Mark Armitage, a former scientist at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), was reportedly fired after claiming to have unearthed a dinosaur fossil that still contains soft, flexible tissue, suggesting that it can’t be millions of years old.
A 30-year veteran in his field, Armitage has published many studies over the years in peer-reviewed journals. One of his most recent was published last July, pertaining to a discovery he made at the Hell Creek Formation excavation site in Montana.
A lawsuit recently filed in Armitage’s defense describes his reaction to the discovery as “fascinated,” since flexible matter has never before been discovered on a dinosaur fossil.
Naturally, Armitage published his findings — in this case, he published them in the Elsevier journal Acta Histochemica — and proceeded to share his findings with his students.
Not long after, Armitage was approached by a CSUN faculty head who reportedly shouted at him,
Armitage’s finding, of course, contradicts the evolutionary theory that CSUN has embraced for decades, and there doesn’t appear to be any room for discussion on the matter, since he was also let go from his position.
“Terminating an employee because of [his] religious views is completely inappropriate and illegal,” stated Armitage’s lawyer, Brad Dacus, in a public statement. “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.”
NC paleontologist claims to have explanation for soft tissue, but even this is just a theory
Concerning Armitage’s discovery, molecular paleontologist Mary Schweitzer from North Carolina State University (NCSU) claims to have come up with a valid explanation that, though unprovable, is making the media rounds.
In a story published by The Huffington Post, Stephanie Pappas explained that iron in dinosaurs’ blood may have a preservative effect on soft tissue.
According to the report, Schweitzer and her colleagues had discovered soft tissue in the fossilized leg of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which she says was unusually soft and still transparent for being supposedly 68 million years old.
But because its free radical oxidation potential can have an effect similar to formaldehyde, the chemical used in embalming, iron in the creature’s blood may have preserved the soft tissue in ways previously undiscovered.
“The problem is, for 300 years, we thought, ‘Well, the organics are all gone, so why should we look for something that’s not going to be there?’ and nobody looks,” was Schweitzer’s explanation as to why soft tissue hasn’t been observed in other fossil excavations.
At the same time, Schweitzer’s explanation for the preservation of soft tissue on dinosaur bones is still just a theory, and one that supporters of Armitage say ignores the presence of radioactive carbon-14 in dinosaur fossils.
Carbon-14 (C-14) dating of dinosaur bones collected from many different sites across the U.S. have revealed that, at most, these bones are only 39,000 years old.
“Dinosaur bones with Carbon-14 dates in the range of 22,000 to 39,000 years before present, combined with the discovery of soft tissue in dinosaur bones, indicate that something is wrong with the conventional wisdom about dinosaurs,” says New Geology.