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Texas scientist wins award after calling for the extermination of 90% of humanity

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http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html

 

I can't verify the authenticity of this, and the guy who wrote it may be biased. It's all his firsthand account with no corroboration, so whatever, reader beware, this may very well be BULLSHIT!

 

But uhh, yeah, basically an anthropocentrism-hating biologist who thinks we're destroying the earth and the solution is to exterminate 90% of humanity via airbourne ebola. WTF?! The author claims he received a standing ovation after his speech.

 

God bless Texas...

 

Ed: Well, here's a little bit of 3rd party corroboration:

 

http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/bio357/357evaluations.html

 

I don't root for ebola, but maybe a ban on having more than one child. I agree . . . too many people ruining this planet.

 

Though I agree that convervation biology is of utmost importance to the world, I do not think that preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola is the most effective means of encouraging conservation awareness. I found Pianka to be knowledgable, but spent too much time focusing on his specific research and personal views.

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If it is true thats pretty scary. I would hope someone with a large amount of scientific knowledge and know-how, especially someone who could engineer an airborne ebola would have enough common sense to realize that the decision to do such a thing does not lie in the power of one, or even a few (or any?).

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yes airborne ebola. that would be smart. lets just render the surface of the planet un inhabitable to humans and the 10% chosen to survive can live in sealed off bunkers

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on the other hand, variouse animals are culled by humans when their numbers rise too high, because otherwize they'd consume all of the local resorses and then, left with none, would die out.

 

I dont see why humans should be any different. we'll die out, the same as any other animals, if we run out of resorses... maybe, if we were on the point of that happening, a cull would save us?

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I hope the biolgist doesn't think that he'd be spared.

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http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html

 

I can't verify the authenticity of this' date=' and the guy who wrote it may be biased. [/quote']

 

 

Forrest Mims III? Yeah, you might say he's biased in favor of anthropocentrism. He's a scientific creationist. (There was a flap sometime back about him being fired by Scientific American because of a perception that they were supporting that doctrine) So while his scientific credentials on other topics appear to be sound, his notion about the place of humans in nature puts him at odds with someone who does not hold with "the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe."

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1. Seems like the sort of scientist that gives science a bad name.

 

2. Makes me wonder if any scientist is as objective as as he expects other scientists to be. Objectivity is as rare in science as in any other field of human objectivity, like hens teeth.

 

"Never trust a scientist, they always have an axe to grind."

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Upon further review, I have to question some of the "reporting" that Mims did. He said it was a 45-minute lecture, with questions after, and yet he quotes only a few minutes of it. So how can he be sure the "vigorous applause" was for the ebola comment and not for the other 40 minutes of the lecture? Mims does admit "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." So it seems Pianka was discussing the politics and environmentalism of overpopulation, and only touched on his "solution."

 

Obviously Pianka has some radical thoughts and I don't defend them, but perhaps he is resorting to an extreme view to get the point across that the human population on earth, and the growth trends, are unsustainable when compared to the resources we consume. Sometimes you have to shock people in order to get them to think about, and remember, things. Perhaps Pianka has a screw loose and really believes in his solution, but that doesn't mean the underlying problem doesn't exist. A problem is with the individuals who focus on the shock and don't see the broader picture; obviously the message is lost on them.

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I dont see why humans should be any different. we'll die out, the same as any other animals, if we run out of resorses... maybe, if we were on the point of that happening, a cull would save us?
Heh, you full well know how much I agree with that :)

 

The issue is, that while such courses of action may logically be "the right choice" for ultimate longterm success, they're unnacceptable when it comes down to humanitarian sensitivity or ethics (and I'm not saying that these aren't worth considering). The proposer doesn't even have to be off his rocker to believe in his seemingly insane suggestion, he just might place more value on the big picture than any individual pixel.

 

---Edit---

 

As for the “Mr. Hyperbole” title' date=' Forrest M. Mims III is a long-time antievolution advocate. His notoriety in antievolution comes from his failed bid to become

a staff writer for Scientific American magazine. During his job interview (something that everyone at the outset apparently thought was a mere formality), they noticed several church publications on his resume’ and asked him about his views on biology. He’s a creationist and antievolutionist. SciAm decided not to hire him. Mims screamed bloody “religious discrimination”, going so far as to provide Harper’s Magazine with a tape-recorded conversation with SciAm editor Jonathan Piel. Mims hadn’t bothered to tell Piel that the conversation was being recorded. Since then, Mims has repeatedly claimed that he was “fired” from Scientific American and that this constituted religious discrimination.[/quote'] However, he might be crazy anyway :P

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