Rhawn Joseph and a new silly claim about extraterrestrial life

He’s back. The weird mastermind behind the Journal of Cosmology and Cosmology.com has created yet another fake journal, The Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews, and has made another bold claim. By looking at photos from the Mars Rovers, using just his mighty brain, he has determined that the surface of Mars is covered with mushrooms, lichens, and the bones of dead Martians, and further, he has convinced a cheesy British tabloid to report on it, so it must be true.

This is the rabbit hole I got sucked in to today, and since I’ve written about this goofball so many times before, this time I had to make it a video.

“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.”

No, we haven’t found good evidence of life on Mars.

The tabloid that annoyed me:

A few books by Rhawn Joseph:

Mars: Evidence of Life:: Evolution, Algae, Viking, ALH8401, Stromatolites, Fungi, Bones, Skulls, Methane, Martians

Sexual Consciousness: Evolution of Female Breasts, Buttocks & the Big Brain

Sexuality: Female Evolution & Erotica

Female Sexuality: The Naked Truth

Online articles by Rhawn Joseph:



Rhawn Joseph’s professional affiliation:

The Martian “science” articles discussed here:

Sex On Mars: Pregnancy, Fetal Development, and Sex In Outer Space

The high probability of life on Mars

Evidence of life on Mars

A High Probability of Life Mars: The Consensus of 70 Experts in Fungi, Lichens, Geomorphology, Mineralogy

The Fake Journals mentioned:

Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews

Journal of Cosmology


If you really want to look closely at Joseph’s brilliant satirical work, photoshopping my face onto obese women’s bodies, I have a copy here. The original was taken down.

Professional science journalism

Examples of the kinds of dissections that enraged Dr Joseph:

Did scientists discover bacteria in meteorites?

NASA speaks out boldly on the ‘bacteria from space’ claims

I am getting a very poor impression of astrobiology

The Journal of Cosmology replies

An inside view of the Journal of Cosmology

The hubba-hubba theory of human evolution

Diatoms…iiiiin spaaaaaaaaaaace!

I’m not the troll, but I think they caught one in their sample

Funny Looking Rock found on Mars!


No wonder he hates me.

If you want some real science, NASA has all these beautiful images collected by the Mars rovers available for your perusal.

Opportunity: All 228,771 Raw Images

Please don’t scan through them looking for imaginary aliens to fit your wacky hypotheses, or I shall mock you.


  1. larpar says

    From the ‘Professional science journalism’ link, talking about PZ:

    “His academic affiliation? Clown college (they must be very proud!)
    Where did he get his degree? Clown Junior College. ”

    How can you teach at Clown College when you only have a degree from a junior college. I expected standards at Clown College to be much higher.

  2. says

    larpar #2:

    Clown College is aggressive. If you don’t know how to savage the soul of an eight-year-old just with your makeup, you don’t even pass sophomore year.

    Clown Junior College just teaches you how to make children cry. And advanced balloon animal husbandry.

  3. madtom1999 says

    Has anyone managed to put together a realistic situation where panspermia would work without use of rockets and the like?

  4. birgerjohansson says

    If we are to discuss purely fictional claims about eldritch horrors from space, I have a good news item. Charles Stross has a contract for a TV series based on the “Laundry” books!
    No need to read the unimaginative crap of wossname, Rhawn, connoisseurs of extra-terrestrial horrors want the good stuff.
    I bet Rhawn has not even a single tentacle sighting nor any experience of travelling to the Dreamlands.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    And Clown College actually produced at least one king of Lancre, unlike whatever crappy institution R J attended.

  6. anchor says

    @7madtom1999 – just the hypothesis that microbes might survive within debris blasted off already inhabited planets by big meteoritic impacts until they by chance strike another planet. Of course, it neglects that suitable planetary environments are the best places for cooking up life (though not the raw ingredients for it) in the first place. It all comes from ‘outer space’, after all.

  7. lucifersbike says

    The circulation of British newspapers has been declining for years, but in the case of the tabloids, not nearly fast enough. These are papers for the people who “read” by moving their lips and following the words with their fingers.
    Yes, I’m a howling intellectual snob; if you, like me, were British and moderately well-educated, so would you be. Our press is an utter fetid disgrace.

  8. Richard Smith says

    A few books by Rhawn Joseph:
    Mars: Evidence of Life:: Evolution, Algae, Viking, ALH8401, Stromatolites, Fungi, Bones, Skulls, Methane, Martians
    Sexual Consciousness: Evolution of Female Breasts, Buttocks & the Big Brain
    Sexuality: Female Evolution & Erotica
    Female Sexuality: The Naked Truth

    Given the subject matter of 3/4 of the examples, I would have thought that Venus would have been his favourite planet.

  9. kingoftown says

    The Daily Express is even worse than the other british tabloid rags. It really only has a few stories that it loops over and over again. It’s always one of these:

    The Royals/Diana are lovely.
    UKIP/ERG member shuts up liberal elite with this one BRILLIANT line.
    Apocalyptic weather coming next week.
    Asteroid going to destroy the world next week.
    Aliens are REAL and these grainy pictures PROVE it.
    Muslims/refugees are SCARY.

  10. blf says

    You may be surprised to learn that there is an olive on Mars

    Sorry ’bout that. It was supposed to be an egg carton, but the Great Galactic Ghoul got to it…

    Still not sure what happened to the inhabitants of the ex-carton. The demise of Opportunity suggests their spirit is roaming about…