Mechanistic Workgroup
While the Standard Model and some of its alternates (e.g., Velikovsky) are certainly strong in imagination, and in fact have come to compete well with science fiction in that regard, and while imagination is certainly important, tangible benefits to society are not likely to come from endeavors that are merely imaginative, and which evade attempts at realization. The production of tangible value takes a lot of hard work, and a great deal of attention to detail — in the real world. So we believe that the most promising paradigms are plasma physics and the so-called "rational astronomy" (i.e., astronomy without Einstein & friends). Of the rational models considered, Chandler's is the most comprehensive, and though a lot of it is speculative, this is not surprising for an effort that acknowledges the legitimacy of the scope test. And none of it has be shown to be clearly false. There is a lot of overlap between Chandler's work and plasma cosmology, though the latter school has many tenets that have been challenged, and rebuttals have not been provided. Since many of those tenets have been on the table for over a decade, we suspect that solutions have been attempted, but have not been found. So at present, we consider Chandler's model to be the leading contender, when scope is the primary criterion, and with accuracy as the next most important consideration. In solar physics, Robitaille's work displays far and away the highest level of scholarship of anything in print. It includes a pioneering treatment of blackbody radiation, and it attempts to constrain itself to the physics of state. There are many unanswered questions concerning this model (e.g., the actual stability of the metastable supercritical hydrogen near the surface), and it doesn't identify the solar energy source. Nevertheless, of all of the professionals publishing in solar physics, Robitaille is the one to watch.

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