An Update on Mark Armitage and the Inquisition

Mark Armitage giving a talk at a meeting of the Creation Science Fellowship.  (click for source)
Mark Armitage giving a talk at a meeting of the Creation Science Fellowship. (click for source)
Last year, I discussed how Mark Armitage fell victim to the evolutionary Inquisiton. In July of last year, he published a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Histochemica. In that paper, he reported finding soft tissue in a Triceratops fossil that is supposedly 65 million years old. Remarkably, the soft tissue was composed of tiny, fragile cellular structures which showed no evidence of being mineralized. In addition, there was no doubt that this tissue came from the Triceratops, as it has exactly the microscopic structure one would expect for bone tissue.

That was too much for the High Priests of Science. The Inquisition struck, and Armitage was fired from his position at California State University. Armitage himself commented on the post, indicating he was convinced that his firing was directly related to the paper and he would sue the university.

Today, I ran across an announcement from The Pacific Justice Institute indicating that he has filed the lawsuit. The announcement includes something Armitage mentioned in his comment – that a university official proclaimed:

We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!

A staff attorney for the Pacific Justice Institute is quoted as saying:

It has become apparent that ‘diversity’ and ‘intellectual curiosity,’ so often touted as hallmarks of a university education, do not apply to those with a religious point of view.

That isn’t news to me. It isn’t news to a lot of other Christians who happen to be scientists, either. It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit progresses.

8 thoughts on “An Update on Mark Armitage and the Inquisition”

  1. Good evening to you Jay,

    In the 70’s, I had no problem believing in evolution. The interesting part about that time was the various research coming out (done by various scientists) in the genetic and biological sciences. Quite a lot of it was published in Scientific American at the time. What I found significant was the results being presented that worked against the basic premises of the evolutionary model, even though they were being coloured to back up the evolutionary model.

    Since then, most of the research that I have come across in the decades since has simply reinforced the view that the evolutionary model is fatally flawed. From the actions of those that fully support the said model, I am not at all surprised by the reaction from CSU and others.

    When Dogma rules, then beware. My university days were in engineering, so I had to cover the various associated sciences. Even from my school days, science was simply a way at looking at the universe by using a set of quite straight forward tools and being systematic about it.

    Today, it has all the trappings of being a religious movement with all the associated dogma that can arise. For me, I find it interesting that there is a growing opposition to this making science a religious viewpoint. I find it interesting that there are even atheists who are opposing this process. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I appreciate that He has given us all sorts of tools by which we can investigate his creation.

    But I am also not surprised that there is a growing opposition to those scientists who are also Christian.

    Though, I am more and more coming to the position of NOT calling myself a Christian but referring to myself as a disciple of Jesus Christ. There are too many people who are viewing Christians through the actions of those who go by the name but live as heathens.

    There are some very interesting models coming out that give closer agreement with experimental results and are not demanding that one take the stand of being opposed to God Almighty and Jesus Christ.

    Finally, I was thinking about a situation in Australia at the moment in the National Government and how much “fear” drives people to require legislation to be made that ensures their particular domain is expended and protected against the general population. Thinking further, I realised that “fear” drives the actions in many different areas and disciplines (including the sciences, medical research and technological areas).

    At any rate enough rambling, tea will be served shortly and I am looking forward to it as I haven’t had to make it tonight.

  2. The small-minded dogmatic “scientists” have shot themselves in the foot again. Anyone with a basic understanding of soft organic tissue knows that if it doesn’t fossilize it breaks down into its constituent elements. One might try to bend reality and stretch credulity by positing that under extremely extraordinary circumstances that traces of soft tissue may be preserved naturally for a few tens of thousand of years; however, proposing that it may naturally be preserved for a million years much less 65 millions of years is so patently absurd that I would expect to see that person in a clown suit sporting a rubber nose.

  3. Mr. Strong, I’m interested in the part of your comment where you say you’re leaning towards shedding the label “Christian” in favor of “disciple of Jesus Christ”. I see your point about people who go by name Christian, but who don’t live up to the title by a long shot. Such people definitely give real believers a bad name. But rather than just abandon a title with such a long history, I think the better approach is to wear it, and wear it well. Let’s strive to change people’s ideas about what a Christian is. Otherwise it seems like we’re just giving up and agreeing with the misconceptions of the nonbeliever. “Yeah, Christians really are the hypocrites you think they are. But I’m something else you see…”

  4. Keith,

    The problem today with the title of Christian today is that it means so many different things to so many different people. If you approach many people and you then get into gospel, one thing becomes very obvious. The term Christian is now so high-jacked that the message of salvation in Jesus Christ is immediately rejected. I have found better responses if I use the term disciple of Jesus Christ.

    I live in a country where there are many who call themselves (and also believe it) Christian yet live lives that are utterly opposed to Jesus Christ.


    Considering that a hypocrite is no more or less an actor (in modern parlance), most people act out their lives on the stage that is the world. I personally think that those who recognise the simple fact that we should be totally dependent on the living God and His Christ Jesus and yet also recognise that we all to some extent don’t, realise that we are acting out instead of living truly in the Spirit of God.

    Anything I try to do of my own strength or power always has bad results. I’m just so glad that Papa has a heart full of love greater than the universe He created or otherwise I would be totally wretched.

  5. Well, these followup comments are nice and all, but…

    …I’m still curious about what I’d figured would have been a SCREAMING begging question for anyone reading this article…

    Was that REALLY soft tissue or not? The guy does not seem to be being cagy or vague with the findings. Were they not published by multiple sources?

    If so, are they valid or not? I mean, folks here can have their own “opinions”….but those only need to be considered as equally valid in the absence of actual facts.

    Don’t the actual facts exist? Is there an horn with something that seems / appears to be soft tissue…meaning it can be absolutely verified… or not?

    If so, then WHAT OF IT????

    If not, where is the mistake / error in identification being made? Are those journals which published the findings mistaken…if so, at what point?

    Is the guy (who I’ve never heard of until today, btw)…mistaken? If so, at what point. It would seem such a claim (if completely wrong) would have to be an outright lie, rather than a mistake, given his verified background in this field.

    Don’t these obviously BEGGING questions piquing anyone else’s curiosity ?

    1. Begging, the findings by Armitage were published by only one source: Acta Histochemica, which is a peer-reviewed journal. However, other reports of soft tissue in other supposedly ancient fossils have been published in other peer-reviewed journals (see here, here, here, and here, for example). Thus, even if Armitage is wrong in his interpretation, it seems pretty clear that there are at least some fossils that are supposed to be millions of years old but have soft tissue in them.

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