fiat_knox (fiat_knox) wrote in pluto_heresy,
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Pluto Comments I Made On Facebook

Six years ago, on August 24 2006, the IAU forsook all scientific method and threw their weight behind a charismatic Tea Partyesque political decision - Pluto Is Made Of Cheese.

(It might as well have been that!)

So today, Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote a post kind of gloating about it. ("RIP Pluto - Rotate In Peace.") I made a mildly snarky reply (along the lines of "I don't believe that science can be properly decided by a popular vote, swayed by some charismatic and citing authority, any more than science can be decided by consultation of the Bible.") - looks like he's withdrawn his post. Interesting.

Anyhow, I made comments elsewhere on Facebook. Take a look at some of them ...

I noticed a few posts gloating about the political decision to downgrade Pluto on Facebook. I'll post some of my comments and replies on The Pluto Heresy, but I'll share them here ...

On the "Our Solar System" post:-

"Pluto's bigger than Eris. It has a rich system of five moons, and we haven't even seen New Horizons' evidence yet.

"So the scientific evidence around Pluto has not stopped coming in, but that hasn't prevented a minority of the IAU, swayed by charisma, cajoling members into making a popular vote, ignoring evidence to the contrary, and deciding - not deducing, deciding - that Pluto should be relegated, like a poorly-performing FA football team.

"So it's really not so much what I think, as what they were thinking - if they were thinking at all.

"Whatever the decision they made, I seriously question their unscientific "methodology." Did they consult an astrologer's ephemeris or something?"


And beneath that:-

"You do not DECIDE that something is so with a popular vote - that's not science. That's politics. If the evidence refutes the science, then the science needs to be changed to fit the new evidence.

"Deciding a name change with a vote doesn't change its nature. How many times have scientists refuted that old horsewallop adage that "the true name is the thing," as if changing the name of a horse can turn it into a Porsche or a set of stairs or something.

"I dispute your mystical methodology. When did the IAU become more swayed by astrology and "What he said" than by evidence-based scientific deduction, logic and reason?

"Decide what you like. Decide that gravity is yellow, and that the universe should henceforth be referred to by the sobriquet "Eric." Your VOTES don't change the NATURE of what you're voting on, any more than King Cnut could repel the incoming tide with fervent prayer and Kingly authority!"


On my own Facebook:-

"Just seen Neil deGrasse Tyson's somewhat gloating post declaiming that Pluto ceased to be a planet five years ago.

"I replied that I don't believe that science can be properly decided by a popular vote, swayed by some charismatic and citing authority, any more than science can be decided by consultation of the Bible."


This was followed by:-

"Actually, not so popular. It was a 4% minority of the IAU that voted on that Sunday morning.

"And make no bones: they VOTED for Pluto's demotion. They did not publish findings in a scientific paper - and even if they did, the scientific evidence that has since emerged, such as Pluto's having a rich local system of five moons, is now casting SERIOUS doubts on this decision.

"They did not uncover evidence - they IGNORED evidence. They made up their minds, and voted accordingly, discarding the evidence that does not fit their theory.

"If the science does not fit the evidence, you CHANGE THE SCIENCE - NOT the other way around. Otherwise, you might as well just call yourselves sorcerers and live in a New Age colony, because what you'll be practicing won't be astronomy, but sideshow bunkum astrology."


Pluto was a planet before the IAU went mental. It's still out there, solid and real and planety. Waiting for the science to knock the Green Cheesers off their jumped - up moron pedestals and down to the pit reserved for astrologers and phlogiston chemists.
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