A recent book by by Lee Smolin "The Trouble With Physics" gives his views about how String Theory fails even by the nature of it's science. An excellent review of his argument can be found here.
http://io9.com/string-theory/

I found this compelling despite having spent much time trying to understand Strings and its 11 dimensions. If this theory doesn't work scientifically then what other areas of research could lead potentially to a Theory of Everything? I hear about Supergravity but don't know details. Just wondering what others think and get some help understanding.

Tags: Physics, string-theory

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The trouble isn't with physics; it's with mathematics. Equations don't describe reality; they approximate reality.

A case in point. We who took part in getting people to the moon and back knew of the mid-course corrections our mathematics required.

Our math required corrections because the differential equations we fed into the computers did not adequately describe how the earth's density varied from place to place (inside the earth), and so did not adequately describe the effect of earth gravity on the vehicle as it traveled to the moon. Radar measurements showed that a vehicle enroute to the moon was slowly getting farther away from where our computers said it should be, so we corrected the terms that described the vehicle's location.

One of our number pointed out that our ability to predict weather depends on our writing equations with enough terms to describe all that can happen after the butterfly in China moves its wings.

Enter the few people who so loved doing mathematical reasoning that they forgot that the equations merely approximated reality.We who did applied math teased those who did pure math with this toast: "Here's to pure mathematics; may it never be of use to anyone."

One dictionary defines cosmology as a combination of metaphysics and astronomy. Metaphysics is too much like religion for cosmology to be a science.

I agree that with string-theory the mathematics is the entire basis for it's predictions, but cosmology and physics use math to understand phenomena in testable ways. In string-theory that's not possible. Einstein's Theory of General Relativity was a completely mathematical construct that took 10 yrs of pure theoretical physics and math, but it is testable and falsifiable.

The fact that the equations couldn't account for all variables in Apollo or robotic missions, or even satellite launches doesn't change the fact that none of those things could be done without the math.

Cosmology defined as metaphysics comes from the the word's original usage in the 17th century and using that definition for modern cosmology is wrong. It only shows judgemental views that dismiss entire areas of scientific research. I'd still like to discuss current ideas in physics, especially whether a Theory of Everything can be discovered or is it impossible.

Is GUT good for humanity?

Considering 'The Principle Of Uncertainty',is such a theory even possible?

String theory is great! 

Yes, it's never made a testable prediction, and yes it has never expanded the explanatory power of general relativity (GR) and quantum mechanics (QM).  But, it investigates a hypothesis, that hypothesis being that GR and QM can be unified.  And some physicists that agree that string theory hasn't done any of the heavy lifting that a unifying theory is supposed to do, still say that it is currently our best hope of doing it.  If one day the idea of unification is given up on or one day a complete unification theory is developed that is totally counter to string theory, the physicists who discover the answer will be undoubtedly grateful for what string theory didn't discover. Smart people investigating things that turned out to be wrong are how I can understand why certain things turned out to be right. 

If anyone has a better argument for unification, let them bring it forth.  Alternately, if someone wants to argue that there can be no unification (my personal bias is in their camp) let them bring that forth.

Until then, why would we give up on something that the experts in the field seem committed to  (unification) and to date is the only plausible theory working in that direction?  

Why would we give up on something (unification) that the experts in the field seem committed to, and to date is the only plausible theory working in that direction?

One reason (the best reason) to give up on an unproductive investigation is a lack of money for the salaries and other expenses.

BTW, I don't know who's been paying the bills.

From a utilitarian standpoint, I could almost agree with you.  But, when Maxwell and Einstein were working on electromagnetism and special relativity, the utility argument would have stood against both of them continuing (in fact in the case of Einstein, a good argument could have been made that he was wasting tax payer money).   But when I look back on the history of science, a great deal of it's greatest discoveries weren't based on some kind of short-term utility.  They were, in fact, based on just wanting to know why?  And maybe that is a good utilitarian answer: Striving to find out why has a proven empirical value even though we may not realize it at the time.  As for who is funding the particular endeavor of unification (or any other cutting edge science), I don't know, but I tend to think that, "thank goodness they are."  

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