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Texas Scientist Calls for Exterminating Over Four Billion People in a Plague?

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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.

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About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • Dawn

    I don’t equate legal abortions to exterminating exisiting populations of people. That’s called murder. It would really be great if people would just stop comparing the two.

    Other than that, good article. More scary people from Texas. And I thought Ohio took the cake on the loonies.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Ruvy, this article interested me enough to do a little digging online. It appears as though Pianka is refuting Mims’ interpretation of his remarks. What’s interesting is that no one else present at the meeting is backing Mims’ version of the story, so the truth may not be so cut-and-dried as you might think.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Kill the scientists! Death to knowledge!! Bring back the Dark Ages!!! NOW!!!!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Another interesting factoid – Mims is a creationist.

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Maybe next time the dolphins will evolve instead of the apes

  • Dawn

    If they bring back the Dark Ages, do I get to where one of those bosom-hugging serving-wench dresses?

    I always thought those would flatter my “curvy” figure.

  • Duane

    Ruvy: If this is what “western civilization” is coming to, it not civilized at all and deserves to be overthrown.

    Damned scientists. Where’s my Bible?!

    Ruvy, you’re either joking with your take on this, or you’re a nutball.

  • KYS

    I think euthanasia for termanilly ill patients warrants consideration and is not in the same vein as a mass-extermination. I passionately believe that these patients should have the right to hasten death. Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs that patients administer on their own. The process is strictly regulated. More about it Here

  • RedTard

    Why stop with prescribed euthenasia, why not make it over the counter? An $18.88 everyday low price death kit at Walmart could rid us of those annoying depressed people. It is their life and their choice.

  • KYS

    Becuase it’s designed for a very specific group of people (terminally ill with a prognosis of less than 6 months to live), not the general public.

  • KYS

    Depression can be treated in many cases. End stage cancer can’t. See the difference?

  • RedTard

    We all have a terminal disorder called life. We all have a limited number of months we can possibly live. Who are we to decide whether someone else’s life is worth living, or that a limit of 6 months qualifies you but a limit of 120 months does not?

  • KYS

    Red,

    First you suggest that the act is a slippery slope towards OTC euthanasia kits at Wallmart, now you’re suggesting we should euthanize earlier than the provisions of the act? What exactly is your angle here?

    The act doesn’t make a decision for anybody. In fact, it includes several provisions to ensure the patient is making a rational and well informed choice. It provides the opportunity to end the patient’s suffering at the end stage of a diagnosed terminal disease, on his own terms.

    Maybe you should read the act by using the link provided above…I’d post it here, but it’s a bit lengthy.

  • RedTard

    “a rational and well informed choice”

    Which means other people will consider the patient’s decision and then decide for them whether they qualify.

    My argument is that we should allow anyone who wants to kill themselves to do so. By disallowing Walmart suicide kits we have forced hundreds of thousands into back alley suicides, many ending tragically in unneccessary pain and suffering.

    Nobody likes suicide, but I’m not going to get into someone else’s personal decision. It’s their choice and it’s high time the government realized that and stopped legislating its christian ‘suicide is a sin’ beliefs on us.

  • KYS

    If you have a straightforward argument, make it. I’ll be happy to respond. But since you obviously haven’t read the document, I’ll just leave you to your sarcasm. Carry on.

  • Alec

    As others have noted, Pianka’s views may have been taken out of context by creationists and others with an anti-science ideological bone to pick. But even if Pianka’s views have been reported correctly, they have nothing to do with actual science and few scientists would agree with him. In the past 40 years or so, there have been an insistent band of (largely liberal) alarmists who blather about overpopulation, depletion of resources, global warming, etc. And yes, some of these people are scientists, but most are self-styled “ecological activists” who ignore or distort scientific evidence when it fails to support their doomsday predictions. But their prophecies are just as empty as those who babble about the eminent return of Jesus or the end days or any other fundamentalist nutballs who believe that they have a direct line to some deity.

    By the way, this is not to suggest that some threats to the environment are not real, only that those who make the most strident demands about how people should live their lives are just control freaks in “concerned citizen” clothing.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Good Friday morning, everybody! I see the kids are in the classroom arguing before I got there!

    Wonderful!!

    First to Dawn. I’m not part of the pro-life crowd. I support legalized abortion – with limits. It is, in my view, a necessary evil. This is a view generally supported in normative Judaism… But I’m not so blind as to not see the road that abortion on demand leads to, nor so blind as to not see the landmarks passed by your own (and my society) on the road to barbarism. There is a point at which abortion just turns to into infanticide. But I’m not writing about abortion here.

    Nevertheless, the abortion “tree” is one of the landmarks on the road to barbarism. One has to have the sense to see that to avoid going there and take a turn in a different direction upon reaching the abortion “tree”, which IMHO is very close to the limit separating civilized behavior from barbarity.

    Do note the book I recommended reading for this article. It deals with issues of cannibalism when a group of people running out of food and any means of getting any had to decide how to survive.

    These are issues surrounded in grey, not clearly framed in back and white.

    But the further along the path we move, the more the darkness blocks out the light, until we finally reach the mentality that can recommend killing off two thirds of the human race out of fear of running out of resources.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I saw Pianka defending this argument on our local news the other day.

    He’s also not alone in this particular belief. There are apparently scientists world wide who share his belief that we’re going to see a massive die-off of population within the next 10 years because of plagues caused by overpopulation and vanishing resources.

    They seem to think that all oil will be gone in a decade, despite every study showing a minimum of 30 years supply and even more with conservation, alternative fuels and coal-gas conversion and the like.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Lisa, you write, “What’s interesting is that no one else present at the meeting is backing Mims’ version of the story,…”

    Think about it, Lisa. The camera is turned away from the speaker toward the ceiling. There is no video recording of the event. The crowd applauds his views. You’re in that crowd applauding, but your funding depends on people who find the views of the speaker abhorrent. Are you going to back Mims? In that position, I know I wouldn’t.

    Pianka himself writes a toned down version of these views at his own website (see the article for the link) entitled “What nobody wants to hear, but everyone needs to know.” Pianka himself knows how controversial his views are. You don’t get to be a well recognized scientist by being an idiot.

    Whatever I think of Pianka’s views here, I have enough sense not to view him as an idiot. He may not need the funding that other scientists do – he is an older man who may already have had secured it – but still, he probably does not want to turn himself into a pariah.

    If he is literate and has a good memory, he knows what happened to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn after he spoke his mind about western society to the self-righteous fools at some northeastern university three decades ago. He became a non-person.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    To the rest of you arguing over suicide and euthanasia, etc. These are also “trees” along the road to barbarity. The point of what I wrote is not so much to condemn Pianka’s views but to point out the road we’ve travelled on and some of its landmarks, where you have drawn your swords are duelling…

    So long as mankind has the capability of choosing good vs. evil, the fact stands that we will always have a road to barbarism open to us. Our ability to avoid that road depends on our willingness to look at the landmarks as they relate to each other, rather than to argue each issue individually and severally, while blinding ourselves, under whatver mantra, to the path we take generally.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Does this scientist only predict a plague, or does he call for creating a plague? The difference between these two views is huge. So far the only verifiable evidence I’ve seen indicates that he merely predicts a plague. The accusation that he advocates intentionally creating a plague requires a higher standard of evidence.

  • Alec

    Dave – The problem with the “overpopulation and vanishing resources” crowd is that they are always stuck on the idea that “resources” are what exists right now. No human being who was burning wood or dung for fuel 5000 years ago could even imagine that one day we would get fuel from oil in the ground. Similarly, many eco-freaks make a fetish of solar or wind power alternatives because they are neo-primitives who lack any imagination for innovation, and so fall back on pre-industrial energy models.

    Every expert who has predicted massive famines due to overpopulation has been wrong because we have found new way and innovative (and cheaper) ways to feed people. When you get down to it, Pianka doesn’t know what will happen next week, let alone what will happen 10 year years from now.

    Ruvy –Sadly, some of the worst evil imaginable has occurred because someone was trying to do what they thought was good. And some of the worst evil imaginable has come at the hands of what was supposedly a civilized society. There are no easy markers to tell us when we have strayed from the better path. And people did not turn their backs on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn because they could not face the hard challenges that he posed, but because like too many Russians, he could not let go of the notion that some kind of return to primitive land-centered noble peasantry and simplistic religious piety was the cure for Western society’s failings. Life just is not that simple.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Victor, it doesn’t tke a genius to predict a plague. If the H5N1 virus and its close friends and relations evolve into a form that can pass from human to human via coughs and sneezes, there will be a plague. The reason why virologists have watched the bird flu so carefully is the speed of its mutations. If the bird flu is as deadly as the Spanish flu was in 1918-9, it will kill about 650 million people.

    Predicting a plague would not have caused Rabbi Friedman to send an e-mail condemning this scientist and his ideas. According to the Jewish scholar Rash”i, a plague is predicted in Isaish 66:18. So who is Rabbi Friedman (or any rabbi, for that matter) to condemn a scientist for predicting a plague?

    The following is from Mims account of Pianka’s speech.

    “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.”
    …..

    “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.”…..

    ……………….

    “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.”

    Writing about the question period following the address Mims continues,

    “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!”

    When the question period ended, Mims wrote,

    “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.”

    Read what I wrote to Lisa about scientists not wanting to alienate their funders (comment #20). Link the dots together.

    If you refuse to believe Mims, then you will refuse to believe that this crowd could endorse the murder of nine tenths of the human race.

    Now, I ask you to think back to Adolf Hitler. Nobody took him seriously in 1924. Either they laughed at him or just refused to believe what he said.

    Now I’m not calling Pianka a Nazi or any such thing. But if you do not take what he says to the “converted” seriously, you CHOOSE to be blind.

    And Chris, ideas like Pianka’s will lead us right back to the Dark Ages. If you want to march with him, don your sword and buckler and lead on! Don’t expect civilized people to follow you, though.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Alec,

    Solzhenitsyn is a mere example of what can happen to people who say the “wrong” thing.

    The self induolgent idiots in northesstern colleges have endorsed far more idiotic thngs than “going back to the land”. Solzhenitsyn was a Slavic nationalist who insulted western society and the values of the liberal establishent. He basically called them hypocrites. He came to their dinner as an honored guest and spit in their borsht. So they “shut off his mike” and silenced him.

    I’m sure Pianka is well aware of this. He too, is of Slavic ancestry.

  • Alec

    Ruvy – Fortunately, NY Times science writer Gina Kolata (who wrote a good book about the 1918 flu) and others have pointed out that it is not simply a matter of the bird flu “evolving” and being transmitted through coughs that would cause a pandemic, and there are many scientists who are cautious about this, but still think that any notion of a serious threat from the flu have been overblown. By the way, 650 million deaths in a world population of 5.8 billion would still only add up to 11% of the population – not even close to Pianka’s two thirds doomsday fantasy. This would be a tremendous human tragedy, and every rational human being would do everything that he or she could to mitigate its impact.

    Also, the concept of the Earth needing us to insure its “survival” is typical eco-freak nonsense. Planets and stars come and go, and there is not much that we can do about it.

    I wonder what the audience at Pianka’s speech actually applauded, if anything. But unless he and some cabal are actually out somewhere whipping up a batch of ebola, I really have to wonder whether he is “endorsing murder” and can’t see him as more as the typical eco-freak hack. By the way, I don’t quite view him as a harmless hack, and do seriously wonder about his qualifications to continue as a professor and researcher. I also would like to know more about those who supposedly cheered him.

    And with a nod to Winston Churchill, yeah, Western society is terrible, decadent, etc., but it is probably also better than all the others.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Ruvy,

    You need to spend a little time finding out what you’re talking about before you actually start talking. You might want to start here.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I read your link, Sam.

    Bear in mind, if Eric Pianka thinks that eliminating nine tenths of mankind is a good idea, that doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is that this guy got enthusiastic applause from the crowd of fellow scientists for his ideas.

    Have you ever heard the phrase “cover your ass.” In more polite circles, it is called CYA.

    It strikes me that Mims caught the scientists at the Texas Academy of Science with their pants down. And their asses uncovered.

    So now they are trying very hard to pull their torn underwear over their asses. They want to discipline Mims for daring to open his mouth. They want to characterize Pianka’s remarks as humor. Sure.

    It doesn’t wash, Sam. I don’t care how cute the panda looks. I don’t buy crap out its rear end. If Pianka could afford to speak publicly, there would have been a video made of the speech.

    He couldn’t. The lack of the video is worth a thousand words and speaks louder than all the heathen hosannas of scientists who advocate murder and want to silence a man who called them on it.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jim, I apologize. I outht to have addressed you as Jim.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Ruvy,

    No problem on the Sam thing.

    What you fail to realize (or acknowledge) is that,
    A) Mims is a first-degree wingnut with a long history of wingnuttiness, and
    B) Pianka had given the talk in question at least six times before, and it didn’t start people’s knees jerking until Mims and his stupid Podunk newspaper made a big deal about it.

    The title to your piece, and much of what’s written in it, are ill-informed and unnecessarily inflammatory dreck, I’m sorry to say.

  • Dawn

    Ruvy, duly noted. Your stance was somewhat vague and so I had to assume you were anti-choice. Everyone has an opinion on the matter, that’s for sure.

  • Duane

    Wingnuts in full, abject retreat on Pianka.

    Let’s see if Ruvy the Gullible has the integrity to admit when he’s wrong.

    Not just wrong, but actually writing in response:

    If this is what “western civilization” is coming to, it not (sic) civilized at all and deserves to be overthrown.

    Embarrassing ….

  • SonnyD

    Were any of those scientists volunteering to be the first to go?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Still no solid evidence any of those scientists ever advocated the intentional release of any kind of plague, anywhere, ever.

    Plenty of hand-waving, but no solid evidence.

    Sorry, Ruvy. Your arguments don’t prove anything in the absence of factual evidence from multiple reliable witnesses when leveling such serious accusations. Even if we assume Mims has attempted to be honest in his reporting, all the evidence available at this time suggests Mims is grossly mistaken about the actual content of Dr. Pianka’s lecture.

  • Duane

    “I think that the Pianka affair stems from a contingent set of circumstances, and that it is because Forrest Mims happens to be an intelligent design advocate that the intelligent design advocates are so involved in this incident. In this case, he heard Pianka say some things that conflicted with his worldview, and through misunderstanding inferred things that just weren’t part of Pianka’s talk.”

    — Wesley R. Elsberry, Director with the National Center for Science Education

    “I would like to make clear that Mims has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements…. I’m not entirely sure why intelligent design proponents would find this a good bandwagon to jump on. It just seems like they want to teach people not to trust scientists.” (Italics added.)

    — Kathryn E. Perez, postdoctoral fellow with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Biology

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    There’s more this morning on the Podunk, Texas newspaper that started all of this commotion. Seems they’ve deleted all references to the Pianka business from their online archives. Have a look here.

    Shades of Orwell, no?

  • TA Dodger

    Wow…. Pianka was my Ecology prof at UT. He always said that a plague would come and that it would be a good thing in the long run… but I didn’t know he was advocating creating the disease.

  • TA Dodger

    Is there a transcript or anything to support these accusations?

    I don’t know why Pianka would advocate creating a super-plague, he seemed to think that such a disease would inevitably crop up on its own and would spread quickly given population density.

  • Duane

    Jim (#35), thanks for the link. Outrageous, but not surprising. Some people think that by ignoring their mistakes, or by making records of their mistakes disappear, that the mistake will seem to have never happened. There is so little accountability.

    I’m sure that if Ruvy the G had it within his power to make his silly American-scientists-are-bad post disappear, he would do just that.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Shavua Tov,

    There is a newspaper in this country called Haaretz. It’s your standard over-intellectuallized secular Jewish rag that takes all the “liberal” positions on things. Many a time articles disappear from its on-line edition without an explanation, paragraphs in the Hebrew articles are edited out of the English articles, etc. etc. There are all sorts of strange discrepancies. So seeing these things in an American paper do not surprise.

    I did not quote this paper, nor rely on its reports. Its coverage or lack thereof is literally news to me.

    I made one major mistake in this article, that I wish I could change – the title. It ought to have read “Texas Scientist Calls for Exterminating Over Five Billion People in a Plague.”

    I stand by what I have written. Scientists who do not feel comfortable having applauded a fellow scientist’s call for the murder of nine tenths of the human race are doing what they can to cover their butts and censor the news. Perhaps the paper was threatened with a SLAPP suit. This is not unknown to happen in America.

    My point is that your sense of values in the United States has deteriorated to the point where scientists can applaud such a call. Such values deserve to be overthrown, and in G-d’s good time, and by His hand, they will be.

    As for Mim’s being a creationist – so what? If a skunk tells me that up-river a dam has burst and I better get going, I’ll not dismiss the news because of the stink of the skunk. If you do, you’re fools.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I repeat what I said earlier. If Pianka could afford to speak publicly, there would have been a video made of the speech.

    He couldn’t. The lack of the video is worth a thousand words and speaks louder than all the heathen hosannas of scientists who advocate murder and want to silence a man who called them on it.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Ruvy,

    You are not only irresponsible, but inexcusably irresponsible. You were wrong. Your title was wrong and your whole goddam piece was wrong. You’ve been offered compelling evidence to that effect but can’t be bothered to investigate. Either that, or you are just an intellectually bankrupt propagandist.

    The facts are available for those who are interested in facts, which means that you’re probably not interested.

  • Duane

    What Jim said

    Ruvy: My point is that your sense of values in the United States has deteriorated to the point where scientists can applaud such a call.

    Yeah, we get your “point.” Really.

    But the real point, the point that stands out most clearly from the 40-some posts following your rant is that you come along with your intelligent sounding nonsense, spew misinformation that you actually seem to believe, then use it to preach your anti-science, anti-American blather. Either you are credulous in the extreme, or you are grasping at straws in order to continue to bolster your own adherence to archaic religious dogma by trying to impugn the scientific community. Feeling a little insecure?

    … scientists who advocate murder…

    And what is that you are advocating when you write

    Such values deserve to be overthrown, and in G-d’s good time, and by His hand, they will be.

    What inferences shall we draw from this fire-and-brimstone foaming at the mouth R-vy?

    As for Mim’s being a creationist – so what?

    This has been answered for you already (#34). I will paste it here for your humble edification:

    “It just seems like they want to teach people not to trust scientists.”

    Clearly, this is consistent with your misguided agenda. That’s “so what.”

    If a skunk tells me that up-river a dam has burst and I better get going, I’ll not dismiss the news because of the stink of the skunk.

    The skunk twists and distorts. You conveniently forgot about that contingency.

    I stand by what I have written.

    You don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Have some class, show some humility for once, back down off your dogmatic pedestal, and admit that you swallowed this story, hook, line, and sinker before checking its validity, simply because the story conforms to your naive anti-science bias.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jim & Duane,

    For all of your name calling, you are not able to produce the video proving your statement.

    I’m relying on the words of an electronics science writer who has been impugned by his colleagues for his religious beliefs.

    You’re relying on the words of people with funding who don’t want to lose that funding because it appears that they support something that is barbaric murder.

    I have nothing to apologize about.

    I’m not impressed by people with fancy degrees and titles who throw around $50 words or sycophants in their amen corner, like you two. I didn’t know about Mim’s religious beliefs when I wrote this and would not have changed a word because of them. They bear on this only in that a man who believes that G-d gave us life will be outraged that another man should pretend to play god and call for the murder of nine tenths of the human race.

    Only neo-pagans who have lost their moral bearings would support such an idea with cheers, and attempt to censor someone who called them on it. Only neo-pagans who have lost rtheir moral bearings entirely, as these scientists at the Lamar University conference appear to, would call a man who supports the dignity of life a “wingnut.”

    And you are no better then they are in your arrogance and arrogation.

    If you cannot see this, you truly have my pity.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    Ruvy,

    You had choices. You could have investigated the situation before writing your little screed, but instead you chose to take the word of a known crank. What’s worse is that you took his word second-hand.
    That was mistake number one, but what the heck, everyone’s entitled.

    But then you had another choice to make. After learning that there was abundant evidence that you might be (gasp!) wrong, and that your accusations might be inaccurate and irresponsible, you could have chosen to retract, or at least say, “Let me look into this and get back to you.” But you chose to ignore and deny, thereby scuttling any hope for credibility that you might have been able to salvage.

    Personally, I’m glad to see you stood your ground because it proves beyond doubt to anyone with an unprejudiced brain that you think that hand-waving, non sequiturs and hyperbole are acceptable substitutes for thoughtfulness, reasoning and objectivity.

    Good job.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Jim,

    I did look into this. Both before and after writing this article. I read your links as well as others, checking out on Google for Mims – Creationism, etc.

    I did not look into the newspaper article because my source for this information was the Citizen Scientist. And they have pulled nothing off of their website. Go check yourself. The link in my article still works just fine.

    In all truth, the people at the link you gave me sounded like what you descibe me as – a bunch of paper waving liars filled with arrogance and self importance – who had been caught with their pants down.

    Produce the link to the video showing what Dr. pianka said at Lamar University, and if what you said is true and Mims is the liar, I wll retract my words.

    Until then, I stand by what an outraged man with a conscience reported.

    You are entitled to think what you wish.

  • mike

    overpopulation is a myth, poverty, disease and polution stems from the misgovernment and misuse of resources, the true source of misery. control the government, control polluters, creat financial incentives for clean environment

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Ruvy’s argument relies on the classic fallacy of affirming the consequent. If in reality Dr. Pianka had said what he is accused of saying, Ruvy argues, he and his colleagues would now be feeling that their funding is at risk, and would now deny what was said.

    This argument proves nothing, simply because all those scientists would also contradict the accusation if it were in reality a false accusation.

    Ruvy says a videotape is required to prove the professor innocent of the charges laid against him. I say a videotape is required to prove him guilty.

    None of Ruvy’s links prove anything of the sort. I read them and saw no verifiable evidence that anyone had ever advocated intentional creation of a plague. That story begins and ends with Mims, who is obviously mistaken about the real content of the lecture he attended, and is not a reliable witness.

    The incident with the video camera also proves nothing about the content of the speech, although it clearly excites the conspiracy-theorist mind.

  • http://jswynne.typepad.com/gropes/ Jim Wynne

    An update–according to The Questionable Authority, the Pianka stories were removed from the website of the Seguin, Texas Gazette-Enterprise inadvertently and are back now. (See #35 above.) Shades of Orwell, not.