Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The debate over Eric Pianka

Eric Pianka, a professor at the University of Texas has gained a large amount of notoriety after a a review of one of his speeches in front of the Texas Academy of Sciences was put online and a story about the speech was published in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise and then linked to by the Drudge Report.

According to the review by Forrest Mims, Pianka stated in his speech that humans were no better than bacteria, the only way to save the earth would be to reduce the human population to 10 percent of its present population, and that the most efficient way of killing 90% of humans would be via the ebola virus.

The article in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise notes the reactions of Pianka's students and others who attended the speech.

Dr. Pianka says that his remarks were taken out of context and that "he believes the Earth would be better off if the human population were smaller" but "that doesn't mean he wants most humans to die."

The speech wasn't video taped so it's impossible to see the actual context of the speech but William Dembski is offering $1000 to anyone who might have recorded the speech. .

Individuals over at Panda's Thumb think the whole thing has been debunked because a Texas television station interviewed Pianka and Pianka said he would never advocate genocide and he says that Mims is a "crazy kook." Dembski says the interview has been doctored to removed a portion where Pianka says, "We need to plan our collapse rather than just let it happen to us."

Meanwhile, Telic Thoughts has compiled a "The blogger's Guide to Dr. Pianka" and provides links to what some of Pianka's students have said.

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