Young-Earth Creationist Wins Lawsuit

Electron microscope image of three soft bone cells from a dinosaur fossil
Electron microscope image of three soft bone cells from a dinosaur fossil

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.

19 thoughts on “Young-Earth Creationist Wins Lawsuit”

  1. Very exciting! I look forward to reading his book, too. Thank you for bringing this news to light. It’s so encouraging!

  2. Is there any way for this to be more gratifying? Well, yes. While the time and expense required for a jury trial is not to be wished upon anyone, I would have enjoyed seeing this get more publicity thereby. Mainstream media would still probably have ignored it, but surely some news outlets (maybe world net daily?) Would have covered it, including the tissue discovery that initiated the process. Thank you for the faithful (pun intended) update!

    1. Mark Steyn is calling the climate change cabal and Dr. Mann in particular, and he is five years in without even getting to the jury phase.

  3. Nobody “won” the lawsuit. It was settled. He’ll get some money, after his lawyer takes about half, and then he’ll never work in any science facility again.

  4. Funny. This isn’t a first. Finding dinosaur soft tissue, I mean, Mary Schweizer’s discovery specifically. Young earth or some preservation “method” we don’t understand yet, but it IS a remarkable finding. Any DNA found?

  5. He didn’t win the case, all charges were dismissed with prejudice. When a plaintiff has a case they feel strongly about and their lawyer is confident they will win, they go to trial. Accepting the dismissal of all charges with prejudice so close to trial says the lawyer didn’t feel it was worth pursuing further. The defendant may have admitted to only one or part of one of the alleged offenses, he is refusing to disclose the agreement. Armitage has already retracted original statements made in his video claiming victory and is re-recording the audio based on advice from his lawyers. He could have made a stand here and stood up for himself, but instead he chose the easy way out and accepted some cash for his troubles.

  6. Sadly the DNA is unreadable, which of course would not be the case if the material was 6000 years old or less as YECs claim. Beware of staking your beliefs on provisional science. Genesis does not have to be literally factually correct in all ways in order for it to be true that Jesus saves.

    1. I am not aware of any reports that specifically show the DNA is unreadable, Andy. However, even YECs would expect it to be unreadable, as long as the latest study on DNA half-life in bone is correct. After all, if the half-life really is 521 years, then the Flood happened more than 8 half-lives ago, so the DNA would be in really, really bad shape. However, if Schweitzer is right and there is any kind of detectable DNA left, that’s also an indication the bones aren’t millions of years old, because that kind of age would represent so many half-lives that nothing detectable should remain.

      Interestingly enough, there is readable DNA in sediments that old-earthers say are 1.4 million years old. If the latest study on DNA half-life is correct and the sediments really are that old, the DNA shouldn’t be readable, especially since bone would be a better environment for DNA preservation than the sediments in that study.

    2. However, Jesus emphatically confirms Genesis; for example, He speaks of Adam as a real person, not a parable. It is not a supremely difficult task to determine when the Bible is speaking ‘poetically’ or ‘literally.’ When Jesus speaks in historical terms, He is quite clear.

  7. Just wanted you to know that after I shared this article on my Page on Facebook, The Question Evolution Project, it quickly became one of the most active posts. It has more “Likes” and shares than anything else that has been posted in quite some time. Seems to be a reasonable conclusion that people like this good news.

    1. Thanks, Cowboy Bob. Did you grow up in Indiana, by chance? There was a local cartoon show in Indianapolis, Indiana called “Cowboy Bob’s Corral.” I always think of that when I see your name.

      1. Close! I spent my first 40 years in Michigan before I saddled up for the high frontier of New York. After I was given the nickname and ran with it, I found out that there are (and were) several guys with the same nickname who had it first.

    1. The way that cells appear under a microscope depends on how they were prepared for viewing. Thus, cells can appear different in different microscope images. However, the morphology is clearly that of a bone cell, such as the “control” in this picture:

      which comes from this website. Also, please note that his paper discussing them as soft bone cells passed peer review in Acta Histochemica, which is a journal dedicated to “structural biochemistry of cells and tissues.” If they weren’t bone cells, the peer reviewers would not have accepted the paper.

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