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Forget about Pianka — let’s go after Mims for “misleading propaganda”


It was Mims who broke the Pianka story:

“I would like to make clear that Mims has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements,” said Kathryn E. Perez, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of biology, in the petition of support for Pianka. She personally believes that the Texas Academy should consider sanctioning Mims, who is a member of the organization, for what she calls “misleading propaganda.”


And here’s Perez’s actual petition letter:

Members of the Texas Academy of Science.

I am sure many of you are familiar with the furor over Texas Academy of Science Distinguished Scholar Dr. Eric Pianka’s speech at the TAS Meeting. A member of the Academy has published several reports and given media interviews where he claims that during the talk Dr. Pianka “advocated for the extermination of 90% of the human species in a most horrible and painful manner”. This report goes on to state that “many of the Academy members present gave the speaker a standing ovation. To date, the Academy has not moved to sanction the speaker or distance itself from the speaker’s remarks.” The reports go on to worry that Dr. Pianka might be encouraging his students and audience to produce weaponized Ebola to fulfull his wishes. The full statement can be read here: http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html

As ridiculous as this sounds it has gotten traction in the media partly because it has not been completely contradicted and debunked. If you were present at the talk and disagree with this characterization of Dr. Pianka’s statements and would be willing to sign your name to this petition supporting Dr. Pianka and support the TAS’s recognition of Dr. Pianka as Texas distinguished scholar, please respond to this email and I’ll add you to the petition.

Which reads: “I was also at Dr. Pianka’s talk at the Texas Academy of Science meeting and came away with a very different impression of his talk than statements by Forrest Mim’s. I think my impression was in the majority judging by the standing ovation given to Dr. Pianka by ~400 fellow scientists. I would like to make clear that Mim’s has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements. Dr. Pianka in no way advocated billions of deaths from Ebola or said anything that would lead a reasonable person to think he was doing so.”

This will be sent to Dr. Pianka, TAS, and several national media outlets to demonstrate support for Dr. Pianka from other scientists who were present at the event. Please also feel free to respond with your impression of the talk and I will add these to anything I send out.

Sincerely, Kathryn Perez

Kathryn E. Perez, Ph.D.
SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC-Chapel Hill
Department of Biology, Duke University
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708, keperez@duke.edu
Phone: 919-660-7431


Here is the transcript from the presentation of the same title as the one Mims is complaining about given on March 31.

Still no call for using Ebola to kill people just a warning that overpopulation makes such an event more likely. Since this speech is from before Mims started making noise about the earlier one I find no reason to believe it is substantially different than the one he gave before TAS. Especially since the two transcripts do agree in the places where both sections exist. Of course Pearcy could just release the audio file that the partial transcript derives from and let us make up our own minds.

Student reviews of Pianka's Biology 304 class unequivocably confirm he's "preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola" [my emphasis]. I see no reason to doubt that his classroom lecture is different from his TAS speech since the student review is essentially identical to what Mims had to say. It isn't a warning. It's a fervent wish. Ken Shaw

The transcript is now available:

Can't seem to find where he advocates killing 90% of the human race. Looks like he is warning that overpopulation makes such a thing more likely.

The part of the speech where he mentions ebola is missing. He gave a 45 minute speech. What's transcribed is about 5 minutes of it at the very end. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. -ds

Ken Shaw

Well, of course! The creationist is always the liar! Everybody with a working brain knows that matter and energy are the only things at work in the universe and that any notion of God creating something or natural phenomena being irreducible to intelligence is total poppycock! Everybody knows that all real scientists accept the irrefutable fact of materialism, and these bastions of truth and integrity surely wouldn't lie to us! :roll:


The best defense is a good offense. Change the subject and go after Mims makes perfect strategic sense from the standpoint of the Church Burning Ebola Boys (or girls in this case). Plus it's perfectly in line with the Five D's of Darwinism - Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge. :lol:

Of course that doesn't speak to the quality of the offense. In a case of a speech where all recording devices were ordered to be turned off, where the transcript of the speech is as yet unavailable, Katy Perez wants us to believe an eyewitness to the speech is lying about what he heard. Perez' credibility is zero at this point.

And let's not forget these student reviews of Doomboy's UT class:

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: preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola seems a clear confirmation that what Mims heard in the Lamar speech after the cameras were turned off is what this student heard in Pianka's classroom at UT. Are you ready to indict Pianka's students too, Katy Perez?


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