Astronomy Intelligent Design

Pluto is still planet in the eyes of many

Spread the love
Close-up view of Pluto shows the dwarf planet has a light-colored patch shaped like a heart. Charon is shown behind Pluto.
Pluto and its moon Charon/NASA

Why isn’t a dwarf planet still a planet?:

When Pluto was excluded from the planetary display in 2000 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, children sent hate mail to Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the museum’s planetarium. Likewise, there was a popular uproar when 15 years ago, in August 2006, the International Astronomical Union, or IAU, wrote a new definition of “planet” that left Pluto out. The new definition required that a body 1) orbit the sun, 2) have enough mass to be spherical (or close) and 3) have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit of other bodies. Objects that meet the first two criteria but not the third, like Pluto, were designated “dwarf planets.”

Lisa Grossman, “The definition of planet is still a sore point – especially among Pluto fans” at ScienceNews

Grossman cites scientists pro and con, and then notes,

But since 2006, we’ve learned that Pluto has an atmosphere and maybe even clouds. It has mountains made of water ice, fields of frozen nitrogen, methane snow–capped peaks, and dunes and volcanoes. “It’s a dynamic, complex world unlike any other orbiting the sun,” journalist Christopher Crockett wrote in Science News in 2015 when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto.

Lisa Grossman, “The definition of planet is still a sore point – especially among Pluto fans” at ScienceNews

She adds, “The truth is, there’s no single definition of a planet — and I’m beginning to believe that’s a good thing.”

Dumping Pluto as a planet just added needless complexity to the system — for all the people who don’t live this stuff. At least it gave the people who do live this stuff something to do.

7 Replies to “Pluto is still planet in the eyes of many

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    From what was recently learned, Pluto should remain a planet.

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    There’s a bigger and more important picture here than Pluto’s designation: children writing hate mail to a museum director because of a changed planetary designation. Equally disturbing is the tenor of UD’s reportage reveling between the lines because it is Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the receiving end of this hate mail. However, kids don’t just pick up a pen and write hate mail. They learn this behavior from their parents.
    I follow this website, Evolution News and Mind Matters fairly closely as a skeptic because I am interested in the ID controversy. The increasing levels of hubris and the vitriol directed at skeptics and anyone else that dares question the new ID orthodoxy should concern ID proponents because it overshadows whatever message ID proponents seek to communicate and it reinforces the notion that ID is not to be taken seriously.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Chuckdarwin- your words are hollow as the things you accept prove that you ain’t a skeptic.

    And ID should be taken seriously because it offers the only scientific explanation for our existence.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    Notice that one can easily substitute “”the Theory of Evolution” for “ID” in the Chuckdarwin @2 comment.

    Consider the dismissal of Alexander Graham Cairns’ Clay Theory of the Origin of life (the first molecules of life were synthesized on a clay matrix) that was rejected largely in hysterical reaction to the similarity of the Genesis text in which God created Adam out of clay.(lit. adama in Hebrew, ground). God forbid.

    -Q

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    If Pluto is a “dwarf planet” and not a “planet, then what about “gas giants” not being planets either?

    And what about Mercury that, like Pluto, is tiny (but larger than Pluto) and also not in the plane of the ecliptic, and also has a retrograde orbit? And then there’s Eris . . .

    -Q

  6. 6
    zweston says:

    Good observation, Q.. on chucky’s comment. It’s like he wants darwinism be the victim and “little guy” now… those big bullys at UD…how dare they use scientific evidence to question the great materialistic dogma.

    Projection much? wowzers.

  7. 7
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    The increasing levels of hubris and the vitriol directed at skeptics and anyone else that dares question the new ID orthodoxy

    Poor skeptics . They are the victims . Go to mommy.

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the receiving end of this hate mail.

    My opinion about Tyson is that he is a clown but in the same time i don’t agree sending hate mails to clowns.

Leave a Reply