Atheism and the suppression of science

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Atheism and the suppression of science, as well as atheism and the rejection of science, is one common criticism of atheism, as militant atheists have often suppressed scientific knowledge because it conflicts with a presupposed materialistic worldview. Furthermore, the first law of thermodynamics and second law of thermodynamics, two of the most empirically established laws of nature, argue against an eternal universe and these laws logically point to the universe being created by God.[1]

Some atheists are quite explicit that their atheism comes first. One of the most famous is Dr. Richard Lewontin, a professor of genetics at Harvard University, said it wasn't science that compelled him to accept a materialistic explanation of the universe. It was an a priori materialism. Lewontin, in the New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997:31 entitled Billions and Billions of Demons (reviewing the book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan) states:[2]

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdidy of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravangant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstatiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It's not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the unitiated. Moreover, that Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.[2]

Christian,[3] Hindu,[3] Jewish,[2] and Islamic[4] scholars have agreed with Dr. Lewontin in stating that his atheism preceded and conditioned his view of science and that this same paradigm applies for many other militant atheists as well.[5] Indeed, many atheist states have promoted the rejection of objective science by conflating it with the worldview of atheistic materialism; for example, the Constitution of Albania in 1976 stated that "The State recognizes no religion, and supports and carries out atheistic propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialistic world outlook in people."[6][7][8] To carry out its goal, Albania, with its former policy of state atheism, executed eminent theists or imprisoned them in order to reeducate them, outlawed religious practice, mandated individuals to change their names if they were of a religious origin, and demolished every mosque, church, monastery, convent, religious school, hospital and orphanage, despite the objection of even some members of the communist ruling Party of Labour of Albania.[9][10][8]

Contents

Rejection of Genetics

Table showing how the genes exchange according to segregation or independent assortment during meiosis and how this translates into Mendel's laws.

Atheism was an integral part of Soviet ideology,[11] with the Soviet Union claiming that their "scientific atheism" was "the highest form of atheism" (vysshaya stepen' ateizma) and therefore be propagated as the most the only correct atheism, the orthodox disbelief.[12] In order to promote an atheistic Weltanschauung, the government of the U.S.S.R. established the Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[13] The atheistic science promoted by the Soviet Union sought to destroy the credibility of faith for countless individuals.[14]

Mendelian genetics delineates the transmission of hereditary characteristics from parent organisms to their offspring, and is confirmed at the molecular level by the deciphering of the genetic code.[15][16] In the late 1940s, Joseph Stalin abolished Mendelian genetics throughout the Soviet Union,[17] using the fact that its founder, Gregor Johann Mendel, was a Catholic Christian priest, to discredit the science.[18][19]

A photograph of geneticist Nikolai Vavilov with his family.
In other words, Mendelian genetics was rejected by an atheistic government on the grounds that Rev. Mendel was a product of the Church, which promotes the existence of God, i.e. theism.[20][21] Stalin was inspired to do this after being convinced by an atheist botanist named Trofim Lysenko that classical genetics conflicts with the communist ideology of the state.[22] An entire area of science was suppressed for twenty-five years in which all existing genetic experimentation was destroyed, references to Mendel were removed, and the teaching of classical genetics was suppressed.[23][24][22] During this period, hundreds of geneticists who continued to uphold Mendel's genetic theory were imprisoned or executed, the most prominent being Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, who was starved to death in the Gulag in 1943.[25][26][23] Moreover, the Soviet enforcement of Lysenko's genetic theory, also known as Lysenkoism, led to agricultural failure in Soviet Russia,[26] as well as what the National Academy of Sciences terms the "crippling of biology for decades."[27]

Suppression of alternatives to evolution

See: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Evolution

Rejection of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

A graph delineating two quantum fields.

Under the state atheism of the U.S.S.R., many scientists proclaimed their wholehearted support of those parts of the present communist dogma which reject the freedom of opinion in scientific matters, and insisted on acceptance of officially endorsed theories, even if these were contradicted by unbiased experiments.[28] Historically, another product of atheism is the rejection of relativity and quantum mechanics, which was criticized on the grounds of contradicting atheistic dialectical materialism.[29][30] The suspicions of the atheistic communist critics of quantum mechanics and relativity physics were heightened when several prominent Western European philosophers and scientists concluded that the probablilistic approach of quantum mechanics meant the end of determinism as a worldview, while the equivalence of matter and energy postulated by relativity theory marked the end of materialism.[31] Several of them concluded that relativity physics and quatum mechanics destroyed the basis of Marxist materialism.[31] Beginning in 1930 a worrisome danger arose with the appearance of the "Bolshevizers" of philosophy and science, younger militants taking advantage of Cultural Revolution then in progress and calling for the "reconstruction" of physics on the basis of dialectical materialism.[32]

Boris Hessen, a Jewish physicist who was censured and eventually executed under policies stemming from state atheism, due to his defense of quantum theory and relativity, which were declared as being contrary to materialism.

Boris Mikhailovich Hessen, a Jewish physicist,[33] attempted to defend quantum mechanics and relativity, but was denounced as a "metaphysicist of the worst sort," a "pure idealist," and as a deserter of the cause of materialism who interpreted relativity physics in the same spirit as the Western mystic astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington.[34] He was criticized for paying insufficient attention to the ideas of Engels and Lenin.[34] Particularly mistaken, said his detractors, was his definition of matter as a "synthesis of space and time," a wording that came from one of his defenses of relativity theory.[34] In the final resolution of the conference on the state of Soviet philosophy that was held in 1930, Hessen was censured by name twice, one for his philosophical views on relativity theory and again for his opinions based on quantum mechanics.[34] One of Hessen's critics, Ernst Kol'man, a Czech Marxist, stated that "wreckers" were trying to corrupt Soviet physics as "wreckers" had earlier tried to disrupt Soviet industry.[35] Kol'man stated that the "wreckers" in physics were trying to discredit materialism.[36] On 21 August 1936, Hessen was arrested and falsely charged with involvement in the terrorist activities of a Trotskyist-Zinovievist conspiracy.[35] On 20 December 1936 Hessen was executed by a firing squad;[35] Hessens' promotion of the theory of relativity resulted in his execution.[37]

Hessen's activities from his first major publications in 1928 to his arrest in 1936 can best be characterized by two main concerns: the defense of the relative autonomy of physics against interference in the content of physical investigation from without the positive elaboration of the compatibility and affinity of Marxist materialism with the newest developments in physics as opposed to classical physics.–The Social and Economic Roots of the Scientific Revolution by Gideon Fredenthal and Peter McLaughlin[38]
Hessen was rehabilitated in 1955 as he was found to be innocent post-mortem.[35]

Rejection of Resonance Theory

Commonly used as an example of resonance, the nitrate ion carries a formal charge of -1, where each oxygen carries a -⅔ charge and each nitrogen carries a +1 charge.

According to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published in March 1953, "Practically all prominent scientists in the Soviet sphere have by now proclaimed their adherence to dialectical materialism, and many have actively engaged in a campaign of defamation of all scientists and scientific theories declared to be inimical to Stalinist faith. Mendelian genetics, resonance theory of chemical binding, the uncertainty principle (and quantum mechanics in general), the cellular theory of life–to name but a few prominent examples–have in turn been attacked as "idealistic" or "metaphysical," and more or less successfully eradicated from Soviet scientific scene–often with the apparently the eager help of representatives of the very disciplines that are most severely hit by these purges."[39] Resonance is the chemical theory by which the actual normal state of a molecule is represented not by a single valence-bond structure but by a combination of several alternative distinct structures.[40] The molecule is then said to resonate among the several valence-bond structures or to have a structure that is a resonance hybrid of these structures.[40] The energy calculated for a resonance hybrid is lower than the energies of any of the alternative structures; the molecule is then said to be stabilised by resonance.[40] The difference between the energies of any one of the alternative structures and the energy of the resonance hybrid is designated resonance energy.[40] Under state atheism, criticisms of Linus Pauling's resonance theory, as well as of Christopher Ingold's chemical mesomerism theory, surfaced and gained further scrutiny after the Soviet organic chemist Walter Hückel labeled valence-bond resonance hybrid structures as idealistic and imaginary in character.[41] In general, atheistic communist scientists accused resonance of subjective idealism,[42] which presented chemistry with an ideological struggle as it was perceived to be at odds with atheism and its materialistic implications.[43][44][45] In Poland, which was located between two ideological curtains,[46] chemists organised meetings in which Pauling's resonance theory was condemned.[47]

A depiction of the mesomeric effect in the phenoxide (phenate) anion.

In 1951, under the Soviet "Report of the Commission of the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences", the theory of resonance was condemned.[48] Pauling himself was vilified by these atheistic communist scientists.[49][50]

Curricula under State Atheism

According to Harold J. Berman, a Harvard specialist in Soviet law, militant atheism was the official religion of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was the established church.[51][52][53] Scientists and party philosophers in the Soviet Union worked to establish a view of science acceptable to Marxist-Leninist philosophy.[54][55]

The League of Militant Atheists worked to introduce anti-religious material in the Soviet education system.[56] In 1929, higher educational institutions were purged of believers and anti-religious departments were established.[56] Furthermore, atheist universities began to be founded, with eighty-four by 1931.[56] Under the state atheism of the Soviet Union, university students were presented with the following course descriptions:


Physics: The place of physics in anti-religious propaganda. Connection between ancient myths and the endeabor of man to discover the causal relationship between various natural phenomena. The expression of primitive man's helplessness to establish the true, scientific reason for the phenomena. Scientific method in thinking as the foundation of godlessness.

Chemistry: Its importance for economic life in peace and war, in agriculture, and for working out a correct worldview. The part played by chemistry in the struggle against religious superstition.

Geology: Introduction to the Biblical religious point of view. Methods of geological reckoning of time compared with Church calculations. How old is the earth? Practical work for the study of the earth's surface. Belief in hell under the earth. Rejection of the religious expansion of the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Mathematics: Mathematics as a scientific method for studying the phenomena surrounding us....Causes furthering the development of mathematics in antiquity and in our days. The "mathematical numbers" of pagan priests in ancient times. Legends about the supernatural origins of mathematical knowledge. The monopoly of mathematical knowledge demanded by pagan priests to enable them to oppress others.

Biology: A short history of biological science. The importance of biology for working out a dialectic-materialistic worldview. The importance of biology in medicine, technics, agriculture, and other branches of human life. Importance of biology for anti-religious propaganda.

Medicine: How religion looks on the cause of sickness. The modern scientific answer to this question. Contagious diseases. The origin and struggle against them. The founders of modern medicine. Serum, vaccination, and chemical therapeutics. Individual and social prophylactics. Religious ceremonies as a source of contagion.[57]

In addition to the antireligious substance of each course, the curriculum from the universities in the Soviet Union presented scientific findings correct or incorrect based on their supposed ideological positions, not on the objective, applied, and experimental essence of science.[57] Soviet militant atheists also believed science disproved religion because God remained unseen, his miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were scientifically inconceivable.[58][59] Bruce Sheiman, himself a leader in the Atheism 3.0 movement, has criticised militant atheists for asserting that science is capable of determining the existence of God.[60]

See also

References

  1. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Shmuel Waldman. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Convincing Evidence of the Truths of Judaism. Feldheim Publishers. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Consider the following remark made by Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin in the New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997:31 entitled Billions and Billions of Demons (reviewing the book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan): "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdidy of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravangant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It's not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that Materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."” 
  2. 3.0 3.1 David Bruce Hughes (Gaurahari Dāsānudās Bābājī). Śrī Vedānta-Sūtra, Adhyāya 1. The Esoteric Teaching. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “These frank and cynical statements of prominent so-called scientists reveal that their atheistic mindset is not the result of careful, unbiased empirical investigation of nature, as they try to reassure us. Their thinking is not scientific at all.” 
  3. Harun Yahya. Learning From The Qur'an. Idara Ishaaat-E-Diniyat (P) Ltd.. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “A well-known geneticist and an outspoken evolutionist, Richard C. Lewontin from Harvard University, confesses that he is "first and foremost a materialist and then a scientist": It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, so we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.” 
  4. God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (John C. Lennox, Wilkinson House, Oxford, 2007). Georgia State University. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “p 33 Deals with the disparity between philosphers like Kurtz who view naturalism as arising from science and scientists like Lewontin with his famous "we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door" quote and his affirmation that his naturalism and antipathy to faith preceded and conditioned his view of science.”
  5. William B. Simons, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. The Constitutions of the Communist World. Springer. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Article 37. The State recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheist propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialist world outlook in people.” 
  6. Robert Elsie. A Dictionary of Albanian Religion, Mythology, and Folk culture. New York University Press. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Article 37 of the Albanian constitution of 1976 stipulated, "The State recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheist propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialist world outlook in people."” 
  7. 8.0 8.1 Richard Felix Staar. Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “By 1976 all places of worship had been closed. However, the regime has had to admit that religion still maintains a following among Albanians. In order to suppress religious life, the following article has been included in the 1976 constitution: "The state recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheistic propoganda to implant the scientific materialistic world outlook in people" (Article 37). In its antireligious moves, the regime has gone so far as to order persons to change their names if they are of a religious origin.” 
  8. Edwin E. Jacques. The Albanians: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present. McFarland & Company. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Most of the religious leaders throughout the country were imprisoned for "reeducation" or executed. Then in 1967 every mosque, church, monastery and religious institution in the country was closed down, 2,169 of them, and every religious practice outlawed. In 1976 a new constitution was adoped, its article 55 strictly prohibiting all religious activies and propaganda.” 
  9. Edwin E. Jacques. The Albanians: An Ethnic History from Prehistoric Times to the Present. McFarland & Company. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Elderly villagers, even members of the Communist Party, objected strongly to the conversion of mosques into warehouses. The claimed that the mosque was a house of prayer, and to help secularize it was tantamount to raising one's hand against God. Northern mountaineers too insisted that the authorities should distinguish between the removal of politically unreliable priests and the fundamental human right to believe in God. Nevertheless, every mosque, church, monastery, convent, religious school, hospital or orphanage throughout the country was burned down, torn down or converted to serve what the state called "some more useful purpose."” 
  10. William Van Der Bercken. Ideology and Atheism in Soviet Union. Biblical Studies UK. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Étatism and atheism As an ideological monoculture, the Soviet state cannot recognise any alternative or competitive ideologies as being equal in value, whther on political grounds or in the area of Weltanschauung. To do would mean intellectual pluralism and the destruction of the essence of Soviet ideology.” 
  11. William Van Der Bercken. Ideology and Atheism in Soviet Union. Biblical Studies UK. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In this criticism of the atheism of Russell it is apparent that Soviet atheism does not only deny the existence of God but expressly desires to propogate its denial of God as the only correct atheism, the orthodox disbelief. The "bourgeois atheism" of the West ten appreas as an error within atheism. In Soviet atheist literature the difference between "bougeois atheism" and its own scientific atheism is continually stressed. Soviet atheism is also called "the highest form of atheism" (vysshaya stepen' ateizma), and that is certainly the most correct assessment of Soviet atheism.” 
  12. William Van Der Bercken. Ideology and Atheism in Soviet Union. Biblical Studies UK. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “That is the science of "scientific atheism", whose orthodoxy is protected by the Institute of Scientific Atheism of the Academy of Social Sciences under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union” 
  13. Stephen Pickard. Creation and Complexity: Interdisciplinary Issues in Science and Religion. ATF Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In theology, there is widespread reluctance among ordinary believers to consider any radically updated theology of creation, which hampers the efforts of theologians to counter the materialist propaganda of atheistic science that destroys the credibility of faith for countless young people.” 
  14. John M. Ziman. Reliable Knowledge: An Exploration of the Grounds for Belief in Science. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “It would be to deny the validity of a theoretical system such as quantum mechanics, to which we owe our stocks of nuclear weapons. Who would doubt the credibility of Mendelian genetics, now completely confirmed at the molecular level by the deciphering of the genetic code?” 
  15. Richard M. Burian. The Epistemology of Development, Evolution, and Genetics. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The central point of the synthesis was to demonstrate the adequacy of Mendelian genetics (including especially population genetics) plus an updated version of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection, joined in the manner illustrated in the founding documents, to serve as the theoretical basis for explaining all of evolutionary phenomena.” 
  16. Atlas World Press Review, Volume 24. Atlas Information Services. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The story begins in the late 1940s when Stalin had "abolished" Mendelian genetics throughout the Soviet Union.” 
  17. Isis, Volume 37. History of Science Society, Académie internationale d'histoire des sciences. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The fact that Mendel was a priest has been similarly used to discredit his ideas.” 
  18. Eugenics: Galton and After. Duckworth. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Was not Mendel a priest ? If, as the reactionaries maintain, genetic processes are subject to the laws of chance ...” 
  19. George Aiken Taylor. The Presbyterian Journal, Volume 31. Southern Presbyterian Journal Co.. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Mendel, of course, must be discredited, in Communist thought, because he was a product of the West and of the Church.” 
  20. The Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, Volumes 23-27. Australasian Association of Psychology and Philosophy. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “He trenchantly criticises Lysenko's vilification of the work of Mendel and Morgan as "fascist, bourgeois-capitalistic, and inspired by clerics" (that Mendel was a priest is taken as sufficient to discredit his experiments).” 
  21. 22.0 22.1 Life in the Balance. Victor Books. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In the Soviet Union, for example, a botanist named Lasenko convinced Stalin back in the 30s that genetics was incompatible with the development of Communism. As a result, genetics was suppressed in Russia for about 25 years.” 
  22. 23.0 23.1 Anna C. Pai (1974). Foundations of Genetics: a Science for Society. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “An entire area of science was suppressed for 20 years. Vavilov and other geneticists were arrested, imprisoned, and finally perished. All existing genetic experimentation was destroyed, and references to Mendel and Darwin were removed.” 
  23. Bertrand Russell, Andrew G. Bone. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell Volume 29: Détente or Destruction, 1955-57. Routledge. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In the late-1930s the Soviet biologist and agronomist Trofim Lysenko obtained publica backing from Stalin for his theory of environmentally aquire characteristics. Lysenko's "Marxist" doctrine promised to enhance productivity in Soviet agriculture, whereas the accepted principles of heredity propounded first by Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) were condemned for resting on "bourgeois" foundations supported by research in the capitalist West. After Lysenko became president of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 1938, and until his questionable the-ories were finally discredited in the mid-1960s, the study, theaching and practical application of orthodox genetics was effectively suppressed–the most dramatic example of "Stalinization" in Soviet science.” 
  24. Andrew Pinsent. New Atheists and Old Atheists. Philosophy Now. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Since the CPSU was so keen to identify its type of atheism as the essential component of the ‘scientific, materialist weltanschauung’, problems tended to arise when scientific theories seemed to be in disagreement with the ideological positions of the party. One common consequence, at least during the Stalinist period, was simply to deny that the problematic sciences were true sciences. The most notorious episode was the banning for nearly two decades of the study and research of Mendelian Genetics (incidentally, founded by a Catholic monk). During this period, hundreds of scientists were imprisoned or killed, the most prominent being Nikolai Vavilov, who was starved to death in the Gulag in 1943. (A striking contrast with Galileo, who died in his bed.) Furthermore, as late as 1948, Soviet astronomers resolved to oppose the ‘reactionary-idealistic’ theory that is today called the Big Bang – first proposed by another Catholic priest, Fr Georges Lemaître. This theory of a finite widening of the universe would help ‘clericalism’, they warned.” 
  25. 26.0 26.1 Harun Yahya. Communism in Ambush. Global Publishing. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In 1948, it was forbidden to be educated or do research in the area of classical genetics. Those geneticists who rejected Lysenko's evolutionist thesis, and continued to support Mendel's genetic discovery, were secretly arrested and executed. Meanwhile, Lysenko's agricultural policy created widespread lack of productivity. For example, he claimed that putting seeds in cold water for a while before being sown, would make them gain resistance to cold weather conditions.” 
  26. On Being A Scientist: Responsible Conduction in Research. National Academy of Sciences (U.S.); Committee on the Conduct of Science, National Academy of Engineering; Institute of Medicine. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The ideological rejection of Mendelian genetics in the Soviet Union beginning in the 1930s crippled Soviet biology for decades.” 
  27. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Mar 1952. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Speeches and writings of prominent Soviet scientists have been quoted, proclaiming their wholehearted support of those parts of the present communist dogma which reject the freedom of opinion in scientific matters, and insist on acceptance of officially endorsed theories, even if these are contradicted by unbiased experiments–the only valid test of a theory in the eyes of a scientists.” 
  28. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Mar 1952. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Certain physicial theories, including relativity and quantum mechanics, were sporadically attacked by party philosophers; but in vain did these critics invoke Marx and dialectical materialism–political leaders were loath to frighten the hen they expected to lay many golden eggs.” 
  29. Rosalind J. Marsh. Soviet Fiction Since Stalin: Science, Politics and Literature. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The author uses a broad definition of 'science' which enables here to cover topics ranging from de-Stalinisation, nationalism and anti-Semitism in science, to Lysenko and scientific charlatanism; the Soviet rejection of relativity theory and quatum mechanics, the atom bomb, and also such general problems as secrecy, careerism and bureaucracy.” 
  30. 31.0 31.1 Rosalind J. Marsh. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The suspicions of the Soviet critics of quantum mechanics and relativity physics were heightened when several prominent West European philosophers and scientists concluded that the probablilistic approach of quantum mechanics meant the end of determinism as a worldview, while the equivalence of matter and energy postulated by relativity theory marked the end of materialism. Several of them concluded that relativity physics and quatum mechanics destroyed the basis of Marxist materialism.” 
  31. Rosalind J. Marsh. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Beginning in 1930 a worrisome danger arose with the appearance of the "Bolshevizers" of philosophy and science, younger militants taking advantage of Cultural Revolution then in progress and calling for the "reconstruction" of physics on the basis of dialectical materialism.” 
  32. Thomas Söderqvist. The History and Poetics of Scientific Biography. Ashgate Publishing. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Boris Mikhailovich Hessen was born in 1893 to a middle-class Jewish family in Elizavetgrad (known as Kirovongrad during the Stalinist era) in the Ukraine. His father was a bank clerk, and the young Boris led a comfortable existence. His radical political awareness developed at his secondary school, the Gymnasium in Elizavetgrad where he was also noted as a talented mathematician. Because he was Jewish, he could not attend a university course in Russia, so he went to Edinburgh University in 1913-14 to study science and mathematics, joined by his friend I.E. Tamm, the guture Nobel Prize winning Russian physicist in 1958 with Cherenkov Frank (for discovering 'the Cherenkov Effect'), who also attended the Elizavetgrad Gymnasium (as had the biologist B.M. Zavadovsky, also a childhood friend), and a whole community of Russian students unable to attend the Russian universities.” 
  33. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Rosalind J. Marsh. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Hessen and his views on physics came under very heavy criticism at a conference on the state of Soviet philosophy that was held Octover 17-20, 1930, Although present, he was not permitted to speak in his own defense. He was denounced as a "metaphysicist of the worst sort," a "pure idealist," and as a deserter of the cause of materialism who interpreted relativity physics in the same spirit as the Western mystic astronomer Arthur Stanley Eddington. He was criticized for paying insufficient attention to the ideas of Engels and Lenin. Particularly mistaken, said his detractors, was his definition of matter as a "synthesis of space and time," a wording that came from one of his defenses of relativity theory. In the final resolution of the conference Hessen was censured by name twice, one for his philosophical views on relativity theory and again for his opinions based on quantum mechanics.” 
  34. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Rosalind J. Marsh. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “On August 21, 1936 Hessen was arrested and charged with involvement in the terrorist activities of a Trotskyist-Zinovievist conspiracy. At the trial on December 20, 1936 Hessen and two alleged co-conspirators were convicted of complicity in the 1934 murder of S.M. Kirov and of planning terror attacks on leading Soviet officials. All three were condemned together. Hessen and one of the others (Arkady Ossipovich Apirin) were executed by firing squad that same day. The third accused (Arkady Mikhailovich Reisen) was sentenced to ten years penitentiary and died in prison. In 1955 Hessen was rehabilitated.” 
  35. Rosalind J. Marsh. Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “One of Hessen's bitterest critics was Ernst Kol'man, a Czech Marxist who had emigrated to the Soviet Union. In an article published in January 1931, Kol'man maintained that "wreckers" were trying to corrupt Soviet physics just as wreckers had earlier tried to distrupt Soviet industry. The implication was serious, since the engineering "wreckers" had been brought to trial and many of them imprisoned. Kol'man in the same article tried to illustrate how the wreckers in physics were trying to discredit materialism: "Matter disapprears, only equations remain" - this Leninist description of academic papism in modern physics gives the clue to the understanding of the wrecker's predilection for the mathematization of every science. The wreckers do not dare to say directly that they want to restore capitalism, they have to hide behind a convenient mask. And there is no more impenetrable mask to hide behind than a curtain of mathematical abstraction.” 
  36. Tamera Dorland. The Heirs of Archimedes: Science and the Art of War through the Age of Enlightenment. The MIT Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “From the perspective of the history of science, the military context of early modern science attracted serious attention before the advent of the Cold War–beginning with Boris Hessen. A prominent Soviet physicist, he actively promoted Einstein's theory of relativity during the early Stalinist era–a position that ultimately resulted in his execution by the late 1930s.” 
  37. Boris Hessen, Henryk Grossmann, Gideon Freudenthal, Peter McLaughlin. The Social and Economic Roots of the Scientific Revolution. Springer. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Hessen's activities from his first major publications in 1928 to his arrest in 1936 can best be characterized by two main concerns: the defense of the relative autonomy of physics against interference in the content of physical investigation from without the positive elaboration of the compatibility and affinity of Marxist materialism with the newest developments in physics as opposed to classical physics.” 
  38. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists March 1953. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Practically all prominent scientists in the Soviet sphere have by now proclaimed their adherence to dialectical materialism, and many have actively engaged in a campaign of defamation of all scientists and scientific theories declared to be inimical to Stalinist faith. Mendelian genetics, resonance theory of chemical binding, the uncertainty principle (and quantum mechanics in general), the cellular theory of life–to name but a few prominent examples–have in turn been attacked as "idealistic" or "metaphysical," and more or less successfully eradicated from Soviet scientific scene–often with the apparently the eager help of representatives of the very disciplines that are most severely hit by these purges.” 
  39. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Theory of Resonance. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Theory of Resonance, in chemistry, theory by which the actual normal state of a molecule is represented not by a single valence-bond structure but by a combination of several alternative distinct structures. The molecule is then said to resonate among the several valence-bond structures or to have a structure that is a resonance hybrid of these structures. The energy calculated for a resonance hybrid is lower than the energies of any of the alternative structures; the molecule is then said to be stabilized by resonance. The difference between the energies of any one of the alternative structures and the energy of the resonance hybrid is designated resonance energy.” 
  40. Ursula Klein. Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “In the meantime, criticisms surfaced in the Soviet Union of Pauling's resonance theory, as well as of Christopher Ingold's more clearly chemical mesomerism theory. These criticisms picked up objections made earlier by the organic chemist Walter Hückel, the brother of the theoretical physicist and molecular-orbital theorist Erich Hückel, that Pauling's valence-bond resonance hybrid structures were idealistic and imaginary in character, and, in Soviet ideological language of the early 1950s, "nothing but bourgeois mysticism."” 
  41. Gustav Andreas Wetter. Dialectical Materialism: a Historical and Systematic Survey of Philosophy in the Soviet Union. Greenwood Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The resonance theory was accused of subjective idealism, agnosticism and mechanism: idealism, because it turned a ...” 
  42. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists September 1989. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Linus Pauling's theory of resonance presented Soviet chemistry with an ideological structure, and something similar happened with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.” 
  43. Walter Bruno Gratzer. A Bedside Nature: Genius and Eccentricity in Science, 1869-1953. Macmillan Magazines. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Linus Pauling's resonance theory oj the chemical bond came in for particular opprobrium, and the deadly epithet ...” 
  44. Ernest B. Hook. Prematurity in Scientific Discovery: On Resistance and Neglect. University of California Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “A better, i.e., "purer," example of rejection on ideological grounds is the Soviet condemnation of Linus Pauling's resonance theory of the chemical bond because it was viewed (and feared) as idealistic and in conflict with a determinist Marxist-Leninist ideology (Graham 1972, pp. 297-323, 530-37; Goertzel and Goertzel 1995, pp. 118-19).” 
  45. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists February 1965. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Scientifically, Poland then lay between two curtains, one cutting off the Soviet Union, the other cutting off the West.” 
  46. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists February 1965. SAGE Publications. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Meetings of the same character were held in Poland of chemists condemning Pauling's resonance theory, which, of couse, none of them understood.” 
  47. Carsten Reinhardt. Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries. Wiley-VCH. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Pauling's theory of resonance was viciously attacked in 1951 by a group of chemists in the Soviet Union in their Report of the Commission of the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences.” 
  48. Arthur Greenberg. From Alchemy to Chemistry in Picture and Story. Wiley-Interscience. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Pauling's resonance theory was considered “revisionist” in Stalin's Soviet Union and he was vilified by staunch Communists.” 
  49. Arthur Greenberg. Nobel Prize Winners: an H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. H.W. Wilson. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Ironically, he came under attack in the Soviet Union during the same period because his resonance theory of chemical bonding was ...” 
  50. Harold Joseph Berman. Faith and Order: The Reconciliation of Law and Religion. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. Retrieved on 19 October 2009. “One fundamental element of that system was its propogation of a doctrine called Marxism-Leninism, and one fundamental element of that doctrine was militant atheism. Until only a little over three years ago, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was the established church in what might be called an atheocratic state.” 
  51. J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte. Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Retrieved on 19 October 2009. “For seventy years, from the Bolshevik Revolution to the closing years of the Gorbachev regime, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party was, in effect, the established church. It was an avowed task of the Soviet state, led by the Communist Party, to root out from the minds and hearts of the Soviet people all belief systems other than Marxism-Leninism. This was surely the most massive and the most powerful assault on traditional religious faith that was ever launched in the history of mankind.” 
  52. Harold J. Berman (1998). Freedom of Religion in Russia: An Amicus Brief for the Defendant. HeinOnline. “from the Bolshevik Revolution to the closing years of the Gorbachev regime, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party was, in effect, the established church.”
  53. Helge Kragh. Entropic Creation. Ashgate Publishing. Retrieved on 28 July 2011. “In the attempts to establish an ideologically acceptable view of science, the new physics became a matter of considerable controversy in the young Soviet Union. Physicists and party philosophers discussed the problematic relationship of relativity theory and quantum mehanics to Marxist-Leninist philosophy.” 
  54. James Thrower (1983). Marxist-Leninist Scientific Atheism and the Study of Religion and Atheism in the USSR (Religion & Reason). Walter de Gruyter. Retrieved on 28 July 2011. “By epistemological and logical analysis the atheist must show that religion's use of science is fradulent, and that on the contrary, modern science confirms the philosophical, i.e., dialectical materialistic, basis of 'scientific atheism'. Further, extensive sociological investigations are necessary to find the explanation for the vestiges of religion surviving in the USSR today.”
  55. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Sabrina P. Ramet. Religious policy in the Soviet Union. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2 August 2011. “The entire educational system felt the incursion of official atheism. During the 1920s the government had insisted that lessons in schools should be non-religious, but from 1929 it pressed for the introduction of positively anti-religious material. Higher educational institutions were purged of believers in 1929, and anti-religious departments began to be established there on the initiative of the League of Militant Atheists. Atheist universities began to be founded; there were eighty-four by 1931.” 
  56. 57.0 57.1 Paul Froese. The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The course syllabi from the atheist universities of the Soviet Union indicate how the topic of atheism was presented as a historically logical outcome of scientific development; Soviet college students chose from the following course selections: Physics: The place of physics in anti-religious propaganda. Connection between ancient myths and the endeabor of man to discover the causal relationship between various natural phenomena. The expression of primitive man's helplessness to establish the true, scientific reason for the phenomena. Scientific method in thinking as the foundation of godlessness. Chemistry: Its importance for economic life in peace and war, in agriculture, and for working out a correct worldview. The part played by chemistry in the struggle against religious superstition. Geology: Introduction to the Biblical religious point of view. Methods of geological reckoning of time compared with Church calculations. How old is the earth? Practical work for the study of the earth's surface. Belief in hell under the earth. Rejection of the religious expansion of the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Mathematics: Mathematics as a scientific method for studying the phenomena surrounding us....Causes furthering the development of mathematics in antiquity and in our days. The "mathematical numbers" of pagan priests in ancient times. Legends about the supernatural origins of mathematical knowledge. The monopoly of mathematical knowledge demanded by pagan priests to enable them to oppress others. Biology: A short history of biological science. The importance of biology for working out a dialectic-materialistic worldview. The importance of biology in medicine, technics, agriculture, and other branches of human life. Importance of biology for anti-religious propaganda. Medicine: How religion looks on the cause of sickness. The modern scientific answer to this question. Contagious diseases. The origin and struggle against them. The founders of modern medicine. Serum, vaccination, and chemical therapeutics. Individual and social prophylactics. Religious ceremonies as a source of contagion. What stands out in these syllabi, in addition to the antireligious substance of each course, is the way in which the curriculum appears to ignore the objective, applied, and experimental essence of science. Instead, scientific findings are presented as correct or incorrect based on their supposed ideological positions. Religion is presented as the historic cofounder of scientific advancement, with atheism providing the philosophical framework from which to conduct accurate science.” 
  57. Paul Froese (2008). The Plot to Kill God: findings from the Soviet experiment in Secularization. University of California Press. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “Militant atheists also believed science disproved religion because God remained unseen, his miracles were never subject to empirical verification, and certain religious stories were scientifically inconceivable. Following World War II and after the dissolution of the League of Militant Atheists, Soviet officials started a campaign to produce natural-scientific arguments against belief in God. For instance, Soviet scientists placed holy water under a microscope to prove that it had no special properties, and the corpses of saints were exhumed to demonstrate that they too were subject to corruption. These activities indicated that atheist propgandists held a very literal interpretation of religious language; for them, holy water and the bodies of saints were expected to hold some physical sign of their divinity.” 
  58. Christian De Duve (2002). Life Evolving: Molecules, Mind, and Meaning. Oxford University Press. Retrieved on 28 July 2011. “Contrary to what is sometimes claimed, a naturalistic view of the origin of life does not necessarily exlude beleif in a Creator. The notion, propagated at the same time, though for opposite reasons, by militant atheistic scientists and by many antiscientific circles, that the findings of science are incompatible with the existence of a Creator is false.” 
  59. Bruce Sheiman. An Atheist Defends Religion: Why Humanity is Better Off with Religion Than Without It. Penguin Books. Retrieved on 2007–10–18. “The militant atheist asserts, incorrectly, that science is capable of determining the nonexistence of God.” 

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