A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies

reader comments: Lysenkoism

11 Feb 2005
I suggest that one of the reasons for the official support for Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union was that the Bolsheviks hoped that people could be changed in the same way. A new kind of human, Soviet Man, would arise as the efforts of each generation to be good Communists would cumulatively alter their natures. Eventually they would actually love Marxism, parades, statues, queues, propaganda, boiled turnips etc.

Frank Upton

reply: Maybe the Soviets were the ones who really invented meme theory?

27 Nov 1996
About Lysenkoism: First: no one in Russia knows Michur, his last name was Michurin. He was a good plant-breeder but not a good evolutionist. Trofim Denisovich Lysenko as a scientist was worse than you can imagine. One of his ideas: if you feed a calf from birth with bran, it will become a pig. I understand that it's nonsense but it's our history (I'm Russian).

Another side of Lysenko's activity was his struggle against geneticists in the USSR. Before WWII we had a good genetics school but Lysenko was a Stalin favorite and most of them ( geneticists) were killed or died in prisons. And he so hated genetics that in Russian dictionaries after the War articles about the "gene" said that a "gene is mythical part of living structure which in reactionist theories as Mendelism-Veysmanism-Morganism determines heredity. Soviet scientists under rule of Lysenko proved scientifically that genes don't exist in the nature."

Sincerely yours,
Vladislav Zarayskiy


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