I’m not a cognitive scientist, so I’ll be curious to see what the blog commentary on this paper might say, but apparently people get smarter when they think about things that don’t make sense. Whether or not irrational beliefs are epistemically compatible with science, this would suggest that they are cognitively helpful for the practice of science.
Basically, the researchers had some students read a convoluted story by Kafka and another group read a more linear story. The each group was tasked with making sense of seemingly random strings of letters that actually did have structure. Those who read Kafka performed better at locating the patterns.