Skip to comments.Meeting Doctor Doom(Saving the Earth with Ebola)
Posted on 04/02/2006 9:57:25 AM PDT by Kokojmudd
Forrest M. Mims III
Copyright 2006 by Forrest M. Mims III.
Recently citizen scientist Forrest Mims told me about a speech he heard at the Texas Academy of Science during which the speaker, a world-renowned ecologist, advocated for the extermination of 90 percent of the human species in a most horrible and painful manner. Apparently at the speaker's direction, the speech was not video taped by the Academy and so Forrest's may be the only record of what was said. Forrest's account of what he witnessed chilled my soul. Astonishingly, Forrest reports that many of the Academy members present gave the speaker a standing ovation. To date, the Academy has not moved to sanction the speaker or distance itself from the speaker's remarks.
If the professional community has lost its sense of moral outrage when one if their own openly calls for the slow and painful extermination of over 5 billion human beings, then it falls upon the amateur community to be the conscience of science.
Forrest, who is a member of the Texas Academy and chairs its Environmental Science Section, told me he would be unable to describe the speech in The Citizen Scientist because he has protested the speech to the Academy and he serves as Editor of The Citizen Scientist . Therefore, to preclude a possible conflict of interest, I have directed Forrest to describe what he observed and his reactions in this special feature, for which I have served as editor and which is being released a week ahead of our normal publication schedule. Comments may be sent to Backscatter . Shawn Carlson, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, Society for Amateur Scientists.
There is always something special about science meetings. The 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science at Lamar University in Beaumont on 3-5 March 2006 was especially exciting for me, because a student and his professor presented the results of a DNA study I suggested to them last year. How fulfilling to see the baldcypress ( Taxodium distichum ) leaves we collected last summer and my tree ring photographs transformed into a first class scientific presentation that's nearly ready to submit to a scientific journal (Brian Iken and Dr. Deanna McCullough, "Bald Cypress of the Texas Hill Country: Taxonomically Unique?" 109th Meeting of the Texas Academy of Science Program and Abstracts [ PDF ], Poster P59, p. 84, 2006).
But there was a gravely disturbing side to that otherwise scientifically significant meeting, for I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka (Fig. 1), the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
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. Suddenly I forgot that I was a member of the Texas Academy of Science and chairman of its Environmental Science Section. Instead, I grabbed a notepad so I could take on the role of science reporter.
One of Pianka's earliest points was a condemnation of anthropocentrism, or the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe. He told a story about how a neighbor asked him what good the lizards are that he studies. He answered, What good are you?
Pianka hammered his point home by exclaiming, We're no better than bacteria!
Pianka then began laying out his concerns about how human overpopulation is ruining the Earth. He presented a doomsday scenario in which he claimed that the sharp increase in human population since the beginning of the industrial age is devastating the planet. He warned that quick steps must be taken to restore the planet before it's too late.
Saving the Earth with Ebola
Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures . Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.
He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse . War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.
Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets.
AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola ( Ebola Reston ), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.
After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, We've got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that.
With his slide of human skulls towering on the screen behind him, Professor Pianka was deadly serious. The audience that had been applauding some of his statements now sat silent.
After a dramatic pause, Pianka returned to politics and environmentalism. But he revisited his call for mass death when he reflected on the oil situation.
And the fossil fuels are running out, he said, so I think we may have to cut back to two billion, which would be about one-third as many people. So the oil crisis alone may require eliminating two-third's of the world's population.
How soon must the mass dying begin if Earth is to be saved? Apparently fairly soon, for Pianka suggested he might be around when the killer disease goes to work. He was born in 1939, and his lengthy obituary appears on his web site .
When Pianka finished his remarks, the audience applauded. It wasn't merely a smattering of polite clapping that audiences diplomatically reserve for poor or boring speakers. It was a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause.
Questions for Dr. Doom
Then came the question and answer session, in which Professor Pianka stated that other diseases are also efficient killers.
The audience laughed when he said, You know, the bird flu's good, too. They laughed again when he proposed, with a discernable note of glee in his voice that, We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth.
After noting that the audience did not represent the general population, a questioner asked, "What kind of reception have you received as you have presented these ideas to other audiences that are not representative of us?"
Pianka replied, "I speak to the converted!"
Pianka responded to more questions by condemning politicians in general and Al Gore by name, because they do not address the population problem and "...because they deceive the public in every way they can to stay in power."
He spoke glowingly of the police state in China that enforces their one-child policy. He said, "Smarter people have fewer kids." He said those who don't have a conscience about the Earth will inherit the Earth, "...because those who care make fewer babies and those that didn't care made more babies." He said we will evolve as uncaring people, and "I think IQs are falling for the same reason, too."
With this, the questioning was over. Immediately almost every scientist, professor and college student present stood to their feet and vigorously applauded the man who had enthusiastically endorsed the elimination of 90 percent of the human population. Some even cheered. Dozens then mobbed the professor at the lectern to extend greetings and ask questions. It was necessary to wait a while before I could get close enough to take some photographs (Fig. 1).
I was assigned to judge a paper in a grad student competition after the speech. On the way, three professors dismissed Pianka as a crank. While waiting to enter the competition room, a group of a dozen Lamar University students expressed outrage over the Pianka speech.
Yet five hours later, the distinguished leaders of the Texas Academy of Science presented Pianka with a plaque in recognition of his being named 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist. When the banquet hall filled with more than 400 people responded with enthusiastic applause, I walked out in protest.
Corresponding with Dr. Doom
Recently I exchanged a number of e-mails with Pianka. I pointed out to him that one might infer his death wish was really aimed at Africans, for Ebola is found only in Central Africa. He replied that Ebola does not discriminate, kills everyone and could spread to Europe and the the Americas by a single infected airplane passenger.
In his last e-mail, Pianka wrote that I completely fail to understand his arguments. So I did a check and found verification of my interpretation of his remarks on his own web site. In a student evaluation of a 2004 course he taught, one of Professor Pianka's students wrote, "Though I agree that convervation [sic] biology is of utmost importance to the world, I do not think that preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola [sic] is the most effective means of encouraging conservation awareness." (Go here and scroll down to just before the Fall 2005 evaluation section near the end.)
Yet the majority of his student reviews were favorable, with one even saying, I worship Dr. Pianka .
The 45-minute lecture before the Texas Academy of Science converted a university biology senior into a Pianka disciple, who then published a blog that seriously supports Pianka's mass death wish.
Let me now remove my reporter's hat for a moment and tell you what I think. We live in dangerous times. The national security of many countries is at risk. Science has become tainted by highly publicized cases of misconduct and fraud.
Must now we worry that a Pianka-worshipping former student might someday become a professional biologist or physician with access to the most deadly strains of viruses and bacteria? I believe that airborne Ebola is unlikely to threaten the world outside of Central Africa. But scientists have regenerated the 1918 Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people. There is concern that small pox might someday return. And what other terrible plagues are waiting out there in the natural world to cross the species barrier and to which scientists will one day have access?
Meanwhile, I still can't get out of my mind the pleasant spring day in Texas when a few hundred scientists of the Texas Academy of Science gave a standing ovation for a speaker who they heard advocate for the slow and tortuous death of over five billion human beings.
Forrest M. Mims III is Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, and the editor of The Citizen Scientist. He and his science are featured online at www.forrestmims.org and www.sunandsky.org . The views expressed herein are his own and do not represent the official views of the Texas Academy of Science or the Society for Amateur Scientists.
Bah, you beat me!
Please! Please! Tolerance,! All opinions are worthy of respect. We have a big tent. Lots of room at the table. We must worship at the fount of his human dignity! Equal rights for all! Free speech! He is stimulating "The Debate!"
12 Monkeys stuff. And I assume that he and his family and friends would be part of the 10%.
This guy needs to get out more often...say like a nice trip to Montgomery Texas. We would love to take him on a nice H.D. ride Sunday morning.
Not ready to hear that he wants 90% of them dead? Go figure.
So the "scientists" stood up and applauded...
This is getting more and more interesting (and frightening) by the moment. Not only is the prof a nut case who can't spell, but he's forming new nut cases every day in class.
I knew there were people like Peter Singer in the world, but I did not know that such views had any sort of widespread currency among so-called "scientists." It sounds as if the Third Reich never died; it just morphed into "the scientific community."
These self-styled luminaries must be the first exposed to airborne Ebola, if they are to have a shred of credibility.
Your /sarc tag is showing...
He seems to have written his own obituary so maybe he's not planning on surviving.
What a loon. This is the sort of stuff that happens to a bright mind when it's locked away on a college campus for too many decades.
He's run out of original thoughts and now he has to resort to some bad movie ideas to sound interesting.
From the student evaluations, excerpted on his webpage:
" This is the closest thing this university has to a true religion course and Pianka is the perfect preacher. In other science courses we are taught to look at things specifically and therefore lose the big picture. In this class we study the big picture. 'Why are we here?' That question is answered in evolution. Everyone should be required to take this class to 'spread the word.'"
Is this a leftover April Fool's prank? There is no video or audio record of the man's remarks?
Kudos to the Academy member who is blowing the whistle. This kind of crap has been simmering at a low level, but even my worst fears didn't think such nutjobs would have widespread collegial approval.
I hope this is an April Fool's hoax, or a misrepresentation, but I doubt that's the case. Every amateur journalist should carry digital voice recorders to speeches. I sure do.
Everybody get out the way! We're blocking the holy environmentalists
enjoyment of their planet!
Theodore Kaczinsky with microbes.
Please do not post personal information.
There's a lot of info on Eric Pianka at these two pages:
He is not dead yet and it's his page, giving his email address. I see nothing, however, to indicate that he endorses the deliberate killing of humans by ebola or anything else. One of the pages does mention ebola and its killing efficiency.
Eric R Pianka's phone number is listed at www.411.com
Feel free to look it up and give him call. Tell this clown what society thinks of him.
That could've been a much better movie.
Mims points out that overpopulation is devastating the planet. This is quite definitely true in many Third World nations. What he fails to mention is that the economic development brought by capitalism is the only known cure for the plight of overpopulation. To look for countries that truly devastate the environment of the earth, one need look no further than the many underdeveloped dictatorships and Communist regimes of the present world.
Don't know how you all will feel about this one - could spark some interesting conversation (your discretion). Might be good to show we're not afraid to expose a nut on the opposite side of the fence.
If Hitler had been a university professor, he could have made this speech about the Jews. And he would, no doubt, have had the standing ovation from his peers, just as this scientific fascist did. Just think what the world will be like when his students take over academia and government. I hope they start by eliminating Pianka first, because he is the most "useless eater" of all. It certainly galls this Texas taxpayer to know that we are paying his salary and that of the other loud Marxist, Jensen, at UT-Austin.
It was a loud, vigorous and enthusiastic applause.
Iteresting that you bring that up. Has evil chosen it's "final solution"? Look at the parallel:
Pictures of Ebola victims and the "final solution".
I noticed the "Lucifer" and the "heaven/hell" in his email addy. Don't know enough Satanists to be sure, but I wouldn't bet he ain't!
Ebola is not a good candidate either, it kills too quickly, immobilizing the victim in its wake.
Viruses that kill too quickly evolve to work more slowly in order to spread itself more.
It is not in a germ's best interest to kill its host.
oops, should be "bug" not "big", my bad!
I saw another thread about this douchebag just a few minutes ago. Right now there is a documentary on the History channel about the plague and its horrors. This tool just reflects the dead, black, nihilist soul of the left. They no longer believe in anything, so they want to burn down the whole world.
Damn! His parents should have kept their Bazooka's locked up in a safe place.
I don't see any reason to ping the list for an obvious nutcase.
RESOLUTION ON PIANKAFICATION.--WHEREAS Eric R. Pianka survived a potentially deadly childhood experience, and
- WHEREAS Eric has been a life member of the ASIH since the time he was in high school, thereby saving himself from a lifetime of annual dues, and
- WHEREAS Eric has had a profound influence on the science of herpetology-particularly in the area of desert lizard ecology, and
- WHEREAS Eric published his first scientific paper in Herpetologica, to be followed by over 100 more in various journals, and,
- WHEREAS Eric's years in the field have set the standard both for natural history and for ecological studies, resulting in publications that have lain the foundation for research programs that will undoubtedly outlive even his bison farm, and
- WHEREAS Eric authored the book "Evolutionary Ecology", now in its 6th edition and soon to be available in 8 languages, and
- WHEREAS along with Eric's many books and publications, his web site, including his 10 commandments, open letter to prospective graduate students, and "obituary," should become mandatory reading for all graduate students, and
- WHEREAS we who are getting on in years particularly like the one about honoring your predecessors, and
- WHEREAS the title of Eric's popular autobiography, The Lizard Man Speak s, was changed to mollify the publishers; the result being that the herpetological community is precluded from the opportunity to cite The Yank Down Under , a title akin to that of one featuring well-known stars belonging to the adult-film industry, and
- WHEREAS Eric was honored at these meetings as Distinguished Herpetologist, and
- WHEREAS Eric delivered an emotional and heart-felt keynote address to the JMIH, and
- WHEREAS Rick Shine has coined the term "piankification" to describe Dr. Pianka's vast and immeasurable influence on several fields of evolutionary ecology
- THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the JMIH submit a petition to Merriam-Webster for the inclusion of the word piankification (verb, piankafy), and
- BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this term be widely adopted members and used widely in publications.
It is also not a particularly good candidate for airborne transmission. It appears the primary disease transmision of Ebola HF is contact with blood or body fluids of an infected people. In the Sudan, where the virus originated, entire families would be wiped out in trying to care for one infected member. Nosocomial transmission (in a hospital) is also a frequent origin for ebola outbreaks. Most of the time, care-givers in African hospitals will not take any self-protective measures (mask, gloves, gowns, etc) to prevent the spread of the disease.
Damn! His parents should have kept their Bazooka's locked up in a safe place.
Yeah, but who knew bubble gum could be that dangerous?