From Ian O’Neill at Space.com, we learn:
Is our sun fundamentally different from other “sun-like” stars? This question highlights an ongoing controversy about whether our nearest star is unique or, in fact, an “ordinary star.”
Now, an international collaboration of solar physicists thinks it has an answer. Although the sun is very special to Earth and all of the planets in the solar system, it isn’t unique; indeed, it is driven by the same internal mechanisms as other stars, the researchers said in a statement highlighting the findings of a new study. lMore.
Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon writes to say,
This presser made me laugh. Here’s the punch line:
“Although the sun is very special to Earth and all of the planets in the solar system, it isn’t unique; indeed, it is driven by the same internal mechanisms as other stars, the researchers said in a statement highlighting the findings of a new study.”
Breaking news! Laws of physics apply to other stars!
I know I know, you’re blaming the journalist. But it wasn’t his fault, honestly. What it reveals is a deep rift in the scientific world between “solar physicists” and “astrophysicists”. They are both supposed to be studying stars, it’s just that solar physicists get terabytes of data on a very nearby one, whereas astrophysicists write one paper per photon (averaging over cosmic ray energies.) Perhaps for this reason, and perhaps for historical reasons, astrophysicists abhor magnetic field, whereas solar physicists absolutely revel in it, invoking its magic to explain every sort of solar disturbance (reconnection, they explained.)
To reconcile this apparent disconnect, astrophysicists were prone to say that the Sun was special, so they could dismiss it. Apparently exceptions are better than ignorance. Then what this paper represents, is some astrophysicists finally figuring out how to get magnetic fields to come out of their stellar dynamics computer simulations. If they can simulate it, then it must be real.
“Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
If it weren’t for bad metaphysics, I’d have no metaphysics at all”
Naturalists are not picky as to where they try to claim victories.
See also: How naturalism rots science from the head down
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?