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Dr. Death (Eric Pianka) and His Disciples at it Again!


Perhaps you recall the outrageous statements by Dr. Eric Pianka of U. of Texas at Austin. Well, he’s still preaching his wacky “humans are the root of all evil” propaganda and enlisting the aid of some of his unfortunate students. (unfortunate because they’ve fallen under the influence of this nutty professor). Below is a video of some of his latest. The twisted logic and misinformation given here is beyond belief. You could laugh this off if it were just the rantings of some unknown in their basement, but Pianka has managed to grab some national attention, even if negative attention.

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Please note the irony of complaining about over population while at the same time complaining how we evil humans are causing our own exitinction.  Isn’t that the goal…decrease the “surplus” population.  It reminds of this wonderful bit from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. 

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his wn words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

As a person with a disibility (dyslexia), I find this professor's views extremly disturbing. Among the first to go in such a plan would be people like me. Platonist
So glad to hear my campus still has this guy lurking in the shadows. Gotta love diversity. I wonder if they have a disclaimer like the one Behe's college has for him, that the college doesn't endorse the guy's views. SeanSean
I repeat, WTF does this have to do with design detection?
OK, try this. If Pianka is right, then we can at least rule out the existence of one kind of Designer: an omniscient, benevolent one. An omniscient, benevolent designer of life would certainly have foreseen the emergence of warm-blooded, technologically savvy hominids who would need to burn vast quantities of fossil fuels in order to stay warm and to commute rapidly from home to work. Such a designer would have either constructed atmospheric negative feedback mechanisms, to prevent the Earth from over-heating and said hominids from frying their planet, or it would have created a cheap, clean source of alternative energy which could support these hominids, without them having to wreck their planet. If there turn out to be no negative feedback mechanisms to dampen global warming to a manageable 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, and no politically and economically feasible sources of alternative energy, and if billions of people die during the next 100 years as a result (as James Lovelock thinks they will) then I think we can rule out the existence of an omniscient, benevolent designer. At best, we'd be left with either a dumb Demiurge or a cold Spinozan God who didn't care about our plight. Faith is falsifiable. That's pretty scary for some people, but we just have to live with it. What Pianka doesn't realize, though, is that a one-child society won't save the world, for three reasons. First, as families get smaller, they tend to indulge their children: trips to Europe, PCs in kindergarten, meals at expensive restaurants that import food from abroad - that sort of thing. Thus the carbon footprint of an affluent one-child family can easily outstrip that of a large family which lives frugally. Second, as society gets more information-dependent, at an exponentially increasing rate, it'll consume more energy, as we require more and more gadgets. All the pills in the world won't be able to stop that. You want proof? Try Googling the amount of CO2 released by performing a Google search. The answer will surprise some. Third, the scientific enterprise would come to a screeching halt without a critical mass of intelligent people pooling their ideas together. If we lived on a planet where the global population was 100 million (and some biologists really do think that's all we can sustain, in the long-term), then scientific innovation would come to a standstill. (Even in the time of Christ, the world's population was 200 million.) Without new scientific inventions, we really would be up salt creek without a paddle. For what the conservationists fail to understand is that we can never return to a state of harmony with nature. We've already disrupted the balance of nature irreparably. Equilibrium is not an option. We'll just have to go on relying on our seemingly magical ability to come up with new inventions, so as to stay one step ahead of whatever catastrophe nature might have in store for us. So far, we've managed to do that, thanks to our combined brainpower. Now that's something that an omniscient, benevolent designer would have seen to: giving us a limitless capacity to innovate, provided that we have the nerve to stay on the roller coaster of history and keep growing. vjtorley
The truth of the matter is many in the intelligentsia view human beings as a blight on the planet, a cancerous growth. Once you start to recognize this, you will also understand many of the policies they implement. Google, for example, the Georgia guidestones as one patent example.
And Christian philosophy taken to its logical end brings us to Armegeddon.
Correction: Kingdom of heaven. William Wallace
DaveScot: "And Christian philosophy taken to its logical end brings us to Armegeddon." Really? So explain to us just how "love your neighbor as yourself", "do as you would be done by", "love your enemies, bless them that curse you", "do no murder", do not take what doesn't belong to you", "forgive if you want to be forgiven", etc etc etc, logically leads to Armageddon? "I repeat, WTF does this have to do with design detection?" You're getting awfully rude and ornery in your old age. What do your perpetual rants against climate hype have to do with ID? Can you at least see the link between Darwinism and eugenics (the sterilize 'em or kill 'em off version of population control). Borne
DonaldM Right. And Christian philosophy taken to its logical end brings us to Armegeddon. I repeat, WTF does this have to do with design detection? DaveScot
Oh, I think its relevant to the discussions of ID and evolution as it is an example of taking a worldview to its logical conclusion. Pianka is a Darwinist who rejects ID. As such, he clearly believes that there is nothing special about humans and we are just another germ on the planet, or something to that effect. Only we're messing things up, so the majority of us need to be eliminated. It is Darwinian think taken to its extreme conclusion. DonaldM
Overpopulation doomsdayers have been around since at least the 1960's that I remember. What's changed is what other looming global disaster is served with it like a doom du jour. I've seen it served with nuclear holocaust, global warming, and global cooling. It seems that a significant percentage of the human race just isn't happy unless they believe there's some man-made global catastrophe on the way that must be fixed. I do have a question. How is this relevant to intelligent design? DaveScot
This was a profound waste of 9 minutes of my time. They didn't even make a compelling case. And having highschool students who don't have any acting ability reading their pieces, well, it was painfully flat. I generally agree with Billy Graham who suggests that the only biblical command that man has ever kept was to be fruitful and multiply. I also agree with him that we have completed this command already. That said, we need to be very humane in how we approach the slowing of human population growth. I have no trouble at all, for instance, with families voluntarily limiting themselves to one or two children per family. The good professor in this video didn't get nearly as foolish as his reputation. At least this time he wasn't rootin' for mass extinction of human populations. At least he wasn't rootin' for a pandemic that reduces the population of mankind by 90%. bFast
Have these people ever driven through the US Southwest? Or almost any non-city part of South America? (Or Central America for that matter.) Sorry, the world has lots of uninhabited, un-farmed portions. It is simplistic to blame famine in places like Uganda and the Sudan on overpopulation. They tried something similar in the 60's, blaming Latin America's poverty problem on "overpopulation" in the region, trying to force sterilizations and other reproductive controls. The only problem was that the region was one of the least populated (per square mile) places on earth at the time! Again, simple answers are sometimes simply wrong. Atom Atom

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