From Daniel Cossins at New Scientist:
An almost religious devotion to beauty remains commonplace among theorists of fundamental physics, even if the standards of attractiveness have changed over time. One vision of elegance in particular has surged to the fore: the principle of naturalness. Broadly speaking, it is the belief that the laws of nature ought to be sublime, inevitable and self-contained, as opposed to makeshift and arbitrary.
But what if they aren’t? That’s the disquieting possibility being entertained by a growing band of physicists in the aftermath of what should have been the breakthrough discovery of the decade, the snaring of the Higgs boson in 2012. The discovery of the Higgs, at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, confirmed a long-held theory about how particles acquire mass. But what we have – and haven’t – found alongside it could have profound consequences for how we view reality, says Michael Dine, a theorist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “We might find that nature is not natural in the way we thought.” (paywall) More.
Of course, a universe in which we have not found a multiverse must be ugly to New Scientist readers.
For others, beauty remains a possibility, best explained by apparent fine-tuning of our universe, which has always been the real problem for them.
See also: At Aeon: Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious, and somewhat like a human
Theoretical physicist: The Higgs mass is not “natural”
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?