Saturday, September 02, 2006

More on truths and Pluto (not Mickey's pet)

Scientists challenge Pluto's demotion!!

It is very important that we respond. Because "in fact we have some serious decisions to make because we have to decide how far to go, what tone to set. And it's not just all fun and games. I give you an example. You put out a funny podcast definition (see below in quotations), you talk about bak chor mee Pluto not planet. I will say >mee siam mai harm Pluto is a dwarf planet . Then we compete. Then what will I do? I will hire Jack Neo Clyde Tombaugh to be my National Day Rally adviser the Chairman of International Astronomical Union (IAU). It'll be a fun time, we will enjoy thoroughly, go home totally entertained. But is this the way to deal with serious issues? And the problem is, it won't stop with fun and games. You'll go to distortions, you'll go to half-truths, you'll go to untruths, the tone of the debate will go down, eventually, you race to the bottom.

According to the IAU, a body can be considered a planet if it orbits the Sun, is large enough to be made round by its own gravity, and has cleared the area around it of smaller cosmic objects. That definition would exclude Earth and other planets that are pelted with asteroids, Stern said. Others who did not sign the petition also criticized the IAU's decision.

Now we all know people in IAU have so much free time to talk cock. Somebody ought to spend more time thinking what was the right way to fix them. See, things like this won't go on in Singapore.

I would say whatever the risks in this new world solar system, whatever the uncertainties, we have to press on, move ahead, open up. You cannot freeze in the headlights, take fright and just stop in your tracks. You will be run over. We have to keep on moving forward, open up and this basic approach cannot change.

We don't have all the answers. We don't know what all the risks are. We are feeling our way forward step by step.

We have got to keep this government IAU serious and responsible. We can't govern publish science textbooks based on jokes, we can't govern define planets based on sound-bites, or distortions. You have to have debates which will add reason, which will add enlightenment, which will come to a conclusion, and not just end up in angry words and name calling, or, if you take the Taiwanese Parliament a typical Sicilian summer wedding, where they throw things at each other and even the women are part of the battle.

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