LOS ANGELES – An evangelical Christian scientist who was fired after discovering evidence that seemingly contradicted the evolutionary timeframe has been awarded a generous settlement after taking his case to court.
As previously reported, Mark Armitage was a scientist at California State University—Northridge (CSUN) who discovered soft tissues on a large triceratops horn that was believed to be at least 65 million years old. However, the discovery became mired in controversy when Armitage described his findings in a journal article.
“In the paper, I just presented the factual data,” Armitage said. “The only conclusions I drew were that ‘This needs to be investigated further. We have a lot of work to do.’”
Other scientists at the university were not pleased with Armitage’s discovery, evidently thinking that he was trying to promote evidence against evolution. His supervisor reportedly stormed into his lab on one occasion and shouted, “We will not tolerate your religion in this department!”
On Feb. 27, 2013, CSUN fired Armitage.
“Suffice it to say,” Armitage, who is an evangelical Christian, explained, “some people in the department didn’t appreciate [the soft tissue discovery], and somehow they seemed to work a way to have me very quickly removed from my position.”
In an appearance the following year on the radio broadcast “Creation Moments,” Armitage said evolutionists cannot account for the existence of soft tissues like the ones he discovered on the triceratops horn, which is why his discovery caused such a stir.
“[W]e have the evolutionists on the run,” he said. “They are scrambling to explain the presence of these delicate and life-like cells and tissues that could in no way survive the ravages of deep time. In fact, it is astounding that they are there even after the thousands of years since the Great Flood of Noah. Even if we allow only 3,000 years since the Flood, these observations of soft tissues are stunning.”
On July 22, 2014, Armitage filed a complaint in a Los Angeles court against CSUN, alleging that the university fired him on the basis of his religion.
“Terminating an employee because of their religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” stated Pacific Justice Institute President Brad Dacus in a press release describing Armitage’s situation. “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.”
Last month, after two years of legal proceedings, CSUN reportedly settled the lawsuit by giving Armitage a six-figure payout. Although the exact amount of the settlement was not made public, Armitage’s attorney, Alan Reinach, said it was large enough to represent “about 15 times [Armitage’s] annual part-time salary.”
Although CSUN said in a statement that the settlement “is not an indication of any wrongdoing,” Armitage’s attorney believes this most recent development is telling.
“In our view, they certainly would not have paid that kind of money if they did not recognize that we had them dead to rights,” Reinach said in an interview with The College Fix. “The state doesn’t put large, six-figure settlement money out unless they are really concerned they are going to lose.”
Describing the settlement as “groundbreaking,” Reinach said he is unaware of any other case where a Bible-believing scientist was awarded such a favorable settlement.