Ethan Siegel has a genius for encapsulating what is wrong in science today:
String theory is perhaps the most controversial big idea in all of science today. On the one hand, it’s a mathematically compelling framework that offers the potential to unify the Standard Model with General Relativity, providing a quantum description of gravity and providing deep insights into how we conceive of the entire Universe. On the other hand, its predictions are all over the map, untestable in practice, and require an enormous set of assumptions that are unsupported by an iota of scientific evidence.Ethan Siegel, “Why String Theory Is Both A Dream And A Nightmare” at Forbes
This is the kind of thing that Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, has been complaining about. What, apart from the fancy equipment and number-crunching, makes it science?
So long as we don’t have evidence that demonstrates string theory must be wrong, people will continue to pursue it. But disproving it would require something like demonstrating that no superparticles exist all the way up to the Planck scale, something far beyond the reach of experimental physics today.Ethan Siegel, “Why String Theory Is Both A Dream And A Nightmare” at Forbes
Wait. We don’t have evidence that leprechauns don’t exist either. Does that make them believable?
See also: Post-modern physics: String theory gets over the need for evidence