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Scientist dismissed after soft tissue found on dinosaur fossil

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A microscope scientist working for California State University has been fired following the discovery that a Triceratops horn still contained soft tissue complete with bone cells “that look alive”, according to a report in CBS Los Angeles . The scientist, whose analysis of the Triceratops horn was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, is also an evangelical creationist, and claimed that the finding supports the view that Earth is 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs roamed the planet around 4,000 years ago. While the university claims the scientist, Mark Armitage, was fired for allowing his religion to interfere with his work, Armitage is suing the University for wrongful dismissal on the basis of violation to freedom of speech and academic freedom. 

Mark Armitage, a published scientist of over 30 years, was working at the Hell Creek Formation excavation site in Montanaa when he discovered one of the largest Triceratops horns ever unearthed at the site. According to conventional perspectives, the Triceratops is a genus of herbivorous dinosaur that first appeared in the late Cretaceous period, about 68 million years ago in what is now North America, and became extinct around 66 million years ago.

Example of a Triceratops horn

Example of a Triceratops horn. Photo source .

Armitage studied the fossil in the California State University lab using a high-powered miscroscope and was stunned to find soft tissue complete with bone cells.  According to Armitage, the preservation of such cells is a scientific impossibility if the dinosaur really walked the Earth over 66 million years ago. On this basis, he felt it was not unreasonable to open discussion with colleagues and students about the implications of such a finding being that the creationist perspective is correct and that dinosaurs existed much later than mainstream science maintains. The results of Armitage’s analysis of the soft tissue was eventually published in July 2013 in the journal Acta Histochemica . Nevertheless, Armitage was fired from the University of California, which he is now fighting in court.

“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” said Attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute. “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.”

While numerous examples of suppression of ‘academic freedom’ can be cited in which scientists have been discriminated against for presenting views that conflict with mainstream perspectives, Armitage made the ‘unscientific’ mistake of assuming that the dinosaur must be only several thousand years old simply because the process in which the cells were preserved was not understood by him.

In fact, the finding of the soft tissue is not the first of its kind.  Several ground-breaking discoveries in the last decade have revealed preserved soft tissue on dinosaur remains, such as the recent finding of 68-milion-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex. However, Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University, who headed up the research on the T. rex remains, explained that the soft tissue was able to be preserved by iron in the dinosaur’s body, which preserved the tissue before it could decay.

The legal case surrounding Armitage’s dismissal opens up many important questions about academic freedom, whether science and religion can ever truly coexist in harmony, and what knowledge may be unravelled by the discovery of preserved cells in the remains of dinosaurs.

Featured image: A Triceratops. Source: BigStockPhoto

By April Holloway

Comments

Do you wanna know who's truly short minded? You are. You are lumping all Christians into one group, claiming that anyone who follows the religion must be a closed minded right wing idiot. Actually, the majority of us HATE those kinds of "Christians" with a passion. And you're just as bad as they are.

"thou shalt not covet thy neighbours wife" and then he poled Joseph's wife ???

So you believe that a man is going to fly down out of the sky on a flying horse and kill millions upon millions of people... and this seems logical and good to you? and this finding of soft tissue proves that a man will fly down from the sky on a flying horse. You also think quoting a bunch of verses from a book written by men about 2,000 years ago who thought all that was going to happen THEN has some kind of magic power over me and everyone else to see that we are all wrong and that a man is going to fly down from the sky on a flying horse. This is true but all the greek myths that sound very similar are false.... ok I get it.. I stand corrected.

Evidence was found, soft tissue = young dino. True Christians believe in the Word of God as their authority and know that the governments which are and have been, was set up and destroyed for God's purpose. Jesus Christ will return and set up his kingdom, which will forever reign. Have you ever opened up a can of KJV? Here is a good verse to remember, 2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. You see, it is salvation through faith, not through torture. I will pray for you.

You're making a false assumption. A corrupt socio-political entity that appointed itself the representative of the Christian church committed those heinous crimes. The Christians were the ones burned at the stake.

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