Human Nature: “When science shows some facts about nature, and then someone rejects those facts denied because they’re inconvenient or uncomfortable for some ideologues.”

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Indeed, when people ignore such inconvenient truths, it not only makes their cause look bad, but can produce palpable harm. Case in point: the damage that the Russian charlatan-agronomist Lysenko[1] did to Soviet agriculture under Stalin. Rejecting both natural selection and modern genetics, Lysenko made all sorts of wild promises about improving Soviet agriculture based on bogus treatment of plants that would supposedly change their genetics. It not only didn’t work, failing to relieve Russia of its chronic famines, but Lyesnko’s Stalin-supported resistance to modern (“Western”) genetics led to the imprisonment and even the execution of really good geneticists and agronomists like Niklolia Vavilov. The ideological embrace of an unevidenced but politically amenable view of science set back Russian genetics for decades.

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