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Comment count is 17
Johnny Madhouse - 2011-04-26

I'd like to get some physicists in here to comment on this, but from what I understand string theory is kind of a wacky idea that doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. I'm not rating this until I know better.

CharlesSmith - 2011-04-26

If that's your level of understanding of string theory, maybe you should come up with a better system for rating videos than how scientifically accurate you think they are. You might not be the best judge of this quality.

StanleyPain - 2011-04-26

Which is probably why he was waiting for more info before rating it.

Johnny Madhouse - 2011-04-26

Yeah, I'm not going to rate videos about scientific topics purely by how entertaining I find them. That's stoner-level appreciation right there, when people talk about having a sense of wonder but aren't willing to put in the effort to actually learn about concepts they find appealing.

Greene is charismatic and talks a good talk, but I haven't seen proof that his ideas are correct. His ideas may as well be ditchwater for all they appear to be worth. I've spent a little time doing some research this morning on the topic, and I'm throwing my lot in with Oscar below.

Two stars for prompting discussion.

Oscar Wildcat - 2011-04-26

We're something like 40 years into the various string theories and not a single experiment has been done to validate any of them. Let that thought sink in for a minute. 40 years of study in a hard science, not a shred of physical evidence. And this is different from theology how? I can't watch 50 minutes of this bilge, but I like the fact that in the first 5 minutes Bishop Berkeley was brought up by the interviewer. Very perceptive, that.

chairsforcheap - 2011-04-26


phalsebob - 2011-04-26

Nothing else explains dark energy and the increasing rate of the expansion of the universe as far as I know. No one in this thread has the chops to comment on its scientific validity.

Greene is a great speaker. That much I know.

Oscar Wildcat - 2011-04-26

Ha! You sound just like my old sunday school teacher when I questioned the material being presented.

"Nothing else explains the heavens and the earth as far as I know. We are not to question the mysteries of the Church."

But more to the point; if we are including theories that are untestable then there are a plethora of candidates for both phenomena you mention.

Knuckles - 2011-04-26

Atomism was considered untestable for a long time too. I'm as skeptical on string theory as anyone, but the main difference between string theorists and theists is that string theorists have never killed anyone who doubted strings exist.

So let them go off and do their crazy math. Who knows, they might eventually prove all of it, or at least pave the way for some other useful theory.

phalsebob - 2011-04-26

He talks specifically about the problems of testing the theory, and what possibilities there are of doing just that.

"Nothing else explains the heavens and the earth as far as I know. We are not to question the mysteries of the Church."- Fart.

Rodents of Unusual Size - 2011-04-26

I've seen some egotism at POE before but this level of looking down on physicists who can do mathematics beyond our comprehension is nothing less than astounding.

FatFatuousNation - 2011-04-26

Yes, String Theory is a descriptive model, not yet empirically tested. But to make a comparison between String Theory and religion belies you know anything substantial about theoretical physics. The theory falls out of observation of the data and mathematical modeling -- creating a model that adequately describes what we observe in the universe around us -- and though it has no empirical support, it *does* succeed at uniting quantum mechanics and general relativity, lending it intuitive support, and it *does* make falsifiable predictions, though not testable within our current engineering capabilities.

Some of you guys are being embarrassingly stupid.

kingarthur - 2011-04-26

I think the same can almost be said for much of economic theory.

Syd Midnight - 2011-04-28

Untestable except for W boson scattering and mini black hole production.

People might laugh at The Next Einstein, science just says "Nice theory, now how much experimental data have you got to back it up with?"

Samisyosam - 2011-04-26


Busby Berkeley - 2011-04-26

Morons and idiots

pastorofmuppets - 2011-04-27

It does happen sometimes that an idea will be explored before it's testable. Wasn't that the case with Bell's theorem?

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