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Professor Fired for Reporting on Soft Tissue in a Triceratop’s Horn

Posted on July 26, 2014

​Los Angeles, CA — A scientist was terminated from his job at a California State University after discovering soft tissue on a triceratops fossil, and then publishing his findings. Pacific Justice Institute filed suit, yesterday, with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, against the board of trustees of CSU, Northridge, citing discrimination for perceived religious views.

“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” commented Brad Dacus, President of PJI. “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 continued.

While at a dig at Hell Creek formation in Montana, the scientist, Mark Armitage, came upon the largest triceratops horn ever unearthed at the site. When examining the horn under a high-powered microscope back at CSUN, Armitage was fascinated to see 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.

According to court documents, shortly after the original soft tissue discovery, a university official challenged the motives of Armitage, by shouting at him, “We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!”

Armitage, a published scientist of over 30 years, was subsequently let go after CSUN abruptly claimed his appointment at the university of 38 months had been temporary, and claimed a lack of funding for his position. This was news to him, and contradicted prior statements and documents from the university.

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.”

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63 thoughts on “Professor Fired for Reporting on Soft Tissue in a Triceratop’s Horn

  1. Hossmiester says:

    Holy Horns Professor! Don't you know you can have no original thought at this Progressive Liberal University unless proir approval by the dean and staff? Man, you have worked there how long? 3+ years and you haven't learned to Sit down, Shut up, and teach only the way and the curiculum that we say you can? How dare you have a thought of your own.

  2. Jean Ward says:

    Perhaps Professor Armitage could post some the scientific evidence?

    I haven't seen anything that the work has been peer-reviewed, i would really like to see analysis from other actual scientists in the field

    … plus I would like to see it myself, as I am sure others would also.

  3. CrustyOldGeezer says:

    "academia" and "Commitment to furthering knowledge" are two completely unrelated subjects.

    "Commitment to furthering knowledge" is based on TEACHING

    While "academia" has as its sole purpose is PROPAGANDIZING.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly. My time working in academia was a real opener, watching a fine, respected professor a few years away from retirement have his career thrown away like so much garbage to suit the agenda of the establishment. His crime? Being pro- life, anti-abortion…… And this in a "Catholic" college….how dare he?!?!?

  5. Meant to say "eye opener"…


    Professor Armitage didn't write the article. How do you think he can get objective peer review when it is clearly seen what happens to anyone that seemingly presents findings or evidence that challenges dogma? In his time Galileo could not get "peer review."

  7. I am concerned that this same attitude prevails in the medical community. Someone publishes a finding that xyz is good or bad for you and all the doctors pick it up as gospel when it could be totally wrong.

  8. lonnie bauer says:

    the new norm for "scientists" is allow no one to dispute established findings, to allow it could bring the old guard into disrespect. if you allow opposing views" facts "could be challenged and original scientific theory disproven thereby placing grants in danger. one knows that only those in the scientific community "can really be knowlegible" about subject matter and if you do not allow dispute, they will not have to defend thier theories, or maybe can not.

  9. fascists of any strip can not tolerate God.

    Remember, there is no god but them —

    each and every one of them —

    a teeny fascist god.

  10. So much for “science” following the facts. Cant have soft tissue on fossils. Destroys the evolutionists’ religion. They MUST silence all opposition to their religion; the religion of materialistic, evolution, a/k/a – atheism. Talk about “flat earthers.”

  11. Evolutionist commandant, never challenge our beliefs or you will be terminated or put in jail.

  12. How does a "scientist" tell how old a fossil is? By looking at the sedimentary layers of the rocks in which they were found.
    How does a "scientist" tell how old the sedimentary layer of rocks are? By looking at the fossils contained within.
    Which of course is circular reasoning. But that is "science."
    Please explain then to me "scientists:" Petrified Trees that extend up between several layers. How does a live tree last 100,000's of years being backfilled?

  13. How is scientific discovery confused with “religion”? When Galileo discovered that the earth revolves around the sun — not vice-versa — he was arrested, tortured and made to recant his observation of a scientific fact. As he stood before church and state (like dissidents today) and “apologized” for stating a obvious, he said under his breath, “It still moves!”

    Welcome to the new Dark Ages.

  14. empty pockets says:

    You are either a progressive…or their target. "Resistance is futile." I'm no Picard but I not submitting either.

    By definition, science can never be "settled" since new information at any time can change everything formerly believed to be true. If it didn't we'd all still be living on a flat earth.

  15. Liberalism, dying on the vine. Simply because liberalism is not self sustaining, it must with have conservatism to live.. Conservatism prospers like ivy on a vine. Being conservative means you can achieve a endless growth, while being liberal means no self-sustaining growth, only yellowing and then death on the vine.

  16. Peter Wing says:

    Its been that way for a long time.

  17. Wish they had published the name of this Ignorant Cretin Obamabot IDIOT,so we could Bury him with Protests. What tbe dept head did was DESPICABLE!!

  18. There is too little space here to name all of the instances, but once again, true science confirms the Bible. The dinaosaurs likely died in Noah's flood.

  19. Dale left coast says:

    People who teach in MBA programs have never owned businesses. People who teach psychology have never worked as full-time psychologists.
    Professors get themselves licensed by their own group, few of whom have had any experience in the free market, where profit and loss determine who survives and who fails. Then, having created a state-mandated barrier to entry, they earn above-market wages paid by taxpayers. This starts at the university level, and then it moves down to the very lowest levels of the educational system.
    It is all a farce. It is summarized by the slogan we have all heard: “He who can, does. He who can’t, teaches. He who can’t teach, teaches teachers.”

  20. Evidently Soft Tissue Is Not Unusual
    Controversial T. Rex Soft Tissue Find Finally Explained
    The controversial discovery of 68-million-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex finally has a physical explanation.
    According to new research, iron in the dinosaur's body preserved the tissue before it could decay.
    The research, headed by Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University, explains how proteins — and possibly even DNA — can survive millennia.
    Schweitzer and her colleagues first raised this question in 2005, when they found the seemingly impossible: soft tissue preserved inside the leg of an adolescent T. rex unearthed in Montana.
    "What we found was unusual, because it was still soft and still transparent and still flexible," Schweitzer told LiveScience.
    The find was also controversial, because scientists had thought proteins that make up soft tissue should degrade in less than 1 million years in the best of conditions. In most cases, microbes feast on a dead animal's soft tissue, destroying it within weeks. The tissue must be something else, perhaps the product of a later bacterial invasion, critics argued.
    Then, in 2007, Schweitzer and her colleagues analyzed the chemistry of the T. rex proteins. They found the proteins really did come from dinosaur soft tissue. The tissue was collagen, they reported in the journal Science, and it shared similarities with bird collagen — which makes sense, as modern birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs such as T. rex.
    The researchers also analyzed other fossils for the presence of soft tissue, and found it was present in about half of their samples going back to the Jurassic Period, which lasted from 145.5 million to 199.6 million years ago, Schweitzer said.



  22. it’s encouraging to see that there so many others who believed that evolution is crap… And those who sling it, those are the ones we need to keep on eye on… I do not for one believe for a moment that any of these people have a clue how old anything is… They built machines to do carbon testing, and still they can’t get it right…

  23. Science can prove creation, but it can never prove evolution…

  24. RoBotech says:

    Kinda hard to get a peer review when the "peers" refuse to acknowledge the find (like you, I am not too convinced about that 1000's of years thing). We'll NEVER see another word on this until it can be proven this guy is wrong. And that may be never.
    The point of the article isn't whether the findings are correct, it's about the panic and firing (and screaming at the guy because he's a Christian. At least I THINK so as the article never said he was a Christian) over not agreeing with the guys personal beliefs.
    I bet this was just the last straw for several of his peers to accuse him of being "religious". It sounds like being religious is a direct threat to the Faculty, and THAT is the bad part here.
    NO tolerance on the left (or a so called "atheist") for anything not falling in line on their OPINIONS!

  25. ken1lutheran says:

    So Ms. Ward, are you qualified to review Professor Armitage's work? And would you accept the analysis from other scientists–and what do you mean by "actual"?–who do not begin with atheist presuppositions? Or does "actual" mean "atheist"? And what assurance would you be able to give those scientists that they would not be risking their own employment if they confirmed his findings? There have been hundreds of scientists who have lost their employment and had publications refuse to submit their articles for peer review because they broke from orthodoxy.

    Using pressure tactics akin to those used to promote Lysenko's genetics is not a mark of truth, but that is how academic/political orthodoxy works in America's universities today.

    It is exasperating to see the smugness of those who deny that there is any institutional pressure on scientists to tilt their findings. I know a theology professor who denies that such pressure exists, even though he came to his present employment from a seminary that insisted that its professors use a particular exegetical method and work from specific presuppositions and would deny a degree to any seminarian who did not do so.

  26. Actually he wasn't tortured. That's been debunked.

  27. LOL. The bold counterclaim with nada to back it up. Typical (respondent desperately searching Wikipedia or snopes for corroboration).

  28. LiberalsRCommies says:

    Look behind the curtain. Who do you see? Trace every major problem on this earth back far enough and you will see the same groups of people, all connected at the hip and all worshiping one entity…… and it isn't God.

  29. How does religion figure into reporting finding soft tissue in a triceratops' horn?

  30. One of the greatest illusions about the academic community, is that it has an open mind for intellectual discussion. Anyone who has had a form of "debate" in a classroom realizes that disagreeing with professors, or asking for evidence to support the dogma they proffer in the classroom, smacks of being impertinent in the least and at worst is intellectual insubordination.

  31. Paul Nordin says:

    Science is a process. New information is generated in this process. If the new information tends to show that some old information is incorrect, then the scientific community must get together and debate the issue. The issue is not decided by one person or a small group (e.g., religion), it must be open to debate until the issue is settled. I plan to read the scientific work by Armitage and try to understand the issue. I plan to then enter the debate. Meanwhile, Armitage is out of a job. That is not right!

  32. Art Sippo says:

    The claim of finding "soft tissue" in a Triceratops fossil — in fact in ANY dinosaur fossil — is unique and therefore suspect. More than likely this is a hoax being perpetrated by the "scientist" in question. It does remain possible that he was set up by someone else because of his naïveté. In any case, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence is that there can be NO soft tissue preserved from the time of the dinosaurs. Either this is an honest mistake or a deliberate fraud. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and so far we have seen no proof at all. I am afraid that this case will prove to be an embarrassment to believers who refuse to accept the simple facts shown by Geology and paleontology.

  33. You have to learn to be obedient to the plantation mentality, or have your career destroyed. There is zero tolerance for open minded people.
    Drink the ‘Kool Aid’ or be destroyed.

  34. About 10 or so years ago, there was a finding of soft tissue on a T-Rex in northern USA. These people as far as I know were not destroyed for their findings. The Democrat party has turned into a mid evil cult that persecutes anyone for having different beliefs than the propaganda they put out everyday. The propaganda media is relentless in character assassination of anyone going against the views of the left.

  35. Mike Borland says:

    Art Sippo, there have been a number of reports of soft tissue being found in dinosaur fossils. This is not unique and therefore immediately suspect. If it is a hoax let it be so proven. My understanding is the claims of finding soft tissue have now been substantiated in other dinosaur fossils and it is not understood how it is possible for this soft tissue to survive for such an enormously long period of time.

  36. "Actual scientists"??? So if you do not believe in the religion of evolution that disqualifies a person from being an "actual scientist" Jean??? This is not the first time soft tissue has been found in a dinosaur skeleton but evolutionists continue to live in denial.

  37. Zach Freeman says:

    Sedimentary rocks are dated using a number of different methods. Yes, fossils are used to date them but the age date of the fossils are known because rocks containing them have been found in conformable stratagraphic relationships with other rocks (igneous or metamorphic) that can be radiometrically age dated. As for standing petrified trees, there are events that deposit large quantities of sediment in a hurry, ash falls from volcanic eruptions come to mind. Not only could this type of event burry a standing tree but it would provide the necessary chemical environment for petrification to take place. Although uniformatarianism is the prevailing theory in geology there have been in the past and present large-scale short-duration catastrophic events that have left their mark on the geologic record.

  38. Zach Freeman says:

    There is no geologic evidence for a world-wide flood at any time in the Phanerazoic.

  39. Zach Freeman says:

    What non-biblical, physical evidence is there for a 6-day creation of the Earth?

  40. Zach Freeman says:

    Agreed, if Armitage wants to shoot his career in the foot by publishing some crackpot theory about dinosaurs being 6000 years old then he should be allowed to. He'll be a laughing stock in the paleontological community for the rest of his life but he ought not to lose his job over it.

  41. Google is your friend. I think this is the article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0065

    I wish the link had been in the original.

  42. I reiterate Corsica's question. What does soft tissue on the horn of a triceratop have to do with religion?

  43. allosaur says:

    I did not know PC climate change (AKA global warming) fascists were also into paleontology.

  44. Dolores Campbell says:

    Because some "scientists" feel it disproves evolution, and their minds cannot wrap around a fact like that.

  45. some people will nwvwe understand the concept of freedom. its really scarey in a university

  46. An abstract from another site ref – Dr. Armitage:
    Soft fibrillar bone tissues were obtained from a supraorbital horn of Triceratops horridus collected at the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, USA. Soft material was present in pre and post-decalcified bone. Horn material yielded numerous small sheets of lamellar bone matrix. This matrix possessed visible microstructures consistent with lamellar bone osteocytes. Some sheets of soft tissue had multiple layers of intact tissues with osteocyte-like structures featuring filipodial-like interconnections and secondary branching. Both oblate and stellate types of osteocyte-like cells were present in sheets of soft tissues and exhibited organelle-like microstructures. SEM analysis yielded osteocyte-like cells featuring filipodial extensions of 18–20 μm in length. Filipodial extensions were delicate and showed no evidence of any permineralization or crystallization artifact and therefore were interpreted to be soft. This is the first report of sheets of soft tissues from Triceratops horn bearing layers of osteocytes, and extends the range and type of dinosaur specimens known to contain non-fossilized material in bone matrix."

  47. Right , what does religion have to do with it ?

  48. icetrout says:

    like to know how a specimen with soft tissue a few thousand years old got mixed into a fossil layer millions of years old… sounds like a ringer to me…

  49. Mr. Smith says:

    I have NEVER understood the argument regarding opinion versus fact. It doesn't matter one bit how many people believe something or how much public opinion favors some option, the truth reigns supreme. There was a time when most people believed the earth was flat, and frankly it didn't matter if everyone on earth believed – the truth is the truth. Or to put it another way, the truth constitutes a majority of one.

    Truth is the only thing that matters, all else is commentary. Whether you’re talking about churches or universities any institution worth their salt is searching for truth. Similarly any student or member of a university or church should be searching for the truth, or a truth student.

    The bible and evolution are NOT mutually exclusive! In response to Albert Einstein saying: “God doesn't play dice with the world” Niels Bohr is reputed to have said: “Stop telling God what to do with his dice!”

    I would say to all those that dispute evolution; stop telling God how to create the universe! Have you not heard: “There are none so blind as those that believe they see.” Stop reading the Holy Bible and thinking that that’s it and there’s nothing more. The Holy Bible has depths that only the very select few have fully fathomed (and I would love to be one of those, however I’m NOT in that crowd).


  50. Art, your reasoning is circular reasoning and anything but scientific:
    There cannot be soft tissue in dinosaurs because we have never found soft tissue in dinosaurs.
    Just think "piltdown man" if you want to think about hoaxes–or the most recent, "Lucy" the chimpanzee.

    That is akin to saying,
    There cannot be a non-red tomato, cause I never saw a non-red tomato!

  51. LOL. Try doing some research. That four letter word called WORK. And just in case your IQ is below 40 I'm NOT a Catholic.

  52. Well-established, scientific, and universally accepted dating techniques of ancient artifacts place the extinction of the dinosaurs at about 60 million years ago. It is certainly possible that some late Cretaceous dinosaurs survived past that time, but that would still make then tens of millions of years old. No soft tissue can persist that long.

    The professor is probably guilty of nothing more than wishful thinking, but as a scientist, he cannot allow wishful thinking to override scientific facts.

  53. Kathy. I would like to know what catholic college did that. So I can avoid such a disgusting place.

  54. rodney burke says:

    yeah apparently there is no place at CSUN for truth or other facts that seem to come up in scientific investigation. A mallet needs to be applied liberally to those who fired this guy for finding soft tissue inside a horn? wTH? a scientist can't tell what he found without being accused of religion or some such? Who is the IDIOT who fired him and lied about it? That's what this amounts to, lying, fraud and academic censorship! Even for CA that is pathetic! What's the matter, can't they learn anything new or is that a crime now?

  55. The universe revolves around the earth. Galileo just changed the point of reference to make the math easier.

  56. peleus212 says:

    Seems to be an oxymoron:
    "academia" and "Commitment to furthering knowledge"
    I saw nothing that [to me] seemed to be religious but I did not see the whole thing and comments were closed on the other site. But what ever happened to good old observe, record and way the results and draw conclusions?

  57. peleus212 says:

    Just for fun, what if a cure for cancer was actually found? Wouldn't that kill a lot of projects, funding, complete research facilities, etc?? That would certainly challenge the good ol boy network wouldn't with all the jobs/ funding that would be lost??

  58. That’s correct he was not tortured. The sob was under “house arrest” but could almost do anything he wanted…he was not a “martyr” for science

  59. The question is how 'out of the box' is 'out of the box' 🙂 My personal opinion is that 'well rounded' individuals can innovate lot better than engineers with blinkers. Nobel Prize, for instance, has been moving from 'fundamental research' to 'research that changes lives'. It should not be forgotten that Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments was an employee of Texas Instruments and he was awarded Nobel Prize few years back. More often, engineers have their own 'method's to solve problems that they face – whether it is in a boiler or nuclear plant or electrical transmission or software bug. In my opinion, innovation is something that changes the 'landscape' or provides a new 'perspective'. Currently, 'innovation' is facing an issue because it is not 'single person' owned like may be in case of Edison or others who hold lot of 'patents'. Innovation is more often 'extension' of somebody's work in probably different domain.

  60. Its been since July 24, 2014 at 2:39PM, and STILL NO ATTEMPTS by faith-filled and religiously ardent long-ager evolutionists to explain how soft tissue, transparent blood vessels, and red blood cells buried in the dirt with bacteria, ground water, and other forces of decay, can remain preserved for 65 MILLION YEARS !

    To imply soft tissue, transparent blood vessels, and red blood cells buried in the dirt with bacteria, ground water, and other forces of decay, can remain preserved for 65 million years has NO PART IN SCIENCE, especially with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE! You have the right to BELIEVE whatever you want but WHERE IS THE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE???

    Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

  61. This article was posted on July 26, 2014 and STILL NO ATTEMPTS by faith-filled and religiously ardent long-ager evolutionists to explain how soft tissue, transparent blood vessels, and red blood cells buried in the dirt with bacteria, ground water, and other forces of decay, can remain preserved for 65 MILLION YEARS !

    To imply soft tissue, transparent blood vessels, and red blood cells buried in the dirt with bacteria, ground water, and other forces of decay, can remain preserved for 65 million years has NO PART IN SCIENCE, especially with NO SUPPORTING EVIDENCE! You have the right to BELIEVE whatever you want but WHERE IS THE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE???

    Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

  62. redmeatstate says:

    actually there are plenty of examples of "soft tissue fossils" being found, not just this case. And the "facts" presented in Geology and paleontology are just as dogmatic as any others. New information should be welcomed, not slammed in a political fit.