WAWIBF… The UniverseA Friday Thing thing
It may surprise you to learn that the universe we inhabit is comprised of some eleven dimensions. Most of us operate in the standard up, down, sideways and time dimensions, and the dimension inhabited solely by Peaches Geldof. With the help of copious quantities of White Lightning, one can explore the mysterious part of the universe known as 'Pavement outside Threshers', giving rise to the so-called string theory, which connects the observer to a rough-looking dog.
If this isn't making much sense to you, then you're not alone. String Theory - an attempt to explain how the universe works - doesn't even make sense to academics who have spent their entire professional careers theorising on the nature of the universe, often at the expense of their social lives and their chances of entering the Meeting People With Breasts Dimension. There are five versions of String Theory, as it happens, all of which acknowledged to be wrong in some way or another. While we consider weighty subjects, such as the legality of firing Jimmy Carr out of a cannon straight up Jade Goody's mimsy, our brave lads on the frontline of the universe are studying publications such as 'Curvature corrections and Kac-Moody compatibility conditions'. Good work, if you can get it.
And then, along comes Peter Woit, one of the stars of String Theory, who publishes a book called 'Not Even Wrong'. He suggests that everybody might, in fact, be wasting their time on a theory they can't even disprove, let alone find any actual evidence without the help of a friendly local Timelord. But then, he might be wrong on this. We get the feeling that instead of shouting 'Good Lord! He's right! and fleeing to other branches of science that visit nightclubs and have a lot of parties, the great minds may be slipping away, quietly, from this entire scientific field, somewhat embarrassed by the whole thing. Once we are playing Stephen Hawking Extreme Wheelchair on our PS2, we'll know they've given up altogether.
The Universe, as usual, defies any attempts to find its true nature. Douglas Adams theorised that as soon as an explanation is found, the whole thing is replaced with something far more complicated. He was wrong, of course. There are powerful forces out there. Powerful forces hiding the fact that its elephants and turtles. Turtles all the way down, in fact.