AGAINST ANTISCIENCE, CHARLATANISM AND IRRATIONALISM IN RUSSIA
of the International Symposium
Science, Antiscience and Paranormal Beliefs
Moscow, September 3–5, 2001
The international symposium organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov, and Russian Humanist Society, has been provoked by the necessity to resist the unprecedented expansion of false science, paranormal beliefs and newest forms of irrationalism into the Russian culture of the end of XX – beginning of XXI centuries.
1. The condition of devastation, collapse of the former ideals and absence of new ones have lead Russia to the point when many people has begun to believe only in miracle. One of such «miracles» has appeared in the form of false science, which is now the well-organized net of professional fakers. Today this organized false science has become, actually, a powerful, immoral and criminal force. Pseudo science and charlatanism affect even the highest echelons of the state institution, parasitizing on the budget of the science, which is already poor and bloodless.
2. Another serious problem, which threatens reason and science both in Russia and many other civilized countries is renewal of paranormal beliefs — archaic superstitions and preconceptions of the magic conscience of ancient ages. Astrologers and psychics, occultists and shamans, magicians and sorcerers who propagandize mysticism, magic, divinations and prophecies, have widely penetrated into the market of services, especially in the fields of medicine, psychology and education.
3. We cannot keep silence about the danger of the current state-church policy in this country. Politicization and ideological revival of religions are the delayed-action bomb that menaces to split Russia into hostile parts: believers — nonbelievers, «the right faith — the wrong faith». The situation has reached the point when the church has begun to occupy the governmental bodies, army, the system of state education.
4. Taking into account the dangerous level of expansion of false science, charlatanism and irrationalism into society, the symposium declares:
– to consider the organized false science and charlatanism in Russia as immoral and socially dangerous activity;
– to approve the goals and program of actions of the Committee for the Struggle Against False Science and Falsification of Scientific Researches of the Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences, which is designed to promote objective and independent expertise and review of the results of scientific studies, without which any scientific research is impossible;
– to appeal to the leadership of the Russian Academy of Sciences to provide more support of this Committee;
– to consider the clericarization of education in schools and universities as an action that outrages the Clause 14 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation proclaiming the separation of church from state and school;
– to appeal to mass-media to be more responsible in reporting about these or those sensational claims or paranormal phenomena, and to provide more opportunity for the experts to accompany such claims by their scientific comments;
– to ask the Committee for Education and Science of the State Duma of Russian Federation to organize the hearings on expansion of false science, charlatanism and paranormal beliefs into Russian culture;
– to approve the activity of the Russian Humanist Society and its magazine Zdravyj Smysl, promoting the scientific ideals, all-human moral, legal and civil norms, and resisting to false science, charlatanism and irrationalism.
(Adopted in October 5, 2001at the closing plenary session of the Symposium, against two. According to the data of registration sheets 210 people participated in this event, besides the foreign guests, radio and TV correspondents)
Translated from Russian by Pyotr Trevogin, edited by Valeriì Kuvakin