Paul R. Ehrlich

American biologist / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932) is an American biologist best known for his pessimisticand wildly inaccurate[2][3][4][5][6][7][dubious ] predictions and warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.[8][9]

Quick facts: Paul R. Ehrlich, Born, Education, Known ...
Paul R. Ehrlich
Ehrlich in 1974
Paul Ralph Ehrlich

(1932-05-29) May 29, 1932 (age 91)
Known forThe Population Bomb
(m. 1954)
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisThe Morphology, Phylogeny and Higher Classification of the Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) (1957)
Doctoral advisorC. D. Michener

Ehrlich became well known for the controversial 1968 book The Population Bomb which he co-authored with his wife Anne H. Ehrlich, in which they famouslyand erroneouslystated that "[i]n the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now."[10][11] Among the solutions suggested in that book was population control, including "various forms of coercion" such as eliminating "tax benefits for having additional children,"[2] to be used if voluntary methods were to fail, as well as letting "hopeless" countries like India starve to death.[dubious ][verify] Highlighting Ehrlich's failed predictions, American journalist Jonathan V. Last has called The Population Bomb "one of the most spectacularly foolish books ever published".[12]

Ehrlich has been criticized for his approach and views, both for their pessimistic outlook and for the repeated failure of his predictions to come true. For example, in response to Ehrlich's assertion that all major marine wildlife would die by 1980, Ronald Bailey termed Ehrlich an "irrepressible doomster".[13] Ehrlich has acknowledged that "some" of what he predicted has not occurred, but nevertheless maintains that his predictions about disease and climate change were essentially correct and that human overpopulation is a major problem.[14]

He is the Bing Professor Emeritus of Population Studies of the Department of Biology of Stanford University and President of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.