Fundamental question for this site. I propose to get rid from reputation by by by making it INVISIBLE to other users :) What do you say? I think it will be better then now in many aspects. What should be visible i think is medals, badges and unlocked features. Reputation can stay there but should be invisible as a number. Something to think about.
There's a lot of evidence across the StackExchange network that sites with publicly-visible reputation have produced a lot of useful content.
To say that hiding rep would be better, is an extraordinary claim, and so would require extraordinary evidence. To date, I've seen none.
Especially in fields (like physics, but also languages) where it is easy to make up a lot of bollocks that could be wrong or misleading to non-experts, but sounds like it could be correct, reputation is a valuable indicator how reliable you can expect an answer to be.
Even for sites like StackOverflow where answers are often easy (well, easier) to verify (even for people with little domain knowledge) reputation is very helpful in determining credibility. But here; It's vital.