The Instigator
Cozmo
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Scientists say that Pluto is not a planet.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheSkeptic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,975 times Debate No: 5991
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

Cozmo

Con

Scientist say that Pluto is too small to be included as a planet. Pluto has been recognized as a planet for many years. It can be seen through an average telescope, has a regular orbit around the our star, and has two small moons. I think that this is enough to be a planet.
Some people say that �planet X� is more important than Pluto. �Planet X� may be bigger, and have more moons, but its not even properly named yet! Its been known as, first, C.O.T, then Planet X, for two years! And, its not even in our solar system! It does not orbit a star, just floats in the void on the edge of out solar system, caught in its gravity but not moving.
I do not see, other than size, any reason for Pluto to not be a planet. Do you?
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. As I have stated in the comment section, the title of this topic may seem confusing. "Scientists say that Pluto is not a planet" would mean that as PRO, I would have to show Scientist who DO say Pluto is a planet. This of course is not a controversy but a fact. What is evident is that my opponent meant to say that Pluto should be considered a planet, despite what the consensus is right now. I hope my opponent and the voters agree with me on this conclusion.

Stemming from that, my arguments!

~Arguments~

1. Clear cut definintion of "planet"

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) finally released criterias for what is considered to be a planet [1]. The new classification of a planet is: "A planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

In planet formation, "cleared the neighbourhood" is for planets who have their own orbital zone, with no other comparable bodiez that have a gravitational influence, except satellites [2].

Pluto did NOT meet the third requirement because it was only 0.07 times that of the mass of the other objects in its orbit, and thus was classified as a dwarf planet [3]. A dwarf planet basically is a planet that does not meet requirement 3.

~Counterarguments~

"It can be seen through an average telescope, has a regular orbit around the our star, and has two small moons. I think that this is enough to be a planet."
----> With the new IAU definition, it should be safe to say that NO, that is not enough for a celestial body to be called a planet.

"Some people say that �planet X� is more important than Pluto. �Planet X� may be bigger, and have more moons, but its not even properly named yet! Its been known as, first, C.O.T, then Planet X, for two years! And, its not even in our solar system! It does not orbit a star, just floats in the void on the edge of out solar system, caught in its gravity but not moving. I do not see, other than size, any reason for Pluto to not be a planet."
----> Planet X means planets beyond Neptune. When unforseen gravitational influences were affecting Neptune, this led astronomers to believe that there was another planet beyond Neptune [4]. When Pluto was found, it was originally named as Planet X. However, later calculations showed that the mass of Pluto was not sufficient enough to cause the unknown gravitational influences upon Neptune, and thus Pluto eventually lost it's title as Planet X [5].

Finally, recalculations were done on Neptune, and it was found that it's mass was slightly different than was calculated before. Subsequently, the unknown gravitational forces were accounted for, and thus the overarching consensus in the astronomical community is that there is no Planet X[6].

~Conclusion~

I have adequately shown why Pluto is not a planet anymore under the IAU criteria's, as well as disproving my opponent's argument involving Planet X.

---References---
1. http://www.iau.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Cozmo

Con

My opponent has pointed out that the title was not well written, and yes, he is correct.

My arguments are:

1. The IAU may have released the criteria stated by my opponent for a mass in spaceto be a planet, but that does not mean we have to accept those criteria. The IAU is not the most well known space organization, and I am sure that that decision was not democratically decided. The IAU, in my opinion, does not have the right to come forth and tell us that Pluto is not a planet.

2. If there is no Planet X, than what do you call the recently found planet on the edge of our solar system? It is named Planet X because it does not officially have a permanent name, and �X� is a maths and science signature letter for �unknown�.

3. If Pluto is not a planet, then obviously the criteria for something to be classified as a planet hes changed, for Pluto (yes, permanent name I would like to point out) has been classified as a planet for many years.

In conclusion, my veiws have not changed that Pluto SHOULD be classified as a planet. Because it is officially said to be a dwarf planet does not mean that it IS.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for his speedy responses.

~Counterarguments~

1. The International Astronomical Union "unites national astronomical societies from around the world. It also acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them, and is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). This group of scientist were chosen from a gathered group of renoun scientist from all around the world...Headquartered in Paris, Morcambe, France, its individual members are professional astronomers from all over the world, at the Ph.D. level or beyond, and active in professional research and education in astronomy." [1].

Sure, even though the IAU's credentials as a scientific giant is obvious, my opponent can refuse to listen to their scientific endeavors and regard Pluto as a planet still. He has two options: either choose to follow along the scientific evidence and reasons IAU has contributed, and see that Pluto is no longer a planet, or he can turn his back against science, and say Pluto is still a planet.

This isn't a debate about whether ot not my opponent believes Pluto is a planet. It's a debate about whether or not science thinks Pluto is a planet. Will my opponent reject the Theory of Relativity also, because he simply disagrees with them? Of course not. If he were a rational person, he would realize there is tons of evidence and reasons behind the Theory of Relativity. As is the same for the IAU's classification of planets. The IAU isn't forcing you to believe Pluto is a planet, but they sure as hell are telling you that science says PLuto aint a planet.

2. My opponent needs to give me a link for this recently found planet. And even if he does conjure one up, since I know some off the top of my head, this doesn't qualify as Planet X. I already explained the history behind Planet X in my previous round, with plenty of sources to check my information.

3. Quite a weak argument. Just because Pluto was originally thought of as planet, has no bearing on it's status as a planet now. First of all, the IAU in 2006 made the first clear cut definition of what constitutes a planet becaus before then the definition of a planet (and arguably now) is shaky and debatable. Secondly, speculations about Pluto's status as a planet has been rethought before with the discovery of the Kuiper belt and a new Trans-Neptunian object in 2005 [2].

~Conclusion~

"Because it is officially said to be a dwarf planet does not mean that it IS."
----> Then what exactly MAKES Pluto a dwarf planet and not a planet? If a scientific consensus on Pluto's status I sobtained, then what other scientific proof do you need? Now, you can very well challenge the scientific merit of the IAU's decision, which is perfectly fine, but thus far you have yet to challenge the science behind this at all.

All my opponent's argument has boiled down to is "I don't want to". Even though the science is clear, my opponent states that he can't be forced to believe Pluto is not a planet, which is very well true. However, this debate is about whether or not Pluto is scientifically a planet, and I have thus far shown that it is not.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Cozmo

Con

Firstly, I would like to point out that my opponent has assumed that I am male. If he went to look at my profile, as I have done, he might have found that I am female.

�This isn�t a debate about whether or not my opponent believes Pluto is a planet�
I am not saying that specifically I don't trust the new planet criteria, but that nobody actually checked with anyone other them themselves whether they agreed with the criteria for being a planet was correct. In my point of view, being the largest celestial mass (which includes stars so isn't very accurate) in its zone of orbit shouldn't define whether something is a planet or not. Why cant there be two or more planets in one zone of orbit?

�My opponent needs to give me a link...�
www.ASK.universal
My opponent seems to think that Planet X MUST mean a planet affecting Neptune�s field of gravity, but in this case it means the un-named planet. As I have said before, X is the signature letter in science and maths for something otherwise unknown or unnamed.

�...then what other scientific proof do you need...�
Scientists cannot prove the Pluto is not a planet. You can prove that gold is a metal, you can prove that plants are life, but you cannot prove a belief. And thats all this is, a belief. Because deciding whether Pluto is a planet or not doesn't change the actual mass of rock itself in any physical way. Its just deciding that you don't think that it is a planet.
TheSkeptic

Pro

"Firstly, I would like to point out that my opponent has assumed that I am male. If he went to look at my profile, as I have done, he might have found that I am female."
----> My sincere apologies. I did not bother to look up your gender, and I use male pronouns for convenience.

~Counterarguments~

"Why cant there be two or more planets in one zone of orbit?"
----> As I've explained, the IAU laid down three fundamental criteria for a planet's definition; the first time this has ever happened. Clearing the neighbourhood [1], as I've stated before, is for a celestial body to become gravitationally dominant. IAU laid down these definitions, because when new bodies of mass were being discovered, it was unclear whether one can name it a planet, a dwarf planet, or any other type of classification. The new IAU definition lays to rest most confusion that had plagued the astronomical community for quite some time.

"www.ASK.universal
My opponent seems to think that Planet X MUST mean a planet affecting Neptune�s field of gravity, but in this case it means the un-named planet. As I have said before, X is the signature letter in science and maths for something otherwise unknown or unnamed."
----> I would love to see my opponent's link, but unfortunately it's either not typed correctly or dead (especially when Debate.org doesn't automatically make it a link). Even if they do name it "Planet X", it has no relevance to Pluto's status as a planet.

"Scientists cannot prove the Pluto is not a planet. You can prove that gold is a metal, you can prove that plants are life, but you cannot prove a belief. And thats all this is, a belief. Because deciding whether Pluto is a planet or not doesn't change the actual mass of rock itself in any physical way. Its just deciding that you don't think that it is a planet."
----> Technically, now they can. With the new definition, Pluto is no longer considered a planet by definition. You can GIVE REASONS for a belief.

~Conclusion~

What my opponent doesn't seem to understand is that the IAU's decision to make a clear definition of what constitutes a planet is only for the sake of the astronomical community. They do this so in the future when astronomers need to name planets or dwarf planets, they can use this as an operational definition of sorts. My opponent's only option now is to contend the technicality or the science behind such a definition, otherwise arguments such as "I still believe Pluto is a planet" is empty and moot.

---References---
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Cozmo

Con

Cozmo forfeited this round.
TheSkeptic

Pro

Being that my opponent forfeited her round, extend all my arguments to this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Cozmo

Con

Cozmo forfeited this round.
TheSkeptic

Pro

That's the end of the debate folks!

VOTE FOR PRO.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
@Johnicle:

Yeah, I know about contentions such as these and it would've made for an interesting debate. But as you can see, my opponent never brought it up, so yay :)
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
I would have voted PRO down the line but I think that he missed some key arguments. Such as Terrestrial planets and Jovian plants are our two categories and Pluto fits under NEITHER of those. Also, If we were to add Pluto, we would have to add ~27 other planets that orbit the sun. Including the binary planet of Charon (with Pluto). Also, all planets go around the sun on a level disk (2D) while pluto has fun going all over the place (making the solar system 3D).

but besides that, PRO solidly won all arguments.
Posted by Johnicle 8 years ago
Johnicle
I would have voted PRO down the line but I think that he missed some key arguments. Such as Terrestrial planets and Jovian plants are our two categories and Pluto fits under NEITHER of those. Also, If we were to add Pluto, we would have to add ~27 other planets that orbit the sun. Including the binary planet of Charon (with Pluto). Also, all planets go around the sun on a level disk (2D) while pluto has fun going all over the place (making the solar system 3D).

but besides that, PRO solidly won all arguments.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
@funnybrad333:

Please by the grace of dear GOD tell me you're kidding.
Posted by funnybrad333 8 years ago
funnybrad333
Conduct: CON - The instigator clearly wanted to argue about scientist's verbal proclamations, yet you changed the entire topic to whether Pluto should be considered a planet, and in turn forced the instigator to change the entire debate. What a poor display of conduct, you immoral piece of s/hit.

Grammar: TIE - No apparent mis-spellings or misuses by either party.

Arguments: CON - I have never felt such a euphoria before; reading CON's ideas has awakened my body and soul.

Sources: CON - Seeing as how neither debater provided any credible sources, I must judge based off of each debater's word, and seeing as how CON is beautiful, benevolent, gracious, eloquent, articulate, and in every other sense as perfect as imaginable, he is clearly the better source.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
"ANYTHING named after a Disney character should be ignored."
----> It's more like the other way around ;D
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
ANYTHING named after a Disney character should be ignored.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Haha ah yes, the perpetual whines of "playing semantics".
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Pretty much. Then you get vote bombed by josh for providing such an argument. :D
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
"Scientists say that Pluto is not a planet."
----> So if I show you that scientists DO say Pluto isn't a planet, I win :D?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TheoreticalReality 8 years ago
TheoreticalReality
CozmoTheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
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