This case has been hanging around for a couple of years now. The next few indented paragraphs provide background information, which most of you can skip:
Mark Armitage, described by his supporters as a “scientist,” is an electron microscopy technician who, according to California State University, Northridge (CSUN), was a temporary hire between 2010-2013. While on a fossil hunt in Montana, he found a large triceratops horn.
Back at CSUN, he examined his fossil and saw what he believed to be “soft tissue.” In July 2013 a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Acta Histochemica, published his article: Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus.
He subsequently lost his job is now suing CSUN. He claims he was fired because his discovery indicates that dinosaurs roamed the earth only thousands of years ago. It’s an old creationist issue. The TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims discusses the claim that dinosaur fossils with “red blood cells” have been found, and we’ve posted about the subject before — e.g., Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat?
This is a copy of the complaint that was filed: Mark Armitage vs. Board of Trustees of the California State University, et al. (21-page pdf file). You can check the court docket here Los Angeles Superior Court to see what’s been filed. If you go there, click on “Access your case” and enter case number BC552314.
There’s a lot more information in Mark Armitage Update: 05 Nov 2014. It appears that Armitage kept his views on the age of the fossil out of his published paper, and it was only later that he promoted his young-Earth interpretation. Clever fellow.
He complains about “viewpoint discrimination,” and claims he has Evolutionists On The Run. Also, he has degrees from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the Institute for Creation Research. He self-published a book titled Jesus is like my Scanning Electron Microscope (Amazon listing).
The press hasn’t been reporting anything about this case. The last time we checked the court docket we learned that on 16 August 2016 there will be a Final Status Conference, and on 22 August 2016 the jury trial will begin. There’s no other creationist news out there, so it’s time to take another look at the Armitage case. This is what the docket shows:
• 06/08/2016 at 10:30 am: Informal Status Conference
• 07/20/2016 at 08:32 am: Motion for Summary Judgment
• 07/25/2016 at 08:45 am: Mandatory Settlement Conference
•08/16/2016 at 01:30 pm: Final Status Conference
• 08/22/2016 at 09:30 am: Jury Trial
That motion for summary judgment could be interesting. It was filed by the defendant (not Armitage) a month ago. We have no access to the pleadings, but if the motion is granted, it would resolve the case without a trial — at least as to the issues the motion addresses. If Armitage were to lose the whole case at that point, the results would undoubtedly be appealed.
Anyway, that’s all the information we can find. The next couple of months will tell the tale. We’ll be watching, so stay tuned to this blog!
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