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Small Encyclopedia of Big Pseudo-Science
March 14, 2006 15:06

 

Even listing all theories, which deserve "pseudo-science" title seems to be a difficult task. Besides the new chronology of Mr. Fomenko, academician, this list often includes astrology, alchemy and "cold thermonuke", bioenergoinformatics and torsion field theory, "polar hole and hollow Earth" hypothesis, big-foot (yeti), atlantes and somati - subjects of ophthalmologist Muldashev search. This article is a brief review of only some of these theories.

Astrology
 

Astrology has always been a classic and favourite example of a pseudo-science. Nobel Prize winner in physics, Vitaliy Ginzburg, often makes numerous references to astrology in his papers and during public speaking. According to Leonid Kurochkin's classification, astrology is a pseudo-science, because it randomly combines scientific astronomy facts with absurd myths. Vitaliy Ginzburg claims that in the past astrology has been a science without any pseudo- prefixes. But unfortunately it was based on an incorrect hypothesis, stating relations of a man's personal luck to celestial bodies' turnover. After absence of such relations became clear, false idea exploitation has turned astrology to pseudo-science.
 

If one considers the basis of a scientific method to be rational criticism and experimental verification, then, as to astrology, the second component fits perfectly to the definition. Astrology has experimental verification to saturation. Famous Kepler's horoscopes are something! Things are worse with rational criticism. However, astrologists have long ago stopped discussing scientific value of their activities. People like to read last pages of various newspapers and magazines, which usually contain horoscopes (as well as magazine editors like to write said horoscopes), no matter they believe them or not.

Torsion Fields
 

Another favourite pseudo-science is torsion fields' theory, which is nearly as popular as astrology. This theory has appeared much later than astrology, and its history is absolutely different. According to academician Vitaliy Ginzburg, the theory of torsion fields could also claim its scientific value. Some decades ago G.I. Shipov, physicist, has discovered that Einstein's gravitation theory equations concede minor modification, whereby their solutions lose reflection symmetry. In other words, rotating massive body would deflect surrounding environment, so that it differs from its reflection in the mirror.
 

There are some values in quantum mechanics, which are different from their own reflection in the mirror. The reflection of an electron with upward spin, for instance, is a positron with downward spin. If one would simply try to define spin as a result of self-rotation of a particle (an electron, for example), then such asymmetry could appear natural: reflection of a ball, rotating clockwise, has reverse rotation. Thus, if we accept that an electron not merely deflects its environment, but also twists it, we can describe spin-spin interaction of elementary particles as interaction of a rotating body with another body's twisted environment.
 

Such interactions are justifiable on the theoretical ground. But this theory is not confirmed with experimental data. And, frankly speaking, it cannot be confirmed. This effect is much weaker than gravitational waves, which, no doubt, exist, but cannot be detected on current technical level. And since the effect is so small, it's hardly suitable to explain detectable spin-spin interactions.
 

However, there are much more sophisticated objections. The task to combine general relativity theory with quantum mechanics, i.e. to create quantum gravitation theory, is anything but simple and not solved to the moment. The quantum mechanics doesn't allow even imagining electron spin to be a result of some kind of rotation - electron itself is unable to revolve about its axis, because it has no parts.
 

Any physical theory is unlikely to become a real pseudo-science, even if it is wrong. In order to become a pseudo-science it should obtain a new dimension, which has finally happened (track our hands, dear reader!): vacuum state of a system, i.e. the state, when a system lacks any particles, which can later be generated by means of appropriate creation and annihilation operators, appears to be full of virtual torsion whirlwinds, able to twist new-born elementary particles either way. Such primary torsion field has zero energy, but can transfer information. And information without energy is nothing but pure consciousness. This spectacular and, in my humble opinion, quite sophisticated trick helps to bring consciousness phenomenon together with a bunch of paranormalities, such as clairvoyance, telekinesis, etc, to material, though exotic, forces.
 

The next act of the play moves to some military department, where an idea of generating artificial torsion fields by means of an electromagnetic dodge appeared. Such device is able to retrieve secret plans straight from an enemy's head, no matter how far it is, and to make enemy's army moving to the direction, opposite to that its generals needed. There are some signs that projects, aimed at designing such generator, have had some secret state funding for decades, and may be are still funded.

Ether Wind
 

Professors of Moscow State University physical faculty have sometimes told students about their predecessors telling them: "They will tell you that luciferous ether has never been discovered; that Michelson and Morley's experiment had failed. Do not believe them, just check the logs". Twenty years have passed, and now professor Atsukovsky, Doctor of technical sciences, says: "Michelson and Morley's experiment has been forged. The ether wind exists. The central postulate of the relativity theory is not true. Absolute space exists, and Earth's relative velocity can be measured".
 

No wonder Einstein is criticized. He created an elegant consistent physical theory, which explains many well-known facts. This theory correlates well with numerous experiments. But it won't do that forever. Aristotelian physics, which is no less beautiful in its elegance, has lived for one thousand and five hundred years, until scientists showed its dissonance with new scientific ideals. It took Democretian atomism even more time - two and a half thousand years - to be destroyed, and its history is not over yet. The same situation is with classical (Newton's) mechanics; we already use for four hundred years - no matter its area of application has been limited significantly in recent decades. Generally, rational criticism of existing theories is the spirit of science, which makes existence without it impossible. But there exist different types of criticism. It wasn't an accident that it took critics fifteen centuries to get at Aristotelian physics, which resulted in theory collapsing and turning to an interesting historical phenomenon, absolutely useless from scientific point of view. Totally different criticism rises from misapprehension of the target for criticism. I can't resist a desire to quote Tsiolkovsky again: "Time retardation in spaceships, moving at subliminal rates, compared with Earth's time is either fantasy, or another mistake of non-philosophical mind… Time retardation! Try to understand what a terrible nonsense is hidden in these words!" Only a completely deaf man cannot hear how ridiculous these words are!
 

Atsukovsky criticizes Einstein first of all from class positions. Nature is arranged simply, and such complications as quantum mechanics and relativity theory were invented by enemies of working class in order to make his way to bright future of the humanity more difficult. Ether appears to be a kind of an ideal gas, consisting of particles, much smaller than atoms - nevertheless, ether and its particles can be detected during an experiment. But bourgeois science has been concealing the results of these experiments in order to prolong the age of exploitation.
 

It is fair to say that ether wind theory has less odious apologists, which do not combine it with social reorganization. Such community, for instance, has formed around former Moscow State University rector, academician A.A. Logunov. And, although their activities are under fire of various mocks of their colleagues, no one ever blamed them for practicing pseudo-science.

Quantum Medicine
 

Actually, the question, whether one can regard quantum medicine as a pseudo-science, requires discussion. According to Heisenberg, it is more of "word misapplication". If we agree with physicists that "nature's laws are mainly quantum ones", then any diagnosing and treating technique should be quantum, because it cannot contradict nature's laws. To this we can add that the majority of modern electronic devices has operating principles, which can't be explained without quantum mechanics. Widely known laser, for example, during first several years was called "optical quantum generator". That is why all laser medicine should have been named " quantum generator". Thus, we can consider this new trendy word for existing electronic diagnostic units to be nothing but a good promotion.

Underground Gods of Doctor Muldashev
 

Doctor Muldashev's books are classified as pseudo-scientific by mistake as well - they are the same fiction as books of S. Luk'yanenko or V. Golovachev (Russian writers, who are famous for their science fiction). The author has doubtlessly strong literary talent, but perhaps he used his talent in a wrong way. He uses perfect imitation of speech of a primitive and poorly educated man for describing imaginary journeys to Tibet under the circumstances, which his character, being so stupid, couldn't have invented himself, thus readers start thinking that the character has seen everything with his own eyes. Among the things, seen with these eyes, one can find curved spaces inside Tibetan caves and creatures of former Earth's civilizations, somati and atlantes, who have hibernated, and tons of other strange things.
 

There's no need to leave home to write such books, moreover, it can be even harmful. If the author traveled to Tibet to contact real monks, he would have realized at once, that communication with those, who don't speak any European language, can be performed only by means of telepathy, which is much more convenient to do straight from Ufa (his native town). He could have taken everyday details of monk's life from numerous travel diaries (recently published Przewalski's companion P.S. Kozlov's diaries, for example) or N. Rerikh's works. Popular version of myths about atlantes and other lost civilizations is available in Elena Blavatskaya's "Secret Doctrine" and other theosophical works.
 

Though Muldashev's books lack many of literary merits, the rest of their merits is enough to bring their author a success in business. One can, of course, say that this success originates from misunderstanding of readers, who mistook one genre to another, but we can object - literary mystifications, when a hoaxer succeeds in fooling a reader, are a rare and lost art. Thus it were uncritical readers, who called Muldashev's books pseudo-science, and objectively their place is on the border of science fiction and religious - theosophical and anthroposophical - literature.

New Chronology
 

Anatoly Fomenko is now mentioned any time, when one needs a dramatic example of tragic consequences of incorrect application of mathematics in solving social problems. But once he used to be a young professor of topology from Moscow State University faculty of mechanics and mathematics, famous for displaying his pictures in student club "Nabla". He made illustrations for Bulgakov's "Master and Margarita" and some "Myths of Atlantis", using abstract topological concepts, which unexpectedly became bright, vivid and picturesque. These pictures were doubtlessly talented and original; they created their own special world and special mood.
 

In the early 80s of the XXth century the university fellows came across a copy of his preprint, where he analyzed historical records using statistics. Work's main concept seemed beautiful and reasonable: every story about a historical character has its own rhythm, defining how much time is spent describing certain events compared to other events. Say, the ratio of number of words, describing coronation, to number of words, describing marriage, is less dependent on a chronicler, than on a tsar or an emperor, who is described in the chronicles. This method allowed performing hypothetical ascription of chronicles and other texts, describing an unknown character. It took this idea minimum time to lead to a new one - to identify different historical characters despite their fame and historical epoque using this technique. Due to these changes the history has shrunk significantly, antique times almost concurred with the Renaissance, and the Middle Ages have disappeared completely.
 

At that time many people considered this theory to be attractive, though strange. Mr. Fomenko stated, for instance, that short chronology has been deliberately elongated for 1100 years in approximately 15th century, and that not a single original historical record had reached modern scientists, only lists, which have been written later. But Petrarchian manuscripts came down to us. They describe Plato's manuscripts and date them the same time, as we do, despite the fact Petrarch lived two hundred years before the mystification, described by Fomenko, started. There exist numerous objections, which had never been commented by any theory defender.
 

This theory has for a long time been considered to be an oddity. Outside the university only few people knew about it, as well as about young topologist's paintings. The situation changed, when Mr. Nosovski got involved. Since he appeared, Russian theme showed up: Batu Khan, Mongolian Cossacks, and other evidently ridiculous attempts to dissolve world's history in Russian history by means of artificial compression of the former and elongation of the latter. The case appeared to be political, and involvement of its parties is needless to be mentioned.
 

Such conclusion is confirmed by behaviour of numerous adepts of new chronology. They wear extravagant beards, organize seminars, which look like praying, publish many books and a magazine, hold summer camps for their own children, during which show them historic sites and say, "The real history, children, is absolutely different from what you've been taught in schools".

Dmitriy Bayuk
http://elementy.ru
 


Tags: Russian science     

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