Foreign News: King of the Dunghill

Trofim Lysenko is an egregiously indestructible plant breeder from the Ukrainian black-earth belt who long ago won world notoriety, scientific contempt and Stalinist favor with his attempt to rewrite nature to suit Marx. A weird cross between sinister charlatan and seedy fanatic. Lysenko used his political influence, based on Stalin's favor, to wreak ruthless vengeance on his critics, the scholars who had made genetics—until his rise—the pride of Russian science.

Lysenko argued that newly acquired characteristics could be genetically passed on through succeeding generations, a provably quack notion that served the Communist notion...

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