I’m with you on this one, Morgan. In a response to comments on my first post, I suggested that Pianka may be a good scientist and a bad metaphysician at the same time. So long as I am not wearing a lab coat, I am comfortable with this assesment. I simply lack the scientific oomph to put someone like Pianka in his place. But I do know this: the debate is by no means a closed one. As I suggested in the first post, the UN has put forth some solid data suggesting that we may not be that bad off after all.

So where do we go from here? There can never be an all-out winner to be found in a debate over how humanity will meet its end. Hence our insistence on lumping Pianka together with “doomsday” preachers. So the question then becomes a matter of one’s life outlook. If you have strong humanistic tendencies, you will eschew debates over the end of the world, and if pressed, will make a prediction that emphasizes the triumph of the individual spirt. But if you have other motivations (religious or secular) that require a frail, sickly view of humanity it’s pretty tempting to simply say “we’re all doomed.”

Also, Morgan: nice job, by the way, on teasing out a connection between the latter world view and statism.

Daniel Corbett