Evolutionary biology, sex ed, global warming …. Add astronomy to the list of sciences in which politicians are meddling. A lawmaker has proposed that New Mexico declare Pluto a planet:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico’s excellent night skies, it be declared a planet and that March 13, 2007 be declared “Pluto Planet Day” at the legislature.”
The bill defies the International Astronomical Union’s vote last summer to demote Pluto to “dwarf planet” status. Astronomers are baffled.
“Pluto was misclassified,” writes astronomer Julianne Dalcanton. “States have rights, but I don’t think this is one of them.”