA but most do not. Yet if DNA can hang around a few thousand years, and if all animals and plants were created within a few days of each other, then why do not ALL fossils contain at least some DNA?.

    Just one more aspect of creationism that falls flat on logic..


    Michael mistakenly asserts that amber constrains the upper limit for any type of DNA presentation. But we can add taphonomy to the long list of subjects in which Michael is clueless.

    First, preservation depends greatly upon the environment in which the fossil was deposited. In this case, Pennay himself states that amber may turn out to be not a good medium for DNA integrity.[1], The PLoS ONE article noted that some specimens did not survive even 60 years in copal, a resin closely related to amber. Would Michael then clam that the universe was created less than 60 years ago? Michael’s statement[2] that Pennay’s work with amber establishes an upper limit for all fossils is factually incorrect.

    Second, modern technology continues to increase the amount of degradation that can be tolerated. Michael makes much of the deficiencies of PCR amplification. However Venter’s “shotgun reconstruction” method can operate on much shorter sequences, allowing reconstruction of much more degraded DNA molecules, Other modern methods of scanning and assembly also increase the ability to peer farther back into history.

    Third, DNA sets no limit for the reservation of other tissues. Collagen, for example, has been found to remain stable over much longer times than otter tissue or molecules. So even finding some “upper limit” for fossil DNA does not invalidate the discoveries of earlier soft tissues.

    And, of course, even without sift tissue of any kind, we still have radiometric dating of the fossils themselves. Note how Michael assiduously avoids this aspect.


    [1} For thousands of years, Egyptian mummification technology was heralded as the ideal for preservation. Modern archeology has found that merely laying a body out to dry in the Egyptian hot, dry climate will preserve it better than mummification.

    But what was the most interesting of all in this research, the team of evolutionists accidentally stumbled upon an upper limit on DNA preservation. How much of a limit? 100 million years, 50 million years? 10 million years? Nope! Not even 1 million years, rather no DNA was discovered in Amber thought to be 10,600 years old so that is your upper limit!

  4. We have warned Michael about the lack of honesty in creationist sources. In this case, he relies upon a video from Jesse857 Productions, a front for Creation Research. The video distorts an interview with a paleontologist so as to attack the credibility of all paleontology. Note especially that the beginning and end of the interview were deleted, and the snatches that are included do not include any context.

    More quote mining—a favorite ploy of creationists…

  5. Quoth Themayan—

    Since when did Darwinist ever show any real concern for empirical evidence? And especially for any that did not conform to the modern synthesis. Just like the notion of “junk DNA” that once dominated evolutionary biology for so many decades,

    Go back a century or two and learn something about evolution before you get any more egg on your face.

    “Junk DNA” is an issue only for creationists, whose beliefs in a competent Designer do not allow it. Evolution allows fir the possibility of junk DNA, but certainly does not require it for any aspect of the theory.. If anything, non-functional DNA incurs a cost for evolution, and would tend to be eliminated.

    Non-functional DNA does not and never did “dominate” evolutionary biology. Where did you pick up that bizarre idea?

  6. Quoth Michael—

    How much change do you think occurred over a supposed 520 million years? “Little” change not what I call your type of evolution, it’s basically almost the same as a modern one!

    Another instance of Michael’s failure to understand even the rudiments of biological evolution.

    If a species is well adapted to its environment, why should it change? God might do that, just from boredom, b ut evolution is more practical than that. Of the four classes of evolution, only one—directional—leads to significant change in structural form. Then, too, just because a modern descendant species s morphologically similar to its ancestor does not mean that it has not changed. It could have developed a different metabolism, or a different set of behaviors,for example. These aspects do not fossilize well.

    Creationism is simple. All Michael has to know is that God-did-it. Because God is inscrutable, that’s the end of the line for creationism. Evolution, on the other hand, is complex, requiring a certain amount of knowledge and depth.

  7. What sparked such research? Back in the 1990′s a Hollywood movie called, Jurassic Park inspired people’s interest ….

    Yet again, Michael plays fast and loose with history. Jurassic Park premiered in 1993. But the first DNA was found in fossils in 1984— nine years earlier, This discovery is what sparked research into ancient DNA. Jurassic Park in fact was inspired by this study, not vice versa.

    If Michael misrepresents simple historical facts to this extent, why should anyone trust him on subjects that he knows even less about?

  8. he Creation “Museum” has obtained an actual dinosaur fossil. that “proves” a young age for the earth.

    Michael, would you care to comment on this latest joke form Ken Ham?

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