Just because there's currently a branch of physics that is wonderfully ungrounded in observational evidence doesn't mean that all of physics, far less all of science, has moved into a post-empirical state. Particle physics remains wedded to the core notion that to be meaningful a theory must (i) explain everything we presently know to be true, and then (ii) make novel predictions that existing theories can't make. Only if those novel predictions are empirically confirmed do we care about it. Until then, string theory is a wonderful hobby for those who like to play with mathematics and perhaps one day it may even be useful. But it remains a fringe element, not the core of contemporary particle physics.

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