Journal of Cosmology
|Style over substance|
“”Because JOC's editorial policy was to publish all peer-reviewed science-based theories, including articles that directly challenged the "sacred cows" of "conventional wisdom," its success posed a direct threat to the entire scientific establishment and the "gate-keepers" who wish to protect easily disproved myths and crush dissenting views. Suddenly, here was this upstart, highly successful scientific journal, with a prestigious editorial board, which was directly challenging the status quo and their control over science.
|—Lana Tao, in a press release announcing (prematurely) that the journal is about to stop publishing|
The Journal of Cosmology is a supposedly-scientific journal. It was established in 2009, and, despite a press release claiming they were storming out in a huff as of May 2011, is publishing to the present. With a completely misleading name, it is a source for cranks as "proof" of pseudoscience claims.
In his comments on the 2011 "bacteria in a meteorite" brouhaha, PZ Myers described it thus: "the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics obsessed with the idea of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth." Unsurprisingly, it is not in fact peer reviewed, despite claiming to be. It also has remarkably fast turnaround times — with as little as 10 days between the actual experiment and final publication.
The "About" page of the website lists the following people under "Editors" (academic titles are skipped):
- Rudolph "Rudy" Schild (as "Editor-in-Chief" and "Executive Editor," perhaps of Astronomy, Astrophysics; the page spells his first name as "Rudolf")
- Carl H. Gibson ("Executive Editor")
- John McKim Malville ("Executive Editor")
- Michael Russell ("Executive "Guest" Editor")
- Joel S. Levine ("Executive "Guest" Editor")
- Subhash Kak ("Executive Editor")
- N. C. Wickramasinghe ("Executive Editor")
- Lana Tao ("Senior Executive Managing Director")
- Roger Penrose ("Executive "Guest" Editor"… WTF???)
“”The torches and pitchforks crowd, led by astronomer-wannabe Phil Plait claims it's not so. But then, Plait's most famous discovery was finding one of his old socks when it went missing after a spin in his dryer.
|—Journal of Cosmology Science News on Plait's comments on the hypothetical planet Tyche|
The journal issued its first volume in September 2009. It contained a single original paper — a panspermia article by Rhawn Joseph. (The rest of Volume 1 are comments and a reprint of an article by Svante Arrhenius. David Brin was one of the people invited to review the article, but his review was met with, again, ad hominem attacks by "the editor," who accused him "in emotion-drenched terms, of defaming and insulting Dr. Joseph." PZ Myers directly called the article "complete garbage."
The whole of Volume 4 was devoted to quantum consciousness.
Bacteria in a meteorite?
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My porn is science, dammit!
In the summer of 2011, the journal published an article by Rhawn Joseph entitled "Sexual Consciousness: The Evolution of Breasts, Buttocks and the Big Brain." PZ Myers made fun of the article's thesis and the random images of naked women that it contained. Some other people were not happy about it either, because the article was
retracted moved to Rhawn Joseph's site (BrainMind.com) and its original page got replaced with a whiny rant decrying "censorship."
At the same time, cosmology.com published a long, uh, "satire" against PZ Myers, interspersed with Photoshopped images of Myers' head attached to the bodies of obese women in skimpy clothing. While it has been removed from the front page, the rant still exists as a sub-page of cosmology.com, though it repeatedly asserts that cosmology.com is not connected to the Journal of Cosmology. There's a little problem with that claim, though — both sites also very obviously share the same web designer with BrainMind.com, someone who loves 1990s-era static HTML and large background pictures of nebulae.
- Journal of Cosmology
- Microbes on a Moonbeam: Disentangling the Meteorite Microbe Claims, Leila Battison's impressions from the meteorite paper and the publishing process at the journal
- Journal of Cosmology To Stop Publishing—Killed by Thieves and Crooks, Lana Tao, 14 February 2011, reproduced in Journal of Cosmology Going Out with Big Bang, 'David Dobbs's Somatic Marker (Archive.org)
- About the Journal, Journal of Cosmology, accessed 7 March 2011 (archived by WebCite®)
- The Thought Stash — Scientists: how long does it typically take between data collection and paper acceptance?
- Journal of Cosmology, Bad Astronomy and Universe Today Forum thread
- Tyche: Rogue Planet Discovered in Oort Cloud, the Journal of Cosmology Science News, Gabriel Beck, 16 February 2011 (archived by WebCite®)
- Life on Earth Came From Other Planets, Rhawn Joseph (archived by WebCite®)
- An "explanation" for life's origins that falls way short, Sentient Developments, 23 September 2009 (includes the unpublished text of the review)
- An amusingly suspicious “paper”, Pharyngula, 23 July 2009
- The Infinite Universe vs the Myth of the Big Bang: Red Shifts, Black Holes, Acceleration, Life., Rhawn Joseph, Journal of Cosmology, Volume 6, January 2010
- The hubba-hubba theory of human evolution, Pharyngula, 14 June 2011
- Censored Article: The Evolution of Sexual Consciousness, Journal of Cosmology
- Professional science journalism, Pharyngula, 20 July 2011
- This Special Edition of Cosmology.com is in Honor of P. Z. Myers: Professional Crackpot, Hate-Monger, and Ignorant Lard Ass