From Colleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Education:
California State University at Northridge has settled a lawsuit brought by a former employee who said he was fired for sharing news of an archaeological discovery that supported his young-Earth creationist beliefs. The university says it settled for $399,500 to avoid a protracted legal battle, but some scientists say the outcome has implications for how scientists critique creationist colleagues going forward.
Armitage published his findings in 2013 in Acta Histochemica, a peer-reviewed journal, leaving out his interpretation of the tissue’s age.
If Armitage really found soft dinosaur tissue, his interpretation of their age would be irrelevant to others’ subsequent work. It would be irrelevant if he believed that dinosaurs were specially created by space aliens.
But Darwin’s Mediocrity Insurance Program prevailed and the usual back alley stuff resulted in his lawsuit. Alumni, take heed.
Adam Laats, a professor of education at the State University of New York at Binghamton who studies cultural conflicts in the classroom, said the settlement probably won’t change things for science in the short term. But if Northridge employees had known “about the deep-pocket legal groups that were committed to pursuing Armitage’s case, they would have handled themselves very differently from the get-go,” he added. More.
The Darwinians, stuck for much evidence for their model, will probably handle themselves “very differently” by more aggressive policing against non-conformist productivity. Any time they can get court rulings in their favor they do not need productivity anyway, they just need a system for churning out approved papers.
From Julie Borg at World:
Although he won the settlement, Armitage reports the discrimination hasn’t stopped. Since the university fired him, he has discovered additional soft tissue in fossils on two different digs, but he cannot find a journal willing to publish his papers. “I’m clearly being blackballed,” he said. More.
Won’t publish it? Did the soft dino tissue turn out to be misdated landfill? Who knows? We’ll never get a straight answer out of Darwin’s Alley.
What’s really going on here? Soft dino tissue would upend paleontology as now practiced, subsuming it under molecular biology.
Just at a time when so many of Darwin’s boffins are only halfway to retirement. And below them could be a seething mass of molecular biology hotties, many of whom may not give a rat’s patootie for the Word of the Beard… They only say it to get the job.
Perhaps the current establishment wants anyone but creationist Armitage to take the credit for the find. But who? Some innocuous Poster Smiled? Some convenient Rock Star? I don’t know. I don’t read minds. But these people do not fill me with confidence.
If the Darwinians had more confidence in their own views, they might have stuck their noses into the tissue instead of into the finder’s beliefs. – O’Leary for News
See also: Gunter Bechly: Decline of science? Imaged in a single paragraph So comparative mediocrities helped force out a gifted scientist because, on reflection, he thinks the universe shows evidence of design. In other words, orthodoxy beats achievement. Mediocrities inflate their value when they become witch hunters. They keep their own jobs while diminishing the value of the disciplines they represent.
Who controls Whom in science and what it means for new thinking and new discoveries. Within any particular field, a certain amount of criticism is allowed from PhD critics in that same field, because otherwise, there could be no progress at all. But the nature of the criticism has narrow de facto limits, such that nothing discrediting is said of the intellect of any of the elders, only modifications based (supposedly) on newly-discovered evidence, enabled by better experimental instruments than the elders had had available to them.
Food for thought from that paywalled soft dino tissue article in Science
Is Mark Armitage’s soft dinosaur tissue work a replication of Mary Schweitzer? If so…?
Is there some reason that paleontologists do NOT want soft dinosaur tissue?
Dinosaur found with preserved skin
Dinosaur found with preserved tail feathers, skin