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UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Furiously Stylish
Date: April 04, 2006 08:38AM
Of course, we know that he would count himself as one of those deserving to be in the remaining 10 percent. I'm so glad that someone wants to do the thinking for all of us.



[story.seguingazette.com]

UT professor says death is imminent

By Jamie Mobley
The Gazette-Enterprise

Published April 2, 2006

AUSTIN - A University of Texas professor says the Earth would be better off with 90 percent of the human population dead.

"Every one of you who gets to survive has to bury nine," Eric Pianka cautioned students and guests at St. Edward's University on Friday. Pianka's words are part of what he calls his "doomsday talk" - a 45-minute presentation outlining humanity's ecological misdeeds and Pianka's predictions about how nature, or perhaps humans themselves, will exterminate all but a fraction of civilization.

Though his statements are admittedly bold, he's not without abundant advocates. But what may set this revered biologist apart from other doomsday soothsayers is this: Humanity's collapse is a notion he embraces.

Indeed, his words deal, very literally, on a life-and-death scale, yet he smiles and jokes candidly throughout the lecture. Disseminating a message many would call morbid, Pianka's warnings are centered upon awareness rather than fear.

"This is really an exciting time," he said Friday amid warnings of apocalypse, destruction and disease. Only minutes earlier he declared, "Death. This is what awaits us all. Death." Reflecting on the so-called Ancient Chinese Curse, "May you live in interesting times," he wore, surprisingly, a smile.

So what's at the heart of Pianka's claim?

6.5 billion humans is too many.

In his estimation, "We've grown fat, apathetic and miserable," all the while leaving the planet parched.

The solution?

A 90 percent reduction.

That's 5.8 billion lives - lives he says are turning the planet into "fat, human biomass." He points to an 85 percent swell in the population during the last 25 years and insists civilization is on the brink of its downfall - likely at the hand of widespread disease.

"[Disease] will control the scourge of humanity," Pianka said. "We're looking forward to a huge collapse."

But don't tell local "citizen scientist" Forrest Mims to quietly swallow Pianka's call to awareness. Mims says it's an "abhorrent death wish" and contends he has "no choice but to take a stand."

Mims attended the educator's doomsday presentation at the Texas Academy of Science's annual meeting March 2-4. There, the organization honored Pianka as its 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist - another issue Mims vocally opposes.

"This guy is a loose cannon to believe that worldwide genocide is the only answer," said Mims, who filed two formal petitions with the academy following the meeting.

Joining the crusade, James Pitts, who recieved a Ph.D. in physics from UT-Austin, became the second to publicly chastise Pianka when he filed a complaint Saturday with the UT board of regents. He insists a state university is no place to disseminate such views.

He writes:

"Pianka's message does not fall within the realm of his professional competence as a biologist, because it is a normative claim, not a descriptive one. Pianka is encouraged to use his ecological expertise to predict the likely consequences of certain technological and reproductive strategies, but to evaluate some as good, bad, or worthy of prevention by genocide is the realm of philosophy or political science, not science. His message falls no more within his professional competence than it would for a physicist to teach religion in class or a musician to encourage racism."

But Pianka, a 38-year UT educator, maintains he's not campaigning for genocide. He likens mankind's story to an unbridled party on a luxury cruise liner. The fun's going strong on the upper deck, he says. But as crowds blindly absorb the festivities, many fail to notice the ship is sinking.

"The biggest enemy we face is anthropocentrism," he said, describing the belief system in which humans are the central element of the universe. "This is that common attitude that everything on this Earth was put here for [human] use."

To Pianka, a human life is no more valuable than any other - a lizard, a bison, a rhino. And as humans reproduce, the demand for resources like food, water and energy becomes more than the Earth can sustain, he says.

Ken Wilkins, a Baylor University biology professor and associate dean, agrees the inevitability of a crashing point is unarguable.

"The human population is growing," he said. "We will see a point when we reach the carrying capacity - there aren't enough resources."

But resources aren't the only threat, Pianka says. It's the Ebola virus he deems most capable of wide scale decimation.

"Humans are so dense (in population) that they constitute a perfect substrate for an epidemic," he says.

He contends Ebola is merely an evolutionary step away from escaping the confines of Africa. And should an outbreak occur, Pianka assuredly says humanity will quickly come to a "grinding halt."

The professor's not the only one who can articulate this concept. Because Pianka includes his doomsday material in his coursework, Ebola and its potential play a notable role in some students' studies. A syllabus for one course reads:

"Although [Ebola Zaire] Kills 9 out of 10 people, outbreaks have so far been unable to become epidemics because they are currently spread only by direct physical contact with infected blood. However, a closely-related virus that kills monkeys, Ebola Reston, is airborne, and it is only a matter of time until Ebola Zaire evolves the capacity to be airborne."

It is here that some say Pianka ventures from provocative food for thought to, as Wilkins said, "very extreme material" that violate many people's views - including his own - about the treatment of human life. While many praise Pianka's boldness and scientific know-how, others say he crosses an ethical line in his treatment of Ebola's viability as a killer.

In an evaluation of Pianka's course - performed anonymously in keeping with university policy - one student offered:

"Though I agree that conservation biology is of utmost importance to the world, I do not think that preaching that 90 percent of the human population should die of Ebola is the most effective means of encouraging conservation awareness."

Mims says he's seen countless doomsday predictions come and go. But Pianka's is different, Mims said. Pianka, he insists, exhibits genuine cause for alarm.

Mims worries fertile young minds with a thirst for knowledge may develop into enthusiastic supporters of a deadly disease, advocating the fall of humanity.

"He recommended airborne Ebola as an ideal killing virus," Mims said. "He showed slides of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse and human skulls. He joked about requiring universal sterilization. It reminded me of a futuristic science fiction movie with a crazed scientist planning the death of humanity."

But as confident as Mims is in his assessment, he faces one unarguable fact: Most of Pianka's former students are bursting with praise. Their in-class evaluations celebrate his ideas with words like "the most incredible class I ever had" and "Pianka is a GOD!"

Mims counters their ovation with the story of a Texas Lutheran University student who attended the Academy of Science lecture. Brenna McConnell, a biology senior, said she and others in the audience "had not thought seriously about overpopulation issues and a feasible solution prior to the meeting." But though McConnell arrived at the event with little to say on the issue, she returned to Seguin with a whole new outlook.

An entry to her online blog captures her initial response to what's become a new conviction:

"[Pianka is] a radical thinker, that one!" she wrote. "I mean, he's basically advocating for the death for all but 10 percent of the current population. And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he's right."

Today, she maintains the Earth is in dire straits. And though she's decided Ebola isn't the answer, she's still considering other deadly viruses that might take its place in the equation.

"Maybe I just see the virus as inevitable because it's the easiest answer to this problem of overpopulation," she said.

Though listeners like McConnell may walk away with a deadly message, Pianka maintains this is inconsistent with his lecture. One UT official said Pianka is likely well within his rights as a tenured educator.

The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure - a set of guidelines recognized nationwide - guarantees college professors vast classroom liberties. But Neal Armstrong, vice provost for faculty affairs at UT, said even this freedom is not without limits.

"Faculty members have the right of free speech like anyone else," he said. "In the classroom, they're free to express their views. There is the expectation, though, that in public - especially when speaking on controversial topics - they must make every effort to be clear that they are not speaking on behalf of the university."

Students should be able to discern on their own the validity of views like Pianka's, Armstrong said. But if allegations of Pianka actively advocating human death were to be confirmed, he said "there might be some discussion about the appropriateness of that subject."

"I would hope that's not what's intended," he said. "I don't think that's appropriate for the classroom, but that's my personal statement."

Robert K. Jansen, chair of the section of integrated biology under which Pianka is classified, said his understanding of the doomsday material left no cause for concern.

"It's important for students to get all opinions, and they have to do that on a daily basis," he said. To hold a classroom's attention, Jansen says educators must often "speak their mind" in a fashion bold enough to garner a bit of shock.

The Texas Academy of Science uses a similar approach in defending its decision to honor Pianka with the Distinguished Scientist award. Though TAS offered no direct comment to the Gazette-Enterprise, an email sent from TAS President David Marsh to Mims in response to Mims first letter of protest reads:

"We select the DTS speaker based on his/her academic credentials and contributions to science. We do not mandate the subject he/she decides to address, nor will we ever. I would suggest that one of the purposes of any such presentation is to stimulate discussion - which indeed it did."

In his petitions, Mims inquires about the group's stance on Pianka's talk, asking if the recent honor should be interpreted as an endorsement by TAS. Marsh responded firmly, saying the award does not represent any formal backing of Pianka's ideas.

But despite the academy's flat denial of any wrongdoing, Mims maintains his stance. He said thus far, he's seen no response to the second petition.

"I completely agree with one assertion made several times by Dr. Pianka: ‘The public is not ready to hear that he hopes 90 percent of them will be exterminated by disease,'" Mims said.

McConnell said the TAS audience, unlike Mims, was in awe of Pianka's words. They offered a standing ovation, and enthusiastically applauded Pianka's position, Mims said.

"There was a good deal of shock and just plain astonishment at what he had to say," the student said. "Not many folk come out and talk about the end of the human population in as candid of a manner as he did. Dr. Pianka received a standing ovation at the end of his talk, if that says anything. What he had to say was radical, no question about it, but that is not to say that at least some of what he had to say is not true."

Though Pianka turned down requests for a sit-down interview, he maintains he is not advocating human death.

Does he believe nature will bring about this promised devastation? Or is humanity's own dissemination of a deadly virus the only answer? And more importantly, is this the motive behind his talks?

Responding to these very questions, Pianka said, "Good terrorists would be taking [Ebola Roaston and Ebola Zaire] so that they had microbes they could let loose on the Earth that would kill 90 percent of people."

As of press time, Pitts - who sent his appeal via email Saturday - had received no response from the university, but he says, "It's too early for any responses to have been made." Meanwhile, Pianka urges humanity to heed his call to be prepared, saying "we're going to be hunters and gatherers again real soon."

"This is gonna happen in your lifetime," he told his St. Edward's audience. "Do you wanna go there? We've already gone there. We waited too long."

Read more about Pianka by visiting his lab page at: uts.cc.utexas.edu/~varanus/

Read more about Forrest Mims at:

www.forrestmims.org or visit the Citizen Scientist at [www.sas.org]

Editor's note: A correction was made to this story to reflect that while Pitts got his Ph.D. from the university, he is not a professor there.

Copyright © 2006 The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise

PS: I see that this has been moved. It's hardly political. We're talking about 5.8 billion people and a chalk talk about removing them for "the good of the planet." That transcends politics, dontcha think?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2006 08:44AM by Furiously Stylish.
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This freak is just another elitist who thinks EVERYONE else should die..except him of course.
Posted by: Al Baby
Date: April 04, 2006 08:55AM
Deepthinker says the world would be better off if 90 percent of university professors were dead.

The UN LOVES nutcases like this elite "professor."

You first Mr. Pianka...
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 04, 2006 09:22AM
Poor Styles -- scared by big ideas. I happen to think the good professor is correct, and that it is only a matter of time. The terrorist/Ebola scenario is most likely, IMO, and most apt, given man's proven propensity for self-destruction. But, hey, unless it happens within the next -- what, two years? three? -- you have nothing to worry about!



It is what it is.
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: x-uri
Date: April 04, 2006 09:35AM
Fusty -- this has been extensively discussed on the "other forum".

Forrest Mims III is a crank. He is a Discovery Institute fellow, with a history of attacking his "enemies" in the press, who took issue with Pianka getting a standing ovation for a talk in which he opined that humans are not the special creation of God with the exclusive right to consume every other species into extinction.

Pianka does not "advocate" killing off 90% of the human population. He was warning that the human population is now past the carrying capacity of the planet and that it is just a matter of time before the population crashes. He suggested that an airborne strain of ebola would be a likely agent of such a crash.

Apart from Mims' paranoid fantasies, there is no evidence that Pianka thinks that somebody should develop an airborne ebola virus to hasten the process of the -- in Pianka's estimation -- inevitable die off.

Pianka did, apparently, offer the opinion that reducing the human population to 10% of its current number would be good news for the rest of the organisms on the planet. Hardly an unexpected position from biologist who specializes in population dynamics, and certainly not a call to his fellow scientists to wage germ warfare against the stupid people of the planet .

[www.kxan.com]


"If we don't control our population, microbes will. Why do we have these lethal microbes that kill us in the first place? The answer is, there's too many of us," Pianka said.

Pianka says he would never advocate genocide or extermination like some suggest he does.

"I've got two granddaughters, man. I'm putting money in a college fund for my granddaughters. I'm worried about them," Pianka said.

He said he believes criticism of his theory about an inevitable plague on mankind comes from a rival jealous about his distinguished scientist award from the Texas Academy of Science.

"He's an avowed enemy, and he's made this very clear that he's going to get me and take me down," Pianka said.

Pianka has the full backing of UT behind him as radical as his ideas are to some.

"We have a lot of different points of view on the University of Texas at Austin campus. And we certainly support our faculty in saying what they think," UT spokesman Don Hale said.

After 50 years of ecological study and writing nearly 20 books, Pianka said he thinks the world's in trouble and wants everyone to know.

"We're taking over this Earth and not leaving anything for anything else on this Earth," Pianka said.

We tried to contact the guy Pianka says is behind this smear campaign. He did not get back to us.

This is not over. Pianka said he'll be on two cable talk shows Tuesday including MSNBC to try and clear his name.


Blogs that detail the whole silly affair

[www.pandasthumb.org]

[austringer.net]

[austringer.net]

[brenmccnnll.blogspot.com]
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: April 04, 2006 09:37AM
styles is just attempting to seem as though he has a brain by immense copy and paste jobs like this. his only real thought is "mmmmmm doughnuts".



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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: liberal weenie
Date: April 04, 2006 09:41AM
The University of Texas has developed a reputation as being
a school run by liberal nuts for liberal nuts and any parent
dumb enough to send their child to that communist leaning,
dope smoking hellhole should not be surprized when their
"child" returns home talking, looking and smelling like
someone who escaped from San Francisco.

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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: buggerd
Date: April 04, 2006 10:02AM



PUFFY JOWLS discovered that a natty wittle VAN DYKE GOATEE doesn't make him look like MAYNARD G. KREBS, it just makes him look like a HUGE TUB 'O FLACCID LARD with smelly whiskers!

OH TUBBY!!!! To be 50 years old and crazy in KING OF PRUSSIA!!!

(Notice all the "hmmmmphs" lately? When he's TRYING TO SOUND "ABOVE IT ALL AND SANE", he's even nuttier than before!!!)

The PORCINE DOOFMEISTER copied and pasted from here:

[sigforum.com]

They are catching on to his loonie antics even on his fave gun forum! WATCH OUT TUBBIE!!!!!




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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: April 04, 2006 10:25AM
you trying to guess at where i live tubbo? another veiled threat fatboy?

look i understand why your threads have nothing to do with anything (except the ones that have to do with your obsessions with guns and minorities). basically if you posted what you're really about, you'd post your proto nazi crap and your gun crap and that would be all. well maybe you could post some stuff on how to take advantage of overweight middle aged ugly women so they will bankroll your other obsessions.



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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: buggerd
Date: April 04, 2006 10:33AM

"I can't imagine that a potential source of sustenance and survival such as we present to bacteria and viruses..."

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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Furiously Stylish
Date: April 04, 2006 10:45AM
Guitarman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> User ignored - click to show/hide this message you
> trying to guess at where i live tubbo? another
> veiled threat fatboy?
>
> look i understand why your threads have nothing to
> do with anything (except the ones that have to do
> with your obsessions with guns and minorities).
> basically if you posted what you're really about,
> you'd post your proto nazi crap and your gun crap
> and that would be all. well maybe you could post
> some stuff on how to take advantage of overweight
> middle aged ugly women so they will bankroll your
> other obsessions.
>
>

Nobody is threatening you, G. It's closer to you than the ones in the 5900 and 9000 blocks of Bergenline, as well as the one on Park in Union City, that's all.

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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: April 04, 2006 10:50AM
Furiously Stylish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Guitarman Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > User ignored - click to show/hide this
> message you
> > trying to guess at where i live tubbo?
> another
> > veiled threat fatboy?
> >
> > look i understand why your threads have
> nothing to
> > do with anything (except the ones that have
> to do
> > with your obsessions with guns and
> minorities).
> > basically if you posted what you're really
> about,
> > you'd post your proto nazi crap and your gun
> crap
> > and that would be all. well maybe you could
> post
> > some stuff on how to take advantage of
> overweight
> > middle aged ugly women so they will bankroll
> your
> > other obsessions.
> >
> >
>
> Nobody is threatening you, G. It's closer to you
> than the ones in the 5900 and 9000 blocks of
> Bergenline, as well as the one on Park in Union
> City, that's all.
>
>


as i said, noted gun nut and forum psycho that has stalked me on DM, AS craigslist and here trying to act like he knows where I live (which he doesn't) well I'd call that a threat.



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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Furiously Stylish
Date: April 04, 2006 10:58AM
Guitarman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> User ignored - click to show/hide this message
> Furiously Stylish Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Guitarman Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > User ignored - click to show/hide this
> > message you
> > > trying to guess at where i live tubbo?
> > another
> > > veiled threat fatboy?
> > >
> > > look i understand why your threads have
> > nothing to
> > > do with anything (except the ones that
> have
> > to do
> > > with your obsessions with guns and
> > minorities).
> > > basically if you posted what you're
> really
> > about,
> > > you'd post your proto nazi crap and your
> gun
> > crap
> > > and that would be all. well maybe you
> could
> > post
> > > some stuff on how to take advantage of
> > overweight
> > > middle aged ugly women so they will
> bankroll
> > your
> > > other obsessions.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Nobody is threatening you, G. It's closer to
> you
> > than the ones in the 5900 and 9000 blocks of
> > Bergenline, as well as the one on Park in
> Union
> > City, that's all.
> >
> >
>
>
> as i said, noted gun nut and forum psycho that has
> stalked me on DM, AS craigslist and here trying to
> act like he knows where I live (which he doesn't)
> well I'd call that a threat.
>
>

You would look up at the sky and say that it was green, too, if it supported your illogical premises concerning me.

Go find another source of amusement. Look in the mirror if necessary.
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Guitarman
Date: April 04, 2006 10:59AM
you're too dumb or too psycho to know how to hide it.



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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: buggerd
Date: April 04, 2006 11:01AM
Temper, temper, Tubs!

What happened to the new "calm and rational" Tubby?

Are you setting another "Face of Eve" free to "cry havoc"??

What are you going to do when the "Columbine" Tubby fights his way to the surface, and that pump shotgun "just happens" to be there??

Making detailed lists of the whereabouts of all the "forum meanies"???

Glass houses, Tubby!!!!

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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: mick e
Date: April 04, 2006 11:29AM
One Nut posted this story because it legitimizes his deep-dark need to go out and shoot nine people. He would get to cap some minorities and say that a liberal college professor TOLD HIM to do it.

How perfect is that???





Unpaid Social Liaison
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: hal
Date: April 04, 2006 06:48PM
mapquest link was a suggestion of were to get your dozen doughnuts...

Weird thread. How does a lecture that suggests reducing the population would be beneficial to the world's environment turn into a call to get rid of 90% of the population? Whatta buncha morons!

Anyone who thinks that an article on the plural of 'virus' is interesting clearly is a nutcase...

Personally, I think that the planet can handle a lot more than some of these doomsdayers suggest. People kinda like the idea that we've reached the upper limit, but I bet we could go much, much farther before the population is naturally reduced by disease and such. Of course we can't know until it happens.
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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: Furiously Stylish
Date: April 04, 2006 06:58PM
hal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------


> mapquest link was a suggestion of were to get your
> dozen doughnuts...

This is correct.

>
> Weird thread. How does a lecture that suggests
> reducing the population would be beneficial to the
> world's environment turn into a call to get rid of
> 90% of the population? Whatta buncha morons!
>
> Anyone who thinks that an article on the plural of
> 'virus' is interesting clearly is a nutcase...

Is this a matter of opinion, or do you simply consider loopy anyone who finds languages interesting?

>
> Personally, I think that the planet can handle a
> lot more than some of these doomsdayers suggest.
> People kinda like the idea that we've reached the
> upper limit, but I bet we could go much, much
> farther before the population is naturally reduced
> by disease and such. Of course we can't know until
> it happens.


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Re: UT Prof Advocates 90% World Pop. Cut Via Ebola Zaire
Posted by: bfd
Date: April 04, 2006 11:30PM
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Sorry, you can't reply to this topic. It has been closed.

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