We are told that string theory “might limit the cosmic inflation that is thought to have expanded the early universe”:
Brendan Z. Foster, “Will String Theory Finally Be Put to the Experimental Test?” at Scientific American
One way to rule out the idea is if we can prove that it does not predict an essential feature of the universe. And string theory, it turns out, has a persistent problem describing the most popular account of what went on during the universe’s earliest moments after the big bang: inflation.>
Our physics color commentator, Rob Sheldon, author of The Long Ascent I and The Long Ascent II, offers, “This article explains precisely why thousands of theoretical physicists have not made any progress in 40 years. One hopelessly ad hoc and unsupported theory (inflation) conflicts with another hopelessly unphysical theory (string theory) and then others purport to resolve the difficulty by resorting to highly questionable phenomena (gravity waves). Like the Wuhan virus, there will come a time when we can all look back and point out the obvious human failures, but in the middle of this epidemic, it seems that the disease proliferates exponentially, infecting everything it touches.”
A layperson might well ask, given that string theory is a gateway to the long-desired multiverse (the naturalist’s only reasonable argument against the massive evidence for the fine-tuning of our universe for life), is there any real likelihood that these crowds of naturalist physicists will just give up on the idea? We may as well ask the fortuneteller to give up on the idea that she has special powers to foretell the future.
See also: Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence
The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?