Ricky M.'s Thoughts

My thoughts on life, relationships, religion, spirituality, the paranormal and more.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pluto is No Longer a Planet

It was quite a shock for me when I read on the internet that Pluto was no longer considered a planet. But what i admired though about science, was the speed in which the decision was made. It is nice to note that science is humble enough to accept that it does not know everything and that what may be considered true now may no longer be considered true tomorrow.

Imagine all the science books which may have to be revised due to this new truth. All the grade schoolers have to be told that what they learned last year is now quite different.

Looking at the webpage "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto", we see how the contraversy unfolds. Quoting from the webpage:

"Planetary status controversy
Pluto's official status as a planet has been a constant subject of controversy since at least as early as 1978, when Charon was discovered. Since then, further discoveries intensified the debate in the 21st century.

Omission from museum models
Museum and planetarium directors occasionally would create controversy by omitting Pluto from planetary models of the solar system. Some omissions were intentional; the Hayden Planetarium reopened after renovation in 2000 with a model of 8 planets without Pluto. The controversy made headlines in the media at the time. [20]

New discoveries ignite debate

Pluto compared to 2003 UB313, 2005 FY9, 2003 EL61, Sedna, Quaoar, and EarthContinuing advances in telescope technology allowed for further discoveries of Trans-Neptunian objects in the 21st century, some of comparable size to that of Pluto. In 2002, 50000 Quaoar was discovered, with a 1,280 kilometers diameter, making it a bit more than half the size of Pluto. In 2004, the discoverers of 90377 Sedna placed an upper limit of 1,800 kilometers on its diameter, near Pluto's diameter of 2,320 kilometers.

On July 29, 2005, a Trans-Neptunian object called 2003 UB313 (nicknamed "Xena") was announced, which on the basis of its magnitude and simple albedo considerations is assumed to be slightly larger than Pluto. This was the largest object discovered in the solar system since Neptune in 1846. Discoverers and media initially called it the "tenth planet", although there was no official consensus at the time on whether to call it a planet. Others in the astronomy community considered the discovery to be the strongest argument for reclassifying Pluto as a minor planet."

In contrast, take a look at this website :


"THE Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders apologised yesterday for wars, racism and other sins committed in the name of Christianity.

The leaders, who between them represent nearly every Christian in Britain, took time out from the universal rejoicing over what has been billed as the "birthday of Christ", to admit for the first time the harm
done by Christianity over the past 2,000 years. They said that it was "an appropriate thing to do at the
time of the millennium".

While vague in its outline, the apology was described by Dr George Carey's office as a "general confession" intended to cover both private and public wrongs."

I am giving the catholic church the benefit of a doubt. Is this actually the first time that they have publicly acknowledged for their wrongs? Does it take that many centuries to apologize to Galilieo, or is it because it is only now that they have realized that Galileo is correct?

The church contraversy can be seen in this webpage:


"With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:

Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as "formally heretical".
He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial and not enforced, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future."


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