Sunday, muddy Sunday

…and here’s Edith! Creativetoy_1909_1955410

Things have been changing round here so fast it’s hard to keep up with.

Suddenly, Pluto is no longer a planet in our solar system!  All those cardboard and old spalding ball mobiles we made in elementary school are ready for the trash.
(What, you don’t save old school projects?)

I grieved for old Pluto.  I even wrote the Wenches about it, trying to make light of the shock until Mary Jo urged me to put some of my plaints here. I was supposing what might happen if the constellations got renamed because a star was found missing from Leo – making him Leonora. Or Virgo found to be fooling around with Orion, and having to be renamed too.

Or discovering a new star in Gemini and having to rename it Trilogy. Etcetera, as the King of Siam said, etcetera.

And then came the stunning realization: what difference did it make to me?

Great world view changing theories are always being changed again, from generation to generation. We are supposed to be galvanized. We are not.

When the theory of gravity was proved, did the people of the time all sigh with relief and then dare to jump into the air, finally knowing that if they did, they’d certainly come down again?

No.  We’ve learned to disregard scientists, because they change like weathervanes.

I grew up thinking of dinosaurs being green and brown and cold blooded. Now, they say they were all colors, sometimes feathered, and maybe warm blooded.  Next week, they’ll say they were plaid and polka dotted.

Medicine changes by the day, not the decade: Cold water for burns, warm water for burns, cold water again.  Bleed a sick patient; give him blood instead. Lot of low fat is good for you, makes you skinny.   Too much low fat is bad for you, makes you fat.  Be thinner, be fatter – ah, be done with it.

And Historians!   I’ve had to do research, and the “facts” make me dizzy. Historians can’t agree on what happened yesterday, much less three hundred years ago.  They are constantly coming up with new “facts” to disprove each other.

Fact isn’t a fact.  At least, not for long. Nonfiction isn’t fact; it ought to shelved with the Fiction, where we know the truth.

Pluto’s gone? Yawn. Pluto may be back.

That’s why I love Fiction, the reading and the writing of it.

At least, when we make up a story, it stays the same forever.

27 thoughts on “Sunday, muddy Sunday”

  1. >>At least, when we make up a story, it stays the same forever.>>
    So true, Edith! Science and research are fickle and ever changing. (Especially when it comes to what we should eat.) But a good story is forever.
    And a Pluto by any other name is still circling the sun way out in the exurbs…..
    Mary Jo, fondly remembering Edith’s amazing THE CRIMSON CROWN

    Reply
  2. >>At least, when we make up a story, it stays the same forever.>>
    So true, Edith! Science and research are fickle and ever changing. (Especially when it comes to what we should eat.) But a good story is forever.
    And a Pluto by any other name is still circling the sun way out in the exurbs…..
    Mary Jo, fondly remembering Edith’s amazing THE CRIMSON CROWN

    Reply
  3. >>At least, when we make up a story, it stays the same forever.>>
    So true, Edith! Science and research are fickle and ever changing. (Especially when it comes to what we should eat.) But a good story is forever.
    And a Pluto by any other name is still circling the sun way out in the exurbs…..
    Mary Jo, fondly remembering Edith’s amazing THE CRIMSON CROWN

    Reply
  4. I know exactly what you mean about the reports on food – red wine good, red wine bad, tea good, tea bad, tea good again, chocolate good, chocolate not so good. I suspect that part of the problem is with the way science is reported. The scientists may be saying something quite subtle, like ‘in some cases, some elements identified in red wine may…’ but then some newspapers get hold of the report and they write a big headline saying ‘Red Wine Prevents Heart Disease’ (I’m inventing that, obviously).
    Newton said that science is done by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, and I think that in general scientific discoveries build on each other, rather than completely reversing each other. Also, I think that the purer the science is, the less likely it is to suffer from reversals. I’m thinking of pure maths, for example, or theoretical physics. There change is much more likely to be incremental.

    Reply
  5. I know exactly what you mean about the reports on food – red wine good, red wine bad, tea good, tea bad, tea good again, chocolate good, chocolate not so good. I suspect that part of the problem is with the way science is reported. The scientists may be saying something quite subtle, like ‘in some cases, some elements identified in red wine may…’ but then some newspapers get hold of the report and they write a big headline saying ‘Red Wine Prevents Heart Disease’ (I’m inventing that, obviously).
    Newton said that science is done by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, and I think that in general scientific discoveries build on each other, rather than completely reversing each other. Also, I think that the purer the science is, the less likely it is to suffer from reversals. I’m thinking of pure maths, for example, or theoretical physics. There change is much more likely to be incremental.

    Reply
  6. I know exactly what you mean about the reports on food – red wine good, red wine bad, tea good, tea bad, tea good again, chocolate good, chocolate not so good. I suspect that part of the problem is with the way science is reported. The scientists may be saying something quite subtle, like ‘in some cases, some elements identified in red wine may…’ but then some newspapers get hold of the report and they write a big headline saying ‘Red Wine Prevents Heart Disease’ (I’m inventing that, obviously).
    Newton said that science is done by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, and I think that in general scientific discoveries build on each other, rather than completely reversing each other. Also, I think that the purer the science is, the less likely it is to suffer from reversals. I’m thinking of pure maths, for example, or theoretical physics. There change is much more likely to be incremental.

    Reply
  7. I was so bummed about this Pluto news. My children (3 and 5) love outer space. I’ve been drawing the solar system in chalk on our driveway since my daughter was 2. Both kids know all of the planets, know little songs about them, have multiple books about them, and they all include Pluto. So, at this point, my attitude is: the heck with the scientists. What’s in a planetary definition anyway? My kids know better any way. I think Emerson wrote a poem called “We are Seven” about a little girl who is talking about her brothers and sisters and says they are seven, two in the graveyard and five at home. And the “obersver” mentions that they are really five and she just looks at him and says “No, we are seven.” So, if you ask me and my children, the solar system is nine.

    Reply
  8. I was so bummed about this Pluto news. My children (3 and 5) love outer space. I’ve been drawing the solar system in chalk on our driveway since my daughter was 2. Both kids know all of the planets, know little songs about them, have multiple books about them, and they all include Pluto. So, at this point, my attitude is: the heck with the scientists. What’s in a planetary definition anyway? My kids know better any way. I think Emerson wrote a poem called “We are Seven” about a little girl who is talking about her brothers and sisters and says they are seven, two in the graveyard and five at home. And the “obersver” mentions that they are really five and she just looks at him and says “No, we are seven.” So, if you ask me and my children, the solar system is nine.

    Reply
  9. I was so bummed about this Pluto news. My children (3 and 5) love outer space. I’ve been drawing the solar system in chalk on our driveway since my daughter was 2. Both kids know all of the planets, know little songs about them, have multiple books about them, and they all include Pluto. So, at this point, my attitude is: the heck with the scientists. What’s in a planetary definition anyway? My kids know better any way. I think Emerson wrote a poem called “We are Seven” about a little girl who is talking about her brothers and sisters and says they are seven, two in the graveyard and five at home. And the “obersver” mentions that they are really five and she just looks at him and says “No, we are seven.” So, if you ask me and my children, the solar system is nine.

    Reply
  10. I’ve just been wondering if they’ll rename the dog. Spud, soon to be age 7, insists that when she’s a scientist she’ll reinstate Pluto, because it’s not fair to make it a planet and then tell it it’s not and it hasn’t changed at all.

    Reply
  11. I’ve just been wondering if they’ll rename the dog. Spud, soon to be age 7, insists that when she’s a scientist she’ll reinstate Pluto, because it’s not fair to make it a planet and then tell it it’s not and it hasn’t changed at all.

    Reply
  12. I’ve just been wondering if they’ll rename the dog. Spud, soon to be age 7, insists that when she’s a scientist she’ll reinstate Pluto, because it’s not fair to make it a planet and then tell it it’s not and it hasn’t changed at all.

    Reply
  13. Considering that Pluto is the god of the Underworld, who decides which souls go to Tartarus and which to the Elysian Fields, I’d say to the IAU, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

    Reply
  14. Considering that Pluto is the god of the Underworld, who decides which souls go to Tartarus and which to the Elysian Fields, I’d say to the IAU, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

    Reply
  15. Considering that Pluto is the god of the Underworld, who decides which souls go to Tartarus and which to the Elysian Fields, I’d say to the IAU, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

    Reply

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