California State University, Northridge has settled a lawsuit brought by a former employee, who sued the university after claiming that it fired him over his creationist beliefs.
Mark Armitage was sacked from his position as manager of the biology department’s electron and confocal microscopy suite in 2013, two weeks after he published a paper about a triceratops horn, which he believed was just 4,000 years old and offered proof of his young-Earth creationist beliefs, according to Inside Higher Ed.
The following year, Mr Armitage sued the university claiming that faculty scientists did not want to be associated with a published creationist.
The university told Inside Higher Ed that its decision to not renew Mr Armitage’s contract was based on “budgetary considerations and a dwindling need for his services” and it settled the lawsuit for $399,500 (£322,500) to avoid the costs involved in a protracted legal battle.
It added that a large proportion of the settlement would cover Mr Armitage’s legal fees.
A YouTube video Mr Armitage published about the settlement on 1 October claims that he has been “vindicated by the [Los Angeles] courts” and his research “stands head and shoulders above all the other work that’s been found so far in soft tissue in dinosaur bones”.