Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#453: Mark Armitage


The famous, probably nice, but completely cranky New Age crackpot José Argüelles narrowly escaped inclusion in this Encyclopedia in March 2011. No one would of course suspect global warming denialist Dick Armey of being a nice person, but despite his denialism he remains one of the less moronic (though probably not less vile) of the extreme wingnuts, and if he were given an entry we would probably be forced to swamp our Encyclopedia with similar trolls.

We cannot pass over Mark H. Armitage, however. Armitage was an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Azusa Pacific University, a religious college, and received a “Masters Degree” from the regionally unaccredited Institute for Creation Research. Graduate School. Currently Armitage is affiliated with the Creation Research Society, and operates and maintains a working electron microscopy lab there (what a waste of resources), as well as serving on the Board of Directors.

He graduated in May 2007 from Liberty University's School of Education, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Liberty. In short, he has no – and apparently no intention of getting – any actual education. Still, Armitage has actually published in Parasitology Research (Germany) and Microscopy and Analysis (England) as well as in several U.S. Publications. Indeed, he has somehow managed to become president of the Southern California Society for Microscopy and Microanalysis and a member of the American Society of Parasitologists. In other words: real credentials for the Institute of Creation Research (although some of his publications, which have little to do with creationism, have been heavily criticized by real experts).

Of course, what his few real publications are supposed to do, is to confer authority to his other work, such as “Helium Retention in Deep Core Zircons,” a review of radiohalos in granite that CRS claims contains “startling evidence” for a young Earth. That one has not been published in a respected journal. His work on radiohalos (some of it with Andrew Snelling) has instead been published in the Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism (ed. R. L. Ivey, Jr.), which is, again, not the same thing as a peer reviewed publication, but more like being accepted for posting at Ken Adachi’s Educateyourself website. Another “research” article is “COMPLEX LIFE CYCLES IN HETEROPHYID TREMATODES: STRUCTURAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DESIGN IN THE ASCOCOTYLE COMPLEX OF SPECIES”, which contains lots of jargon, an introduction, a discussion … and – predictably – no results and no data (discussed here; Armitage responded rather feebly to the critique). The piece is, in other words, “science” by rhetorics, not research, and pretty typical of creationist publications; instead of developing hypotheses and testing them, Armitage and his ilk revert to JAQing off to facilitate their Gish-galloping and insulate themselves from real criticism.

Armitage has also written the book “Jesus is like my Scanning Electron Microscope” and given it his very own five-star review on Amazon.

Diagnosis: It’s hard to come up with something original for every guy in the long row of creationist blunderheads. Armitage is a loon and a crackpot of (probably) relatively minor importance, and that’s that.

21 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. The very day Armitage's paper "Soft sheets of fibrillar bone from a fossil of the supraorbital horn of the dinosaur Triceratops horridus" was featured online (February 13, 2013)

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0065128113000020

    3 professors met (on a committee Armitage served on) in a secret
    committee meeting and decided to terminate him from his position as the
    Supervisor of the Electron and Confocal Microscope laboratory lab at Cal
    State University Northridge, which he installed and ran for 3 years. He was
    terminated for "no reason" on March 5, 2013.

    I hope what happened to Armitage is documented in the next edition of:

    "Slaughter of the Dissidents" by Dr. Jerry Bergman (2011), which documents
    widespread discrimination against Darwin skeptics in academia and within
    the scientific community.

    Soft Tissues in Triceratops Horn
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QdrxFLxVaE

    http://creation.com/mark-h-armitage

    He is currently seeking relief in a legal action for wrongful termination and religious discrimination by the University.

    http://kgov.com/Mark-Armitage-dinosaur-soft-tissue

    Radio interview with Mark Armitage [August 26, 2013]
    http://brokenroadradio.com/morning-show-august-26-2013-click-here-to-reveal-links

    Expelled Professor and Microscopist Mark Armitage Responds to his Critics
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intellectual-freedom/expelled-professor-mark-armitage-responds-to-his-critics

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  4. Wow, I've heard of websites dedicated to hating groups of people before, but I've never encountered one before. Doesn't it gnaw at your own craw quite a bit to spend so much time hating on people?

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    1. And the name calling! The refuge of a man with no facts to back up his opinions. I expect this comment will also be “removed by a blog administrator."

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  5. Another victim of the Darwinist Inquisition- Mark Armitage. Instead of disputing his research with facts & evidence this site just attacks him. How crude & juvenile.

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    1. That’s what we get for patronizing a blog with juvenile name calling built into the title.

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    2. liberals are incapable of anything else, because the facts are always against them

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  6. Scientists throughout the ages have believed in flat earths and lightning gods and more, but we still progressed scientifically. Maybe it just happened by *magic*, since it would be impossible for those guys to have legitimate science. (sarcasm there)

    The ancient Greeks computed the size of the Earth using the shadow of the sun despite believing in Zeus.
    The ancient people of India invented zero, despite believing in hundreds of gods.
    The Vikings made it to North America despite believing in Thor and Odin.

    Geometry, Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry, etc... all developed despite people believing in dozens of different gods.

    So, I posit LOGICALLY that science and theism can co-exist. True science and True religion can exist together. It is only when people decide one or the other should be eliminated that we have a problem. Religious zealots who think science is worthless or scientists who think religion has no place in the life of man.

    Get your evolved head out from your behind and use it as God intended... to think. *insert chuckle*

    Honestly, the idea that scientists would be so pig-headed and narrow minded is sad. To quote Hubert Farnsworth, "Just knowing we're in the same genus makes me embarrassed to call myself homo."

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    1. Yes, I remember a philosophy paper I wrote back in college on Edwin Abbott's "Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimensions." In it I made the observation that as soon as the old orthodoxy is out the door the new takes hold. Admittedly, that's not an original observation, but one I came to independently. Once something becomes set in stone it becomes an impediment to all truth.

      There is no genuine dichotomy between science and religion, ultimately true science and true religion are one in the same. Orthodoxy forces our eyes closed and prevents us from being legitimately scientific. Empiricism demands that we see what is actually there, no matter whose toes it steps upon.

      Even if one discards out of hand any conclusions related to a factual matter, the matter itself cannot appropriately be ignored. There may be other explanations for the presence of soft tissue, but if we dismissively ridicule the observation of that tissue we will never arrive at any kind of authoritative explanation.

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    2. It does seem hard to believe that scientists could "be so pig-headed and narrow-minded," but as you said yourself, "...when people decide one or the other should be eliminated...we have a problem." The scientific establishment today has determined that religious explanations of the past must be eliminated -- indeed, when you apply science, the study of natural processes, to the attempt to divine everything about the past, the supernatural is left out by definition and necessity.

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  7. Surprised at the number of comments supportive of (at least sympathetic with) Armitage as well as the emotional opinionated vitriol spouted at him in the article. Remember friends that work such as Armitage's threaten not only the worldview of certain folks, but also their rice bowl. That is a combination that is not easily overlooked.

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    1. However, we must not forget that science is searching for truth, not political correctness. For example, when Helio-centrism was suggested, I am sure a lot of "rice bowls" were overturned. The problem in todays day is that so many people refuse to think outside the box and humbly admit that they might be wrong.

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  8. Creationists are the most ignorant people on the planet. Let them believe whatever lies they like, facts are the last thing they want to hear.

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    1. Way to show your own ignorance, Mr. Rimney. Makes it plenty clear that you are the one with the closed mind.

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    2. And the pot calls the kettle black.

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    3. If you can show where I ignorantly ascribe ignorance to all non-creationists, then that comment is justified. Otherwise, at best you complete the proverbial portrait of We Three.

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  9. We know that various studies and research show that creationists are likely to be less educated. Ping me if you need me to back up my claim :)

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  10. I don't doubt that in the least. On average, the mass of creationists are likely to be less educated than evolutionists. The more one is exposed to public school and college indoctrination, the more likely they are to believe what they are taught.

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    1. Your argument is quite weak. Only a person who knows nothing about science will make such an argument. Science is pretty black and white. Either you get the desired result or you don't. It is hard to brainwash someone when they are clearly getting a different result.

      Based on your logic the more one studies a subject the more they are indoctrinated, so basically folks who are less educated are comparatively better then folks with more education? Do you see a problem with your logic?

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  11. I appreciate your desire to look at this logically. What you seem to be missing is that what we're considering isn't science, but education. Unfortunately, professors and textbooks can say a lot of things are so, which have never been demonstrated by experimental results or confirmed by repeated observations. It is very easy to impress a student of the truth of such matters when you are an authority figure upon whom their grade and future career depends.

    My logic does not extend to all fields of study, or for that matter study under all conditions and educators. However, since we're taking the average of students who mostly go to public schools and state/secular colleges where articles of faith contrary to belief in creation are taught as facts (which include things not part of evolution but conducive to changing beliefs from creation to evolution), it's understandable that you got the impression I was thinking of education in general. Consider (as an extreme example) the probability that more educated than non-educated people in the Soviet Union during the mid-20th century believed in Lysenkoism.

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