|Saint Petersburg Branch of the Russian Humanist Society|
|The pressue from pseudoscience is not diminishing|
|| home | ZS magazine | library | links ||
From the foreword to Bulletin N? 5 2009 of the RAN [Russian Academy of Science]'s Commission to Combat Pseudoscience, "In Defense of Science"
We are increasingly sinking into the abyss of medieval savagery. The electronic mass media make a tangible contribution to this matter. The biggest television channels (First and Rossiya) have joined the campaign of turning the people into fools. You can be present at conversations with astrologers, psychics, and dubious healers and find out many useful things about vampires, demons, space aliens continuing to abduct humans, poltergeists, etc. They will tell you about the "positive energy" of all sorts of amulets and the "negative energy" of pathogenic zones…
From time to time these same channels produce extravagant television films filled with lies. Almost three years have passed from the moment "Velikaya Tayna Vody [The Great Secret of Water]" appeared on the screen, making a tangible contribution to the stimulation of the pseudoscience of the new "research" of water bordering on the miraculous. Here are several illustrations.
A woman named N. N. Antonenko, a "solitary handicraft worker", prepares a universal liquid, "Antonenko's solution", "acting selectively on pathogenic cells, including cancerous ones, disrupts them, and expels [them] from the organism without touching healthy [ones], and restores the immune system, the affected tissues, and organs, cleansing the entire organ in the process". The composition of the solution is extraordinarily simple: ordinary water from a tap treated personally by the Orthodox prayers by Nadezhda Nikolayevna.
A completely different approach is used by the firm which produces the "BIOLA structured water". The firm reports that "torsion water preparation technology has been introduced in a real industrial enterprise for the first time". The paradox is that torsion technologies are impossible inasmuch as torsion fields do not exist. Structured water also does not exist. It is interesting, what water does the firm sell?
The "research" of water has been churned out in the Industrial and Marine Medicine NII [Scientific Research Institute] (St. Petersburg) which is part of the Federal Biomedical Agency of the RF Ministry of Social Development. A considerable part of it was summarized in the book, "Voda Privychnaya i Paradoksal'naya [Ordinary and Paradoxical Water]" (the authors are V. Dovgush, N. Lekhtlaan-Tynisson, and L. Dovgush). The director of the Institute and one of the authors of the book, V. Dovgush, is convinced that the spread of such diseases such as AIDS, bird flu, and SARS are explained by changes in the structure of water. The head of the laboratory of this Institute, A. Sulin, went still further. He is able to define the information characteristic of water from the character of the formation of frost. If one takes two Petri dishes and on the cover of one writes the word "Lyubov' [Love]" and "Zlo [Evil]" on the other the samples of the water in the cups behave differently. Under the cover of "Evil" the structure of the water is disrupted because of the "negative information effect, but under the second cover the "positive influence" of "Love" structures the water".
Electrophysical engineer Angelina Malakhovskaya should by rights take first place among such "researchers" of water. She has researched water samples before and after consecration. "It turns out that if you read the 'Our Father' prayer over the vessel and make the sign of the cross over the water then the amount of harmful bacteria falls by more than 99%". Henceforth, industrial methods of decontaminating piped water are no longer needed after the "discoveries" of Ms. Malakhovskaya. What a savings on a national scale! Holy water is not simply cleansed, it changes its structure and becomes not only safe but healthy. Special instruments provide objective information of this phenomenon. What kind of instruments? Spectrographs show that consecrated water has several times the optical density. Generally speaking, optical density is measured not by spectrographs but by densimeters. Well, alright. The liquid sort of distinguishes the meaning of the prayers said over it and stores it…The water tells the degree of faith of the person. When consecrated by a priest the optical density increases two and a half-fold, by a believing layman, one and a half times, but if the prayers are read by a baptized unbeliever who is not wearing a cross the optical density changes completely insignificantly". We will remain silent about the fact Madam Malakhovskaya has also researched the effective decontaminating effect of the sound of a bell in view of the obvious overkill.
Candidate of physicomathematical sciences (sometimes presenting herself as a candidate of medical sciences) Nadezhda Paulevna Lekhtlaan-Tynisson heads the practical science institute of advanced medicine which operates from the biosystems research laboratory of the same Institute as Mr. V. Dovgush. The honor of the discovery of a "dissipation wave" emitted by water after special treatment belongs to her. The intensity of this wave is so small that not one physical instrument detects it. Nevertheless, Ms. Lekhtlaan treats numerous diseases with this wave. The method has acquired the name "reverse wave method". We report especially for the dozing prosecutor's office that in the archives of the Higher Certification Commission which controls the certification of scientists there is no information about the defense of either a medical or physicomathematical dissertation by this woman. Nadezhda Paulevna simply does not have a medical education. According to the formal legal norms the medical activity of this citizen is criminally punishable, not to mention that her "reverse wave method" is a complete fraud.
The main sphere of activity of the institute of Mr. V. Dovgush is the medical aspects of radiation safety on nuclear submarines and uranium mines. According to the research of the same Ms. Malakhovskaya "an appeal to God can neutralize even radiation". You look at this craziness and the impression arises that you're in the land of Papua New Guinea in the time of Mikhlukho-Maklay [a 19th century Russian explorer].
One need not think that craziness has touched only the institute of V. Dovgush. Candidate of technical sciences A. Stekhin from the NII of Human Ecology and Environmental Hygiene together with colleagues has also engaged in water research. The following "pearls" belong to A. Stekhin, "It [the Earth - Ed.] is a real reservoir of electrons and transfers the majority of them to water. On ordinary days the amount of energy in water changes depending on the time of day. Water is the most active from 7 in the evening to 9 in the morning". And more: "electrons 'sit' in the lithosphere and water and saturate us with healthy forces".
Professor of the Moscow State University Biology Department and doctor of biological sciences V. Voyeykov, one of the participants of the diatribe film about water, pompously said in commenting on this topic, "There is no doubt that all sorts of magnetic and neutron (?) storms influence water. In particular, scientists have proven that solar radiation strongly changes the properties of water". Somehow I've not yet heard of neutron storms. Thank you, Mr. Voyeykov, you've enlightening [us]. As regards the influence of solar radiation on the properties of water you're quite right. A total eclipse occurred in Novosibirsk in 2008. Your film colleague Konstantin Korotkov, "a scientist with a worldwide reputation", came to the city specially. But then he went to Lake Baykal to meet with a third film person, a Japanese man named Emoto Masaru. There Korotkov was to measure the influence of blessings on water. He was up to it. He managed to measure the nonexistent aura of a person. So, Mr. Voyeykov, you know perfectly well that Eh. Masaru has nothing to do with science and the truth is that he is a first-class swindler. One would think that you knew perfectly well about Korotkov. Why do you refer to Korotkov as a scientist? By the way, do you know a single scientist (not counting K. Korotkov) who would confirm that an eclipse influences the properties of water? Hardly. Perhaps only from the Institute of V. Dovgush.
On 12 February, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the Rossiya channel showed a documentary film called "Charles Darwin On Trial". One could understand how the authors of the film were inclined if Masha Shrayber spoke as one of the "experts" in the film.
One cannot fail to mention one more recent film about Darwin (the Kul'tura channel), the goal of which was to belittle at any price the role of Darwin and his theory and to draw in creationism. Not a word about what strong progress evolutionism has made in the 150 years from moment Darwin's work was published. Strained interpretations, mistakes, and distortion denigrating Darwin were presented in abundance. It reached the point that creation was called a theory and Darwin's theory a hypothesis! It needs to be said that the hierarchs of the Vatican behave themselves quite properly. Many years ago Pope John Paul II agreed that evolution was "more than a hypothesis". The Vatican recognized the theory of evolution on the eve of the bicentenary of Darwin. What is happening in Russia?
Let's call a spade a spade: the authors of the film did everything so that a viewer who understands nothing of the fight that has developed all over the world against attempts to introduce creationism in secular schools is lead to the idea that both points of view ought to be represented in our schools on an equal basis.
The scientific community of the country has opposed the showing of the "feature" diatribe film about L. Landau. The main thing for television is pornography and ratings.
Tales about the Serbian scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla were spun in several recent films. Science knows what this person did. He has entered history and his name was given to the unit of magnetic gravitation. But the invention of an automobile which does not require fuel, the transmission of energy to great distances without loss, and the invention of a weapon of enormous destructive power have been ascribed to him. They lead us to understand that the Tunguska meteorite was the consequence of a Tesla experiment with the ionosphere from which he extracted enormous surplus energy. Arguments that such experiments, if they were in fact possible, would have long been reproduced by other researchers encounter flat rejection from specific "scientists" who are unknown in the world of science but who appear on television with enviably regularity. They, like the creators of such films, have a firm counterargument: our scientists conducted experiments like Tesla's long ago only they are strictly secret. And about the Americans, they say that it is known exactly that they have built powerful radar stations in Alaska. Not otherwise, how they reproduced the experiments of Tesla about the creation of a superpowerful weapon.
B. Rodionov, a professor from one of the respected Moscow higher educational institutions, wrote a book, "Along Kulik's Path to the Phenomenon of Tesla". [Translator's note: Kulik was the first to research the Tunguska meteorite]. It contains a version that Tesla created a global weapon of exceptional power. "It is not excluded that such a demonstration [the Tunguska meteorite - Ed.] was prepared and conducted by Tesla at the order of Morgan (a magnate who financed several of Tesla's projects - Ed.) in a practically unpopulated region of Siberia. Evidently it was after a secret warning from Russian authorities (through Premier Stolypin)".
Rodionov's book is literally flooded with all kinds of assumptions: for instance, it is considered like, what is not excluded is evidently, etc. In spite of the multitude of quite dubious facts and even obvious errors by the author of the book he comes to the following conclusions from nowhere, "Could Tesla with the aid of his grandiose 'Wardenclyffe' installation have drawn energy from the Sun in an instant? Today we know that he could have if he had worked within the framework of the common Earth-Sun quantum ensemble". It is hardly worth trying to comprehend what is the "common Earth-Sun quantum ensemble". Such a concept is not encountered in a single refereed physics journal. Just like the "fluxes - cylindrical atoms", thought up by the author of the book.
B. Rodionov regards the experiments of Avramenko, an outstanding inventor, the Russian Tesla, who continued the fantastic projects of the Serb, quite warmly. The name Avramenko is also encountered in the above films in connection with PRO [missile defense] projects in the USSR and then in Russia. R. F. Avramenko was actually in charge of PRO projects for a number of years. Among them were encountered completely crazy attempts to use the energy stored in the ionosphere to destroy enemy missiles. In order not to waste time on senseless discussions, we cite an except from a letter of Chernomyrdin, the Chairman of the RF government, to President Yeltsin. "Expert analysis of projects in super-high frequency and plasma technologies to protect defense systems and convert energy from the environment conducted by leading specialists of industry, the Ministry of Defense, and RAN has established the inadvisability of using them in practice. While these were being conducted scientists noted the scientific dishonesty of the project leader, R. F. Avramenko. Taking this into consideration and also in view of the lack of results which convincingly demonstrate the need to continue the projects in the "Planeta" program, the State Defense Industry Commission of Russia has decided to terminate these projects".
On 31 January 2009 the Rossiya channel showed nothing less than a thrilling film called "Lightning Killer. The Pursuit of Ball [Lightning]". Of course, much is still unclear about ball lightning: it does not want to fly into the laboratories of scientists which are equipped with the proper instruments. But this does not mean that the absurdities ought to be invented on this topic which one has occasion to hear from quite specific "scientists" roaming from film to film. Of course, the authors of the film are trying to portray objectivity. They even mention I. Stakhanov, who offered the most likely picture of the formation of ball lightning. However, this was only the appearance of objectivity. The authors of such films don't give a damn about the real state of the problem. They succeed in planting all sorts of nonsense in the brains of TV viewers, for example, the stunning idea that our Earth is a living, thinking organism and that ball lightning is somehow involved in the thinking process. At the same time "a completely reliable fact" is reported: a person died because of ball lightning, but his internal organs were completely burned up and his skin and clothing remained untouched. We will spare the reader and will not recount the collection of absurdities crashing down on the viewers in these films.
Newspapers and magazines try as much as possible to make their own contribution to the cause of turning the population into fools. On 14 August 2008 a comment of journalist Nadezhda Popova was published in "Argumenty Nedeli [Arguments of the Week]", "A spontaneous combustion of an individual occurred in St. Petersburg". The case described* does not make our mass media look good but, unfortunately it is quite typical.
On 27 January 2009 the Interfax Agency distinguished itself. It held a press conference on the subject, "The inconstancy of the speed of light has been proven by the results of a just-completed experiment, the death of the theory of relativity, and the hopelessness of the startup of the Large Hadron Collider". Besides five associates of the main star of this show was Dzhabrail Baziyev; only journalists took part in the press conference. Not one professional physicist was in the room who could have objected on the substance to Mr. Baziyev and company. A member of the Commission to Combat Pseudoscience, Doctor of Physicomathematical Sciences R. F. Polishchuk who found out about the show being prepared, was refused accreditation and it is clear why. Long before the events described, (on 26 August 2001) RIA Novosti organized a press conference of the group of V. Sobolev from Volgograd. This group announced seven grandiose discoveries, among which was even a perpetual source of energy. Of course, they did not invite physicists but several members of the Commission to Combat Pseudoscience (Academician V. Rubakov, Professor S. P. Kapitsa, and Doctor of Physicomathematical Sciences R. F. Polishchuk) were nevertheless able to get into the press conference at the last moment. The authors of the discoveries seemed quite pale in the presence of professional physicists of the highest level. The entire game was absolutely spoiled by the physicists and the authors of the "discoveries" did not obtain the expected effect.
In the case of D. Baziyev the press reacted to "the collapse of the theory of relativity" prepared by a latter-day luminary of science. Even such a respected newspaper as Izvestiya responded with a comment citing D. Baziyev's statement that "the theory of relativity of Einstein has been dealt a mortal blow".
One would think that even journalists who are far from science but who want to report about events without bias could have understood that there is much in Baziyev's history that is dubious. In 1994 D. Kh. Baziyev published a book "The Principles of a Unified Theory of Physics" [Moscow, Pedagogika Publishing House]. It "presents the 100 latest discoveries and more than 100 new fundamental constants which also allowed the author to create a true theory of physics in which there are no conflicts with material accumulated experimentally over the last 400 years". Might one, for example, be curious as to whether these "latest discoveries" and "fundamental constants" were submitted to the judgment of the scientific community? The answer would be in the negative. Baziyev has no publications on physics in scientific journals. Nevertheless, it was categorically reported in a press release, "the discovery of the electrino has become the most outstanding event in the world history of physics inasmuch as it has turned out that this particle is the carrier of the magnetic field and the carrier of electric current, and acts as a photon in all forms of radiation", etc. One of the assertions of "a group of scientists" is that the discovery of the electrino allows energy to be obtained for the needs of mankind from…the Earth's magnetic field. Of course, money is needed for research to get this storehouse. The result can already be predicted today: the money will be "acquired" but will not manage to attract energy.
Baziyev managed to "weigh" the electrino (its mass turned out to be one-hundredth of the mass of an electron, the only elementary particle discovered by old physics which ((the particle)) D. Baziyev does not reject). He got specialists from the International Academy of Informatics (MAI) and the N. S. Kurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the RAN involved in the work in order to "weigh" the electrino. Well, as regards the "specialists" from the MAI, no one in the scientific community takes their results seriously. It is sufficient to recall such "discoveries" of the existence of negative temperatures on the absolute Kelvin scale or the nonsensical results about the existence of the speed of light in a vacuum within the range of 400,000 km/sec to one meter/second of Mr. I. Yuzvishin, the first President of the MAI! As regards the N. S. Kurnakov Institute, its director, Corresponding Member of the RAN V. M. Novotortsev, has never heard of Baziyev and categorically denies the Institute's participation in experiments to determine the mass of the electrino.
An experiment to measure the speed of light in certain areas of the spectrum on the basis of which Baziyev declared the "collapse of the theory of relativity" were, according to him, conducted at the Moscow State University's Institute of Mechanics. Yu. M. Okunev, the director of the Institute, also denies conducting such experiments at his Institute. Well, does a journalist need to have special knowledge to be convinced that they are simply deceiving him? No, of course, they need only the desire to investigate.
One more "luminary of science", V. S. Petrosyan, the trailblazer of "gravitonics, unified physics", the "theoretical basis of a new science", the President of the "Academy of New Theoretical Science (ANTN), the "Academy of Gravitonics", pushed his way into the government with proposals to begin the study of a new scientific picture of the world created in our country: gravitonics, unified physics (the basis of sub-proton, sub-electron, and sub-photon physics, a unified theory of the nucleus, etc.).
The reader has obviously guessed that here we are ten years ahead of the entire world. According to Petrosyan, "the unified fundamental, genuinely elementary particle of which all the remaining elementary particles" are composed are gravitons. In turn, the electron (positron) "consists of a gigantic number of very small lower-level sub-particles", gravitons. On the basis of the new "unified physics" Mr. Petrosyan promises the government a manna, from sub-proton energy with the release of "gigantic energy unmatched by the energy of the atomic nucleus" to the control of the processes of gravitation with the creation and implementation of advanced transportation on the basis of graviplanes. One thing stands in the way: the author of the "unified physics" has no publications in refereed physics journals and the scientific community knows nothing about either him or his physics. It is true that he published a "Unified Course in Physics" in three volumes (Moscow, Gravitonika Publishing House, 2002-2005) with the participation of brilliant Russian scientists known to the world. The authors collective of the three-volume work appears as follows: "V. S. Petrosyan, with the participation of RAN academicians A. F. Andreyev, S. T. Belyayev, Doctor of Physicomathematical Sciences B. M. Bololovsky, and Academicians of the RAN V. L. Ginzburg and Yu. A. Osip'yan). The outstanding American physicist Professor Sheldon L. Glashow is added in volume three. V. S. expresses gratitude to all the aforementioned scientists "for participating in the development of the unified theory". In addition, he says that "the ANTN, the 'Academy of Gravitonics', will work in close cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences". And further, "all my coauthors are from the Russian Academy of Sciences and our results are based on the high achievements of the RAN and world science and I view the Academy of New Theoretical Science, the 'Academy of Gravitonics', as an associate member of the Russian Academy of Sciences".
Firstly, Mr. Petrosyan, it is necessary for the RAN to view your Academy as its associate member, but it is forced to refuse such an honor. A survey of the scientists whom V. Petrosyan involved with the development and creation of "unified physics" and the creation of the three-volume work without permission beforehand, shows that none of them knew anything about either Petrosyan or his physics. We could not ask these same questions of Yu. A. Osip'yan, who died recently, but managed to find out that there never existed "Osip'yan Commission which engaged in 'the concept of a training program of a unified course in physics" in which the aforementioned scientists are included. This is all a lie.
The two "only reliable" teachings of Messrs Baziyev and Petrosyan are radically different from one another. Which of the two are the most reliable? It is senseless to research this: each of these men have told so many lies.
No one knows how many other such "scientists" are parasitizing Russia in the name of science. Many firms feed on vortex thermogenerators which supposedly produce more energy than they use from the [electrical] network (with a certain brazenness they promise 500% efficiency!). Alas, only in pseudoscience is the law of conservation of energy not in effect … There are "scientists" who are developing a new vein at the boundary of physics and biology. They (the first in the world!) are learning to measure the specific flow of a person's entropy. Of course, they have received a patent (we don't give out patents just for this!). Entropy, its level in a person's organism, and the flow are estimated by the effect on a person of prayer, self-hypnosis, meditation, etc. In a word, a fantasy of pseudoscience which somewhat exceeds the idea of the story of the naked emperor.
* For more details about it and its treatment by the journalist see http://humanism.su/ru/articles.phtml?num=000559.
Translsted by Gary Goldberg
|| home | ZS magazine | library | links ||