Dear Oliver, friends,
I’m an interested observer of this discussion, and look at it through the lens of physics (oh how I envy chemists that freedom to practice their art without strictures of meta-geometrical topology that afflict extra-terrestrial physics. Imagine if we tried to discuss chemical reactions in varying space curvatures).
For some years now, Oliver and I have collaborated on a Solar System model that aligns with conventional chemistry and physics rather than opposes them. Thus, we have an explosive progenitor in the form of an iron-rich supernova. Isotope sequences put that event at ~4.5GYA. That much is empirically verifiable, and is no longer controversial in the mainstream. What happens next is where physics and consensus depart each other.
How could the SN debris settle and accrete gravitationally so that the lightest element known, H, forms the nucleus of the nascent Solar System? How does iron float on hydrogen? It is clear, short of resorting to metaphysics, that there is something fundamentally wrong with the basics of the Standard Solar Model, and that our spectral analysis of the photosphere cannot be representative of what lies beneath.
And that, in my view, is why we’re looking at other processes besides predominantly H fusion to satisfy the Sun’s energy requirements. The proposal of n-repulsion should be seen against the background of a physically sound, fundamentally secure solar model. That is the mistake that Eddington and Bethe fell prey to: They let their theory of energy production in stars dictate the chemical composition of stars, instead of the other way around.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year, however you choose to celebrate them.
With kind regards