The Pianka situation is getting very, very ugly. I’ve been chatting with a member of the Texas Academy of Science, and people there are getting death threats over it. Here’s one example of the kind of email they’re getting:
While Heinrich Himmler’s “final solution” was limited to exterminating the Jews,
Dr. Eric R. Pianka promotes a FINAL SOLUTION for 90% of earth’s population. In
accepting the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist award, Heir Pianka was
interrupted with applause and received a standing ovation.
“Soylent Green is people.” And the way cinema’s futurist society dealt
with over population was through the “Renewal Ceremony”, where the inductees
were secretly turned into FOOD for the remaining citizens.
AT LEAST THEY WERE TURNED INTO FOOD! Unleashing the Ebola virus on
humanity, as publicly advocated by reptilian advocate Dr. Pianka, would result
in billions of excruciating deaths and rotting corpses in the streets. Does
such a position increase the esteem of the Texas Academy of Science? Is the
Academy deem such a colleague as a visionary, exemplar, & eloquent
THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! For a scientific community, however provincial, to
recognize Dr. Pianka sublimates wholesale genocide. His advocacy of the
extermination of most human life on the earth flies in the face of natural
selection, and is so patently absurd as to defy logical challenge. The Texas
Academy of Science, her directors, fellows, and members, is DIMINISHED through
close association with, and its elevation of, Dr. Eric R. Pianka.
If the Academy is to maintain public and professional credibility, it
must censure Dr. Pianka and rescind his “Distinguished” status. Please use
your personal and professional influence toward that immediate end.
Keith M. Arnett
The accounts from people who were there agree that Pianka was not encouraging the “unleashing” of viruses on people, but was warning of a likely natural result (and apparently, mentioning that this would be a great thing for the biosphere as a whole, despite its dire consequences for us). This is becoming a right-wing cause célèbre, however, and the leadership of the Texas Academy are facing a lot of hate and heat from the ignorant. If you’ve got a moment, you might want to contact a member or two of the Academy and mention your support.