Pseudoscience under the banners of social justice: is it really a threat?

A new embarrassing commentator has appeared in my FB.

An English-speaking Old Believer, who seems to question Moon landings and accept Lysenkoism based on the belief that "the rich brainwash the poor", and, therefore, we should never trust anything that is taught in "capitalist textbooks" and by "capitalist academia".

A very bizarre idea and surely nothing but "ignorance and stupidity" 




"I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I like Lysenko. Among other things, I perceive his legacy attaches morals to science. I think that is a good thing.
His faith may be different, but I don’t think Darwinism influenced Lysenko significantly in any scientific way. His work was successful partly because he effectively disregarded Darwinism."

"I have a book by Lysenko himself in English translation in which he does specifically take exception to a Darwinian principle.
I have also read elsewhere about Lysenko’s taking exception to parts of Darwinism, but I don’t presently remember the author’s name. I’ll get back to you. Thanks for asking."

"My wife is from rural Honduras. She says nobody from her town believes that anyone went to the moon. It is taken for granted as American propaganda and false."

"My wife doesn’t know anything about Lysenko. She accurately represents her own community and I believe much of rural Central America. I can say this is also true of her family and friends in Honduras.
I notice a big difference between poor Hondurans in their own country and those who have been in the USA a while and have more money.
Most Hondurans who have been in the USA a while begin to have political beliefs like Americans, especially if they have money. They also accept the way of belief like Americans do in things like the moon landings and view their former perspective as ignorance and stupidity.
I ask you are the wealthiest part of society not the most propagandised?"


A frustrating version of intellectual Luddism 


Is it really a more or less popular belief among the students in the US or Latin America that "academia serve the rich and brainwash the poor"?

A stereotypical image of a "sweat-squeezing professor/PI" who ruthlessly oppresses the students, goes in the supplement 


When I worked in the US in 2003-07, I have never encountered such beliefs.

But in 2015 I saw something like it.

Several months ago a student from India just asked me many questions on bioinformatics, but also on social and political topics. Some questions were whether academia are independent from the rich...


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