Field of Science

The Trouble With Everything

I am looking forward to reading Lee Smolin's new and hot 'The Trouble with Physics' in which he lambasts string theory as a science that is being pursued for the sake of elegance and beauty instead of agreement with experiment, which is the bedrock of the scientific method. Well, it's probably wrong to say that theoretical physicists are avoiding predictions that agree with experiments. What Smolin seems to think is that there have been very few experimental predictions made by the theory, which have not even been verified, and so the main justification for pursuing the theory seems to be mathematical elegance. Also, the predictions that do have been made seem to be verifiable only at very high energies, not achievable in the near future. A physicist friend of mine tells me that the option for this is to look back to the early universe and have 'observational' instead of 'experimental' evidence for the predictions of string theory, something like what they did for the Big Bang which won a Nobel this year.

That is why chemistry appeals to me more, although I find physics very interesting too. In chemistry, theory has to be necessarily much closer to experiment. That's why Woodward chose chemistry over mathematics I believe.

Anyway, more after I actually read the book.

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