Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

“When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.”

Posted by Michael Dickens on October 9, 2009

There is a Facebook group of people who are clearly unable to comprehend the fact that the International Astronomical Union has defined “planet”, and Pluto does not fall under the definition. Since the people in this group were “kids who were taught that Pluto was the 9th planet from the sun”, they think that their elementary school teachers know more about science than some of the best astronomers in the world.

And anyway, it’s not a big deal. Pluto is still there. Part of the problem seems to be that people think it deserves attention or something; but what about Eris? It orbits the sun, and is larger than Pluto. But it’s not classified as a planet. Have you ever even heard of it? Does Eris not deserve recognition as well?

In truth, rocks in space do not always deserve recognition. Civilization went thousands of years without knowing that Pluto or other smallish orbital objects existed. Even Uranus and Neptune weren’t discovered for a while after the invention of astronomy. But they still got along just fine without us.

In conclusion, Pluto is not a planet, and it makes no sense to call it one. Deal with it.

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