Friday, July 31, 2015

Alan Stern: IAU Definition is BS

So whose definition should we use--that of a self-proclaimed "authority," which issued a definition crafted by those who don't even study planets, or by a team of planetary scientists who actually sent a spacecraft to Pluto?

1 comment:

cinnamonblue said...

Hello Laurel -

I ran across your comments at Amy Teitel's blog. I am with you all the way!!! I'm not a planetary scientist nor an astronomer, so my defense of Pluto is probably more 'emotional and cultural' than scientific. However, reading Dr. Stern's comments about the definition convinced me that the science wasn't all that great. And from what little I've read about the "Battle of Prague" it doesn't sound like a hotbed of objectivism. And I've read lots of articles about this subject that conclude basically that it doesn't matter what we call our Ninth Planet. I might disagree with that. IN basic Psychology I learned that language mediates behavior so how we use language does impact us. And as far as classification --- the way we classify things IS important as I'm sure biologists would testify.

I never thought TOO much about Pluto, but I did feel the controversy made me feel as though the Planet had been done wrong. However, the New Horizons mission and revisiting the story of its discovery have made me grow quite fond of our outlying neighbor. (BTW, did Dr. M. Brown REALLY say those disparaging things about Mr. Tombaugh? If so I'd definitely agree with you - that wasn't professional at all!)

You mentioned you were working on a book. Having just found your blog, I don't know yet if you've written more about your progress with it. I hope it's a success, anyway.

If you care to, I'd be thrilled to have you visit my blog and read the two poems I wrote about New Horizons and Pluto. You can even take my - unscientific - poll if you care to. The link is:

Hope I haven't rambled on too long. But I was so glad to read what you wrote in Ms. Teitel's blog.