John C. Wright celebrates the recataloging of the Solar System and the astronomical return to reason:
Take THAT, you vile Pluto-Haters!
I, for one, rejoice that Planet X is once again a planet! I welcome our new Mi-Go overlords, I applaud the hideous and unspeakable Fungi from Yoggoth, cheer the colony of semifourthdimensional yet cowardly organisms from Palain VII while they are busily dextropobopping, acclaim the forward military base of the hivequeen creatures we call ‘Wormfaces,’ and greet the resting place of Kzanol the Slaver, who will arise an obliterate the Earth!
(Hmm … wait a minute…. I wonder if there is a downside to this ….)
Pluto is once again a planet, eight years after being relegated to the status of dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). At least, that is, according to the audience at a debate at Harvard. Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysicists (HSCFA) debated the topic “What is a planet?” The debate was needed following the confusion that arose once Pluto was deemed too small to be a planet. The defining characteristics of a planet (a round thing which orbits the Sun and has ‘cleared the neighborhood’ around its orbit) “baffled the public and classrooms around the country,” according to the HSCFA. “For one thing, it only applied to planets in our solar system. What about all those exoplanets orbiting other stars? Are they planets? And Pluto was booted from the planet club and called a dwarf planet. Is a dwarf planet a small planet? Not according to the IAU. Even though a dwarf fruit tree is still a small fruit tree, and a dwarf hamster is still a small hamster.”
I have to admit, I do very much enjoy my household. When I announced that Pluto’s planethood had been restored to the lunch table, the news was greeted with a rousing cheer.
“Wait, why are we cheering?”
“Because Pluto is a planet again!”
“Oh, okay. Hurray!”
One can learn a lot about an individual by virtue his position on Plutonian planethood. Anyone who opposes it on the grounds of the usual specious logic cited or pedantic, overly literal planetary definitions is probably an atheist, has a high Asperger’s Quotient, possesses a lamentably insufficient respect for tradition, and should therefore be regarded with all due suspicion.
As humanity did not deem Tom Thumb any less a man for being small, it cannot in good faith deem Pluto any less a planet for being miniscule or icy or devoid of atmosphere. I applaud, therefore, the result of the Harvard debate and accordingly insist that the International Astronomical Union alter its formal position on the matter.
The number of planets in the solar system is nine. It is not ten, or eleven, or eight, except in that one then proceedeth to nine.