Another Quora question some may be interested in:
How far back would it set us if it turned out that the Higgs Boson never existed?
"I'll let you in on a secret:
Most physicists were secretly hoping that the LHC either didn't find the Higg's Boson, or found something completely different!
Because the Higg's being there means we were right all along. Yay. Our models hold up.
Huh. Kinda exciting I guess. Nice to be shown that we were right.
But imagine if it hadn't been found – or if something really weird had happened!
We'd need entirely new physics! The world doesn't act like we think it does – instead there's something new, something to be explored, to be learned and explained – at the razor's edge of knowledge!
Being right is boring – being wrong means that the universe is a whole lot weirder than we thought it was.
So it wouldn't "set us back", instead it would catapult us into an entire new paradigm of physics, since we'd need something else to explain why the universe works.
Physicists are never happier than when there's something they don't understand, but really want to. Being right deprived us of that – until we find another big problem (dark matter?)"
I think this shows an interesting precarious balance between having a firm grasp of what is going on and finding that the Universe is much stranger than we thought. While I agree that being right is duller than being wrong, being right provides some form of foundation on which to build our knowledge base. I don't think we will run out of mysteries and currently inexplicable phenomena any time real soon.
For instance assume we found a fossilized modern rabbit amongst fossils of dinosaurs. That would totally overturn evolution as we know it and would require a total rethink of how biodiversity occurred on Earth. Personally, I would hope a bunny fossil not be found in this case as a LOT of work has to be thrown out and restarted. While the scientists may like that, I'd be less happy.