By Ben Johnson
The nation’s largest Catholic university will feature a commencement speaker who believes “the rest of life would benefit enormously” from the extinction of mankind, considers Christianity “the most dangerous of devotions,” and boasted about weakening the “dissolutive, oppressive institutions of organized religion.”
Population guru E.O. Wilson will address a combined ceremony of DePaul University‘s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and its College of Science and Health on June 10. The date is his 83rd birthday.
Although he is by training a myrmecologist who has discovered 450 different kinds of ants, the Harvard professor made his name as the father of sociobiology in the 1970s.
Along the way, he has expressed his enthusiasm for “population control,” internationalism, and displacing the “oppressive” force of religion.
While being interviewed for the 1999 Canadian radio series “From Naked Ape to Superspecies,” Wilson stated “if all humanity disappeared the rest of life would benefit enormously…the forests would grow back, the whole Earth would green up, the ocean would teem, and so on.” However, “If the ants were all to disappear, the results would be close to catastrophic.”
Population, he believes, has reached a catastrophic breaking point. In 2002, he told PBS’s Ben Wattenberg, “We all, or most all, realize that humanity has pushed its population growth pretty close to the limit. We really are at risk of using up natural resources and developing shortages in them that will be extremely difficult to overcome.” He added, “We have this bright prospect down the line that humanity is not going to keep on growing much more in population…and then begin to decline.”
In his 2003 book The Future of Life, he wrote, “The encouragement of population control by developing countries comes not a moment too soon.” Wilson was optimistic that “we are draining away the instinctual energy from nationalism — that’s a big help.”
“I think we’re seeing the beginning of the draining away from the dreadfully dissolutive, oppressive institutions of organized religion,” he said.
The twin forces of atheism and internationalism are “part of the reason for the Tea Party and the populist revolt now that has kidnapped the Republican Party. There’s a resentment about the old bonds and the old groups dissolving and new groups being formed.”
“Organized religion,” he wrote, “is where all the trouble comes from,” particularly “Evangelicals for whom the Bible is their creation story,” as they “can’t accept evolution.”
“The illogic of religions is not a weakness,” he wrote, “but their essential strength.”
In his 1998 book Consilience, he wrote, “The most dangerous of devotions, in my opinion, is the one endemic to Christianity: I was not born to be of this world,” as belief in an afterlife weakens man’s devotion to the planet earth.
Such a notion echoes the words of Barack Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, who wrote in his book EcoScience, “The Christian concept of life in this world, as voiced by Saint Paul, that ‘here we have no abiding city,’ for example, conceivably could help explain why some people show rather little concern for the long-term future of the global environment or for the well-being of future generations.”
Even the “the idea of a biological God,” Wilson wrote in 1998, is “increasingly contravened by biology and the brain sciences.”
Yet he told PBS’s Wattenberg he has “a nearly religious sense of obligation” to “hold onto as much of the world’s biological diversity as we possibly can.”
“Why a Catholic institution would give a platform to a population control advocate who blasts Christianity as ‘dangerous’ is unfathomable,” wrote Matthew Archbold of the Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic university watchdog organization.
“This is the picture of Christianity that DePaul is willing to promulgate?” asked well-respected Catholic blogger Mary Ann Kreitzer. “And consider the irony of a biggest Catholic school in the country hosting a man who would be happy to kill off the students of the future.”