Thursday, December 14, 2006

Two Book-Length Critiques of String Theory

Two book-length critiques of string theory have recently been published --
I plan to read both. The reviews suggest that Smolin may be more solid, while Woit is more vituperative, but Woit (a lecturer) is commended for including understandable explanations of string theory concepts, which have been kept obscure by ST practitioners, to limit others' ability to understand and criticize.

Interestingly, web videos (e.g. by the ubiquitous Brian Greene) make no effort to state any practical information about ST, conveying only super broad assertions and vague metaphors.

For another good critique, see the
ST chapter in Penrose, "The Road to Reality," where inter alia he points out that higher numbers of dimensions are unfeasible since they add way too many degrees of freedom and thus push the energies out of range. (In reply to which Witten has proposed 3D formulations.)

Certainly this is a strange new chapter in the history and philosophy of western science.