My grandmother asked me "what has string theory achieved so far ?" (poor her, she seems to think I could answer that question, so I tried my best not to deceive her...) I gave here the analogy of a crime scene investigation (CSI): - suppose you´re a detective (string theorist) and you are presented with a very mysterious crime scene (our universe) with aprroximately 50 indices (the fundamental constants of nature). You are asked to find the culprit (the laws of nature). - so you think, the best approach (the scientific one) is to build a CSI model, with all the most advanced mathematics (and you even develop new ones). In the process, you become very enthusiastic, because your model also provides better explanations on other crime related issues : for example, how a cat gets destroyed in a washing machine (black hole entropy). - then you say : well, our conclusion, is that probably we´ll never be able to solve the crime, because our model shows that there are at least 10^300 possible culprits. But rest assured, the crime really happened, because we were there to observe it... we are pretty confident that our model is the best to explain how crimes are performed (including the one with the cat). So my grandmother says : " so they don´t solve the crime ? Christian, you probably got it wrong" I surely did, so now suppose I am your grandmother... PS : despite the cynical and somewhat irreverentious tone, this is a GENUINE question.