This is not my planned post for today, therefore a bonus post. Keep watching for the previously announced “the problem with sermons.”
I read on MSNBC.com today that a new plan by the International Astronomical Union would add 3 planets to our Solar System (or 4, if you are one of the doubters who has already cast Pluto aside). But why stop at 12? Why don’t they plan for more while they are at it? Of course, the IAU would probably take offense at the characterization of their proposal as a “plan;” that’s MSNBC.com’s word.
Rather, this international organization (who has authority from whom? I’m always amazed by these groups who claim to control the “sciences”) is apparently engaging in one of the favorite of post-modern activities, redefining things. The new definition of “planet” would be:
“A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.”
Technically, they are not redefining the term; their complaint apparently was that it was never really formally defined to begin with. Funny, I always knew what a planet was, since elementary school. I knew their names, and what color they were. We even made models out of styrofoam balls.
I’m just glad that they didn’t devise a definition that failed to include Earth. That would have been a bummer. As someone (perhaps Steven Wright) once said, “save the Earth; it’s where I keep all my stuff.”
Science is an amazing thing, it probably deserves a lot more study. I’m thinking that there should be an international agency for the study of science itself (rather than the scientific study of other stuff), the agency being made up of people from outside of the hard sciences (you can’t objectively study yourself). Maybe they could even come up with a new definition for “science.”
So, keep your eyes opened; the solar system could be changing before our very eyes.