July 3, 2010 by

No Matter What Science Now Says, In My Heart Pluto Will Always Be a Planet


Categories: food for thought, What the heck was THAT?

When I was in third grade, I wrote an essay about the solar system. In it, I imagined I had a special space ship that let me travel to all the planets one by one and describe them. Pluto was most definitely on the list.

I’d tell you what Pluto was like, but I guess it doesn’t matter now, because a couple of years ago a group of scientist eggheads who think they know better decided Pluto wasn’t a planet anymore. Now Pluto is just considered one of several “dwarf planets” in what we now call the Kuiper Belt, a group of objects flying around out past Neptune. Pluto is just one of the larger objects.

The thing is, Pluto didn’t do anything to deserve this demotion; it’s just that the rules of what qualifies something as a “planet” have been changed without Pluto having any say about it–and now Pluto no longer qualifies. Never mind the fact that the poor thing has to travel farther than any other planet just to make it around the sun one time–I mean, doesn’t that count for something? The last time Pluto was at this point around the sun, America was still a bunch of colonies, and we didn’t even know Pluto existed. And now, a bunch of us humans whose great-great grandparents weren’t even born during this Pluto-year have taken it upon ourselves to vote Pluto out of planetary status. How utterly arrogant of us.

If a planet’s complete orbit is a year, then I’ve been alive for about two Pluto-months. Yet for all two of those months, in mind Pluto has been a planet. I don’t care what some uppity scientists have to say; in my heart Pluto is still a planet, and will always be a planet. I know, because I was there. I visited Pluto in the third grade. This solar system has nine planets, dangit. And Pluto is one of them. Call me a loyalist.

I know I’m not the only Pluto-ite out there. Lots of us simply refuse to accept Pluto’s planetary demotion, even though since we first found out about Pluto, we’ve discovered a lot of evidence to support that it really is more like part of a collective of smaller objects. Yeah, it orbits the sun just like all the other planets–but so do a lot of other little things out there that don’t get to be planets just because we can’t see them. But the fact is, Pluto has been a planet all our lives, and we aren’t about to change now.

So despite what those arrogant scientists think, in the eyes of some, Pluto will always be a planet–just like people continued to believe the world was flat after Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Just like people continued to believe the sun revolved around the earth when Copernicus first alerted us that we were actually the ones doing the revolving.

Just like there are people today who still believe the church is a building, that Jesus started a new religion (and has white skin and blue eyes), and that God is a Republican, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary on all counts. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter what the evidence suggests. We decide what we believe.

So that’s that. Pluto is a planet. Phooey on the scientists.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

6 Responses to No Matter What Science Now Says, In My Heart Pluto Will Always Be a Planet

  1. rob

    Yep, Pluto is still a planet.

    It took a long time for me to get over not being the center of the universe. And church not being a building… that God is an Independent…

    …now if I could just accept that the earth isn't broken, er… flat.

  2. Jeff McQ

    Hate to tell you this, dude…those pictures were photoshopped to make white people happy. 🙂

    Thanks for the (Rhett and) Link. Have you seen their McD commercial? Pretty cool that YouTubers can get a gig like that these days. Maybe we oughta come up with something.

    Yeah, unfortunately only one of us can be the center of the universe… 🙂

  3. Angela

    I agree with you. Pluto has a special place in my heart too.

    I expect in about 20 years, the verdict will change and Pluto will be welcomed back into the planetary family.

  4. Steve Oberg

    In my heart, I know Pluto will always be Mickey's Dog….. despite the fact that some uppity people say he's only a cartoon character. Phooey on them!

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