1. Words falsely spoken that damage the reputation of another.
2. An abusive attack on a person's character or good name.
1. Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone.
I guess I forgot the distinction between slander and libel, though as far as I'm concerned they are the same thing in different forms, verbal and written.
Eric Pianka is a victim of continuing slander. He is accused of advocating genocide for pointing out certain things offensive to those who hold anthropocentric views, the most vocal among whom are apparently fundie right-wingers. Surprise surprise.
Pianka is a distinguished scientist and long-time educator at the University of Texas. He is the recipient of the Texas Academy of Science's 2006 Distinguished Scientist award.
The record is beginning to be corrected, such as in Pianka's own words on his website, and in this report from KXAN Austin. There's a link at the bottom of the KXAN page to view the televised version.
UT Professor Clearing The Record On SpeechIn this piece the author (just to the right of the ad with the skinny white chick modeling the right wing t-shirt that says, "HIPPIES SMELL") at least acknowledges that Pianka disavows advocacy of genocide, but then gets to the crux of the matter:
April 3, 2006 03:56 PM
Reports of a UT scientist's plan for mass extermination of the human race got our attention Monday.
News 36 tried to get to the bottom of a controversial theory that is spawning death threats on campus and controversy across the country.
Some are accusing a UT scientist of advocating genocide to control the world's population.
Does it sound crazy?
The professor whose ideas are under scrutiny says it's not just crazy, it's not true.
UT Ecology Professor Dr. Eric Pianka does not want everyone on Earth dead.
"I don't bear any ill will towards anybody," Pianka said.
But many bear ill will towards this soft spoken University of Texas ecologist.
"I got a really great death threat," Pianka said.
He's getting death threats such as threatening the slaughter of his family after recent speeches pushing for population control.
"If we don't control our population, microbes will. Why do we have these lethal microbes that kill us in the first place? The answer is, there's too many of us," Pianka said.
Pianka says he would never advocate genocide or extermination like some suggest he does.
"I've got two granddaughters, man. I'm putting money in a college fund for my granddaughters. I'm worried about them," Pianka said.
He said he believes criticism of his theory about an inevitable plague on mankind comes from a rival jealous about his distinguished scientist award from the Texas Academy of Science.
"He's an avowed enemy, and he's made this very clear that he's going to get me and take me down," Pianka said.
Pianka has the full backing of UT behind him as radical as his ideas are to some.
"We have a lot of different points of view on the University of Texas at Austin campus. And we certainly support our faculty in saying what they think," UT spokesman Don Hale said.
After 50 years of ecological study and writing nearly 20 books, Pianka said he thinks the world's in trouble and wants everyone to know.
"We're taking over this Earth and not leaving anything for anything else on this Earth," Pianka said.
We tried to contact the guy Pianka says is behind this smear campaign. He did not get back to us.
This is not over. Pianka said he'll be on two cable talk shows Tuesday including MSNBC to try and clear his name.
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."Sunday school. There you have it. I wonder why the quote from Genesis above contrasts with Pianka's quote from Genesis here, which does not leave out the "replenish" part.
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, ÂBehold 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; ...'
Pianka is right about humanity's destructive role on Earth, and he is correct to identify anthropocentrism as a major part of the problem.
Slanderous religionists are a big part of the problem, too.