- Valery Kuvakin. Ignorance Versus Ethics. “In a strict sense, rational Ethics is a natural science, too, because it deals with the natural human capacity to distinguish good from evil, truth from lie, fairness from unfairness…” “Schools today badly need Ethics as a scientifically focused ‘educational and character-building discipline’.”
Is “Clean Water” Still Dirty?
- Editorial. “The ‘hero’ of today is the most ambitious and aggressive representative of this grey host [of pseudoscientists] – Viktor Petrik, the decrowned ‘Russian Leonardo da Vinci’ … The Petrik case, with the initial project value of some 15 trillion rubles (about $500 bn.) grew to become a matter of national importance. The State Duma became involved, and some even called for the abolishment of the Russian Academy of Science as a ‘barrier’ to innovation. …” The RAS commission reviewed Petrik’s papers and found them to be “outside the sphere of science”… The following items will help the reader understand the general character of the fake scientist’s advocates, as well as his opponents’ arguments.
- Russian Inventor Finds a Unique Water Purification Technique (found on www.izvestia.ru). A sample of PR campaign by the Petrik “team”.
- Valery Lebedev. Will RAS Tolerate It? An open letter to RAS members Yevgeny Alexandrov and Eduard Kruglyakov. “Mr. Petrik is well aware of the Commission’s [i.e. Russian Academy of Science expert commission appointed to review Petrik’s claims] weakness. Why doesn’t the Commission expose his stealing, documents forgery, his lies and threats? Why does it lionize him, trying to find science in the charlatan’s work?..”
- Russian Academy of Science: Statement of the Viktor Petrik Commission (April 21, 2010). “The activities of Mr. Viktor Petrik lie not within the sphere of science but in the sphere of business and invention. … The proposal and patent for heavy water purification… can not be put to use because they are based on a wrong understanding of the nuclear properties of hydrogen, deuterium, tritium…”, etc..
- Alexander Krainev. On the Academy’s Review of Petrik’s Claims. “The RAS commission’s findings regarding the ‘discoveries’ of the failed Russian ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ gives me satisfaction, but also embarrassment as far as the Academy is concerned. Such a good effort – and so badly spent. And that is regrettable, because, apart from negligence and deception, we are facing possible industrial risks resulting from Petrik’s exorbitant projects…”
- How Good Are the Existing Safeguards Against Pseudoscience? On April 21, 2010, the RAS expert commission published its report which described Viktor Petrik’s work as being “outside the sphere of science”. How is opposition to ‘pseudoscience’ organized in this country? Are those efforts effective? Are they supported at the Government level? These and some other questions posted by Lenta.ru visitors were answered by Valery Kuvakin, Chairman of the Russian Humanist Society, Member Secretary of the International Academy of Humanism. Valery Kuvakin is also a member of the RAS Commission Against Pseudoscience and Falsification of Research.
SCIENCE AND IGNORANCE
- Lev Klein. Amateurism in Archeology. “We must admit that even today amateurs are bringing freshness of perception, enthusiasm and (quite often) talent to the world of science. But this will do any good only if the amateur is aware of the existence of science and knows that, before treading on its territory, he must go through the school – i.e. learn the methods of science and its basic concepts, as well as the main body of facts. Science cannot be mastered overnight.”
- Alexander Loktev. Fruits of Education, or Seminal Discovery. A review of the “Foundation of the Universe” as a ‘new scientific concept’ proposed by a certain Boris Astafiev, “Grand Doctor of Philosophy” and supported by spaceman Vladimir Aksyonov, Twice Hero of the Soviet Union and member of various Russian and international Academies…
ROAMING THE WEB
- Yevgenia Ryabtseva (“Everlasting Youth” Web portal). Human Evolution: Intellect, Liberalism, Atheism, and Conjugal Fidelity. Statistically valid correlation has been found.
WHAT IS HUMANISM?
- Valery Kuvakin. Individual and Enlightenment: from Postmodernism to Neomodernism (Introduction to the book). “…Development of the problem of New Enlightenment is extremely important, primarily because of the disastrous state of culture and public conscience in Russia, declining education and social manners, the crisis of science and the advancement of the most sophisticated forms of obscurantism… These issues are hence linked together: individual – society – the concept of New Enlightenment. These issues… are treated within the context of a single worldview paradigm – namely, in light of modern civil/secular Humanism.”
- Givi Givishvili. Humanism and Modern Natural Philosophy. “…The essence of a human being and the purpose of human existence can be perceived in the inextricable relation between: à) self-consciousness… á) discovery of one’s proper place in the society… â) understanding of one’s function in Nature… The material and the ideal do not exist separately and do not generate each other, being the opposite sides of one coin… Life as a concept is absolute, and death is relative…”
FAITH AND REASON
- Fyodor Zann-kai-si. What is Faith, or the Importance of Dialogue. “The interest of the philosophical community towards mass conscience and the processes there that were caused by the clericalization of social life, could not but encompass the issue of faith and its relation with other phenomena of psyche. The goal was to discover the nature of faith in general, not being confined to religious faith only…”
- Vyacheslav Zenin. Using the Church Model to change the Mean Course. Report from a Concert Hall (Satirical fantasy).
- Viktoria Pokrovskaya. “Crystal-clear Truths”. “An error is a cunning thing: however you try to hide it in most secret places, bypass it or ignore, it will still be there and continue to distort the reality until it is found and corrected…”
- Mikhail Abramovich Beilin (born 1921), USSR Master of Sport, International Arbiter, Honorary Coach of the Russian Federation, Coach of the USSR national chess team and a frequent writer to Zdravy Smysl, has passed away.
- Mikhail Beilin. Autographs. This short story was among the last Zdravy Smysl received from Mikhail. It is kind of autobiography, full of humor and kind feelings – an autobiography that can be read from inscriptions on books he received from chess players and writers who were his friends.
THE ABC OF CHARLATANISM
The Glamour of E-mail Fraud
- Editor’s Note. “The following letter, which promises miraculous “fulfillment of your desires”, I recently found in my e-mail box. You’re bound to receive them in numbers, especially if your spam protection is not very good. … I thought I might share with my readers this ‘recipe for happiness’ as a kind of a children fairy tale, although it was intended for adults.”
- The Wish Candles. My Personal Experience. “If you really want to make your dreams come true, then this is for you! (A very special offer in times of crisis).”
- Mikhail Delyagin: “Don’t Fool Yourselves: We’ll Not Leave”. “…The nearly half century of ‘reform’ took its toll. The repetitive anguish of hopes frustrated, the endarkenment of both old and young through national television, alcohol and education reform, the destruction of science and technology, the round-the-clock ‘young gangster instruction’ under the cover of TV serials, the weakening of critical thinking… Is this really our Russia?..”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
- Ivan Balayev, Honored Cultural worker of the Russian Federation. It’s Time to Promote Honor, Goodness and Fairness! “Indeed, time has come for Humanists of today to take their cause more seriously and ïðîòèâîïîñòàâèòü principles of Humanism – permissiveness and lawlessness that pervades Mother Russia… The Russian Humanist Society (RHS) has made considerable progress in reviving and promoting the ideas and standards of Humanism…”
- Mikhail Konashev. Humanism and Reality. What is it that RHO Humanists can actually offer [to an average Russian person today]? The prospect to appreciate the benefits of Humanism, and to try and convert others. But what is the chance that such a person would really convert anybody – or, in religious terms, “proselytize”?’ Perhaps the chance is no better than for competitors from various religious confessions and other movements – spiritual or otherwise…”
- Agenda of the interuniversity conference, “Philosophy of Education and Modern Enlightenment” (Moscow, June 18–21, 2010).
- Kuvakin, Valery Alexandrovich. Individual and Enlightenment: from Postmodernism to Neomodernism. Ì.: RHS, 2010
- Givishvili,Givi Vasilyevich. The Philosophy of Humanism. M.: Prosveshcheniye, 2009
- Kuvakin, Valery Alexandrovich. Becoming Oneself. M.: Smysl, 2010
- Deichman, Yelena Isaakovna. One Hundred Letters from Frontline. 1942–1944. M.: RHS, 2010