Saturday, August 23, 2008

What is string theory? Trouble in scientific paradise

There trouble in scientific paradise, where they not only are not in agreement about whether string theory is science, but apparently can't decide on what string theory is.

Don't you hate it when that happens?


Anonymous said...

I'm sure Martin is working on an article on this subject for the Journal of Theoretical Physics as I type.

Martin Cothran said...

Oh yeah, I forgot. You have to have a theoretical physics background to quote physicists on blog.

What was I thinking?

alex.elliott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

String theory is borderline science. It is also a case in science where "theory" is not used in the traditional scientific sense.

Mr Cothran writes that this is "trouble in scientific paradise". But that is the way science operates. It is empirically determined, not revealed truth, not mathematics, and not formal logic. There is often dissension, disagreement, discussion before conclusions are accepted by the majority. It is a process of going from ignorance to model. I suspect it is that sloppiness and uncertainty that troubles Mr Cothran.


nick said...

I heard a great quote on the PBS show about String Theory, called The Elegant Universe. One of the physicists on the show said that it's been proven mathematically but it can't be proven by experiment, and in that case, is it science, or is it philosophy? Hmmm. I think he may have a point, and where science and philosphy meet, maybe that's where we find...... GOD.
Or at least Aristotle. : )