Peer-reviewed paper over soft tissue in dinosaur bone results in loss of job

Soft Tissue In Dinosaur Bones Causes Hard Reaction With Atheists At California State University

Mea Culpa. Putting this right up here on the top.

It seems when I originally posted this, I missed the fact that the news report I saw come up in one of my feeds was from a CBS Los Angeles article from a long time ago - like, 10 years ago. I thought it was a recent article.

The link I referenced was in a post from 2023 but it was referencing this story which actually was from 2014. "Trust but verify." And I didn't verify.

Iron sharpens iron. Sorry about that.

As such, it's more of a human interest story than a "current event." But it's still a story worth telling, although now for perhaps a different reason. Consider this the real story (after the corrections now made to the orignial I posted earlier today).

About 10 years ago, CBS Los Angeles filed an interesting report about a lawsuit filed against Southern California University. 

There was a paleontology researcher by the name of Mark Armitage who found a huge triceratops horn. It was the largest ever found at the site where he was doing his research.

Upon examination of the horn under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN, Dacus says Armitage was "fascinated" to find soft tissue on the sample - a discovery Bacus [Mark Armitage's lawyer] said stunned members of the school's biology department and even some students "because it indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years in the past rather than going extinct 60 million years ago."

It seems, though, that the REAL problem is that Armitage was (and still is) a "Creationist."

And in university settings, being a "creationist" is a bad thing. You see,

Creationism implies a Creator. And at University, that is apparently not something you can say.

The problem is that soft tissue in a dinosaur bone should not be possible in a bone that is theoretically billions of years old.

So, why the firing?

Well, here is the problem.

"Since some creationists, like [Armitage], believe that the triceratops bones are only 4,000 years old at most, [Armitage's] work vindicated his view that these dinosaurs roamed the planet relatively recently," according to the complaint filed July 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The lawsuit against the CSUN board of trustees cites discrimination for perceived religious views.

Armitage's findings were eventually published in July 2013 in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. But according to court documents, shortly after the original soft tissue discovery,

A CSUN official told Armitage, "We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!"

It's frustrating but not unexpected that the religion of scientism doesn't want to tolerate the religion of the bible.

But that was never supposed to be what science is about. 

When liberalism and secularism take over, they can never tolerate honest debate. They must crush opposing opinions rather than having to give them reasoned responses.

And, years later, after the case was settled,

There was follow-up coverage in 2017 article on a website called WNG.ORG that gives more detail.

Armitage published his paper in the journal Acta Histochemica but he did not mention his thoughts on the age of the specimen or his belief in a young earth. He showed the tissue samples to some of his students and engaged them in discussion about the age of the fossil. Soon after, according to the lawsuit, his supervisor stormed into the lab and shouted, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department.” A few days later, the university fired him.
Even though the school denied religious discrimination and said it lacked funds to continue his position, they settled with Armitage in late 2016 for $399,500, according to Inside Higher Ed. The university said the settlement was not an admission of guilt.

They didn't settle because they believed Armitage was right. It was a settlement of "convenience."

“The decision to settle was based on a desire to avoid the costs involved in a protracted legal battle, including manpower, time, and state dollars,” CSUN spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler said in an email to The Sundial, the university’s student newspaper.

In fact, according to the University of California Press, their position is (still) that this idea of soft tissue equals recent dating needs to be dismissed.

The recent discovery of preserved cells and soft tissues in certain dinosaur bones seems incompatible with an age of millions of years, given the expectation that cells and soft tissues should have decayed away after millions of years. However, evidence from radiometric dating shows that dinosaur fossils are indeed millions of years old.
Under certain circumstances, cells and soft tissues in bone are protected from complete disintegration. Formation of a mineral concretion around a bone protects biomolecules inside it from hydrolysis by groundwater. Infusion and coating with iron and iron compounds at a critical point in the decay process protects cells within a bone from autolysis. Cross-linking and association with bone mineral surfaces furnish added protection to collagen fibers in a bone. These protective factors can result in soft-tissue preservation that lasts millions of years. It would benefit educators to be aware of these phenomena, in order to better advise students whose acceptance of biological evolution has been challenged by young-Earth creationist arguments that are based on soft tissues in dinosaur fossils.

The bigger problem is that the anti-religious, scientism bias continues.

According to WMD,

Although he won the settlement, Armitage reports the discrimination hasn’t stopped. Since the university fired him, he has discovered additional soft tissue in fossils on two different digs, but he cannot find a journal willing to publish his papers. “I’m clearly being blackballed,” he said.

It seems to be the pattern. Journals refuse to publish these kinds of papers (peer pressure for peer reviewed articles, maybe) and then, when researchers try to present the research they have done, it's dismissed because it's not "peer reviewed."

I believe that's because they don't have any good, reasoned responses for their positions in the end. They must suppress what they cannot refute.

The problem is only getting worse. As I have said elsewhere, wokeism could easily kill our culture.

Reminds me of Romans 1

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

God is revealing much to those who are looking. Pray for the truth to be revealed, no matter what it is, and no matter the cost.

Because the truth will make us all free.

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