This may be a naive question as I am only still working on my undergrad in physics and while I am quite familiar with special relativity it will be another year or two before I formally study general relativity. On top of that my knowledge of the modern work to explain gravity alongside quantum mechanics is qualitative at best. Either way, this is what I was wondering. From what I understand a fundamental assertion of general relativity is that gravity is not a force in itself but rather the appearance of a force due to changes in relative motion as a result of space-time distortion caused by some large mass. Does that seem correct or am I way off? So assuming I am not wrong, there seems to be an obvious contradiction in the Standard Model of expecting gravity to be mediated by a particle since this is precisely what general relativity claimed it was not. With this realization the whole notion of searching for a graviton seems completely silly. *** So assuming that I am not completely wrong in my interpretation here, I can only see a couple of reasonable justifications for postulating the graviton: 1) Einstein has gone the way of Newton. Physicists have decided that while general relativity works very well it does not in fact describe an actual reality and a different model is needed to more correctly explain the underlying mechanism. 2) The graviton is not actually expected to mediate gravitation directly, but rather it is the component of mass which distorts space-time (this statement may be particularly naive of me since I honestly have no clue how exactly mass bends space-time in general relativity). I suppose what I am saying is that it would be something that gives things mass, so to say. But from what I have read about the graviton this does not seem to be what is expected of it. 3) No good reason. Excitement over the successes of particle physics and quantum mechanics have moved the focus towards and quantum/particle description of gravity just because it would tie everything up in a nice convenient little package. *** Numbers 1 and 3 kind of say the same thing, particularly because #1 would be a rather hasty move in my opinion since so little has been accomplished in replacing general relativity. It may not describe an actual reality but doesn't it seem reckless to assume that before you have any better explanation? So if I am wrong about anything, please let me know. Maybe this is another one of those embarrassing gray areas where no one agrees, in which case just give me your two cents!