As far as evidence goes, this give a lot of weight to the theory that some dinosaurs are related to modern day birds. While this sounds like great news for evolutionists, don't be surprised if you hear a few creationists/IDers that think this story supports their point of view.
The new finding will be viewed skeptically, admitted one of the researchers involved in the two studies. “It’s very, very, very controversial because most people have gone on record saying there’s an absolute time limit to anything that’s protein or DNA,” said Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist atHow long do you think it will take for people to start using this concept to try and lend weight to young earth theory? I can hear it now, "The existence of those proteins proves that the fossils aren't as old as scientists think they are."
North Carolina State University.
Except that making this claim means that they are validating the other science behind the discovery! Such as the antibody and mass spectrometer tests that verified the material was collagen, and the amino acid sequencing tests that verified that the material was not just "another molecule mimicking the protein and giving off a similar signal."
These are similar to the very DNA tests that reveal links between modern day humans and their ape-like evolutionary predecessors. You can't really say the science is meaningful to one case and meaningless to another. Investigation of the DNA record is one of the greatest opportunities we have to work with evolution experimentally.
So if you hear anybody trying to use this line of thought, just ask them if they've realized they are in fact supporting evidence for evolution.