Didn't Einstein receive a similar reaction?

There were people who were sceptical, but GR received initial experimental confirmation after only 3 years in 1919. See

http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0510072 for details of other experimentation.

The latest version of string theory was proposed in the mid 90's so it is not 40 years old. It is the best 'fit' we have so far in attempting to provide a common foundation to account for all the known forces and particles and it agrees with all of the scientific observations that have been made about the universe.

I'm afraid that's a myth. Relativity is an excellent fit for gravity, QED is an excellent fit for photons and electrons, and QCD and gauge-theory in the form of the standard model is a reasonable fit for protons and other particles. M-theory "fits anything", and with the lack of predictions and supporting evidence, it isn't actually a theory.

It is not testable it is true, but the mathematics of M-theory have been found to be very consistent in attempting to combine quantum mechanics with gravity.

That's another myth I'm afraid. Again, if you beg to differ, explain how it does this. When you find you can't, perhaps you'll appreciate what I'm driving at with the emperor's new clothes allegation.

I don't see what more one can ask of a scientific theory that is attempting to answer the deepest mysteries of the universe.

If it was a new theory, I'd cut it some slack. But it isn't, and it's been crowding out real physics. I'm not joking about this.

You have to start somewhere and, perhaps, one day science may be in a better position to test M-theory or perhaps its successors. Do you simply want no effort made in trying to provide a model (even a hypothetical model) of the basis of reality?

Not at all. But there are models out there that do this, but you never get to hear about them because "string theory is the only game in town".

Using natural language to try to explain what M-theory is about is not always helpful because the models string theory are based on are largely mathematical.

If you can't explain it and if nobody can, we're in crystal spheres territory.

The trouble is, it is only natural to interpret the ideas in string theory in terms of the familiar everyday world we all know, but this is misleading because nature is often non-intuitive and even bizarre so we must not get too carried away by using familiar analogies in order to get a handle on difficult concepts. Words can get in the way in attempting to produce a model of phenomena like this, which is why people use maths. For example, who could possibly imagine what a fifth dimension is like? We have simply not evolved to deal with such ideas in any direct way.

This just won't wash, not any more. The future of physics is at stake. We

*can* understanded such ideas in a direct way. Would you like a demonstration? Think of some subject that is usually considered to be mysterious and beyond current scientific understanding, and I'll explain it in a simple fashion that everybody can understand.