A team of attorneys is jumping to the defense of a scientist who was fired after making the stunning discovery of soft tissue attached to a triceratops skeleton, undermining the belief that dinosaurs roamed earth no less than 60 million years ago.
The Pacific Justice Institute said its case on behalf of Mark Armitage alleges a university official where Mark Armitage worked shouted at him, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!”
The suit against California State University Northridge, filed recently in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the board of trustees, alleges discrimination.
“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” said Brad Dacus, PJI president.
“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,” he said.
Armitage’s lawyers said he was at a dig in the Hell Creek formation in Montana in 2012 when he came up with “the largest triceratops horn ever unearthed at the site.”
Later, while examining the specimen under a high-powered microscope at CSUN, he discovered the soft tissue.
“The discovery stunned members of the scientific community because it indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago,” the legal team explained.
Armitage, a published scientist of over 30 years, then was dismissed when CSUN abruptly claimed his appointment at the university of 38 months had been temporary and there was no funding for his position.
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The lawyers said the claim contradicted prior statements and documents from the university.
According to Armitage’s biography, he had been serving as the manager for the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Suite in the school’s biology department.
That’s where he was working when his discovery of the soft tissue was published in Acta Histochemica.
He previously found two new species of trematodes and reported the discovery of new hosts for several trematodes. He also discovered short half-life radiohalos in clear diamonds.
He is a lifetime member of the Creation Research Society, where he has served on the board of directors since 2006. He’s also in the Microscopy Society of America, the Southern California Academy of Sciences and the American Society of Parasitologists.
His graduate degrees are from Liberty University. His articles have been published in American Laboratory, Southern California Academy of Sciences Bulletin, Parasitology Research, Microscopy and Microanalysis and Microscopy Today.
Michael Peffer, staff attorney with PJI’s Southern California office, said: “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. This suit was filed, in part, to vindicate those ideals.”
According to a report by CBSLA.com, CSUN spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler said Armitage was a a temporary hire between 2010-2013.
The complaint said Armitage told university officials when he applied for the “permanent, part-time” position that he had published work regarding creationism, but he got the job anyway.
School officials previously had described him as “tops.”
“He has patience, great expertise and practices great care.”
His work gradually took on more and more responsibility and was expanded beyond his half-time original schedule, the complaint explains.
But his discovery of the soft tissue, which according to most scientific perspectives should have completely decayed millions of years ago, sent a shock wave through the department where he worked.
While Armitage was told it wasn’t an issue, only a few months later a “secret” meeting was held by faculty members in which they allegedly decided to get rid of him, the complaint states.
The action alleges discrimination based on religion, wrongful termination, retaliation, violations of academic freedom and free speech, and he subsequently was granted a “right to sue” from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
CBS reported that later other researchers noted that soft tissue also was found on the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex, but they explained that by saying iron in the dinosaur’s body preserved the tissue.
Ever wonder about evolution and all those millions of years? Find out the truth at WND’s Superstore, where books and videos include “Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups,” “Evolution: The Grand Experiment,” “Intelligent Design vs. Evolution” and “The Greatest Hoax on Earth” and many more.