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Old February 14 2013, 10:43 AM   #68
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Re: Help name the moons of Pluto

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
It was made to keep the number small, but it was still a scientific decision because classifying things with definitions is the scientific thing to do. The political thing would be to call Pluto a planet and Eris a Dwarf Planet because people are used to Pluto as a planet.
Yeah, that would be political, too. As I said, the scientific thing to do is to create a useful definition and then categorize things without prejudice. Would biologists redefine mammal because we have too many mammals? Would botanists redefine flowering plants because we have too many flowers? Would mathematicians redefine prime numbers because they're getting too big? Definitions are good-- silly definitions are bad. If the purpose of the definition was to "keep the number small," then it's not science.
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