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The crackpot index is a number that rates scientific claims or the individuals that make them, in conjunction with a method for computing that number. The method, proposed semi-seriously by mathematical physicist John C. Baez in 1992, computes an index by responses to a list of 36 questions, each positive response contributing a point value ranging from 1 to 50. The computation is initialized with a value of −5.
Presumably any positive value of the index indicates crankiness.
Though the index was not proposed as a serious method, it nevertheless has become popular in Internet discussions of whether a claim or an individual is cranky, particularly in physics (e.g., at the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics), or in mathematics.
- Chris Caldwell. "The PrimeNumbers' Crackpot index". Retrieved October 23, 2007.
- Fred J. Gruenberger. "A Measure for Crackpots" (PDF).