Sunday, September 16, 2007
Is reality stringlike?
Full disclosure: I am a long-time fan of Peter Woit's blog Not Even Wrong. Along with that prominent critic of string theory, I believe that any theory that makes no concrete testable predictions should not be considered scientific--not, at least, until that theory evolves into a form in which it *can* make such predictions. Currently, from what I understand, string theory is incapable of making any testable predictions, although its proponents point to a number of specific areas in physics in which it has clarified our understanding, from black holes to the cosmological constant. Most if not all string theorists--I'm thinking of a few with blogs--would regard me as ludicrously unqualified to have an opinion on this matter due to my lack of technical knowledge. That is their right. I shall maintain, however, that the burden of proof is still on the stringers to make their case unequivocally. Beautiful mathematics is still mathematics; a solid framework for a theory is still a framework; honest-to-God science is something else.