Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman, the head of the Yeshiva of Ma’aléh Efráyim, sent out an e-mail today containing a reference to an article that disturbed him a great deal. Dr. Eric Pianka, of the Texas Academy of Science, gave a speech at Lamar University recommending that two thirds of humanity be exterminated in a man-made plague because there are too many humans on the planet. Rabbi Friedman, like me, is a science fiction fan. This is what he wrote about the article:
“Has this man so rejected any concept, even subjective, of chosenness, that he is repelled by the thought of the spawn of humanity going out to the stars? Racism, sexism, speciesism, planetism. But is death better than life? Is this mad scientist so afraid that humanity will pollute the galaxy with more Hutus cutting up their neighbors into Tutsi rolls that he doesn’t even want to try to survive? This is surely the ultimate of self-hatred.”
Forrest M. Mims III, who writes The Citizen Scientist, was at Lamar University the day that Dr. Pianka gave his address. In his article, he writes that the video camera, which usually faces the speaker, was turned upwards to the ceiling before Dr. Pianka spoke. Mims, noticing this, decided it was a good idea for him to get out his notebook and take notes on what was going on – hence the article that Rabbi Friedman read and was so disturbed about. Mims, in his article, notes that Dr. Pianka worries about running out of petroleum, a finite resource. He seems to ignore entirely the possibility of using non-petroleum fuel sources in place of petroleum. So in Pianka’s eyes, petroleum seems to be worth more than a person.
This is not the first time that Dr. Pianka has expressed this point of view. At his own website he expressed similar views without going into the numbers or the method of doing away with his fellow man.
Were he alone in holding them, it would be no great deal. Many scientists have many views, and many of them are strange indeed. But fellow scientists, people who are entrusted to provide us with enlightenment and understanding about the world around us, cheered enthusiastically. If they hold views similar to Pianka’s we are in deep trouble. What calls itself “western civilization” seems to be sliding down a slippery slope to barbarism.
Forty five years ago, obstetricians joined with others to overturn the abortion restrictions in the States that caused so many women to die from “coat-hanger” abortions. This might be understandable to a degree. Then, not too long ago, we had the issue of assisted suicide before us. In Europe, this seems to not be a problem. We also have the issue of partial birth abortions, which are still legal in the States. We see country after country legalizing “euthanasia.” And now we have this – a recommendation to slaughter two thirds of the human race with an Ebola virus – cheered by a roomful of fellow scientists.
If this is what “western civilization” is coming to, it not civilized at all and deserves to be overthrown.