Whatever else Maldacena and Witten had done, they had proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that information would never be lost behind a black hole horizon. The string theorists would understand this immediately; the relativists would take longer [ouch!]. But the war was over.Indeed, as I said, Hawking conceded in 2007, thus ending the BHW, despite some rather large caveats attached to the Maldacena-Witten results, such as that, you know, they actually describe a universe that is not at all like our own.
About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.