So… That’s how Carrier did it…

In those disciplines where most researchers do not master mathematics, the use of mathematics may be held in too much awe. To demonstrate this I conducted an online experiment with 200 participants, all of which had experience of reading research reports and a postgraduate degree (in any subject). Participants were presented with the abstracts from two published papers (one in evolutionary anthropology and one in sociology). Based on these abstracts, participants were asked to judge the quality of the research. Either one or the other of the two abstracts was manipulated through the inclusion of an extra sentence taken from a completely unrelated paper and presenting an equation that made no sense in the context. The abstract that included the meaningless mathematics tended to be judged of higher quality. However, this “nonsense math effect” was not found among participants with degrees in mathematics, science, technology or medicine.

via Study: Adding Nonsensical Math to a Paper Improves Its Perceived Quality – Neatorama.

HT to someone on FB.

Found this humorous to say the least given the latest round of mythicist garbage… the use of a mathematical formula to disprove the Historical Jesus…

Good times…

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One Reply to “So… That’s how Carrier did it…”

  1. In the scientific world, we call this sort of nonsensical math “reader countermeasures”… sort of a real life practice of the line “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance….”

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