The Indeterminacy of Rules Kills Pluto

One of my favorite bits of philosophy that I learned from Dr. Churchill at Hendrix was the indeterminacy of rules. Basically it means that you can’t ever really totally define anything. There are always counterexamples. What is a chair, for example? Everybody knows intuitively but you can’t define it fully without allowing in things like stools. It’s a big problem for the field of law, and now it’s a problem for astronomy. What the hell is Pluto?[1]

Pluto has been demoted to a “Dwarf Planet.” Big deal. So he gets a modifier. Kids will still learn about him, and maybe they’ll get an early taste for the shades of grey that permeate our universe. Relativity is a philosophical concept as well as a scientific one. Science changes and adapts. That’s what separates its dogma from that of most religions.[2]

Interesting side note: the last time I mentioned the indeterminacy of rules, a Google search brought up only a handful of results. Now there are 28. It has a long way to go before it’s part of conventional parlance, but it’s a good start.

1.) We’re still wondering what the hell Goofy is. Is he a dog, too? He wears a hat and drives a car. But then so does Donald.

2.) God bless you, Martin Luther.

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