Wednesday, January 22, 2014

it's okay pluto, i'm not a planet either.


 “Science, my boy, is made up of mistakes, 
but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, 
because they lead little by little to the truth.”
Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth


for some reason, every time a conversation about space comes up, there's always a comment war about pluto. today i saw the above image, a gorgeous piece of art that unites all the planets and pluto together as one. as i was taking in this brilliant image, my eyes drifted to the comments section to the right, and felt the wonder quickly leaving my body with a heavy sigh as i saw that, once again, people were all but marching around with picket signs saying "boycott nasa", and their rabid fanatacism about something they know nothing about beyond that it's name is pluto and it used to be a planet led me to this blog entry. i see this all the time, any time the subject comes up. even on "the big bang theory" the brilliant physicist sheldon cooper takes neil degrasse tyson (guest starring as himself) to task for "demoting pluto".

 and so i have to say to those insisting that pluto was a planet when you were young and therefore should still be a planet now.. things change. that's what makes science and the universe so beautiful. every day we learn new things, and we should be appreciative of that. pluto was labeled a planet when you were young because at the time, the best minds on our planet believed it was. but the best minds of today have a lot more knowledge and resources for gaining that knowledge, and as we discover new things about the universe, we must adapt to new truths.

we used to think the earth was flat, too, until the brightest minds figured out the truth: that not only is our planet round, but there are other planets out there that are too! defying new truths and information demonstrates a serious lack of ability towards adaptation. and science has also taught us that those beings which can not or do not adapt to their current environment are doomed.

instead of reacting like toddlers--kicking and screaming that pluto is a planet as though you and a test you took in third grade know better than brilliant, educated people who have devoted their lives to studying space--perhaps you should sit back for a moment and think about the beauty of discover, about how much information is right there at your fingertips, about the amazing technologies we've developed.

our grandparents went through life learning only what was taught in a classroom and knowing of the world only what they saw on the evening news or read in a news paper, if they even had access to those things. and here we are, with all of history, all of science, every single piece of human knowledge in the world, only a few pushed buttons away. you can learn anything you want to within seconds.

so why, in the face of all that, is it so very important to you to deny those beautiful truths? if you truly feel that pluto should still be classified as a planet, go to school. study the sciences. learn everything you possibly can about the universe and then go work for NASA and prove them wrong. otherwise, you're just wasting a perfectly good brain by clinging to falsehoods simply because they're familiar to you and more comfortable than forcing your brain to process and understand new ideas.

"Discovered in 1930, Pluto was originally classified as the ninth planet from the Sun. However, its status as a major planet fell into question following further study of it and the outer Solar System over the ensuing 75 years. Starting in 1977 with discovery of minor planet 2060 Chiron, numerous icy objects similar to Pluto with eccentric orbits were found. The most notable of these was the scattered disc object Eris—discovered in 2005, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. The understanding that Pluto is only one of several large icy bodies in the outer Solar System prompted the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to formally define what it means to be a "planet" in 2006. This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category."
- Wikipedia