I'm about as far from being a physicist as it is possible to be, though I am fascinated by the history of science & the way it works within Western culture. I am, however, a veteran of the culture
ward wars (if only a foot soldier), and I can tell you that the conservatives in the culture wars -- those who oppose "post-modernism" in all its forms, who distrust the academy on principle, and who believe science exists somehow above or outside human culture -- have taken up arms against string theory. This discussion thread at Cosmic Variance demonstrates my thesis. Reading through the comments, my head was spinning: I thought I was back in the early 1990s debating the politicization of the Humanities. There is just something about the language & rhetoric of cranks that distinguishes itself, whatever the debate. Could string theory be wrong? Sure, any scientific theory can be wrong: that's what makes them scientific in the first place. But the speculations of the stringers clearly set off alarm bells among the end of history / end of science crowd. They respond with venom & derision. The mark of a crank is that he hates imagination.