This is the (german) article at Spiegel Online about the ex-planet Pluto. In short: scientists (2500 from 75 countries) have agreed that Pluto together with other recently discovered celestial bodies are no longer planets. There has never been a proper definition of what a planet exactly is up to now so now there is Pluto does no longer fit this definition.
Which brings me to my point: Many people very much rely on the so called knowledge. How high, far or fast some things are. What they look like, how important they are, what they’re supposed to be called. And now there are those 2500 in-duh-viduals who consider themselves important and say that Pluto is no longer a planet and therefore our solar system now consists of only 8 planets. Just to make that clear to all of you it’s 2500 out of 6.560.573.905 which is roughly 0,000000038 %. And guess what: We’ll believe them because we can’t really argue otherwise. It’s pretty expensive to go up there on your own and count them (well, Bill Gates could).
So knowledge is by far not as reliable as we think it is. It’s not carved in stone, it’s just what a certain group of people (not even a very large group indeed) agrees on. I believe that next week all the opticians in the western world (well, at least about 2500 of them) will gather together and explain to us that the color we know as green is actually called blirk. And that red and black were switched at some time during the 19th century.
And could someone please tell those stupid Australians that they’re actually living on an asian island and not another continent. On the other hand, we could also make iceland and Great Britian the 7th continent. Either way, I’d need 3000 people to agree to it, just to be sure. Anyone?