Yesterday I received the wonderful book by Peter Pringle, The Murder of Nikolai Vavilov. Hopefully it will be more interesting than the books on Lysenko. The books on Lysenko focused on his political and personal issues, and Soviet bureaucracy is really boring. I’m hoping that Pringle’s book will provide insight into the development of the Modern Synthesis, since Vavilov was a scientist who worked closely with evolutionary biologists William Bateson and Theodosius Dobzhansky.
So, I haven’t actually started reading it, but based on Ed‘s understanding of the events, it promises to be a chilling account of how the creationist Josef Stalin and his creationist henchman Trofim Lysenko tried to destroy evolutionary science in Russia because it threatened their plans for an oppressive evangelical Christian theocratic dictatorship. Of course, we all know they failed, mainly because of the awesome power of evolutionary science in the US, which used advanced evolutionary technology to overwhelm the primitive, science-hating Soviet creationist religious bureaucracy. This could be the plot of a Jackie Chan movie!