News Weekly, April 15, 2006
A Texas scientist advocates killing nine-tenths of the world’s population by an airborne Ebola virus, writes John Ballantyne.
An award-winning Texas scientist was given a standing ovation after he advocated the extermination of 90 per cent of the Earth’s population by an airborne Ebola virus.
The University of Texas evolutionary ecologist, Dr Eric R. Pianka, was addressing the 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, in early March, after the academy had named him 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
Present at Pianka’s speech was Forrest M. Mim III, a popular science writer and editor of the bi-weekly journal, The Citizen Scientist. He reported:
"Something curious occurred a minute before Pianka began speaking. An official of the Academy approached a video camera operator at the front of the auditorium and engaged him in animated conversation. The camera operator did not look pleased as he pointed the lens of the big camera to the ceiling and slowly walked away.
"This curious incident came to mind a few minutes later when Professor Pianka began his speech by explaining that the general public is not yet ready to hear what he was about to tell us. Because of many years of experience as a writer and editor, Pianka’s strange introduction and the TV camera incident raised a red flag in my mind … I grabbed a notepad …" ("Meeting Doctor Doom", The Citizen Scientist, March 31, 2006).
Pianka began his speech by condemning anthropocentrism, or the idea that the human race occupies a privileged position in nature. He exclaimed, "We’re no better than bacteria!"
He argued that the sharp increase in the human population since the onset of industrialisation was destroying the planet. He warned that Earth would not survive unless its human population was reduced to a tenth of its present number.
Read more at SCIENCE: Scientist calls for death to humanity (John Ballantyne).
One thought on “Scientist calls for death to humanity in 2006 – using airborne ebola”
. That much is true. However, that doesn’t discount the asoertisn or his account of the meeting — doing so really would be ad hominem, and would ignore earlier and similar statements from other eco-zealots. You may be right, Josh, that Pianka “does *not* advocate setting off such a crash,” be but he is: a) loudly asserting that it needs to happen and will happen; b) saying he will be delighted when it does happen; and c) teaching young students who are more than capable of joining the dots on his behalf. Says one: “I also fully realize that a human species fall could well include ME. So be it. That doesn’t mean I don’t, in general, get a feeling of satisfaction from the idea of schadenfreude: humans getting their broad just deserts for thoughtlessness, greed, profligacy, and selfishness. Totally different from advocating actively bringing about such a result, which Pianka is accused (falsely) of. It is objective fact that the environment would do EXTREMELY well should humans fall out of it. There’s a silver lining to all storm clouds.:: “The conflict between Pianka and his persecutors, most of whom are ID supporters, has been (mis)cast as a war between science and reason on one side, and religious zealotry and superstition on the other. But as I have said before, I think it is in fact a conflict between two different brands of religious zealotry. Commenters at Kos and other left-of-center blogs have gleefully pointed out that the same religious conservatives who voice outrage at Pianka’s vision of an agonizing death for 80 to 90% of humanity often embrace the idea of a God who will visit horrific destruction upon the world and punish the disobedient with eternal agony. They are correct, but they miss the point that the irony goes in the other direction, too: the radical environmentalists are as enamored of Armageddon as the more conventional religious extremists. The eco-doomsayers are driven at least as much by their fervent belief that humanity needs to be punished for its sins of greed and luxury as they are by scientifically based concerns. (Note the moralistic, not scientific, language in “Praedor Atrebates'” post above.) Joseph Herzlinger, who has a blog of his own, puts it best in the comments thread at Bad Astronomy Blog: “‘This looks like crackpot vs. crackpot. It’s a debate between someone ignoring the evidence in favor of Darwin’s theories and someone ignoring the evidence against Malthus’s theories.'”The enviro-zealots and the religious zealots are united in their hatred of the human mind, of human freedom and pride; and both long to see humanity crushed under the weight of a superior power, be it God or Nature.”