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Russia under the Sign of Jackass

I'll venture to outspeak a truism: there is nowhere such a country except our Russia, where people zig and zag from one extremity to another. Now we prosecute (and even fusillade) believers and churchmen, and now, contrariwise, we march in neat ranks into churches, mosques and synagogues. One may expect with a good reason that they will soon burn to death atheists and to prosecute in dishonest lawsuits those who teach Darwinism.

It has been stated long ago that in troublesome historical periods people begin to act like fools, plunging in a stinking mire of primeval superstitions. especially if people have been deceived for a long period of time by some ideological fiddle-faddle – then they precipitate themselves hand over head into another fiddle-faddle, caring not a bit about thinking a little.

One hardly would contest: Marxism-Leninism has failed. Its sociological, economical and political doctrine turned out an Utopia. The Global Revolution has not combusted, and none of approximately two dozens of countries in which the experiment was held has achieved economic prosperity and has built a society of overall justice.

But an amazing conclusion has been drawn from the fact by an enormous oceans – a frightening legions! – of people. As the Marxism-Leninism is wrong, they discourse, therefore everything it has acknowledged – including Ohm's law, is wrong too. Away with physics, astronomy, medical science and chemistry – three cheers for extrasensors, ghosts, fortune-telling, genethliacs, astromancy and ceromancy, prophetic dreams, apotropaic charms and talismans against maledictions!

And the mass media diligently foment the whole Esbat. The new masterminds – astrologers, sorcerers and suchlike swindlers – are given the green light, whereas the voice of commonsense is almost inaudible. And to crown it all – some pretty misprints, as if especially intended for misleading a middlebrow. In a report about a raid of ruffians at the Pulkovo observatory one of newspapers has informed its readers about theft of an astrological (!) clock. Pshaw, what a trifle... Never mind, a typist has stricken a wrong key and printed "decease" instead of "disease" – what a difference, after all... Why, for a man in the street words "astronomy" and "astrology" sound almost equally. Just about like "ship" and "shit". Or like "park" and "shark".

Apparently, people must have been long ago deprived of the habit of independent thinking, if huge masses (masses!) of people take charlatanism for science and take carnival buffoons with caps and bells – like former marrieds T. and P. Globa, M. Levin, F. Velichko or S. Shestopalov – for scientists! And who knows, how many generations of scientists will have to work like beavers, to enlighten the masses, that everybody understands the simplest essence of the scientific method: it is skill to put correct questions to the nature and attentively to listen to its answers instead of dictating to it different dubious "rules" that have been extracted out of thin air.

But no — well, it's just "Marxism-Leninism". And now – a crop of clownish "academies" has already bred like rabbits in our country, where people practise alectryomancy, ceromancy, astromancy, onomancy and suchlike mancies and fortune-telling. And respectively we have more self-proclaimed "academicians" than toadstools in a forest. Unwillingly I recollect a refrain of a non-decent song of my student youth:

There's lot of queer ducks in the oven,
And every queer duck is Beethoven...

Lummy, where are the brain-convolutions of millions of people, who have been educated in secondary school? Have they never heard that astrology was born while the civilization was still young, when the mankind had not had the least notion of what the stars and planets are, considering them to be deities, and placing the Earth in the center of the universe? Surely, the historical merit of astrology is indisputable — from its baby linen by cut-and-try method the true science — astronomy has grown. But one cannot eternally besmear one's linen! Further: are not real enthusiasts of astrology shocked by archaic "four elements" — earth, fire, water and air? Or, probably, for the Mendeleyev's table, as "the relict of Marxism-Leninism" they have also prepared the place on the scrap-heap, anywhere nearby class struggle and socialist competition?

I have put these questions (and others similar) to S. Shestopalov when attending his lectures. He likes to mention incidentally his all-round education (allegedly he has graduated from two faculties of Leningrad State university), but he doesn't consider me to be a scientist (well, probably, upon his opinion, I even don't know all the letters). In spite of so suppressive predominance, he couldn't intelligibly and distinctly answer a single of my questions, and there were dozens of them. Generally speaking, those questions may be asked by hundreds. And in order to do so one ought not indispensably be "a scientist", that is a professor or a privatdocent. No, it is quite sufficient to be an average man with average intellect and average (secondary school) education. Where then the numerous enthusiasts of astrology have lost both their intellect and their education?

Let us cogitate over the following item.

Astrologers are very fond of worming themselves to the destiny of genetics which has been called in our country (along with cybernetics) pseudoscience. In this connection it is instructive and educative to recollect, that this (really genuine) science has been originated in Gregor Mendel's experiments on different sorts of peas. Afterwards a new, much more convenient object for investigations has been found, namely, the fly drosophila. The laws of heredity that have been discovered as a result of those (and others) investigations are universal – they are equally applicable to man, and to strawberry, and to octopus, and to birch. Here is an interesting question: whether anybody of astrologers has tried to carry similar experiments on animals and plants? Say, what if they have caught a lot of cockroaches, fishes and frogs, waited for appearance of their progenies, cast the newborn kids' horoscopes and watched how these horoscopes would come true? To tell you the truth, serious problems arise here. For what moment the cosmogram (geniture) ought to be calculated when casting the horoscope of a fish? For the moment of spawning? fertilization of spawn by soft roe? eclosion of a fry from a spawn? And for a frog – maybe, when a tadpole looses its tail? The problem is still more complicated for the case of insects – their metamorphosis consists of three stages (some species pass through four). And Cnidaria passes even through five stages: ovum – planula – scyphistoma – ephyra – medusa. Well, and for what moment are horoscopes to be cast? I would like to hear on this subject explanations of Shestopalov, who has graduated (allegedly) from the faculty of biology and soils.

Another analogous question. Astrologers attach considerable importance to the exactness of identification of the birthmoment – an error of four minutes is assertedly equivalent to a whole year of lifetime! But one can ask with good reason: why, is it a universal rule? Is it really valid both for a bacteria, which lives about half an hour and for a sequoia, living milleniums? And again I would like to listen to the diplomaed astrologer-biologer’s explanations.

So then why genetics does study every living organism, whereas astrology confines itself exclusively to the single species – Homo sapiens? I propose my own explanation. Genetics is a genuine science, it is supposed of revealing the secrets and mysteries of Nature, and therefore for genetics there are no uninteresting objects – an elephant and a flea, both are of considerable scientific interest. Contrariwise, astrology (at least, of nowadays) sets itself somewhat another task, namely: to unburden purses of credulous fools. From this point of view not only ants and grasshoppers, but even hippopotami and camelopards are not very promising clients. Somebody has another explanation of the difference between genetics and astrology? I listen to you attentively.

I venture to repeat: one may put these questions (asking them to oneself, if any) endlessly. Well, dear misters-comrades, which of your attributes is below average level – intellect or education? Or both of them?

To undergo voluntarily brainwashing, fooling and glaring nonsense by patented charlatans is by no means a praiseworthy occupation. Do you run it “to make things lively for Marxism-Leninism”? I recollect a yarn about a peasant who has jabbed out his own eye “to make things lively for his mother-in-law” – in order that she had a one-eyed son-in-law.

Shame on you, dear ladies and gentlemen...


a man with an average intellect
and an average education

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