Primatologist Jane Goodall, who has dedicated her life to studying chimpanzees, recently made what some have jokingly called “an Avengers level threat.” If she had magical powers, Goodall said, “I would like to, without causing any pain or suffering, reduce the number of people on the planet, because there’s too many of us. It’s a planet of finite resources, and we’re using them up.”
Not only did the statement echo Thanos, it’s fundamentally mistaken. As a tweet from the CATO Institute put it,
You cannot massively reduce the population and retain the benefits of our civilization. When you destroy people, you also destroy knowledge. Even if you could painlessly wish 95% of humanity out of existence, as Goodall suggests, it would be catastrophic for those left alive.
There’s a big difference between a worldview that sees human beings as a plague on nature and one that sees humans as caretakers of creation.
In the meantime, let’s be glad Goodall doesn’t have the infinity stones.
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