Peer-review: A New Signature of Quack Science

The Advisory and Editorial Board lists individuals

  • who cannot be found in the departments/schools to which they are claimed to belong: Alfredo PereiraBurak Erdeniz, Attila GrandpierreDonald Mender, Michael B. Mensky, Subhash Kak;
  • who are found in departments unrelated to neurology or physics: Diana Gasparyan and Tatyana Petrovna Lifintseva are in humanities, Michael Persinger is in psychology and arts, Kemal Koc (see page 29) is in the college of education;
  • who belong to departments that don’t seem to exist. Gustav Bernroider is an example. Here are all the departments of the University of Salzburg (as you can see there is no department of Ecology and Evolution). Here are all the departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences (all links take you to the respective departments where you can find a list of members in that department, EXCEPT Ecology and Evolution which has only a link to a botanical garden);
  • who seem to be “free-lance researchers:” Fred H. Thaheld, who appears to be a mechanical engineer (also see here) and Greg P. Hodes, who simply holds a PhD (in philosophy) from University of Kansas.

Not a single member of the Advisory and Editorial Board of NeuroQuantology has a background in neurology or quantum physics, the two main fields in which NeuroQuantology claims to publish!

I have cited only two examples of “peer-reviewed” journals that publish pseudoscience. Nevertheless, these two are typical of all pseudoscientific journals and sites: The editors are pseudoscientists, the advisory board members are  pseudoscientists, and the “peers” who “review” articles are pseudoscientists.

In a publishing field in which prayer, telepathy, psychic phenomena, clairvoyance, reincarnation, parapsychology, all branches of alternative medicine, and precognition are fair games, what gets filtered out in the “peer-review” process?

4 thoughts on “Peer-review: A New Signature of Quack Science”

  1. Not everyone with a PhD and a research history is capable of adequately dealing with new findings when they clash with received wisdom. For example, I work to find mathematically simple patterns present in the sequencing of orbital partials in shells of atomic nuclei. For spheres, the math turns out to come directly from Pascal Triangle combinatorics (though values are all doubled due to spin-pairing of nucleons). The math is exact- no crazy equations with strange terms, and always gives known results. Yet reactions to these findings often resemble political or religious attacks. All quantum physics is based on simple mathematics, but it seems that modern workers have given up on this notion, which might explain their fondness for esoteric forms, such as perturbational formulations.

  2. Excellent article, although one must consider when science is falsely labeled as pseudoscience and that true peer review of the scientific method takes place when experiment and theory is put to the test by attempts at replication. If one is blocked at the journal/publishing level this scientific process is stymied.

    Today’s scientists no longer face the hurdle of a publisher’s peer review to get work printed. If you have fallen into an unknown realm who is your peer? Obviously only those who you find there with you. The Internet allowed the peers of cold fusion research to publish, which is the first step in involving the larger community in your scientific endeavor. Only after publishing can true scientific review begin, attempts at replication.

    LENR the Debutante at the Ball
    http://coldfusionnow.org/lenr-the-debutante-at-the-ball/

    The Skepticism required by the Scientific Method is meant to apply to all models, those proposed and those both offered and accepted in the past; and, especially, of our very own. This last ensures better offered models.

    There are about 35 models contributing to comprehending nuclear behaviour. That they are all variously successful indicates that threshing for commonalities is paramount. It also allows that we just don’t know it all.

    LENR Conversation between a Researcher, Chemist, Astronomer, Quantum Theorist, Student, and a Layman
    http://gbgoble.kinja.com/lenr-conversation-between-a-researcher-chemist-astron-1681637829

    1. Deepak Chopra believes that his “science” is falsely labeled as pseudoscience. In fact, all pseudoscientists believe that their “science” is falsely labeled as pseudoscience, just as Hitler believed that his regime was falsely labeled as dictatorship.

      If the mainstream scientists persistently — I’m not talking about their initial resistance to ideas that have not yet been verified experimentally — do not accept an idea, it is not science. Read the article at
      http://www.csicop.org/si/show/post-materialist_science_a_smokescreen_for_woo
      to see what is science and what is not.

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