An explanation for everything will have to wait

Cosmic Variance suggests that news articles and opinion to the contrary, the String Wars haven't ended. String theory still has something to offer, though it might take a while for all or parts of it to be vindicated.

Ultimately, of course, string theory must make contact with data inorder to remain relevant and interesting. But profound ideas don’t come with expiration dates; that contact might come next year, ten years from now, or a century from now. In the meantime, the relative importance of string theory within the high-energy physics community is bound to take a hit, as results from the Large Hadron Collider promise to bring us firmly beyond the Standard Model and present theorists with new experimental puzzles to solve. A resurgent interest in more phenomenological particle physics is already easy to discern in hiring patterns and graduate-student interests.

Bonus: under "Daily Linkage" on the front page of IFblog is a link to some science philosophizing at Cosmic Variance on the subject of "what I believe but can't prove." It's pretty good take on the 2005 Annual Edge Question.

Wayne

Wikipedia: Standard Model, Large Hadron Collider, Particle Physics, Phenomenology