And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind." Acts 26:24
There's a bit of a catfight going on within the astronomical community over the International Astronomical Union's decision to demote Pluto (hereinafter, 134340) from the status of planet to that of asteroid. Imagine the humiliation! Poor 134340 never asked to be a planet in the first place, but intrepid astronomers, sure of their calculations and hypotheses, searched until they found him, then elevated him to the 9th place in the local solar system.
Nothing has changed in our knowledge about 134340; he's still the same celestial body he's always been. The problem is, as astronomers now tell us, there's just a whole bunch more about his size and mass in the same general vicinity of the solar system. And they can't all be planets. So neither can Pluto -- er, 134340. So there. The keepers of authority have spoken.
And, believe it, there are some sore losers out there in the astronomical community, in particular those who have devoted their careers to studying the properties of this piece of cosmic junk, as well as those at NASA who have spent gazillions of taxpayer dollars and lots of big press mounting a mission to what we now understand to be just one of the larger rocks in a kind of centrifugal solar-system junk pile called the Kuiper Belt, where the cast-off material left over from the construction of our neighborhood of this elegant universe has been deposited. As David Jewitt and Jane X. Luu observe in the Winter 2007 issue of Daedalus, "The reaction to Pluto's demotion tells us little about Pluto, but a lot about the public perception of science, and the role of politics and public relations in modern planetary astronomy."
Science, it seems, has to be willing to "adjust" to new facts and to submit to whatever "collective beliefs" can be made to stick among those who hold the reins of power. Those what can't go along get dismissed, and if they persist, labeled, I don't know, out of their minds?