Saying they gave it the old college try, scientists are cutting bait on understanding superstring theory as the potential explainer of everything, including the origins of the universe. In a tersely worded statement, the American Physical Society said, “In the beginning, everything was here, and that’s all there is to it.”
Physicist Edward Witten, whose groundbreaking work led to the second superstring revolution, was among the most disappointed, but concurred with the decision. “I gave up a lot of bowling nights to this line of thought,” said Witten, who describes understanding superstring theory as “the intellectual equivalent of playing beer pong blindfolded in the middle of a tornado while being really messed up.”
Hotels and attractions near CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, where millions of tourists had traveled to have their pictures taken with the Higgs boson—a sexy underpinning of superstring theory—saw reservations dry up as experiments were cancelled. “Without the hoopla surrounding superstring theory, the LHC is just a big, boring hole in the ground,” said one Swiss hotelier.
‘Science needs a break’
Some religious leaders celebrated Science’s failure to crack “the big one.” “Put that in your gap and smoke it, Dawkins,” said Rev. Paul Wilson, pastor of Emerald City Creationist Church. “My God continues to baffle mortals who dare to discern divine wisdom.”
Some scientists confided that they were considering integrating a divine presence with the Standard Model of particle physics, but only to explain why Conan O’Brien still has a late night television show.
“Science needs a break,” said Science. “The plan right now is to close up shop for the summer, kick back, do a little fishing and come back strong in the fall—maybe attend some school science fairs, and then tackle some easy projects to get the mojo back.”
Photo credit: STRING Jacob Vestergaard Almedalsveckan 20120703 1201F by News Oresund, licensed under CC 2.0