Why Was This Scientist Fired?

Relevant Church Rochester NY_5

Mark Armitage was recently fired from his university. The reason he was fired is quite interesting to me. Mark was fired after finding soft tissue in a triceratops fossil and presenting it to his students to look at and discuss. First of all, many other scientists have confirmed that the soft tissue that was found somehow escaped fossilization but that it was, in fact, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex. John Asara of Harvard Medical School led one of the studies and was quoted in THIS article in National Geographic saying, "The sequences are clearly from T-Rex."

But evolutionist fossilization timescales don't allow for dinosaur soft tissue to be discovered today since they believe dinosaurs were on the earth millions of years ago. So many of these scientists are denying the evidence. They are unable (or refusing) to look objectively at the evidence and their philosophical naturalistic agendas are keeping them from truly considering what has been discovered. What interests me in this is the fact that these are commonly the ones who claim Creationists aren't willing to look at the evidence. I respect evolutionary scientists who are saying, "This is a mystery." "This shouldn't be the case." At least they are looking at the evidence, and that encourages me.

There are many scientists out there that are trying to do honest research, consider all the evidence, and present their findings despite their presuppositions. Many of these scientists admit that they believe this is soft tissue from a T-rex and that they have no idea how it could be there. But unfortunately this type of scientist does not appear to be in the majority – or at least they are not prevalent in today's media. If this were evidence for a missing link, it would be all over the news. As evidence for the relatively recent existence of dinosaurs, it isn't being talked about (except by Creationists). In the honest, scientific community, it is being acknowledged as a "difficulty" for evolution. 

But whether you're a Christian or a scientist (or both) it is important to be objective and look at the evidence. I hate that this man lost his job when that is all it appears he was trying to do. It doesn't seem he was fired for his religious views, but because his scientific views don't fit the mainstream scientific community. 

Here is the article if you want to take a look at it or you can find it in it's original form HERE

University Fires Scientist After Dinosaur Discovery Offers Young Earth Evidence

By Sarah Padbury

A scientist is suing California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for firing him after he publicized a discovery that suggests dinosaurs roamed America thousands of years ago, rather than the millions most evolutionists cite.

Mark Armitage, who specializes in microscopic evidence for a young earth, unexpectedly stumbled upon soft tissue in a triceratops fossil and wrote about his discovery for a scientific journal. Two weeks later, he was out of a job. Armitage filed suit against the university’s board of trustees on Tuesday, citing wrongful termination and religious discrimination.

Armitage’s fascination with microscopes and tiny creatures started as a teen when he spent a summer on a marine science station staring at tiny planktonic algae through double lenses. Since then, he’s founded a successful microscope sales and consulting company, patented an optical inspection device, and discovered two new parasites. He holds memberships in several national scientific societies, and also serves as a Creation Research Society board member.

In 2012, while at a world-famous fossil dig in Montana called Hell Creek Formation, Armitage uncovered the largest triceratops horn ever found at the site. To his surprise, he discovered soft tissue in the horn when he examined it under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN. Armitage believes the fact that the soft tissue wasn’t completely fossilized indicates dinosaurs roamed in the United States only thousands of years ago. Evolutionists claim dinosaurs went extinct more than 60 million years ago.

As the manager for the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Suite in the CSUN biology department, Armitage trained students to use the school’s high-powered microscopes. In the summer of 2012, while demonstrating one of the instruments, Armitage showed students the horn’s tissue samples and engaged them in “brief Socratic dialogue about the age of the horn,” according to the lawsuit. He believed the exchange was in keeping with leading students through the scientific method. A student reported the event to Armitage’s supervisor.

According to the suit, the supervisor stormed into the lab, shouting, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!” and berating Armitage for his “creationist” views. Armitage informed the biology department chair and the head of technical services that what the supervisor said was a “clear example of religious discrimination.” Both of them assured Armitage his views would “not be a problem” and to “forget about the confrontation.” But they took no action to correct the supervisor or prevent future discrimination in the department, the suit claims.

Armitage published his findings in February 2013 with a peer-reviewed article for Acta Histochemica, a journal dedicated to the structural biochemistry of cells and tissues. His findings mirrored other recent discoveries of soft tissue in dinosaur bones. Two weeks later, CSUN fired Armitage, claiming his contract was temporary and the school lacked funding to continue the position.

On July 22, Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Armitage’s behalf, declaring he was fired due to his “perceived” religious views and, contrary to the school’s claim, his position was not temporary nor was funding an issue in the department. Armitage’s contract defined his position as “permanent part-time” and he was enrolled in the university’s benefits package. On the job for three years, he held progressively increasing responsibilities, received numerous commendations from co-workers and supervisors, and was told by his supervisor via email there were “big plans” to increase his lab, “complete with it’s own building(!)”

The lawsuit accuses the university of violating the Fair Employment and Housing Act, as well as Armitage’s First Amendment right to free speech and his academic freedom. A CSUN spokeswoman said on Thursday she couldn’t comment on the lawsuit because the school hadn’t been served.

“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” Brad Dacus, president of PJI, said in a press release. “But doing so in an attempt to silence scientific speech at a public university is even more alarming. This should be a wakeup call and warning to the entire world of academia.”

4 comments
  1. Currently whatever is going on with Mark Armitage’s case is very one sided as we don’t have the defendants’ point of view, nor the view of the students who he was having the “Socratic dialogue” with. The finding of soft tissue as you point out is old news, over 20 years old that Mary Schweitzer discovered red-blood cells preserved. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaur-shocker-115306469/
    Now do such finding show that the bones are not as old as claimed, or does it mean that the models of fossilization and decay are not well understood? It could be that the assumptions underlying dating are wrong but there isn’t evidence to demonstrate that, but there is evidence that shows that decay are not linear such as insect and animals preserved in amber, mummification, and cryonics which can slow and halt the decay of tissue. Is it a difficulty for evolution, only if the dating is wrong, if our understanding of decay and the fossilization process aren’t accurate then it may not be a difficulty at all.
    His dismissal may have been badly handled but I think there is more to the story than Armitage’s version indicates. If the school had plans to increase the lab size keeping a part-time manager of a lab who worked 2 days a week may not have been in those plans and he may have been fired for a fulltime member to take his place. This site has more breakdown of the case than World Mag provides. http://observationdeck.io9.com/how-to-not-handle-a-young-earth-creationist-employee-1611575699

  2. Here is a site explaining how the preservation could have occurred by the researcher who first made the discovery. http://news.discovery.com/animals/dinosaurs/mysteriously-intact-t-rex-tissue-finally-explained-131127.htm

    As for what she says about what effect this has on the age of the earth here is her response in a Q&Aa, she is a Christian.
    Q: Many creationists claim that the Earth is much younger than the evolutionists claim. Is there any possibility that your discoveries should make experts on both sides of the argument reevaluate the methods of established dating used in the field?
    Carl Baker, Billings, Montana

    Schweitzer: Actually, my work doesn’t say anything at all about the age of the Earth. As a scientist I can only speak to the data that exist. Having reviewed a great deal of data from many different disciplines, I see no reason at all to doubt the general scientific consensus that the Earth is about five or six billion years old. We deal with testable hypotheses in science, and many of the arguments made for a young Earth are not testable, nor is there any valid data to support a young Earth that stands up to peer review or scientific scrutiny. However, the fields of geology, nuclear physics, astronomy, paleontology, genetics, and evolutionary biology all speak to an ancient Earth. Our discoveries may make people reevaluate the longevity of molecules and the presumed pathways of molecular degradation, but they do not really deal at all with the age of the Earth.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/schweitzer-qa.html

  3. I don’t know if Mr. Armitage was released because of his religion, because his scientific views/opinions/methodologies were contrary to the standards of the university/department, or simply because the lab where he ran an electron microscope was undergoing expansion that required staffing changes. I’m sorry he lost a job he liked and even more sorry if he was yelled at the way the article describes. I think it’s important to recognize that Mr. Armitage wasn’t fired for his findings which were published in Acta Histochemica, but he may have been let go for his claim that this singular finding was evidence that dinosaurs lived with men just a few thousands years ago (an interpretation that I didn’t see included in his published paper).

    I wouldn’t expect a department to keep on staff a person who held (and was vocal about) scientific beliefs that the department felt reflected badly on them and their university and which they felt showed a lack of scholarship and thoroughness. I wouldn’t be surprised if Liberty University (which I believe requires all staff in the biology department to affirm a young earth creationist viewpoint) fired a staff member who started engaging their students in Socratic dialogue with the intention of getting them to think more seriously about a theory (like the earth being billions, not thousands, of years old) that the students may not have given much credence to before. I’m not sure it’s a good thing in either case for the terminated employee to sue the university. Of course Liberty is a private school, so maybe that theoretical comparison isn’t perfect.

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