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Professor’s Death Wish

If six billion humans died, the world would be a better place.

That’s the message a professor from the University of Texas is proclaiming.

An article in The Gazette-Enterprise details Professor Eric Pianka’s doomsday beliefs. "In his estimation, ‘We’ve grown fat, apathetic and miserable,’ all the while leaving the planet parched. The solution? A 90 percent reduction."

Can anyone say "Thomas Malthus wannabe" (high school flashback: Malthus was the guy who said the earth’s population would outgrow its food supply).  

Pianka tells the Gazette, "[Disease] will control the scourge of humanity. We’re looking forward to a huge collapse."

The professor says he’s not championing genocide. "The biggest enemy we face is anthropocentrism," he said, describing the belief system in which humans are the central element of the universe. "This is that common attitude that everything on this Earth was put here for [human] use."

Ah ha… looks like someone forgot to go to Sunday school!

Genesis 1: 28 "’…Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Then God said, ‘Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;…’  

And, since we’re approaching Easter, allow me to quote a line from the movie The Ten Commandments that Professor Pianka needs to hear: "So let it be written. So let it be done."

I digress.

The Gazette story goes on to say that to Pianka "a human life is no more valuable than any other: a lizard, a bison, a rhino. And as humans reproduce, the demand for resources like food, water and energy becomes more than the Earth can sustain"

The article also points out that Pianka is "not without abundant advocates." However, there are some dissenters. Dr. James Pitts, who graduated from UT-Austin and recently filed a complaint with the UT board of regents, contends there is no place for Pianka’s views at a state university.

"Pianka’s message does not fall within the realm of his professional competence as a biologist, because it is a normative claim, not a descriptive one. Pianka is encouraged to use his ecological expertise to predict the likely consequences of certain technological and reproductive strategies, but to evaluate some as good, bad, or worthy of prevention by genocide is the realm of philosophy or political science, not science. His message falls no more within his professional competence than it would for a physicist to teach religion in class or a musician to encourage racism."

But, consider Professor Pianka’s student evaluations as described by the Gazette: "the most incredible class I ever had" and "Pianka is a GOD!"

That last one is rather interesting given that Pianka’s views of humanity are in direct contrast to God’s.

And so, I leave the good professor with some advice: consider taking shelter during the next electrical storm as God might agree with you and decide to eliminate a few problems plaguing this world.

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Mr. Flickinger is the "dean" of Human Events U and founder of the Network of Campus Conservatives. He is a native of Pittsburgh, who graduated from Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism with specializations in political science and economics.

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