Aug 31, 2006

Planet Classification System is Discriminatory [LINK]

Complete, utter foolishness:

We lost Pluto because we had to limit the number of potential planets in our solar system. Why?

My lay understanding of the current exclusionary criteria is that Pluto is incapable of clearing its orbit of celestial debris. Never mind that Earth doesn't clear its orbit of meteors either.

This is a loss because it demonstrates a need to limit, to restrict, to confine, to exclude. We, as a people, are afraid to include, to expand beyond the current way, to imagine.

We see this in many spheres: "If you aren't with us you're against us," "There is only one way to God," "Marriage is between a man and a woman."

We teach our children from a young age to exclude -- gays can't lead the Boy Scouts; girls can't be priests; foreigners, immigrants, and anyone who isn't like us should be feared and sent back.

All of this lessens us as a people. What would it mean to have 12 planets? 20?

Let us explore our solar system and our souls and find room for more.

Boy, I'll bet schoolkids are really going to appreciate this woman's efforts once they find they have to learn the names of various pieces of interplanetary crap and trans-Neptune debris.

Of course, an obvious question is why not polygamous or incestuous marriages? And why exclude non-humans from marriage or the priesthood? Clearly it's not the act of making distinctions that bothers this person, but a particular set of distinctions.

UPDATE: A somewhat amusing (if restrained) response is here.

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