This is about the sixth week in a row that the Sunday New York Times Book Review has had something about string theory or the Landscape controversy. It has become the main place in the popular press to follow this. Tomorrow’s issue contains a letter from Susskind responding to the recent review of his book by Corey Powell.
Susskind has two complaints about the review:
1. That he was not engaging in “braggadocio” by writing “as much as I would very much like to balance things by explaining the opposing side, I simply can’t find that other side” since “The comment merely reflects a fact that all parties, on both sides of the controversy, agree upon: as things stand now, there is no explanation of the fine tunings of nature other than the one discussed in my book.”
This isn’t really accurate. For fine tunings other than the CC, there are other widely accepted explanations (e.g. supersymmetry). For the CC, many people don’t believe that the anthropic string theory landscape is really an explanation, at least not a scientific one.
2. He justifiably complains that Powell accuses him of believing that we are about to discover a “final answer” to the problems of fundamental physics. He is quite right that he doesn’t actually make any such claim, and that his point of view and Powell’s don’t differ here.
Update: The Moonie-owned right-wing newspaper The Washington Times has a review of Susskind’s book. It describes the argument of the book and ends:
To religious believers, the idea that the universe is designed by a Creator to allow the existence of human life is fundamental. To Mr. Susskind and those who think like him, that idea is so unacceptable that they are willing to abandon the idea that nature follows one set of laws, the principle upon which modern science was founded.
The reviewer at least has noticed that Susskind is giving up on modern science, although he attributes this to Susskind’s unwillingness to face up to evidence for intelligent design, instead of unwillingness to face up to the failure of his pet theory.
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