Aug 16 2006

Stick with the traditional definition of “planet”

The only way out of the muddled debate as to whether Pluto is a planet or not is to go back to the source of all truth. Consider: when he walked the earth, would Jesus have considered Pluto a planet?

At the time, the key distinction was between “fixed stars” and “wandering stars.” (The very word “planet” comes from planan, Greek for “wander.”) Pluto is not a wandering star—it’s not visible at all under ordinary circumstances. Nor are Ceres, Xena, or all the rest of the miscellaneous rocks and ammonia-soda flavored snowballs floating around out there. Ergo, they’re not planets. Nor is Earth a planet. By definition, where Earth is, the sky isn’t—and a thing that’s not in the sky can’t be a wandering star.

Now, if a light in the sky moves fast enough, it’s a shooting star. This means that we’ll have to reclassify the ISS as a shooting star, of course—that’s how a man of Jesus’ time would have classed it upon seeing it pass overhead. For that matter, a jet visible high above at night would also be a shooting star—unless it turned off its running lights. The Goodyear Blimp is a comet.

This does bring up the question as to just what Pluto and the like are, however. But given that they only become visible when someone tries to study the celestial sphere yet totally misses the point of gazing heavenward, I believe we should err on the side of caution and classify them as demons. (This certainly works well in the case of Pluto—a pagan “god” that rules the underworld. If that’s not Satan hiding in plain view, I don’t know what is.)

Going back to the definitions Our Savior and/or the medieval Church would have used would be inconvenient for professional astonomers, perhaps—but science must ever bow to traditional spiritual values and what the masses believe about the nature of the universe.



Clare and the Reasons, “Pluto”:

Rumors that this song causes me to mist up are PERFIDIOUS LIES.