Pluto Debate Heats Up

Pluto Debate Heats Up –

In referencing the Pluto debate i’d reference a similar debacle in classification.

Back before gems were classed based on chemistry, color was more important.

So, a ruby was really a certain color or range of colors.

Then with chemical analysis, it was discovered that some rubies were corundum and some were what we call garnet.

So, what to do with classification.

The most rational approach would probably be to get rid of the category and refer to them either sapphires or garnets.

However, rubies are considered more valuable than garnets or sapphires, so the most logical adjustment was probably less popular than the black plague.

The next most logical would be to leave classification as it was.

However, that could devalue rubies because it would leave it ambiguous whether that referred to corundum or a lower quality stone.

So what was chosen was that rubies would only refer to red corundum, the least logical solution from the point of view of classification.

While the classification of pluto doesn’t affect pecuniary interests, it does affect other types of investments, which can be even deeper than financial ones.

Whether we’re talking about gems or planets, people like keeping settled things settled.

In the case of Pluto, that presented a conflict.
Pluto is the garnet that had been a ruby in this situation.

With more powerful telescopes it is now possible to see far past Pluto, and there are a lot of similar objects past it.

There are already around half a dozen such objects discovered, with probably a lot more to come.  There could be a hundred for all we know.

So it’s less of change to throw Pluto under a bus than to deal with all these other objects as planets.

It is however illogical.  Pluto and the like objects formed like Earth, it makes more sense to call all of them planets.

The dirty secret of science though is that it can be just as jealous about pet ideas and resistant to change as religion.  Dozens of planets is like Jesus’ marriage, sacriledge.

Ultimately it’s an issue of classification rather than discovery, but it should be as logical as possible as bad ideas constipate thinking.  Irrational distinctions are the province of religion.  They don’t advance a scientific way of thinking.


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