1. Mathematicians and Higgs
Kea mentioned that great mathematicians develop fancy frameworks trying to incorporate Higgs as something more fundamental. My feeling is that mathematicians take quite too passive attitude to the problem by using their precious skills only to build complex mathematizations of the physicist's ideas. Why not try to assing new physics to these fascinating structures? For instance, I really wonder why mathematician like Connes is satisfied in only reproducing standard model couplings using his wonderful mathematics and incrediable mathematical insights and skills.
2. Is Higgs field something fundamental?
As Kea, I see the standard model Higgs mechanisms as a manner to parameterize the masses of particles, not much more and certainly not "God particle".
I see however no general reason why scalar particles with non-vanishing electro-weak quantum numbers could not exist and contribute to effective masses of particles by generating coherent states (by the way, there is important delicacy involved: scalar particle in TGD framework is only M4 scalar, not CP2 scalar). Both gauge bosons and Higgs are bound states in TGD framework, not fundamental fields. Elementary gauge bosons are understood as wormhole contacts connecting two space-time sheets with light-like throats carrying fermion and antifermion quantum numbers: wormhole contact is what binds. This picture is unavoidable if fermionic fields are free conformal fields inside throats.
3. Can Higgs expectation prevail in cosmic length scales
The idea that Higgs vacuum expectation interpreted in terms of coherent state would pervade all space-time does not look very attractive to me either.
In TGD situation is different: Higgs expectation as a coherent state would be associated only with gauge boson space-time sheets. Elementary fermions correspond to single light-like wormhole throats associated with topologically condensed CP2 type vacuum extremals and coherent states of Higgs do not make sense for them although they couple to Higgs in the sense of generalized Feynman diagrams.
p-Adic thermodynamics explains fantastically fermion masses and there is a nice geometric interpretation for this aspect of massivation: random light-like motion looks like motion with velocity v<c in a given resolution: hence average four-momentum is timelike. p-Adic thermodynamcis describes this randomness. In case of bosons p-adic temperature T=1/n would be low and this contribution would be negligible as compared to Higgs contribution. The prediction of top quark mass is in the rage allowed by its most recent value about which Tommaso Dorigo told some time ago and here is one of the killer predictions.
4. Quarks do not give the entire mass of hadron
As Kea mentions, an experimental fact is that quarks contribute only a small portion to baryon mass so that Higgs mechanism cannot be the whole story.
TGD prediction for quark contribution to proton mass is 170 MeV. The rest would come from super-canonical bosons, which are particles having no electro-weak interactions and electro-weakly dark. They are elementary bosons in a strict sense of the word. Their masses can be calculated from p-adic thermodynamics and assuming same topological mixing as for U quarks (natural since only modular degrees of freedom of partonic 2-surfaces are involved), one can understand hadron masses if one assumes proper contents of these particles for hadrons.
One can of course criticize. The supercanonical particle content of hadron is deduced from the requirement that hadron mass is predicted with accuracy better than per cent and not yet predicted from basic principles. Also the integers k labelling p-adic length scales of quarks is deduced from hadron mass and depend on hadron. However, for neutrinos it is an experimental fact that several mass scales exist: something very strange when one recalls the standard text book explanations about how incredibly weakly interacting neutrinos are.
5. The question
The question is whether one takes particle masses as God given or not. Or stating it somewhat differently: when particle physicists are ready to accept the p-adic mass scale of particle mass scale as a new discrete dynamical degree of freedom? If they are ready to this the mystery number 1038 of particle physics reduces to number theory. Of course, those outside quantum gravity and particle physics communities have enjoyed the beauties of fractals for quite a time: dare I hope that also particle theorists might some day consider the possibility that Planck scale is not the only fundamental scale?
Quite generally, the question is whether one wants to stick to the framework of QFT or string models or whether one is ready to accept new mathematical and physical ideas and look whether they might work. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches are needed and one cannot avoid dirty hands. p-Adic massivation is very concrete idea involving both these approaches.
6. Devil as a master organizer
I am afraid that institutional inertia is too strong for anything to happen in time scale of decade. I recall a story from Krishnamurti allowing to understand how spirituality transforms to religion transforms to church transforms to fundamentalism transforms to terrorism and USA in Iraq. Or how hadronic string model suffers a sequence of transformations leading to the philosophy that physical theory need not predict anything if it happens to be M-theory. Or how particle physics developed from an anarchy of ideas to standard model to the recent situation.
Oh yes, the story! It happened, as it sometimes happens, that someone discovered the final truth, nothing less. The nearest assistant of Devil got very worried and rushed to Devil's office to inform his employer about the situation. Surprisingly, Devil was not worried at all and his only comment was "No problem, let us organize it!"