Monday, December 14, 2009

Who argues the most from authority?   posted by agnostic @ 12/14/2009 01:00:00 PM

Google results for +"nobel laureate" +X, where X is one of the following:

Chemistry: 317,000
Physics: 415,000
Medicine: 467,000
Economics: 484,000

Of course, there are more winners to refer to in Physics than in Economics, so we should control for that. Dividing the number of Google results by the number of winners gives these per capita rates:

Chemistry: 2032
Physics: 2231
Medicine: 2395
Economics: 7446

If the intellectual merit of a body of ideas is not so well established, you're more likely to deflect attention by reassuring everyone that, hey, it can't be that crazy -- after all, the guy is a Nobel laureate. Perhaps that's why physics ranks above chemistry here, what with string theory etc. taking it further into speculation compared to more grounded chemistry.

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