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Wraith
03-06-2009, 10:31 AM
That's right, the Illinois state house has declared that Pluto is reestablished as a planet. Why? Well, mostly because it was first discovered by an Illinoisan, Clyde Tombaugh.

Illinois State Government Declares Pluto a Planet (http://www.dailytech.com/Illinois+State+Government+Declares+Pluto+a+Planet/article14507.htm) (DailyTech)The elected officials go on to praise the fact that Pluto was discovered by someone from Illinois, stating, "WHEREAS, Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto, was born on a farm near the Illinois community of Streator."

And while there's certainly no harm in a bit of state pride, they then go on to make a glaring mistake, stating:WHEREAS, Dr. Tombaugh is so far the only Illinoisan and only American to ever discover a planet; and...This is obviously, very inaccurate as Americans have discovered hundreds of planets outside the solar system. Pluto, though, according to most astronomers, is not one of them. Most astronomers have agreed that Pluto is too small to be classified as a planet, especially since there's larger objects in farther orbits past Pluto that are not considered Planets.

In the last year alone, American astronomers have discovered dozens of new worlds and several new moons or moonlets.

While a bit factually flawed, Pluto lovers can rejoice at least -- Pluto is back to being a planet, if only in Illinois.

itchyeyes
03-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Your tax dollars at work

Wraith
03-06-2009, 10:38 AM
...if you live in Illinois.

TheEpicOfTyler
03-06-2009, 10:40 AM
Illinois! Illinois!

This state should really just erase itself and start over.

Also, Dr. Tombaugh had to move out of Illinois because there was nowhere here for him to do his astronomical work. He ended up in New Mexico, I believe.

Dorkandproudofit
03-06-2009, 10:41 AM
To quote XKCD:


http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/still_raw.png

Bone
03-06-2009, 11:08 AM
That's why we have government, so that pesky science doesn't have to intrude into our daily lives.

Smoof
03-06-2009, 11:28 AM
Hey Illinois: Science changes. Frequently. Get over it. Cunts.

(Lives in Colorado. From Illinois)

pronounconnoun
03-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Separation of Science and State! That's what America was founded on. Their actions are unconstitutional.

JayVe
03-06-2009, 11:30 AM
Pluto will always be a planet in my heart. Also a dog.

Spectre-7
03-06-2009, 11:51 AM
Reminds me of this image I saw a while back...

http://www.mathiaspedersen.com/uploads/pics/poor-pluto.jpg

Kielaran
03-06-2009, 12:32 PM
Silly Illinois. All the other states should show them and declare Illinois not a state, or reaffirm Pluto isn't a planet.

Nuggsy
03-06-2009, 12:41 PM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/JoNuggs/pluto.jpg

TheFlyingOrc
03-06-2009, 12:55 PM
That's why we have government, so that pesky science doesn't have to intrude into our daily lives.

Dude I gotta be honest systems of classification aren't really that scientific.

TheEpicOfTyler
03-06-2009, 12:55 PM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/JoNuggs/pluto.jpg

LOL.

That is great.

Ox
03-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Dude I gotta be honest systems of classification aren't really that scientific.
Thank you.

The decision about whether Pluto, or any other astronomical body, is a planet is purely an arbitrary catalog of labels. There's no more science involved in the classification than there is in the classification of a tomato as a fruit or a vegetable.

The IAU decided that Pluto wasn't a true planet because it was smaller than Eris, and it didn't want to recognize Eris as a planet. Fine. So it changed the definition of "planet." Also fine. But the new definition is no more or less scientific than the old. It's a purely arbitrary preference not to recognize trans-Neptunian objects as planets.

I mean, gosh. The IAU put the issue to a vote and let the members decide whether to introduce a category of dwarf planets or to continue with the old system. Are major scientific breakthroughs determined by a show of hands?

Shadowstorm
03-06-2009, 01:24 PM
Illinois! Illinois!

This state should really just erase itself and start over.

Also, Dr. Tombaugh had to move out of Illinois because there was nowhere here for him to do his astronomical work. He ended up in New Mexico, I believe.

Nice Sufjan reference.

Straximus
03-06-2009, 01:38 PM
I'm your moon, you're my moon, we go round and round...

JayVe
03-06-2009, 01:41 PM
Are major scientific breakthroughs determined by a show of hands?Obviously, hands are such useful tools that they can't have evolved by accident, so obviously some superior intelligence had a hand in designing hands, so obviously science is based on us having, and showing, hands. http://itchstudios.com/psg/smileys/anj_evil.gif

Alatheia
03-06-2009, 01:56 PM
I like saying "When I was a kid, Pluto was a planet." :cool:

Goronmon
03-06-2009, 02:05 PM
Are major scientific breakthroughs determined by a show of hands?Well, you have to make the decision somehow. I don't think we live it up to each individual, haha.

LongStepMantis
03-06-2009, 02:22 PM
When I was a kid in elementary school, we all had to do reports on a planet assigned by the teacher. I got Pluto. Researching information about Pluto as a 3rd grader was brutal.
Therefore, it is a planet...because it sucked doing that and I refuse to think my report is invalid! :p

Johan
03-06-2009, 02:53 PM
Are major scientific breakthroughs determined by a show of hands?

Yes, they are. Major scientific breakthroughs, which generally become part of scientific theories, are indeed often accepted based in part upon how many scientists agree, rather than the "truth" of the theory itself.

That's part of the reason science has to rearrange its hypotheses so often...new 'consensus' replaces old consensus which was wrong, and that new consensus will one day be found to be wrong as well in many cases.

If enough scientists say it's so, then it is so...until they're proven wrong by enough scientists who say something isn't so. And the cycle continues... :D

LongStepMantis
03-06-2009, 02:55 PM
If enough scientists say it's so, then it is so...until they're proven wrong by enough scientists who say something isn't so. And the cycle continues... :D

I want to see scientists settle arguments like this Royal Rumble style. The last man left in the ring gets to decide the outcome.

Wraith
03-06-2009, 02:59 PM
This all seems fairly appropriate for this thread (http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?issuenum=20&storynum=4) (see both pages).

Bone
03-06-2009, 03:06 PM
Dude I gotta be honest systems of classification aren't really that scientific.

Thank you.

The decision about whether Pluto, or any other astronomical body, is a planet is purely an arbitrary catalog of labels. There's no more science involved in the classification than there is in the classification of a tomato as a fruit or a vegetable.

The IAU decided that Pluto wasn't a true planet because it was smaller than Eris, and it didn't want to recognize Eris as a planet. Fine. So it changed the definition of "planet." Also fine. But the new definition is no more or less scientific than the old. It's a purely arbitrary preference not to recognize trans-Neptunian objects as planets.

I mean, gosh. The IAU put the issue to a vote and let the members decide whether to introduce a category of dwarf planets or to continue with the old system. Are major scientific breakthroughs determined by a show of hands?Sure, the term "planet" can be perceived by some as arbitrary (it's really not) but people seem emotionally attached to Pluto, and that's really the issue here. Either we have four more full planets in our solar system, or we have one less planet and a few more dwarf planets.

Since Ceres (a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter) was once considered a planet, but demoted, there is actually scientific precedent for this reclassification. Pluto, like Ceres, did not "clear its neighborhood" of other objects. Pluto's orbit shares space with many other objects in the Kuiper belt.

Also, since the term "planet" was defined by science, the definition can be modified as new facts appear. That's one of the nice differences between science and dogma.

Johan
03-06-2009, 03:14 PM
Also, since the term "planet" was defined by science, the definition can be modified as new facts appear. That's one of the nice differences between science and dogma.

You mean, that science has an excuse for when it is inevitably wrong? Yeah...that is nice! :D

Bone
03-06-2009, 03:18 PM
Yeah, unlike religion which can stick its fingers in its ears, science can form an answer to the best of its abilities and refine it when better information comes in. But that's probably for another thread.

Johan
03-06-2009, 03:21 PM
Yeah, unlike religion which can stick its fingers in its ears, science can form an answer to the best of its abilities and refine it when better information comes in. But that's probably for another thread.

Hey, I didn't bring it up. :D

Also, if all you know of religion is that it "stick(s) its fingers in its ears" I would recommend reading some contemporary and/or historical theologians. Hermeneutics and theological/scriptural interpretation are very vibrant fields of thought, as is archaeology related to religious sites.

People who plug their ears come from all corners of society, including in the sciences. I've met and talked with some of them. "Nahnahnahnahnah" is all they can say." One told me that he cared about children, but that if I had concerns about his interventions during my child's birth, I may as well go and have my kid in the woods. That was a caring, open-minded man of science!

Bone
03-06-2009, 03:23 PM
Tell it to the Pope!

(I really don't want to get into it. I am glad there are Christians who are willing to accept some science into their view of the world, but if ultimately the top of the chart starts with "God made the universe" I can't do much with it).

Mike Kelehan
03-06-2009, 03:25 PM
Wasn't there a state that tried to pass a bill saying that pi was exactly 3?

And, of course, all the states trying to tell us evolution wasn't real.

Johan
03-06-2009, 03:27 PM
...but if ultimately the top of the chart starts with "God made the universe" I can't do much with it.

Ultimately, everyone puts their own hypothetical at the "top of the chart" because nobody can prove the first cause/origins of matter/life. It's not possible to prove either a supernatural or a natural origin.

carnage11
03-06-2009, 03:27 PM
Well if Pluto is a planet again, then are we calling Eris a planet as well? If I recall correctly, Eris is bigger than Pluto. Then again, Ganymede is twice the size of Pluto, but it's just a moon. Perhaps size doesn't matter.:p

cp#
03-06-2009, 03:30 PM
Pluto ain't a planet. And ain't ain't a word.

Philonious
03-06-2009, 03:32 PM
Perhaps size doesn't matter.:p

I did hear somewhere that Pluto drives an expensive sportscar...

Dorkandproudofit
03-06-2009, 03:33 PM
Here's my view: Religion: bad. Faith: good. Philosophy: better. Science: YES. But it's best, IMO, to maintain a healthy dose of the last three at all times.

My view of God is basically that of an intangible force of nature, a system of balance necessary to ensure the laws of physics work right and the universe doesn't fall apart. I highly doubt there is sentience, but one could argue that such a monumental task might require at least some intelligence.

TheFlyingOrc
03-06-2009, 03:40 PM
Sure, the term "planet" can be perceived by some as arbitrary (it's really not) but people seem emotionally attached to Pluto, and that's really the issue here. Either we have four more full planets in our solar system, or we have one less planet and a few more dwarf planets.

Since Ceres (a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter) was once considered a planet, but demoted, there is actually scientific precedent for this reclassification. Pluto, like Ceres, did not "clear its neighborhood" of other objects. Pluto's orbit shares space with many other objects in the Kuiper belt.

Also, since the term "planet" was defined by science, the definition can be modified as new facts appear. That's one of the nice differences between science and dogma.
Not even slightly related to Ox's point or mine. Someone attacked this is as "GOING AGAINST SCIENCE!" It's not. I still think it's dumb, but they isn't like young earth creationism, where they're discarding and the scientific method. This is a classification, and nothing else.

TheFlyingOrc
03-06-2009, 03:43 PM
Tell it to the Pope!

(I really don't want to get into it. I am glad there are Christians who are willing to accept some science into their view of the world, but if ultimately the top of the chart starts with "God made the universe" I can't do much with it).

As opposed to "the universe operates according to a consistent set of rules just because"? What exactly does putting a God at the source change?

LongStepMantis
03-06-2009, 03:46 PM
Here's my view: Religion: bad. Faith: good. Philosophy: better. Science: YES. But it's best, IMO, to maintain a healthy dose of the last three at all times.

My view of God is basically that of an intangible force of nature, a system of balance necessary to ensure the laws of physics work right and the universe doesn't fall apart. I highly doubt there is sentience, but one could argue that such a monumental task might require at least some intelligence.

You sound like me. In simple terms, I view the universe as a web. The force that binds us together. I see God as a controller, like a CPU, of the web. I don't think of it in terms of intelligence, it merely does what it's supposed to do, regulate the web. To me, God is a force of nature, not a sentient being.

However I rarely share my views, and certainly don't try and convince anyone, anywhere, that I'm right and their beliefs are wrong. Which is why I agree so strongly with your statement about faith trumping religion. If you believe Grimace is at the center of universe, regulating purpley goodness to us all...and that gets you through the day without harming or encroaching on anyone else...go for it. Have faith in something, but have faith. What irks me are people who will devote their lives to convincing you that their faith is the correct one. Stop that. You believe what you want, I'll believe what I want, and we can all go about our lives.

Back on topic...Pluto told me it no longer thinks of us as people, it changed the way it classifies us. We're now dwarf gorillas.

TheFlyingOrc
03-06-2009, 03:51 PM
Have faith in something, but have faith. What irks me are people who will devote their lives to convincing you that their faith is the correct one. Stop that. You believe what you want, I'll believe what I want, and we can all go about our lives.
Umm...if what you believe contains a provision that the purpose of existence is to spread their belief set, then they cannot both hold to their beliefs and do as you prescribe.

I'll agree with FORCING people to your beliefs, but having a discussion where you present your ideas and allow others to consider them, without just shouting them down, seems responsible enough.

Johan
03-06-2009, 03:53 PM
Pluto told me it no longer thinks of us as people, it changed the way it classifies us. We're now dwarf gorillas.

I don't feel any different. :confused: :(

Now I know how Pluto feels...

Bone
03-06-2009, 04:03 PM
Not even slightly related to Ox's point or mine. Someone attacked this is as "GOING AGAINST SCIENCE!" It's not. I still think it's dumb, but they isn't like young earth creationism, where they're discarding and the scientific method. This is a classification, and nothing else.
Uh, but it IS going against what the general scientific body agreed to. The story in the original post is what we're talking about. They want it to be a planet because an Idahoan discovered it, not because of any genuine scientific disagreement.

Bone
03-06-2009, 04:04 PM
As opposed to "the universe operates according to a consistent set of rules just because"? What exactly does putting a God at the source change?
Because there is no evidence to support one (a "God"); so the assertion comes from a human desire for there to be one.

To be fair, I don't claim to know what caused existence to... exist. Saying "God" is the answer is a leap of faith, of course.

LongStepMantis
03-06-2009, 04:13 PM
Umm...if what you believe contains a provision that the purpose of existence is to spread their belief set, then they cannot both hold to their beliefs and do as you prescribe.

I'll agree with FORCING people to your beliefs, but having a discussion where you present your ideas and allow others to consider them, without just shouting them down, seems responsible enough.

Obviously I'm not excluding the notion of discussing beliefs in a civil manner. There's nothing wrong with that. Honestly, that's the only way you would ever actually get someone to consider your religion. Threats and degradation don't sway many minds in this area.

I was referring to the kind of people who condemn or insult you because you're doing something their beliefs don't agree with. For example, I lived with my wife before we got married. One of her coworkers told her that she was going to hell because we lived together and weren't married. Those are the people I'm talking about.

Johan
03-06-2009, 04:13 PM
They want it to be a planet because an Idahoan discovered it, not because of any genuine scientific disagreement.

You've just offended two states; Illinois and Idaho. :D

One of her coworkers told her that she was going to hell because we lived together and weren't married.

No, no...you were going to hell because you were getting married.

Ba dum psssh! ;)

LongStepMantis
03-06-2009, 04:16 PM
I don't feel any different. :confused: :(

Now I know how Pluto feels...

You don't know how Pluto feels. No one understands Pluto!

It's the most emo of planets, it cuts itself with a giant razor and listens to The Cure on repeat...for all time.




No, no...you were going to hell because you were getting married.

Ba dum psssh! ;)

Well played, sir, well played. :D

Bone
03-06-2009, 04:17 PM
You've just offended two states; Illinois and Idaho. :D



No, no...you were going to hell because you were getting married.

Ba dum psssh! ;)
Oops. One of those useless I-states, anyway :)

Raen
03-06-2009, 04:20 PM
You sound like me. In simple terms, I view the universe as a web. The force that binds us together. I see God as a controller, like a CPU, of the web. I don't think of it in terms of intelligence, it merely does what it's supposed to do, regulate the web. To me, God is a force of nature, not a sentient being.

Nice analogy. I like it :)

If you believe Grimace is at the center of universe, regulating purpley goodness to us all...and that gets you through the day without harming or encroaching on anyone else...go for it. Have faith in something, but have faith.

I like it, but everyone knows that it's the Elmo and Oscar the Grouch ruling as yin and yang, balanced by Big Bird as a guiding force.

Ox
03-06-2009, 04:33 PM
Sure, the term "planet" can be perceived by some as arbitrary (it's really not) but people seem emotionally attached to Pluto, and that's really the issue here. Either we have four more full planets in our solar system, or we have one less planet and a few more dwarf planets.
Only if "planet" is defined as pertaining to size. You could define it as based in history or any number of other factors.

Also, since the term "planet" was defined by science, the definition can be modified as new facts appear. That's one of the nice differences between science and dogma.
Actually, "planet" was defined by the ancients, and it meant any wandering object in the sky. Thus, the Moon used to be deemed a planet. Now we don't, because we've changed the definition. But this hardly proves the new definition is more or less scientific, because a definition cannot be scientific.

But hey, let's humor you for a sec: if it's scientific, it can be proven, right? Go ahead and describe an experiment that demonstrates the IAU definition is more accurate than defining "planet" as "any astronomical body deemed a planet in 1930."

This is different from defining pi as equalling 3. You can use the Greek letter pi to denote 3 if you wish, and the only legitimate objection is that it's confusing. Saying that C/d = 3 is demonstrably wrong: just look at any circle. If you can demonstrate that the letters P, L, A, N, E, T combined together must indicate an astronomical body that has cleared its orbit, then it's a scientific matter. But you obviously can't, because the definition of a word is fundamentally a matter of linguistics, not astronomy. All linguistics is arbitrary: we could imagine a foreign language in which the phonemes of "planet" indicated a ham sandwich.

I have no problem with science, but my respect for science means I would like to make clear what doesn't fall into that category. The definition of a word certainly doesn't fall under the scientific discipline, and arguing that it does cheapens the importance of true science.

Bone
03-06-2009, 04:38 PM
Wow. And this is why lawyers keep hell populated.

Fine, if planet is a ham sandwich, then we have to add the other recently discovered ham sandwiches to the list. But that's not the issue this post addressed, is it? It's one state trying to change something for glory. And they have the science and astronomical linguistics all wrong.

Johan
03-06-2009, 04:40 PM
Wow. And this is why lawyers keep hell populated.

What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start...

Spectre-7
03-06-2009, 04:44 PM
But you obviously can't, because the definition of a word is fundamentally a matter of linguistics, not astronomy. All linguistics is arbitrary: we could imagine a foreign language in which the phonemes of "planet" indicated a ham sandwich.

We're not talking about natural language. This is a matter of astronomical technical terminology, which is fundamentally a matter of astronomy.

Ox
03-06-2009, 04:50 PM
We're not talking about natural language. This is a matter of astronomical technical terminology, which is fundamentally a matter of astronomy.
If it's a matter of astronomy, not linguistics, then surely you can devise an experiment to prove me wrong.

Incidentally, I didn't claim it was "natural language." Linguistics is the study of jargon and technical terminology just as it is the study of organic language.

Spectre-7
03-06-2009, 04:55 PM
Let me get this straight... your assertion is that all systems of classification and definition are purely arbitrary, and because they are unprovable, are outside the domain of scientific study, except the field of linguistics?

Bone
03-06-2009, 05:02 PM
We allow astronomers to define the linguistics of astronomy because they are the scientists who understand the facts that pertain to the linguistics. It may not be a direct application of the scientific method, but it's derived from the facts we currently have that were arrived at through the scientific method.

But I have the feeling you (Ox) know this, and want to argue semantics instead of the issue at hand.

Ox
03-06-2009, 05:06 PM
Let me get this straight... your assertion is that all systems of classification and definition are purely arbitrary, and because they are unprovable, are outside the domain of scientific study, except the field of linguistics?
Yes, precisely.

Bone wants to say that only astronomers can comprehend the difficult concepts like the definition of a planet, and therefore we must defer to them as hierophants. I'm not sure what that is, but it doesn't sound like modern science to me. And I'm amused he accuses me of arguing "semantics," since that is exactly what the definition of a planet is. All I'm saying is that this whole issue is a silly semantic one, not a genuine scientific controversy. For some reason, Bone has managed to twist this silly definition game into a battle between science and dogma, and I'm the one who's going to hell.

Bone
03-06-2009, 05:16 PM
Now, actually the line about dogma was a joke and not my initial complaint. I still argue that this move was made by a state government in spite of the available science, and clearly to establish their place in history. A political move that won't be bothered with scientific discovery, but is done ostensibly in the name of science, is the wrong move.

I don't think we should necessarily defer completely to the astronomers, but clearly they have some scientific input beyond what you and I have researched. And if you and I have researched it independently, and fully, then we too would be astronomers, I think. Otherwise we'd just be reading the words of other astronomers. Unless you suggest we take the definition of planets from some other professions- maybe ditch diggers, policemen, or priests? (There's a "walks into a bar" joke written for that, I'm sure).

Ox
03-06-2009, 05:32 PM
I still argue that this move was made by a state government in spite of the available science
No. You keep saying that this move was in spite of the available science, but you haven't presented any argument that it's in spite of the available science (except to assert, without support or argument, that recognizing Pluto as a planet would necessitate recognizing other objects as planets, too).

and clearly to establish their place in history. A political move that won't be bothered with scientific discovery, but is done ostensibly in the name of science, is the wrong move.
Having bothered to read (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SR/PDF/09600SR0046lv.pdf) the resolution, I see no claim that the Illinois legislature is operating "in the name of science." Nor, for that matter, have they invoked the power of Grayskull.

I don't think we should necessarily defer completely to the astronomers, but clearly they have some scientific input beyond what you and I have researched.
I believe astronomers have more scientific knowledge than I do. But before I care about that, you first have to persuade me that scientific knowledge is relevant to this discussion. You're arguing in circles, now.

Unless you suggest we take the definition of planets from some other professions- maybe ditch diggers, policemen, or priests? (There's a "walks into a bar" joke written for that, I'm sure).
Actually, most terms have multiple definitions depending on the context. The purpose of a word is to convey meaning, and obviously the intended meaning of a word can change depending on the speaker's identity or the circumstances. "Malice" in ordinary conversation is different from "malice" in a legal context, for example. Is one right and the other wrong? No: the word is just a collection of sounds and shapes, not something with intrinsic truth value.

Astronomers might use "planet" to refer to eight objects in the Solar System. A poet would use the term to refer to many more objects. The Illinois legislature uses it to refer to nine objects. All of them are correct, because all of them are using those sounds and shapes to convey their intended meanings. If ditch diggers start using "planet" to refer to a particularly sizeable crap, then that's what "planet" will mean.

Bone
03-06-2009, 05:35 PM
I think you are full of 'planet', then.

Ox
03-06-2009, 05:39 PM
I think you are full of 'planet', then.
A powerful refutation. Truly, I have not been so rebuked since the last time Schnoogs got annoyed with me.

Wasson_
03-06-2009, 05:39 PM
Pluto, nothing more than a very large Kuiper belt object...

Johan
03-06-2009, 06:00 PM
...and I'm the one who's going to hell.

Are you married, too? :D

Man...there's a lot of that going around.

A powerful refutation.

You are hilariously pretentious and obfuscatory. Now, that's meant as a compliment, not an insult (I'm stretching a bit there, but I'm trying), and merely picks up on what used to be your username, so please don't take offense, or I'm sure I'll be verbally bent over and abused with a hot linguistic prong or two. :D

Bone
03-06-2009, 06:06 PM
A powerful refutation. Truly, I have not been so rebuked since the last time Schnoogs got annoyed with me.
I was on my iPhone. For all your intelligence, you could stand to release the tight muscular control of your sphincter which prevents you from seeing the world in a humorous light.

No. You keep saying that this move was in spite of the available science, but you haven't presented any argument that it's in spite of the available science (except to assert, without support or argument, that recognizing Pluto as a planet would necessitate recognizing other objects as planets, too).Really, I guess I didn't come to the courthouse with all the recent and relevant facts as agreed on by the scientific community. Oh wait, that's because this is a gaming forum and not a trial. I don't feel the need to do the research that you yourself could do to enlighten yourself on what constitutes a planet today. Even Wikipedia makes a decent outline and quick read; I do read more about the subject than Wikipedia presents, but that's just me. I'm interested in what science has to add to the expanding body of facts.


Having bothered to read (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SR/PDF/09600SR0046lv.pdf) the resolution, I see no claim that the Illinois legislature is operating "in the name of science." Nor, for that matter, have they invoked the power of Grayskull.They did bother to invoke the name of the scientist from Illinois who discovered the dwarf planet in question. That leans more towards science than Grayskull, I think.


I believe astronomers have more scientific knowledge than I do. But before I care about that, you first have to persuade me that scientific knowledge is relevant to this discussion. You're arguing in circles, now.Because I don't think a state gets to redefine what more intelligent people have deemed a dwarf planet, I find it very relevant.


Actually, most terms have multiple definitions depending on the context. The purpose of a word is to convey meaning, and obviously the intended meaning of a word can change depending on the speaker's identity or the circumstances. "Malice" in ordinary conversation is different from "malice" in a legal context, for example. Is one right and the other wrong? No: the word is just a collection of sounds and shapes, not something with intrinsic truth value.Really, so the two forms of "malice" were formed in a vacuum? Absurd. The legal term is an extension of the definition of the word malice. It's not like "malice" in a courtroom means you have a penchant for unicorns.

By definition:
Malice
1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite.
2. (Law) The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.

Since you know the law far better than I do, I'd be interested to hear more legal terms that veer sharply away from their dictionary definition, rather than enhancing the original meaning with more specific legal terms.


Astronomers might use "planet" to refer to eight objects in the Solar System. A poet would use the term to refer to many more objects. The Illinois legislature uses it to refer to nine objects. All of them are correct, because all of them are using those sounds and shapes to convey their intended meanings. If ditch diggers start using "planet" to refer to a particularly sizeable crap, then that's what "planet" will mean.A poet can use "planets" as he sees fit; it doesn't mean he knows what the fuck they are. He's writing something with abstract artistic value; maybe he calls his hemorrhoids "planets" in iambic pentameter, it doesn't make them so. I do hope state laws aren't trying to achieve abstract artistic value, but I am beginning to believe otherwise.

Your earlier argument that planets were defined by the Greeks is informative. Astrology, mythology, and astronomy together led to the definitions of what we called planets at the time. As information replaced superstition, the meaning of a planet was refined over time. I am all for the continued discovery of facts that allow us to classify these planets and understand our solar system.

Johan
03-06-2009, 06:20 PM
...maybe he calls his hemorrhoids "planets" in iambic pentameter...

I think this could well be my next creative writing assignment!

No...I need my job. :( Damn.

Ox
03-06-2009, 06:59 PM
I was on my iPhone. For all your intelligence, you could stand to release the tight muscular control of your sphincter which prevents you from seeing the world in a humorous light.
Actually, I like a good laugh. I just usually reserve my laughter for when someone says something amusing. And FYI, while you might think it's funny to repeatedly take this abstract issue and use it as an excuse to utter a series of insults, you shouldn't necessarily be shocked if I find it less humorous than you do.

Really, I guess I didn't come to the courthouse with all the recent and relevant facts as agreed on by the scientific community. Oh wait, that's because this is a gaming forum and not a trial. I don't feel the need to do the research that you yourself could do to enlighten yourself on what constitutes a planet today. Even Wikipedia makes a decent outline and quick read; I do read more about the subject than Wikipedia presents, but that's just me. I'm interested in what science has to add to the expanding body of facts.
Translation: "I don't have a good response, so instead I'll call you ignorant and lazy."

Really, so the two forms of "malice" were formed in a vacuum? Absurd. The legal term is an extension of the definition of the word malice. It's not like "malice" in a courtroom means you have a penchant for unicorns.

By definition:
Malice
1. A desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite.
2. (Law) The intent, without just cause or reason, to commit a wrongful act that will result in harm to another.
That's a pretty limited and misleading definition of legal malice. The term actually means different things in different fields of law. For example, it can mean "reckless disregard for the truth" in one context, or "the intent to commit a felony" in another; or "a wrongful act without provocation" in still another. If I catch you in bed with my (fictitious) wife, fly into a rage, and stab you 47 times in the eyeball, most laymen would probably agree it was malicious (it certainly seems I desired to see you injured and was motivated by extreme ill will). A lawyer, however, would not. A lawyer would think that publishing a newspaper article claiming a woman was 25 when in fact she was 35 would be an example of malice, though. If this doesn't count as a radically different interpretation of "malice" from the lay definition, I think we must travel in different crowds.

Your earlier argument that planets were defined by the Greeks is informative. Astrology, mythology, and astronomy together led to the definitions of what we called planets at the time. As information replaced superstition, the meaning of a planet was refined over time. I am all for the continued discovery of facts that allow us to classify these planets and understand our solar system.
Okay, do you not understand the issue or are you just being pompous and ignoring the issue for the purposes of humor? Because although it's silly, it's not actually funny.

In case you really don't understand the issue, let me phrase it as simply as possible. You say we've discovered "facts that allow us to classify these planets." What facts are those?

Johan
03-06-2009, 07:08 PM
You're not that different from me, Ox. You just dress it up better. :D

Bone
03-06-2009, 07:37 PM
Ox, if your previous posts to me were not insulting and pompous, then I retract my apparently insulting and pompous comments. But don't insult my intelligence throughout your posts and then tell me I'm the one throwing insults, please. I'm taking my leave now.

Ox
03-06-2009, 10:18 PM
Unless disagreeing with you constitutes insulting your intelligence, I don't believe I've insulted your intelligence anywhere in this thread. But if you think you were only "apparently" insulting, then perhaps I should have been more derogatory.

Wasson_
03-06-2009, 10:56 PM
guys...please. just look at yourselves...

Generation ABXY
03-06-2009, 11:18 PM
guys...please. just look at yourselves...

Given the pomposity and seriousness of some of those comments, I'm sure they do. Everyday. Standing butt naked and covered in oil in front of a full-body mirror while doing Sudoku puzzles behind their backs, they no doubt curse the gods for only making one of them, for what else but something just as perfect could surely be worthy of copulating with such a pinnacle of human existence?

...

Either that, or they just really need a hobby, because that is an incredible amount of back and forth on something so seemingly arbitrary. I hear video games are popular around here. :p

Johan
03-06-2009, 11:30 PM
guys...please. just look at yourselves...

I gave up trying to inject some levity. When you have me trying to stop you from arguing, you're probably dealing with an Event Horizon. :D