Is the Universe Simply Geometry

I must confess that I subscribe to and read Scientific American each and every month. I especially enjoy the theories of cosmologists and nuclear physicists. It's not that I understand what they are talking about. It all seems so like some kind of eerie surrealistic fantasy. They seem to be getting further and further away from what we who live in the normal world consider reality. It would not be so bad except that not only do their ideas get wilder and wilder, but each month a new theory of everything appears. None of the new theories seem to actually mesh quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of relativity, which seems to be their goal. In other words, theories of the microworld and macroworld are in conflict (as I understand the problem).

The latest one was entitled: A Geometric Theory of Everything by Garret Lisi and James Owen Weatherall. The subtitle was: Deep down, the particles and forces of the universe are a manifestation of exquisite geometry. This confused me right away. What could they possible mean by "deep, down"? And why exquisite geometry? Is the geometry I was taught in school now considered ugly, or maybe just plain. As I read on, I read this: Many physicists share an intuition that, at the deepest level,all physical phenomena match the pattern of some beautiful mathematical structure. What? Is that how we do science today? By intuition? This sounds as though it were written by an occult theorist. Is it good science to intuit what the outcome of our discoveries should show with absolutely no reason or evidence to support our intuition? Why in the world must physical phenomena match a "pattern of beautiful mathematical structure"? In my world the universe in general seems pretty chaotic.

Why should the "deepest level" whatever deepest level means, be different? The more I read, the more confused I became. The authors wrote about string theory (which I almost get), muons, electrical charges that are fractionally negative or positive, and a lot of other stuff. There are sentences like this one: An electromagnetic wave is the undulation of circles over spacetime. What in blue blazes does that mean? And exactly what does the geometry of spacetime really mean. The universe is mostly nothing. How can it have a geometry at all? I suppose the authors really mean the geometry of all the different forces generated by particles. My New Years wish is that physicists would have the ability to explain this sort of stuff to dummies like me. Maybe that's impossible. Their thinking is too different from the rest of us.