Pluto Planet Day?

The New Mexico House of Representatives will vote tomorrow on a resolution that declares Pluto be a planet, and tomorrow, March 13, 2007, as “Pluto Planet Day”. The bill’s sponsor, Doña Ana County Democrat and landscape architect Joni Marie Gutierrez, must have a vastly over-inflated sense of government power. The State of New Mexico has no jurisdiction over the heavens, and might as well attach an amendment declaring the moon be made of blue cheese.
The text of the resolution recognizes that “the state of New Mexico is a global center for astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science” and that we host “world class astronomical observing facilities.” The state government interfering in this regard, denying the scientific definition of ‘planet’ and controverting the International Astronomical Union, is an insult to this scientific tradition. Let’s hope that representatives who do respect science and astronomy vote against this stunning piece of anti-intellectualism.

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