Slate today has an article entitled Theory of Anything? about Lawrence Krauss’s recent book and the controversy over string theory. The article begins by describing Krauss as having “a reputation for shooting down pseudoscience.” and goes on to say:
Yet in his latest book, Hiding in the Mirror, Krauss turns on his own—by taking on string theory, the leading edge of theoretical physics. Krauss is probably right that string theory is a threat to science, but his book proves he’s too late to stop it.
The article ends with the following summary:
Hiding in the Mirror does a much better job of explaining string theory than discrediting it. Krauss knows he’s right, but every time he comes close to the kill he stops to make nice with his colleagues. Last year, Krauss told a New York Times reporter that string theory was “a colossal failure.” Now he writes that the Times quoted him “out of context.” In spite of himself, he has internalized the postmodern jargon. Goodbye, Department of Physics. Hello, String Studies.
Update: Lubos Motl deals with the Slate article with the all-too-familiar favorite tactic of many string theorists when faced with criticism of the theory: don’t respond to the argument being made, but instead attack the intelligence and competence of the person making the argument. After all, they’re not a string theorist, so how bright can they be? In this case Lubos informs us that “Boutin’s intelligence resembles that of dogs”, while repeating his favorite claim that the status of string theory is much like that of the theory of evolution.