> multiverse models into "holy" string theory is more likely to kill
> string theory than to rehabilitate multiverses. Perhaps I am getting a
> biased view by only reading this one blog, which opposes string theory,
> but it seems that more and more people are saying that the emperor has
> no clothes. If string theory needs a multiverse then it is even less
> likely to ever be able to make physical predictions, and its prospects
> are even worse than had been thought. A lot of people seem to be piling
> on and saying that it is time for physics to explore alternative ideas.
> The hostile NY Times book review is just one example.
But if life on Earth is a random accident in a universe where only chance yielded laws of physics suitable for life, why stop there? Perhaps string theory itself is nothing special and only part of a wider spectrum of possible prescriptions for reality. If the search for a unique and inevitable explanation of Nature has proved illusory at every step, is it really plausible that suddenly string theory can make everything right at the last? Reading Susskind's book should make you doubt that possibility, in which case we may have reached the end of the search for underlying simplicity that has driven physics since the beginning. A comment made by Steven Weinberg in his 1977 book The First Three Minutes sums things up well: "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless." Pointless to look for meaning in our existence in the universe, and also (according to Susskind) pointless to look for meaning in physics. To a physicist, this is a pretty depressing conclusion, but there is some consolation: The beauty we perceive in the laws of physics perhaps tells us as much about the human aesthetic response as it does about any fundamental design of the universe. In short, physics is a human creative art on the same level as painting and music, and that is reason enough to be proud of what the subject has achieved.