You're going to die an awful, painful and premature death, and what's more, you should.
One of the arguments we hear from those scientists who oppose teaching Intelligent Design in public schools is that ID will turn students off to science. Students won't want to engage in research, we're assured, if they think that biological phenomena do not have a completely physical explanation. This is nonsense, of course, but we wonder what those who are so worried about what young minds are exposed to in science class rooms think of Professor Eric Pianka down at the University of Texas.
Professor Pianka instructs his students that we have far too many people in the world right now, and that the solution is to kill off 90% of us through some natural means such as the Ebola virus. The mind reels. Do UT officials blanche at this endorsement, by one of their esteemed faculty members, of genocide on a massive scale? Yes, indeedy. They'll have none of it, sort of.
For instance, Neal Armstrong, vice provost for faculty affairs, lays down the law:
Profesor Pianka is free to say whatever he wants in his classes, Mr. Armstrong allows, but when he's advocating the deaths of 90% of the world's people in public lectures, why, then he better make it clear to his audience that he's not speaking for the University. Or else ... or else, we'll get really, really miffed.
And don't you dare think that UT doesn't have a social conscience. Mr. Armstrong goes on to leave no doubt where the University stands on the matter of encouraging genocide:
"Students should be able to discern on their own the validity of views like Pianka's, but if allegations of Pianka actively advocating human death were to be confirmed, there might be some discussion about the appropriateness of that subject. I would hope that's not what's intended. I don't think that's appropriate for the classroom, but that's my personal statement."
There might be some discussion? Not appropriate? Armstrong doesn't think it's appropriate, but, hey, that's just his opinion, and we all know that nobody's opinion is any better than anyone else's, so what does it matter? Translated, all that this mealy-mouthed administrator-speak means is that UT won't touch this issue with a ten foot pole.
Those critics, however, who, unlike administrators, are given to plain-speaking and clear thinking raise disquieting questions:
Does Pianka believe, for example, that nature will bring about this promised devastation all by herself? Or is humanity's own dissemination of a deadly virus the only answer? And more importantly, is this the motive behind his talks?
As if responding to these impertinent queries, Pianka says forthrightly: "Good terrorists would be taking [stealing] Ebola ... so that they had microbes they could let loose on the Earth that would kill 90 percent of the people."
There seems to be some disagreement as to whether Pianka is encouraging students to facilitate the spread of an epidemic, or encouraging them to accept mass death when it comes, or whether he's simply pointing out the consequences of over-population. If it's the first, how's what he's doing any different than a terrorist urging the masses to rise up and kill the larger population?
He may be right that a worldwide pandemic is likely to happen relatively soon, but he steps beyond his field of competence, and beyond any fundamental principles of humanity, if and when he suggests that such a horror should happen.
If this is, indeed, what he believes and what he's teaching, he'd certainly have made a good and useful German in Hitler's Third Reich.