In the end, all definitions are arbitrary human constructions, and always will be.
Although this thread is old it has a lot of well thought out arguments and insight that are very pertinent to Pluto being, or not being a planet, as well as what the definition of what a Planet should be.Saiph":2g4p3gpw said:Please don't resurrect threads over 4 years old! Well, any really old thread. I understand your post is relevant, but I doubt people will want to slog through this 10+ page thread for your one new relevant post.
Please start a new thread next time....or this time. I'll split this off into a new topic if I've time and a cooperating browser soon...
We have thousands of rivers on this Planet... should they all be streams because we can't rember all of them???ramparts":ahmmro2x said:jakethesnake - yes, new discoveries are made all the time, and sometimes definitions get changed to accomodate our greater understanding. That's why Pluto was reclassified in the first place.
It's very simple - either you have eight planets, or you have dozens, and pretty soon hundreds, of planets in our solar system. I prefer the first one for aesthetic reasons; I think the schoolkids who have to memorize all the planets probably will, too
I like Dr. Alan Stern’s argument (who leads the US space agency's New Horizons mission to Pluto) of the analogy of rivers… just because you can’t remember the names of all the rivers on this planet doesn’t mean it isn’t a river.MeteorWayne":nj9pup93 said:I also don't think that the intention of the IAU was to define Exoplanets, but rather the specific case of our solar system.
The General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that demoted Pluto, and the intent of these General Assemblies are to decide on specific arbitrary definitions that allow astronomers to talk to one another across language barriers enabling the world’s various science communities to interpret each other's data and are not intended to address cultural implications.ramparts":1euq98bx said:Jake, it's a definition. If you want to define planets so that there's a few dozen of them, I can't prove you wrong. But I'm considering the cultural implications of planets - kids learn about each of the planets in school, how they're special, and that's engrained in our culture. So that seems like a logical place to start when deciding on a definition.
And in the end, it is all just definitions.