Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Geographical distribution of scientific claims

Richard Dawkins pokes fun at the geographical distribution of religious faiths, and claims that “we immediately see […] how totally ridiculous that is” when we imagine a world where scientific beliefs were distributed in the same way.


Yeah, cause that would be totally silly. Like if, say, macroeconomists along US coastlines tended to claim totally opposite things from those around the large inland freshwater lakes regarding why depressions occur, whether fiscal policy works, whether markets are efficient, etc. If that’s how things were, you might even suspect that macro-economics wasn’t a science at all, which it obviously is: I mean, come on! They’ve got equations, econometrics and jargon that could confuse an audience more thoroughly than a medieval Pope speaking in Latin and tongues. And the holy trinity has nothing on the representative agent – I mean, forget being three and one at the same time, this dude is all of us!!!

Also fun to note: Prankster Paul Krugman takes Dawkin’s joke and runs with it, cooking up some fanciful story about so-called Freshwater and Saltwater economics in the US here (especially section IV and onward) and here. Nice imagining of an alternative bizarro world there that makes it obvious to all just how far from a religion economics in real life actually is.

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