Sunday, April 02, 2006

Meet Dr. Doom

Think that world-destroying mad scientists are only found in comics?

Then check out this article about "Doctor Doom," aka Dr. Eric R. Pianka. Here is a scientist whose motivations and purposes should truly frighten you; this is a man who hopes for a pandemic (preferably of airborne ebola, his disease of choice because it's so fast and has such a high mortality rate) that will kill 90% of the human population. He makes no secret of his hopes for human devastation; in fact, he espouses it in the classes he teaches and he proselytizes for it in various public forums.

And when he presented his proposals at the Texas Academy of Science last month, he received a standing ovation. In his article, reporter Forrest Mims wrote:
"Must now we worry that a Pianka-worshipping former student might someday become a professional biologist or physician with access to the most deadly strains of viruses and bacteria? I believe that airborne Ebola is unlikely to threaten the world outside of Central Africa. But scientists have regenerated the 1918 Spanish flu virus that killed 50 million people. There is concern that small pox might someday return. And what other terrible plagues are waiting out there in the natural world to cross the species barrier and to which scientists will one day have access?"
It's a disturbing piece made even more disturbing by the number of people wo seem to be swayed by this man's charismatic manner. And terrorism in the name of ecological conservation is every bit as horrifying as terrorism in the name of religious extremism--and perhaps moreso, because here is a man more likely to have access to the means of carrying out his dreams of destruction.


Lanny said...

I'm amazed that someone like this was given a platform.

cliff said...

Not only given a platform, but accepted and encouraged, I suspect, but the outpouring of positive response.

My guess, as Susan commented, is that every one of the scientists there envisions himself/herself as part of the deserving 10% targeted for survival, of course.