Wednesday, August 16, 2006

More planets? Say it ain't so.

OK. I just read an article in the paper that said that they might add 3 new planets to our solar system. As a traditionalist and as a person who does not like change, I hope that they do not do this. Ever since I have been alive there has been 9 planets. There was 9 when I was born, 9 when I was a kid, and 9 all of my life. You just don't go around messing with the solar system. It's not right!

Apparently there's also some stuff going on about taking out Pluto as a planet if we don't add the 3 new ones. Again, don't fix what isn't broken. Leave it as it is and we'll all be fine.

I wonder if there is an on-line petition I can sign to keep our solar system the same.

1 comment:

ftwskies said...

No petitions, bro'. This stuff is decided by the IAU, not the common man.

I understand not messing with what's not broken, but in effect the Pluto-as-a-planet paradigm is broken. The whole game of science is about identifying things and sorting them into various classes based upon their characteristics. What we know now that we didn't know in 1935 when Pluto was discovered is that Pluto is just one member of a whole belt of small icy rocks that orbit out beyond Neptune, called the Kuiper Belt. Just like we don't call the orbiting bodies between Mars and Jupiter planets, but rather call them asteroids, likewise I don't see how it makes sense to call Pluto a planet. It's a Kuiper Belt Object, just like Charon and Varuna.

Science cannot be beholden to traditions in these matters; scientists have to be honest about calling a spade a spade, and ever-ready to embrace new facts and modify theories to suit the facts, or else the truth becomes muddied.

Food for thought: when science holds more tightly to tradition than it does to facts, it becomes a materialist religion, and not science at all.

--Jim <><