In one of the more elitist editorials I’ve read recently, the NYT today arrogantly praises the scientific community for finally dropping Pluto from the list of planets in our solar system:
The world’s astronomers came to their senses yesterday and approved a new definition of the word “planet” that would drop tiny Pluto from the club and relegate it instead to a lesser realm of “dwarf planets.” […]
Pluto, with its small size and oddball orbit, should never have been deemed a planet in the first place. Henceforth there will be eight planets, at least three dwarf planets, and tens of thousands of “smaller solar system bodies,” like comets and asteroids. Our only regret is that the astronomers chose the name “dwarf planets” for Pluto’s new category instead of abandoning the word entirely when discussing these less-than-planetary bodies.
If the scientific community has been debating this for a long time, where does the NYT come off acting like it knows a damn thing about the definition of a planet? The editorial board acts like it’s been pushing for this a long time.
It also argues that the number of planets could “swell” to twelve (oh no!). Granted, a lot of taxpayer dollars will be spent on new textbooks in public schools. But of all the crap that’s happening here on Earth — a planet the NYT doesn’t appear to reside on — it’s surprising this topic was deemed editorial-worthy.