The Mark Armitage Legal Victory and A Clarion Call for Laity to Carry the Torch in the Creation-Evolution Controversy

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Author: Tom Shipley

“If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except that little point which the world and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”—Martin Luther

Creationists who work in academia or science research should not be lulled into a false sense of security because of the recent Mark Armitage legal victory against his persecutors at California State University Northridge. I am writing this article on the assumption that the reader has some knowledge of the Armitage case and his science research and publication. (For those of you who may have little or no knowledge of the case, a good sense of the case and its history can be gleaned at the following article links here, and here, and here, and here and here, and here, and the following video links here and here.)

Armitage was the victim of religious discrimination and persecution perpetrated by Dr. Ernie Kwok and others at CSUN in the form of wrongful job termination because of his religious beliefs and the exercise of his free speech rights. Armitage’s legal and Constitutional rights were violated. Armitage sued and won. That’s wonderful. But let’s put this in perspective: one lone legal victory for a creationist in a State Court does not by any stretch of the imagination signal a reversal of the pervasive discrimination and persecution that has been perpetrated for many decades against many THOUSANDS of others who have never seen an iota of justice. As far as I am aware, Mark Armitage is one of a very small handful of Darwin doubters (that perhaps that can be numbered on one hand) to prevail in his battle against religious discrimination in American academia. Illegal discrimination, willful violation of Constitutional rights, and bigotry against creationists in the form of wrongful job termination goes on routinely and pervasively, perpetrated by, and with the blessing of, academia and our judicial establishments. The law simply does not matter to the academicians or to most of the judges ruling in most of these cases. The law itself is routinely treated as irrelevant.

We can rejoice, and I certainly do, that there has been a modicum of justice in the Armitage case. I don’t want to rain upon anybody’s parade. But what I want to know is this: why does Ernie Kwok (et al) still have a job at CSUN? If I understand the dynamics of the Armitage case as well as I think I do, Kwok was the prime perpetrator of religious discrimination against Mark Armitage. If Ernie Kwok and Armitage’s other persecutors still have their jobs (at taxpayer expense), then is not CSUN in principle still endorsing discrimination and persecution based upon religion?

The failure of CSUN to terminate the employment of faculty who have violated the fundamental Constitutional and civil rights of their fellow Americans declares that they are still committed to a policy of religious discrimination, especially against Christian creationists. They may have acquiesced to a particular battle they knew they could not win (and was simply too damaging because of its publicity) but they are still at war against all those who do not share their own religious faith in Naturalism. Make no mistake about that. So let’s stay the course and not get too heady about the Armitage victory.

The Mark Armitage case is significant for multiple reasons, one reason being that his case demonstrates the two principal modus operandii of the Darwinists in academia (what I refer to as the GDPM, the Great Darwinian Propaganda Machine) and science research: 1) censorship and repression of information and 2) punishment against dissenters. Another reason the Armitage case is significant is because of the actual science at the root of it.

Make no mistake about it, Big Brother thought control, in the vein of Orwell’s 1984, is precisely what the Darwinists in academia seek to achieve. Freedom of inquiry in academia is a myth where it concerns the subject of evolution. The straw which broke the proverbial back of the camel in the Armitage case, the thing which exceeded the toleration level of the Great Darwinian Propaganda Machine, was not “hellfire and damnation” preaching on campus, it was not a sermon on the book of Genesis and creation in the biology classroom. No, it was a peer-reviewed scientific article, titled “Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus,” by Armitage published in the prestigious Acta Histochemica containing straight reporting of raw data on his find of soft dinosaur tissue from a triceratops horn from the Hell Creek Formation in Glendive Montana. The truth screams aloud from such finds: to wit, “if it ain’t fossilized (permineralized), it ain’t millions of years old!” Crash goes the Darwinian and uniformitarian paradigms. The significance of this is not lost on the devotees of Naturalism and worshipers of their idol, evolution.

In the attempt to put an end to the dissemination of such knowledge, Armitage had to go. The American Inquisition and the Great Darwinian Propaganda Machine, in the form of Dr. Ernie Kwok, et al, at California State University Northridge, leapt into action. Two weeks after the publication of Armitage’s article, Ernie Kwok, in Machiavellian fashion, engineered the firing of Mark Armitage from his job. Information which conflicts with the story-line of evolutionary and old earth fairy tales simply cannot be tolerated and neither can the people who publish such information.

Another example which exemplifies and demonstrates the extent of Orwellian thought control in our universities is that of Michael Behe, famous for his book, “Darwin’s Black Box.” Behe is famous for coining the phrase “irreducible complexity,” a feature of biological organisms which is a dead giveaway of intelligent design.

In a video production of the Discovery Institute, Behe makes some very eye-opening and significant comments:

At approximately 12:05 – 13:25 in the video, Behe staes:

“For the longest time I believed that Darwinian evolution explains what we saw in biology, not because I saw how it could actually explain it but because I was told that it did explain it. In schools I was taught Darwinian biology and through college and graduate school I was in an atmosphere which just assumed that Darwinian evolution explains biology and again I didn’t have any reason to doubt it. It wasn’t until…I read a book called “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” by a geneticist by the name of Michael Denton, an Australian, and he put forward a lot of scientific arguments against Darwinian theory that I had never heard before, and the arguments seemed pretty convincing. At that point, I started to get a bit angry, because I thought I was being led down the primrose path. Here were a number of very good arguments and I had gone through a doctoral program in biochemistry, and became a faculty member and I had never even heard of these things.”—Michael Behe, emph. supp.

Behe’s comments here are worth dwelling upon at length to grasp their significance. Think about this: here is a scientist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry, a faculty member, who had never heard “a lot of scientific arguments” in the realm of his own specialty! And don’t think for one moment that Behe’s case is unusual. Behe’s experience of being kept in the dark and “led down the primrose path” (to use his own characterization) is typical of academia in general. As cynical as I am about the Darwinian academic establishment, this type of comment is still absolutely astounding to me. How is it remotely possible, one must ask in utter astonishment, to go through at least seven years of university training and be in total ignorance of an extensive body of knowledge, a lengthy detailed book full of pertinent information in one’s own discipline? That is mind-boggling to me and demonstrates the extent to which the Great Darwinian Propaganda Machine engages in bona fide thought control and brainwashing of its disciples in our academic institutions. The paradigm, the model—in this case, commitment to a religious faith, Naturalism, and its supreme article of faith, evolution—takes priority over facts and data. If the empirical facts are contradictory, then damn the facts and—and don’t let any one else know.

Censorship reigns supreme in this regard, and don’t let any naysayer on this point deceive you with sophistries. This is all deliberate and conscious, as it certainly was in the Mark Armitage case. Like Stalin’s tyranny in Communist Soviet Russia, there are ongoing purges to cast out Darwin doubters, especially Christian creationists, from academia by systematic and pervasive denial of tenure, outright firings, demotions and campaigns of vilification directed against “scientific sinners.”

Persecution by the Darwinian establishment is real, and is well-exemplified in the cases of Mark Armitage and many others. These purges of academic dissidents are for the purpose of maintaining strict control of “scientific” orthodoxy (the “orthodoxy” in the case of evolution being pseudo-orthodoxy) and stamping out “science sin.” I like the observation of Stephen Jay Gould: “Academia is a den of vipers” (pg. 112, The Panda’s Thumb”). Anybody who believes we have “open inquiry” in academia is ignorant of the reality. The firing of Mark Armitage from his microscopist job at California State University Northridge because of his religion and his “creationist projects” is just one such example. Another is the demotion of Richard Sternberg (an evolutionist) at the Smithsonian Institution. Another is the firing of creationist David Coppedge at NASA because of his creationist beliefs (yes, even NASA terminates employees on the basis of their religious beliefs). Another is the firing of Guillermo Gonzalez from the University of Iowa because of his religious beliefs, specifically belief in ID. Another example is Dr. Caroline Crocker, author of “Free to Think,” who was purged out of George Mason University because of her beliefs. These five examples are most emphatically not exceptions to the rule or anecdotes. They are drops in the ocean. The list of names goes on and on and on with mind-numbing endlessness. Just ask Jerry Bergman. (See his video presentation here, and the results of his investigation of censorship in academia here.)

Which brings me to my central point and conclusion in this article: the torch in the creationist movement needs to be carried, probably primarily, by knowledgeable LAITY, that is to say, those of us who are not employed in academia or science research and not vulnerable to termination of employment because of our religious beliefs. It is not enough to just sit back and expect academicians and research scientists to speak up and publish relevant material. As in the Mark Armitage case, speaking up can carry a heavy price, and most will simply remain silent. Until the active hostility and persecution against Darwin doubters in academia changes, there will continue to be a severe dearth of degreed professionals doing this work. Most (if not nearly everyone) in vulnerable positions in academia and science research will not dare to risk their jobs and their professional and academic accreditation. Even those who are willing to endure persecution regarding themselves will seldom be willing to subject their families to such severe life disruption.

For those who are in academia and science research and who ARE willing to take the associated risks, Armitage lays out the program. In a personal communication with me about this matter, Armitage states:

“I do agree with your point that the laity needs to carry this torch…(T)he pattern I have laid out is an easy one to follow if people are willing to do the work to follow it. As I say I took the time to learn my craft. I got off the path of being an expert microscopist for the microscope companies and got onto the path of Academia. I went back to school and learned electron microscopy. I then sought employment in Academia with my highly honed unique skills. There will always be need for microscopists so I have set a pattern that others who are skilled in biology or chemistry can follow. Next I sought employment at universities who are looking for a microscopist. Sadly I was thrown out of Azusa Pacific University for being a literalist on Genesis. But the settlement they gave me for wrongful termination was enough to buy my own electron microscopes. Then I had the opportunity to work for a State University and I gave full disclosure in my interview about being a creationist and being a Christian. Because I had a publication history, a secular publication history they hired me on the spot. Then I excelled at my craft for the University and won the hearts of 95% of the professors there. So I’ve established a pattern that others can follow, and we need to do this. The only way we can get through to the professionals and the millennials is to have a track record of excellence in The Sciences. So yes the laity need to take up the torch but they need to follow the pattern that I have laid down.

“I only got a master’s degree and look at how far the Lord took me. But you are right we need Christians to get their Ph.Ds and learn these skills and get hired in universities where they have access to the research equipment and can do the studies. Then they will be effective…This is the front line of this battle and we need the laity to step up to jump in and to follow the pattern that I have established.”

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