… or at least his minions do. See the interesting article at Inside Higher Ed about the Eric Pianka/Forrest Mims controversy. Mims has claimed that Pianka "enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola" in a speech to the Texas Academy of Science last month. The IHE article begins:
The article goes on to link Mims to the Evil Forces of Intelligent Design. And it quotes numerous people to the effect that Mims has "severely distorted" Pianka's views; that Pianka "intended no such thing". Pianka himself refused comment.
It's somewhat smelly that the major effort here seems to be the trashing of Pianka's critics, and a lot of words expended on what Pianka didn't mean. OK, what did he say? Mims asserts that someone attempting to videotape Pianka's speech was prevented from doing so. Quotes from the other attendees are a mixed bag. For example:
So Professor Pianka was simply bemoaning the "precarious plight" of humanity? Hey, nothing wrong with that! But contrast:
No precarious plight seen there. It's all about what's "best for the
planet". And Dr.
Doom Pianka wasn't literally
advocating mass human extinction. Really. It's just that the planet
would be better off afterwards.
It all sounds much like the blind men expounding on the nature of the elephant. Except everyone's yelling at the one guy who's got hold of the trunk.