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`...it seems to me fair in science to invent any hypothesis & if it explains many phenomena it comes in time to be admitted as real.'

(Charles Darwin in letter to C. J. F. Bunbury, 9 February,1860).

"A possible Universal Origin of Hadronic Cosmic Rays Fred Hoyle's view of the conformist approach.(from "A different approach to cosmology",Cambridge,2000)
from Ultrarelativistic Ejecta of Bipolar Supernovae"
(New Astron. 7(2002) 317-336) tries to divert the stream
and was severly criticised by some referees. Below there are
excerpts from two typical reports, that allow interesting insight
into the psychology of average researchers when faced
with new ideas.
The eventual positive reports by referees
for "New Astronomy" are not reproduced here, but their productive input
was taken into consideration for v2.

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Referee 1
------------
I have read this paper, and the opinions of the referees, and on
balance agree that it should be rejected.  Authors should certainly
have some freedom to propose radical solutions to longstanding
problems, but this freedom has been used up in the previous paper by
Dar and Plaga. The fundamental problem has not been addressed; can the
"plasmoids" or "cannon-balls" behave as Dr Plaga assumes? In fact
there are good arguments to say that they cannot, but in principle the
question could be addressed by numerical relativistic hydro and/or
magneto-hydro calculations. The paper is essentially a baroque version
of the earlier paper.

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My answer
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The "previous paper" is Dar,Plaga A&A  349,259 (1999).
Collins dictionary defines the meaning of "baroque"
in a general context as "complicated, rich and elaborate".
Indeed the present paper is an elaboration of the basic idea
in the Dar,Plaga paper, rendering the underlying hypothesis
more definite (e.g. by identifying bipolar supernovae as
the cosmic-ray sources) and  "explaining many phenomena"
in the sense of Darwin's quote above. This fact cannot
be the basis for a rejection.

Indeed a most fundamental question, namely the jet formation
in bipolar supernovae has not been addressed in the paper.
A full and satisfactory treatment of this problem is an utopic request,
as a quote from Mario Livio (Nature 417,125 (May 9,2002)) makes clear:
"Despite the ubiquity of astrophysical jets, there is no generally accepted
theory for the mechanism of their formation."
If such a theory were the pre-condition for publishing research about
consequences of the jet formation about 90 % of all paper about AGNs
would have to be rejected.
Again this fact cannot reasonably be the basis for a rejection.

In final consequence the reason for rejection was therefore that
my "freedom to propose radical new solutions" has been "used up"
by the Dar,Plaga paper.

Full freedom of expression and criticism of current and traditional thinking
are the basis of critical rationalism that most scientist accept as the
basis of their enterprise. It is disturbing that the publication of this paper was
rejected on the basis of this report by the editor of an important journal who was
aware of the context.

------------
Referee 2
------------
A concrete calculation or new derivation based upon sound physics,
whether or not such a system exists in nature, seems to me worthy of
publication.  A qualitative or back-of-the-envelope estimate about a
system that is likely, or is known to exist in nature should also be
published, depending on the quality of the arguments in the paper.
Here we have qualitative arguments about a system that is unlikely to
exist -- the cannonball model of GRBs.

My own opinion is that the cannonball model is seriously flawed. It
requires inordinate amounts of energy confined to a small opening
angle. Its quasi-thermal spectrum has difficulties to produce the
energetic gamma-rays and nonthermal afterglow spectra.

I confined the criticisms in my report, however, to the content of
Dr. Plaga's paper. Dr. Plaga argues that 15 A&A pages is quite a lot,
but he is trying to challenge the cosmic ray edifice that stands upon
uncounted thousands of pages, articles, and conferences!

Dr. Plaga's paper has exceeded the degree of credulity that I am
capable of dispensing with. He wants GRB sources in the galactic disk
whose origin is somewhat mysterious, though related to SNe, to drive
out cannonballs to the halo which then shower the galaxy with cosmic
rays!  Where are the bow shocks, the radio streamers, and the terminal
shocks of these cannonballs in the halo?  How are the ratios of cosmic ray
secondaries obtained if GeV-TeV cosmic rays are made in the halo?
Should we not see the evidence for off-axis GRBs in SNe, if every SNe
hosts a GRB?

Dr. Plaga has every right to appeal to the editor for a second opinion.
I am not convinced by the model and therefore do not recommend
publication.

--------------
My answer
--------------
The referee makes little secret of her/his deep
resentment of my challenge against the "cosmic ray edifice that stands upon
uncounted thousands of pages, articles, and conferences."
His/her urge to blind faith in this edifice is then redirected
to the ideas of my manuscript by claiming that I
demand credulity in my ideas from the reader (this is called
a "displacement" in Freudian psychology). Indeed
the only argument for rejection given is "I do not believe."

Though questions in a final and negative report
seems somewhat selfcontradictory I answer them below.

Where are the bow shocks, the radio streamers, and the terminal
shocks of these cannonballs in the halo?

Cannon-ball remnants are treated
in detail in section 5.2.1 of the paper.

How are the ratios of cosmic ray
secondaries obtained if GeV-TeV cosmic rays are made in the halo?

The ratio of secondaries is indeed a problem that needs more
detailed treatment, as discussed in section of 2.3 of the paper.
To first order the ratios are determined not be the location
of origin but by their subsequent propagation in the Galactic
confinement volume. As the standard theory for propagation
remains largely unmodified, no drastic revisions of the standard
results for the ratios are expected.

Should we not see the evidence for off-axis GRBs in SNe, if every SNe
hosts a GRB?

For the very well studied SN 1987A one probably does, see R.Cen's paper:
 A Possible Lateral Gamma-Ray Burst Jet from Supernova 1987A
 
 

 Further info to fit in this paper

 Home page of Rainer Plaga