EDUCATION AMD HUMAN RIGHTS
- Editor’s remarks. Arguing for the importance of the following Appeal, Valery Kuvakin points out that the Russian Humanist Society has a special reason to join the signatories. On May 26, 2003 the RHS President asked the Minister of Education to receive a group of RHS’s activists, to discuss matters concerning humanization of education. No response has yet been received...
- Clericalization of Public Education is a Threat to the Russian Federation / Appeal to the Russian Education Minister Vladimir Filippov. Members of the “Common Action” Initiative Group are concerned about the attempts of the RF Ministry of Education to use religious studies classes as conduit for instilling Orthodox Christianity clericalism and xenophobic attitudes in secondary schools. The Appeal was signed by well-known Russian human rights activists such as Sergei Kovalyov, Gleb Yakunin and Lyudmila Alexeeva, leaders of some socio-political organizations, the RHS President Valery Kuvakin, academicians Carry Abelev, Evgeny Alexandrov, Vitaly Ginzburg and others.
DISCUSSING THE NEW TEXTBOOK ON HUMANISM
- Andrei Agapov (Humanism - an Optional Discipline?) comments on the “Basics of Modem Humanism” textbook by Igor Borzenko, Valery Kuvakin and Anna Kudishina. He finds it highly problematic to include this discipline in the already tight university curriculum. On the other hand, making it optional would undermine the authors’ intention.
SCIENCE AND FALSE SCIENCE
- “False Science, a Menace to Science and Society” – report presented at the May 27 RAS Presidium session by Academician Eduard Kruglyakov, who chairs a special Commission of the RAS Presidium with a mandate to oppose false science and falsified research. Kruglyakov recommends specific steps to resist charlatanism, while strengthening the Commission and establishing its branches in every academic institution of the country. The proposals were unanimously accepted, CS Editorial Board reports.
- Academician Vitaly Gindburg, Fighting False Science is Government’s Responsibility / presentation at the May 27 RAS Presidium session. “...Fighting false science is a key factor in the development of science itself”; “various government agencies should be contributing to the development of science, as well as restricting mock-science...”
- Speaking recently in an Open University radio program, Imre Lacatos (1922-1976), one of the leaders of the historic school in Methodology and Philosophy of Science, offered a criterion to distinguish Science from Pseudoscience. The criterion is “positive or negative heuristics” of research programs – the ability of a given theory to predict unexpected facts, as opposed to just “following behind the facts”. On practical implication is the importance of institutionalizing academic criticism.
ALCHEMISTS of 21st century: INVESTIGATION BY “DUMA” NEWSPAPER
- Veliana Christova, The Trenchev “Heat” (Bluff Coefficient 130 %). A wave of enthusiasm ran through Bulgaria’s central mass media recently concerning the so-called “Torsion Generator” produced by the Demetra-Gea company. The generator is an attempt to confirm the “new torsion fields theory” developed by two Russians, A. Akimov and G. Shipov... Christova, a well-known Bulgarian journalist, describes the Russian mock-scientists’ raid on her country.
Comments by Prominent Russian Scholars
- Yevgeny Alexandrov, The Vortex Generator. Thanks to the wisdom of Russian officials, or just for the lack of money, Russia is not funding delirious projects by Akimov and Shipov. The mock-science “Mafia” is seeking support elsewhere. Their attack on Bulgaria’s budget is just one in many attempts to secure funds.
- Eduard Kruglyakov, A Few Comments on the Fraud Scheme Under Way in Bulgaria. “Unfortunately, perpetuum mobile is nonexistent, and not expected soon... But if the scheme is supported and even funded at the highest political level, the reason is probably corruption”.
THE BITTER SAVOR OF EROSION
- In his essay The Post-Soviet Turkmenistan: Myth and Reality (Ways of Overcoming the Crisis), Gudrat Seifi unmasks official lie about a successful reign of Turkmenbashi (“Head of the Turkmens”) S. Niyazov. “In fact, the majority of the country’s population lives on the meager monthly salary of $5 to $25 per month. The economy depends heavily on exports raw materials. Proceeds from exports are appropriated by corrupt bureaucrats...”
- In his article Humanism and Culture, Igor Borzenko makes the following conclusion: “Preconditions for harmonizing the vectors of culturalization and humanization can be reduced to free development of integral personalities, ethical, law-abiding and civilized societies (and, ultimately, a global society), and those cosmo-onthological perceptions that establish the key role of humankind in cosmic evolution processes. The latter factor contributes to the transformation of biosphere into noosphere...”
- Valery Khaziev, Humanist Pedagogy: Music Listening Classes in Elementary School. A special curriculum for music listening classes, based on rehabilitation methods, is being designed in Secondary School N 10, in the city of Ufa. Those are neither conventional “classes” nor a game... Teacher’s performance is not judged by the number of names, dates, melodies, etc. learned by the children, but rather by the state of their mind.
IN THE REGIONS
- Is there a God in Heaven or Not?.. Chairman of the Komi regional RHS branch Gennady Cherkasov reviews presentations made at the round table meeting, “The Idea of God: its Ontological, Epistemological, Axiological, Ideological and Cultural Sense”, held on December 25, 2002 jointly with Komi regional RHS branch and the Russian Philosophic Society.
- Alexander Kruglov writes in his essay Ethics and Egocentrism / The Ethics of Humanity as a Way to Overcome Egocentrism: “The central question of ethics – What does the other person, and his well-being, have to do with me? – could only arise within an egocentric, solipsistic attitude. Today it sounds absurd even at the popular level, but it is still a valid problem for philosophic inquiry. By overcoming primitive solipsism, “plain” humanness removes this question altogether”.
- Arkady Davidovich: Coming to One’s Senses is a Matter of Common Sense / a selection of the author’s recent aphorisms.