There are some beliefs upon which you think you can absolutely rely. For example, the sun always rises, the moon predictably phases across the night sky, and the North Star is always, well, north. So one can say that the astronomical realm may seem constant and unchanging, at least from our perspective here on old terra firma.
So what’s the deal with Pluto? Growing up I was taught that Pluto was the ninth planet. Though barely discernible on the frigid edge of our solar system, we knew it was there and that it was a planet. Then, in 2006, poor, pitiful Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status. So troublesome is this demotion to some that the issue comes up in popular culture. For example, Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory is just beside himself over this. Why? My theory is that in this increasingly unstable world we find ourselves, we need something greater than ourselves to believe in. For some it is the seemingly constant and rhythmic dance of the cosmos.
Fortunately, my faith is not in astronomy, though I think I might be a little upset if someone suddenly told me that T-Rex is not actually a dinosaur. 🙂
Post-script: Just days after I wrote this, I came across this announcement: Pluto is a Planet again.
But I think my point is still proven. You can’t rely on anything…….