String non-theory failing its "tests"---we need a replacement http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3338 String Theory Fails Another Test, the “Supertest” ==sample excerpt== Wednesday’s CMS result finding no black holes in early LHC data has led to internet headlines such as String Theory Fails First Major Experimental Test (for what this really means, see here). At a talk today at CERN, yet another impressive new CMS result was announced, this one causing even more trouble for string theory (if you believe in purported LHC tests of string theory, that is…). Back in 1997, Physics Today published an article by Gordon Kane with the title String Theory is Testable, Even Supertestable. It included as Figure 2 a detailed spectrum which was supposed to show the sort of thing that string theory predicts. ...At CERN today, the CMS talk in the end-of-year LHC jamboree has a slide labeled “First SUSY Result at the LHC!”, showing dramatically larger exclusion ranges for possible squark and gluino masses. Over much of the relevant range, gluino masses are now excluded all the way up to 650 GeV. It looks like string theory has failed the “supertest”. If you believe that string theory “predicts” low-energy supersymmetry, this is a serious failure. ... ==endquote== It's clear that string theory is fine as a mathematical theory. Interesting and with many potential uses. I have never criticized string theory as such---though sometimes skeptical of claims by the theorists. On the other hand as physics theories of unification go it has not produced predictions (or even a clear formulation of M-theory). Advertised "predictions"---more hopes than tests---like large extra dimensions, collider black holes, low-energy supersymmetry---do not seem to be working out. What could we turn to as an alternative physical theory of unification? Something to think speculatively about, instead of this growing disillusionment. Would Connes spectral geometry fill the bill? It does not require supersymmetry. It does not raise the tantalizing prospect of collider black holes. It makes some concrete physical predictions. It appears to be a serious unification bid. Maybe the Connes NCG realization of the Standard Model could fill the mental gap, as a speculative unification prospect.