More than three years ago, I wrote about the sad story of Mark Armitage, a gifted scientist who has become an expert in microscopy. In addition to running his own microscope company, he also worked as the Manager for the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Suite in the Biology Department at California State University Northridge. While on a fossil dig in the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, he discovered a 48-inch Triceratops horn. When he and his colleague soaked it in weak acid to remove the mineral components, they recovered soft, brown tissue.
If that’s not exciting enough, he also examined the fossil with a scanning electron microscope, and he found actual bone cells! Not only that, he saw no evidence for mineralization in the cells. In other words, he wasn’t looking at cells that had gone through petrifaction. He was looking at cells that still had their original components. So not only had he found soft tissue in the fossil, he had found soft cells!
Obviously, this kind of find is amazing. Not surprisingly, he and his colleague, Dr. Kevin Lee Anderson, wrote a report on their discovery so that other scientists could learn from it. The report was published in the peer-reviewed, secular journal entitled Acta Histochemica.
Not long after that, the Darwinian Inquisition struck. He was fired from his position at California State University Northridge. As I reported previously, he decided to sue the university. Why? According to him, one faculty member stormed into his lab and shouted:
We will not tolerate your religion in this department, or your creationist projects either!
Armitage thus concluded that he was being discriminated against based on his religion.
Apparently, he was right, because his case has been settled, and he says that he is very pleased with the result.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Armitage yesterday, and I learned that the university’s initial response was that he had been fired for budgetary reasons. However, when university officials were questioned, it became clear that budgetary factors were not the real issue. The university attempted to argue that its actions weren’t discriminatory, but Mr. Armitage and his attorney weren’t convinced, so they wanted a jury to decide who was right.
As Mr. Armitage put it, they were about a week away from jury selection when the university said it wanted to settle the case. He says that they spent most of a day in court trying to negotiate for a smaller settlement, but he and his attorney were convinced that a jury would see that the university was in the wrong. As a result, he and his attorney were not willing to budge. Apparently, the negotiations ended with a lot of shouting and no agreement. Several days later, however, the university agreed to settle using Mr. Armitage’s terms.
According to Mr. Armitage, his discovery was well-known in the department long before he and Dr. Anderson published their scientific paper. Indeed, the biology department wrote about it in their newsletter long before the scientific paper was released. As a result, there were a lot of people interested in the discovery. Students would come down to his lab and ask to see the dinosaur cells. They would talk to Mr. Armitage about his discovery and ask him what he thought it meant. He would tell them that he thought it meant the Triceratops fossil couldn’t be millions of years old. He is convinced that’s why he was fired. The university didn’t want him telling students what he concluded based on his original scientific research.
As I mentioned previously, Mr. Armitage is very pleased with the result of his lawsuit. As he says:
This is a big win for those who are afraid of losing their jobs when they stand up for Scripture.
He also says he is very pleased with how most people react to his discovery. He says that when he has the occasion to tell people that he discovered a dinosaur fossil, most of them are intrigued and want to learn more. He says that he describes the Triceratops horn to them and then pinches the skin on his arm and tells them that he found soft tissue and cells in it. He then goes on to tell them what he thinks this indicates about the age of the fossils and the age of the earth in general. He says that this kind of discovery is an easy-to-understand piece of evidence for a young earth. In his words:
Soft tissue in dinosaur bones is a game-changer. The opposition is desperately trying to explain why it is there, and they are failing. It cuts through the noise. It cuts through the lies.
Even though he doesn’t have access to his university-based lab anymore, he is still continuing his work. Currently, he is gathering as many of the soft dinosaur cells as he can find so that he can slice them thin and see what is on the inside. This will provide a lot of insight into dinosaurs on a cellular level – something that has never been done before. Of course, this kind of research is expensive and time-consuming. If you would like to support his research, you can contact him through his Facebook page.
Mr. Armitage is currently working on a book that will discuss his entire run-in with the Darwinian Inquisition. Once it is published, I will read it as soon as I can and review it here.