Two new books have been released recently that discuss problems with String Theory in the field of physics. One book, “Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law” by Peter Woit discusses how String Theory is not scientific. String Theory is not scientific because it can not be tested in the way that other theories can be tested. The title comes from the idea that scientific ideas can only be disproven. That is, we can only find evidence against our ideas. String theory, in Peter Woit’s opinion can not even be proven wrong because it is untestable or unfalsifiable. In scientific circles, to call something “not even wrong” is derogatory (just a step below criticizing someone’s mother).
Lee Smolin has written, “The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next,” in which he describes how theoretical physics has been overtaken by groupthink. That is, the excitement about unifying quantum mechanics and relativity theory led to a process of groupthink in which the field of physics agreed to pursue the goal of string theory even though individual members did not necessarily agree with those goals. Groupthink is thought to lead to failing to look at alternatives, selective bias, and not analyzing the objectives.
Both of these books call for the field of physics to step back and reanalyze objectives, provide alternative theories, and to provide more testable hypotheses.