"Superstitions, cults and mysticism appear with surprising consistency
during a social crisis. Today it is ESP and UFOs, astrology and clairvoyance,
mystic cults and mesmeric healers. The growth of interest in such things is
a sure indicator of social unrest, personal uneasiness, frustration and loss
of purpose. These symptoms are also present in the West, particularly in the
U.S., where they are more chronic; in the Soviet Union, however, we have an
acute fever. ...Carl Sagan of Cornell University has told me that in the U.S.
there are 15,000 astrologers and only 1,500 astronomers. ...It is fascinating
that in the Soviet Union we are importing creationism from fundamentalists in
the U.S. ...The momentous changes happening now in the Soviet Union are the
reason for this current upsurge of the irrational. What is important is the
emerging extremism that they may signal."
[Sergei Kapitza, President of the Physical Society of the U.S.S.R.
and editor of the Russian edition of Scientific American, "Antiscience
Trends in the U.S.S.R.", Scientific American 265(2):32-38, August 1991]