Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Theologians Hold Emergency Meeting To Slam Pluto

(It's official: Theologians have confirmed that Pluto is not a planet, left)

Anonopolis, USA: The Catholic Academics of Religious Minutiae Association (CARMA) gathered for an emergency meeting this weekend to reflect upon the International Astronomical Union's recent demotion of "everyone's favorite planet," Pluto. (See related story.)

CARMA president, Julian Woodward of RBCU*, defended the meeting as cross-disciplinary reflection and exploration, noting that "academic theologians didn't want to be slow on the draw, as we were in the Galileo debacle." In his opening address to the meeting, he hammered the gavel, stating "Astronomy has had its say. And now, make way...we bring you Theology, the Queen of the Sciences!"

CARMA released its "Why Pluto Doesn't Count" position paper this morning, which was approved on a 234-57 vote. Those who voted against the position paper had argued that all the planets should be taken into consideration, and Pluto's unfair isolation from a broader cosmology was a certain sign of cosmic xenophobia in a post-colonial paradigm.

The position paper states as follows:

The Catholic Academy of Religious Minutiae Association hereby declares that Pluto Doesn't Count. However, while our academic colleagues, the astronomers, have made this determination based primarily on Pluto's size, we would like to offer our considered theological reflection as to why Pluto was never truly a planet.

  • Pluto consists of Ice and Gas, and we mere mortals can whip that up in our kitchen sinks on a winter day. Therefore, to call Pluto a planet, when it can be formed by human hands, is to desecrate the omnipotence of God.
  • As creatures of the earth, Pluto is not even close to being our neighbor; therefore we don't have to love it. Or, therefore, call it a planet.
  • God created Pluto as good, but then again, God created jellyfish, fire ants, and slugs as good also. Clearly goodness does not make one a planet; therefore, Pluto is not a planet.
  • Psalm 8:4: "When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place..." The Word of God does not mention Pluto, or any other planet. Therefore Pluto is not a planet.
  • Pluto's irregular orbit implies that it is a wayward punk rebel in the field of natural law, intentionally bucking the created order of the solar system and universe. Therefore, Pluto is not a planet.

CARMA plans to follow up this resolution by holding an interdisciplinary conference next month, devoted to Theo-Astro relations and planetary linguistics. The conference, "Pluto: Prodigal Son or Pharisee of the Solar System?", will be open to the public.


*RBCU=Really Big Catholic University, which gets examined from time to time (1,2,3,4) on this website.

BREAKING NEWS!: The minority report of CARMA has filed this video in objection to the Pluto vote. Warning: rather dark. (HT: Mark Shea and Jimmy Akin)


Ray from MN said...


Sign me up for the "Pluto: Prodigal Son or Pharisee of the Solar System?" Conference!

Speaking of the R.B.C.U.'s, those of us scouring the internet for local news are happy that our own R.B.C.U.'s are back in full session. They always seem to provide good fodder for the blogosphere's gristmill.

We tend to let the little guys alone, until they start becoming conglomerates with branches numberin g in the dozens or more.

angelmeg said...

Wayward punk rebels of natural law unite!

What an awesome phrase.

Ray from MN said...

Hey, I.C.

I personally did achieve one of my life's important goals with the placement of Pluto on the List of Forbidden Planets.

I had never been able to memorize order of the nine traditional planets. The first four have always been easy (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars), but then I could never remember if Jupiter or Saturn came next and I was totally lost when musing about the last three, Neptune, Pluto or Uranus.

For some reason, nine items must be beyond my powers of comprehension. But one glance at the new list of planets told me immediately what their order was, using a "semi-mnemonic."

The Solar System begins and ends with the Sun: Sun, M, V, E, M, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, with the intials of the last three spelling out S-U-N.

How's that, teach'?

The Ironic Catholic said...

That's clever Ray. My first grader haslearned a song to keep them in order...but now that Pluto isn't a planet anymore...oh well. Maybe they'll clap at that point.

"Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars,
As-te-roid Belt! (stomp stomp stomp)
Jupiter is next
Saturn with her rings
and Uranus-Neptune-Pluto rounds them out!
(Twirling) Around the sun together...

Ray from MN said...


Too much stomping and twirling at my age is bad for the indigestion!