String theory is not without its critics in the physics community. I saw this article mentioned over at Peter Woit's blog, Not Even Wrong
. Woit, who's quoted in the article, detests both string theory and the effects it's had on hiring, promotion and tenure decisions in physics departments around the country. He's not exactly a voice crying out in the wilderness, but he's nearer the outskirts of town than the town square.
To: RadioAstronomer; longshadow; PatrickHenry; RightWingAtheist; Ernest_at_the_Beach
Yes, yes, yes, they know it all better ... so there is a theory for that and a theory for this. Reality is they know squat.
posted on 03/16/2005 4:18:21 AM PST
(Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
I saw a two hour special on String Theory not long ago. In order to get the inconsistencies between quantum mechanics and relativity theory ironed out, the math becomes very complicated and you wind up with something like eleven dimensions. Scientists admitted that no one seemed capable of really understanding the implications of the theory and being able to convey it to each other, let alone a skeptical public.
My own belief is that as you bore down to an essential underlying theory of everything, explanations should become simpler and the math more elegant, not more complex.
My instinct tells me that String Theory is just a rickety scaffold for mathematicians to play on before the next genius comes along to show us how everything really works.
posted on 03/16/2005 4:49:47 AM PST
It's happened before. In the 1960's, all the theorists were into dispersion relations, S-matrices, Pomerons, and Regge poles. A few mavericks worked with quantum field theory, but most people regarded it as a dead end. Nowadays everyone works in quantum field theory, and those other formalisms aren't used.
posted on 03/16/2005 5:28:08 AM PST
I'd be interested in Ward Churchill's take on the 'Theory of Everything'. I'm pretty sure he could come up with the credentials in short order.
So they're searching for The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?
posted on 03/16/2005 10:51:02 AM PST
by Jonah Hex
(Go. Hunt. Kill Skuls.)
You ain't got a thing, if you ain't got that string...do wop, do wop, do wop!
We have a handful of these guys in our physics dept.
They're a little bit out there, even by our standards. :P
To: Jeremiah Jr
It sounds like they need a new Infinite Improbability Drive.
posted on 03/17/2005 8:08:23 PM PST
(Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.)
posted on 01/31/2006 10:03:39 AM PST
(In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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