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PBS Video: Why String Theory Is Wrong

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Hmmm. We don’t often see serious skepticism of Cool ideas like string theory except from brave souls like Sabine Hossenfelder. 

With luck, if this pans out to be a serious discussion, it will begin a trend.

Note: Some of us would be okay with “Why String Theory Is Right,” provided it is a response to skepticism taken seriously and the theory is treated as a theory with serious problems—not a sort of foregone conclusion, upholding a multiverse.

Hat tip: RealClearScience

See also: 

Sabine Hossenfelder: Black holes do not behave as string theorists say they should

“Perhaps physics has slipped into a post-empirical era…” (from a review of Hossenfelder’s book at Physics World)

Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence

and

Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence

One Reply to “PBS Video: Why String Theory Is Wrong

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    “Some of us would be okay with “Why String Theory Is Right,” provided it is a response to skepticism taken seriously and the theory is treated as a theory with serious problems—not a sort of foregone conclusion, upholding a multiverse.”

    Is there such a thing as a “theory” with serious problems?

    I’ve always been told a theory is much more certain than this. I could give many examples, but for instance, Jamie Tanner, a biologist at Marlboro College says this about what a scientific theory is:

    “Every scientific theory starts as a hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that doesn’t fit into a currently accepted scientific theory. In other words, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hypothesis is an idea that hasn’t been proven yet. IF ENOUGH EVIDENCE ACCUMULATES TO SUPPORT A HYPOTHESIS, IT MOVES TO THE NEXT STEP – KNOWN AS A THEORY – IN THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND BECOMES ACCEPTED AS A VALID EXPLANATION OF A PHENOMENON.” [This is only one example of many I could give.]

    Hmmm. It seems to me that scientists use the word theory quite loosely and often try to make something that has serious problems sound as certain as a real scientific theory. Yet they chide us lay people and ridicule us if we say something like “But it’s only a theory.”

    Is there anyone willing to call String Theory a valid explanation of a phenomenon? If it has serious problems, I seriously doubt it. They should not use the word theory in this case. It should be called the String Hypothesis.

    It’s about time scientists start using the word “theory” properly instead of using it to mislead lay people who know no better.

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