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Pinaka update

This is a page from the original version of Pagan Vigil. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.paganvigil.com/C1722892404/E20060405163316

Were the genocidal remarks misinterpreted?

It seems that that this is rapidly becoming a case of "he said, he said."

The controversy surrounds comments made during two recent speeches in which Pianka discussed the need for population control and the impending disease pandemic that might well just take care of it. Some heard the comments as simply a warning. To others, however, it sounded like Pianka was advocating the use of deadly viruses to kill off millions of people.

Pianka, who calls the latter interpretation nonsense, says the whole thing has blown out of proportion. Many, however, seem to be taking his critics seriously. Pianka said he is scheduled to meet with FBI officials today.

"Someone has reported me as a terrorist," he said. "They think I'm forming a cadre of people to release the airborne Ebola virus into the air. That I'm the leader and my students are the followers."

There's no denying that Pianka, even at first glance, seems a little eccentric.

His office, which he has inhabited for 38 years, is cluttered with books, stacks of paper, bones and even a few beers. There's a photo of him dressed like British naturalist Charles Darwin. Scattered pictures of lizards and a copy of his semi-autobiography, "The Lizard Man Speaks," reveal his area of expertise — lizards and evolutionary ecology. On his desk, he keeps a stuffed likeness of the Ebola virus that was sent to him by students who enjoyed his speeches.

He is particularly troubled by the recent explosion in the human population. He says we now take up about 50 percent of all livable space on Earth and that people should have no more than two children. Humans, and the way they've multiplied, are "no better than bacteria," he says.

Dr. Pinaka is not denying the remarks, just their interpretation. Without context, it's hard to say who is right. But it is certainly worth watching.

Posted: Wed - April 5, 2006 at 04:33 PM

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