Dr Alexander Panchin

Parasitic ideas and their adaptations

What makes certain pseudoscientific ideas so popular? Dr Panchin uses a metaphor of comparing ideas and biological viruses to explain how the human mind is vulnerable to certain ideas in a way similar to how human cells can be vulnerable to various pathogens that replicate at their expense.

He shows how certain pseudoscientific ideas (including some examples from Russia) have adapted to evade critical thinking and scientific scrutiny in a way that is similar to how viruses become resistant to antivirals and can even learn to replicate in the cells of the immune system. Peer-reviewed scientific papers in respectable journals that promote Russian homeopathy are the ultimate achievement of this pathological evolution.


Dr Alexander Panchin graduated at the department of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics of the Moscow State University. He has a PhD in Computation Biology and is a member of the Commission on Pseudoscience of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Alexander authored several popular science books (in Russian) including The Sum of Biotechnology. A handbook against myths regarding genetic engineering of plants, animals and human beings and Defense against the Dark Arts. A guide to the world of paranormal phenomena.