A reduction of the GDP by 90 percent may sound as a bad idea but you will see that there are stronger ideas available on the market. Moreover, the idea about "people who dislike people" will be given a very concrete face.
The distinguished 2006 Texas scientist, Prof. Eric Pianka, has a more efficient solution, namely to exterminate 5.8 billion people from the Earth. He finds that "HIV is too slow, it's no good": Ebola is a better tool that "will control the scourge of the humanity; we're looking forward to a huge collapse". He argues that "we've grown fat, apathetic, and miserable." See Seguin Gazette for these quotes. Prof. Pianka can't understand why other people find his ideas controversial.
Proof of his views: course evaluations
In fact, he's been teaching this stuff for years at the University of Texas in his Biology 357 Ecology class. You can see that the students think it was the perfect class and Pianka is the best teacher at the University of Texas. Sorry, Steven Weinberg and Jacques Distler, but this is how your school works. For example, one student from Fall 2004 says (search for "ebola" on the perfect class link):
- 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.
This should settle all doubts whether Prof. Eric Pianka is preaching these things or not. There is probably no way to deny that he is teaching and preaching what is claimed that he is teaching and preaching. This theme was also one of the main points of his whole courses at University of Texas; fortunately, not the only one. The kids are getting credits for these things.
Why does he hate humanity so much? Is it because of his lost 10 cm of tibia after his left leg became gangrenous? Who knows.
To make everyone (including Sean Carroll) even more certain that Dr. Pianka, also known as Dr. Doom, thinks that 5.8 billion people should be removed using ebola, let me cite several recent sources:
- CBC - Canadian mainstream media
- CNN - U.S. mainstream media
- ABCnews - U.S. mainstream media
- 100+ other reports from news.google.com
- Citizen Scientist
- Evolution News
- Seguin Gazette
- Euphoric Reality
- 100+ other comments on the blogosphere
Most of the resources that are not mainstream media are Christian or even creationist but given the available data, and especially the course evaluation above, I find it unimaginable that this whole story was invented. The recent detailed quotes by Pianka that were recorded by Forrest Mims strikingly agree with other sources cited on this page. But of course, Forrest Mims is not the only person on the Internet who has heard the talk. Brenna has heard it, too. Unlike Mims, she has been fully converted. She explains the talk as follows:
- ... Dr. Pianka's talk at the TAS meeting was mostly of the problems humans are causing as we rapidly proliferate around the globe. While what he had to say is way too vast to remember it all, moreover to relay it here in this blog, the bulk of his talk was that he's waiting for the virus that will eventually arise and kill off 90% of human population. In fact, his hope, if you can call it that, is that the ebola virus which attacks humans currently (but only through blood transmission) will mutate with the ebola virus that attacks monkeys airborne to create an airborne ebola virus that attacks humans. He's a radical thinker, that one! I mean, he's basically advocating for the death of all but 10% of the current population! And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he's right. Humans are far too populous. We've used up our resources, and we're destroying the Earth at an accelerated pace. The more technology we create, the more damage we're capable of doing. ...
She is then complaining that it is just technology that keeps her grandparents alive and that technology saves children with defects who should normally die. It's a tough stuff.
Update: Now we can read the transcript from the March 31st lecture of Eric Pianka here. As far as I can see, you can find every single statement mentioned by Forrest Mims in this transcript. Pianka criticizes anthropocentrism, explains that HIV is no good because it is too slow, promotes the abilities of the Ebola virus, announces that microorganisms will take over again, think about that, and says that they're our equals.
I also tend to believe the Intelligent Designer Dembski that Pianka said that
- “We need to plan our collapse rather than just let it happen to us.”
Nevertheless, Prof. Pianka now argues that his quotes were taken out of context. He just believes that the human population is one order of magnitude larger than it should be, it is bad for the ecosystem, and we should regulate it before it's too late. And he just analyzed the most efficient ways to regulate these 90% of people away, and the Ebola virus turned out to be the best solution. It's the main result of his scientific research. How can you object?
Why is it such a good idea to eliminate 90% of us? Pianka's web page offers an answer:
- I do not bear any ill will toward humanity. However, I am convinced that the world WOULD clearly be much better off without so many of us. Simply stopping the destruction of rainforests would help mediate some current planetary ills, including the release of previously unknown pathogens. The ancient Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times" comes to mind -- we are living in one of the most interesting times humans have ever experienced. For example, consider the manifold effects of global warming. We need to make a transition to a sustainable world. If we don't, nature is going to do it for us in ways of her own choosing. By definition, these ways will not be ours and they won't be much fun. Think about that.
The only thing we can do is to hope that Prof. Pianka has no experimental colleagues working with him on the transition to a sustainable world. I have a full tolerance for Prof. Pianka's opinions - but still, I find it very appropriate for the Department of Homeland Security to make some research: and I hope that the creationist William Dembski was not joking when he announced that the DHS has been notified.
The DHS should ask: where will the pandemic start? Have they already written an obituary for the first people who will die within the project to construct a sustainable world?
You see how the Academia sometimes works. If Lawrence Summers very carefully proposes a working hypothesis whose validity is rather obvious to most people with IQ above 80 - that women are statistically less likely to be very good in math than men are - he's eventually forced to resign. When a left-wing professor proposes to kill 5.8 billion people to realize his dreams about the ideal ecosystem, he receives a standing ovation and an award.
It's because Pianka's thesis is more politically correct than Summers' conjecture: it is based on the politically correct assumption that most people are dirty backers of capitalism who threaten the ecosystem which is why they should be regulated away in a very egalitarian fashion. Today, such reasoning is as politically correct as the destruction of the Jews was politically correct 70 years ago.
The main punch line is that many of these environmentalist people are quite dangerous people who have mostly lost their mind and most of their fellow left-wingers can't even comprehend how incredibly mad their wing of the political spectrum has become. The much-loved biologist is worshipped by the far Left exactly because he is the ultimate advocate of egalitarianism. "The biggest enemy we face is anthropocentrism," he said. To Pianka, a human life is no more valuable than any other - a lizard, a bison (he lives with them), a rhino.
I find such a "value judgement" completely unscientific. If he counts the "value" of different animals to be equal, why does not he consider the individual cells of a skunk, to give a specific example, to be equivalent to a human being? That would make skunks billions of times as valuable as a human. If you adopt this paradigm, should we count the number of cells? Or is the value of an organism expressed by her weight? There is no objective counting of a "value"; there are just more reasonable and less reasonable subjective appraisals, and Pianka's is one of the least intelligent ones. The fact that this well-known left-wing biologist misunderstands this point - that science cannot tell us what is "good" - is an example of deeply-rooted antiscientific prejudices among some left-wing scholars.
Thank you for all these "ideas" but I will continue to avoid egalitarianism and I will continue to believe that Prof. Pianka's and his soulmates' opinions about the ideal ecosystem are completely insane; scientifically, they're rubbish even if more than 1/2 of Pianka's stories about the past ecosystems are correct. Much-loved people like Prof. Pianka may indeed be equivalent to a friend of ours, a stinking skunk, but my opinions about other humans, at least some of them, will continue to be higher. I do not bear any ill will toward skunks but they have their own place in this world that is different from the humans' place.