Of course the Pope: once you start a death list, you inevitably must include the Pope. Hey mom! I’m on a list with the Pope!
All this happened in October, but I only discovered it after learning (from Christopher Snowdon; @cjsnowdon) that Parncutt has had second feelings about calling for the wanton slaughter of scientists whose discoveries he dislikes. He chickened out and said yesterday, “I wish to apologize publicly to all those who were offended by texts that were previously posted at this address. I made claims that were incorrect and comparisons that were completely inappropriate, which I deeply regret.”
Offended? How about absurdly pleased! I wish he would have kept his bloodlust, because this is my first official Death List and I admit to being sinfully proud of membership. I was going to have t-shirts made up.
Just look at what I and other “deniers” are accused of:
For the purpose of argument, let’s give the GW deniers the benefit of the doubt and imagine that the scientists are wrong with a high probability, say 90%. If they are right, some 100 million people will die as a direct result of GW. Probably more like a billion, but this is a conservative estimate. If the probability of that happening is only 10%, then effectively “only” 10 million people will die. These are the numbers that GW deniers are playing with while exercising their “freedom of speech”.
His conservative estimate is a billion dead at the hands of “deniers.” Why, that’s even more than all those massacred by all (national and international) socialist regimes put together! Of course, we “deniers” won’t actually be assembling firing squads or starving souls to death, so it’s not clear how we’re going to amass this body count. It surely isn’t by direct recruitment of minions (oh! how I’d love to have minions!). After all, nobody has to listen to me or to any other scientist willing to speak his mind. If you don’t like what we write, don’t read it.
Parncutt is a professor of musicology, so it’s fair guess that he’s been over-exposed to Wagner—or even worse, the Beatles. What better explains a man who first blows a 100 words saying how he’s adamantly against the death penalty and then says, “I wish to claim that it is generally ok to kill someone in order to save one million people…I am simply presenting a logical argument.”
My guess is Parncutt, when he was feeling his oats, was still himself a coward, or at least squeamish, and would have outsourced the killings to those who take pleasure or money ending lives, like abortion doctors. But you never know. He might have fantasized lining his enemies in front of a ditch and putting one in their ears. “[I]t is justified for a few heads to roll.”
What’s his beef about one of the holiest men alive? Well, he doesn’t like the Pope’s call for abstinence or the Church’s recommendation against birth prevention devices. The Church prefers to advocate personal responsibility, citing the scientific fact that those who avoid intercourse will almost certainly not catch AIDS (nor other STDs). Sure, there are other ways to be inflicted with these maladies, but condoms wouldn’t help with these anyway.
The number of people dying of AIDS would have been much smaller if the Catholic Church had changed its position on contraception in the 1980s, or any time since then. Because it did not, millions have died unnecessarily.
These kinds of numbers have a special scientific status, what we statisticians call bulls**t. They are entirely made up, much like the rest of the “facts” on which poor Parncutt relies. Anybody not likely to follow the Church’s teaching on sexuality isn’t likely to follow it in other matters. In other words, there aren’t hordes of people attending mass in Africa who hold to the teaching of “no condoms” because the Church teaches it but who then run amok fornicating at will, spreading disease.
He gets one thing right: “People will be saying that Parncutt has finally lost it.” Indeed he has: his piece reveals a mind as familiar with reality as polar bears are with palm trees. His illness may be impermanent, which explains his public apology. I still wouldn’t go near him during feeding times, however.
1Author of such works as “Prenatal and infant conditioning, the mother schema, and the origins of music and religion” in Musicae Scientiae, “The role of music in the integration of cultural minorities” in some book, and a number of others on piano keys (or something), all in preparation to opine on vorticity and cloud cover and human sexuality.