This type of blanket pronouncements by quite venerable people in physics are the bread and butter of crackpottery.
Theorists should worry if their theories disagree with the standard physics theory that has been built up to their research, not just the second law of thermodynamics. Lorenz invariance is very important, energy conservation and the other conservation rules etc. Entropy and thermodynamics are a small part of the great volume of physics disciplines.
The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.
These blanket pronouncements should be buried , not pointed out or quoted out of context .
Maybe he is just talking of cosmological theories:
If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations.
Physics as we know it is based on two frameworks, the quantum mechanical one and the classical which emerges from the quantum mechanical. Within these frameworks there are ranges of the variables where theories developed are accurate and validated by observations and experiments, and ranges where new formats have to be proposed.
The second law of thermodynamics plays no role in particle physics for example, except like the famous song "the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the knee bone..." . The Standard Model is an adequate summary of observations and data. It is very important in cosmological models but the inflaton model was proposed just to get away from thermodynamic limitations, and it is considered very successful in modeling the observations, though it has inflationary entropy problems.
Observations and measurements can be wrong, a recent one was the superluminal neutrino business,for example, where the measurement was a hardware error. Generally though technology and the number of physicists checking data is so large, and the drive to reproduce results very great, that the probability of a wrong measurement lasting for long in the data banks is very small.
All in all I would consider it a not to be quoted as wisdom quote.