Recently, I read through a short article on Nature Chemistry, written by Michelle Francl, titled "Talking to Pauling's ghost". The article talks about how electron promotion was never something that was conceived by Pauling when he devised the theory of hybridisation. Instead, it likely arose from misinterpretations and mistranslations over the years.
It has been established very well on this site that hybridisation does not refer to a physical process and is merely a mathematical construct. This is consistent with the view presented by Francl. However, what I do not seem to understand is why the alternative view of seeing hybridisation as electron promotion and orbital "mixing" has become so prevalent, if it is so inaccurate. Clearly, there must be some truth in the alternative view. Is there?
Reference: Francl, M. Talking to Pauling’s ghost. Nature Chem 2018, 10 (7), 688–689. DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0099-3.