It appears that peer review has indeed succeeded in the minimal accomplishment of excluding total nutcases from the scientific literature.
I wonder why. In peer review the referees are chosen by the editor. The editor makes the final decision. It should be easy for a rich nutcase to set up a peer reviewed nutcase journal in which the peers chosen to referee articles belong to the same deranged sect as the editor and the authors of the articles. What's the problem. Peer review is a process. It's content is based on the choice of the peers. That choice is made, in secret, by editors. I could tell you stories about cronyism leading to a lazy good for nothing getting articles published by editors who are his personal friends, but I don't want to talk dirt on my personal friends.
One famous example of the insanity exclusion, is the fact that all peer reviewed articles on global warming present evidence that supports the claim that human activities are, at least, the major factor in recent warming. I think this happened because the claim is true and said human activities result in such a mass of evidence that any serious honest inquiry reaches that conclusion. Others (cough senator Inhofe cough) might consider this the result of a conspiracy by editors of peer reviewed journals to mislead us.
Another example is abstinence only sex eduction. The claim that it has benefits is not supported by the peer reviewed literature hence
Progressives' focus on scientific legitimacy in their critiques has put abstinence-only advocates, who have long enjoyed their favored status within the Bush administration, on the defensive. They've resorted to citing non-peer-reviewed studies by outfits like the Heritage Foundation to back up the claim that their science is sound and accusing peer-reviewed journals of conspiring to silence them. "What they are saying is that, in order to be medically and scientifically accurate, you must be verified and supported in your research by peer review," Focus on the Family's Linda Klepacki told the Christian Examiner. "Abstinence education cannot get into peer-review journals because the journals are controlled by far-left liberal organizations that do not allow us to publish. That automatically eliminates abstinence-only education, from their standpoint."But I mean jesus, if Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson can set up their own "universities" why can't they set up a peer reviewed journal ?
I assume this blog is not read by much of anyone and certainly not by rich right wing nut cases, or I wouldn't make the suggestion.
Update from comments
True Maxine, but the cut off appears to be "peer reviewed" not "peer reviewed with an impact factor over 0.1". Also, even though same journal cites are not (always) counted. It would be easy for mr Rich wingnut to set up two wingnut journals which cite each other. Citation analysis can't protect the literature from a group of pointless mutually citing journals as is agreed by almost all economists and sociologists (who tend to disagree about what the group of pointless journals is).