Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A sustained ovation for the extermination of humanity?

This is simply too amazing ... And Gene Edward Veith thinks so too. In short-and-to-the-point article entitled "The End of Humanism" (World Magazine, April 22, 2006), Veith traces the trajectory from humanism -- "that optimistic belief that human beings are the apex of the universe, the source of all values, and the measure of all things" to the hatred of humanity surfacing in recent attacks on "anthropocentrism." It's an interesting trajectory. Throughout the 20th century, many intellectuals assumed that humanism would take the place of the world's religions:
And yet, even within the world of humanism, the status of "Man" has been diminishing. In the sequence of Humanist Manifestos issued over the years, what began with the exaltation of "Man" has been reduced to the exaltation of "science," by which adherents mean evolution. Today, "secular humanists" still believe in secularism, but the humanism is all but gone. They have taken the next step, deriding humanism as an outdated relic of modernism. Cutting-edge thinking is increasingly anti-human.

Consider a recent speech by University of Texas biologist Eric Pianka. He was addressing the Texas Academy of Science, which had just named him the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.

When people learn what is being taught in their tax-supported universities, they are often shocked. So before Mr. Pianka's talk, Academy officials threw out a TV cameraman who was videotaping the conference. Mr. Pianka explained that the public was not ready to hear what he was going to say. The old humanists used to believe in the freedom of the press and the free flow of ideas. But ordinary Texans might not approve of hearing that this Distinguished Texas Scientist wanted to kill them.

Mr. Pianka began by condemning "anthropocentrism," the idea that human beings have a privileged place in the universe. He told about a neighbor who once asked him what good are the lizards that he studies. Mr. Pianka replied, "What good are you?"
And, now, here's the really GOOD part! Observe this great-souled 'scientist' forthwith:
Mr. Pianka believes, in his words, "We're no better than bacteria!" and he has proposed an anti-bacterial course of hygiene. He said that, in order to save the planet, the human population should be reduced by 90 percent. War and famine are not efficient enough, he said, to kill the billions of people necessary. Disease would be the best population reducer. AIDS, though, works much too slowly.

What would be best, he said, is Ebola, a Central African virus that liquifies the internal organs. An airborne variety of Ebola, he calculated, would produce 90 percent mortality.

The Academy gave Mr. Pianka [on the left in the picture] a sustained ovation.
Ripley was right: reality is stranger than fiction! What a piece of work is (post)modern man! How stupid in reason! A paragon of degeneracy and decrepitude ... What is (post)modern man -- this quintessence of idiocy!

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