Planetary conspiracy theories

The dwarf planet formerly known as Xena has been renamed Eris, and it’s companion has been named Dysnomia, and Phil finds something funny: a guy who thinks renaming planets after discord and strife is a moonbat plot to mock the Bush administration. Seriously.

He’s nuts. War and chaos don’t come to anyone’s mind when they hear the name GW Bush. We all know the real devious reasons for juggling the names around.

  • It’s an anti-feminist plot to deprive that famous female historical figure and butt-kicking lesbian, Xena the Warrior-Princess, of her due honor.
  • It’s a feminist plot to punish Xena for making those horribly uncomfortable leather bustiers popular.
  • It’s a Discordian conspiracy to destroy Christianity. Hail Eris!
  • Look at that name, “Eris”. It makes no sense. But it’s “Sire” spelled backwards…obviously, the British Royal Family is behind it, and we all know that they are up to no good, those shape-shifting reptoid bastards.
  • Alternatively, it’s a typo: it’s supposed to be “Bris.” It’s a Jewish feminist conspiracy, and they decided that a butt-kicking lesbian warrior wasn’t aggressive enough, so they went to something more likely to strike fear in men’s hearts.
  • It’s a coded message from the Democrats. No more Floridas, no more Ohios—they’re calling in Electoral Reform International Services.
  • Aww, heck, forget the secret conspiracy stories. This is an organization under the Bush administration, after all…somebody screwed up and accidentally typed random letters into a form. Has anyone seen Deutsch lately?
  • They were going to name the two bodies Eros and Dysmenorrhea, but those two just didn’t get along, so they picked the next best names.
  • The REAL answer, the one we should worry about, is that all this shuffling about and renaming and categorizing of planets is an anti-evolutionist conspiracy. We now have dwarf planets; soon they’ll unveil pygmy planets, and then we’ll have the cosmic version of an irrefutable creationist argument, and we’ll be doomed.

Confirming the last possibility, we have the fact that this goon is so stupid, he thinks Kent Hovind makes a good scientific argument.


  1. Paula Helm Murray says

    Gah, my reflexes are good. I put the beverage away before reading, therefore sparing my keyboard.

    Love to see conspiricies’r’us

  2. Magnus Malmborn says

    When I read what the new name was I burst into a guffaw. All Hail Discordia!

    Jokes aside, that man isn’t just a moonbat, he’s of “4-day Time-cube” caliber.

  3. Pseudo-BuddhaoDISCORDO-Pastafarian says

    The POEE genuinely expresses thanks to PZ Myers for the press time and propagandal linkage.

    Hail Eris! All hail Discordia, indeed.

  4. Magnus Malmborn says

    Oh, just forgot. If it appears to be a discordian conspiracy then it most likely is a work of the Illuminati. Why do you think there are so many strange symbols on your dollar bills?

  5. Ginger Yellow says

    This is fucking awesome. The only problem is, I don’t see any obvious way to tie UB313 to either 5 or 23. Maybe Eris is going to shuffle the planets around a bit for a laugh.

  6. says

    War and chaos don’t come to anyone’s mind when they hear the name GW Bush.

    Huh? They sure come to my mind. Let’s see. Let’s try it:

    My therapist: “George Bush. First things that come to your mind?”

    Me: “War… Chaos… Economic ruin… A spectacularly vapid political environment in which you can claim the Ba’ath party is in bed with the Islamists without being laughed out of the room and/or sent to a mental hospital… $50 to fill a moped…”

    My therapist: “Are you done?”

    Me: “… Connecticut and Texas, lead levels in the drinking water thereof… The utter collapse of even the remotest chance of the term ‘democracy’ being anything better than a bitter joke anywhere within several thousand kilometers of Baghdad… ”

    My therapist: “I think that’s all we have time for today…”

    Me: “… Is our children learning? Well? Is they?…”

    My therapist: “Nurse, bring the tranks.”

    Me: “… More and more of our imports come from overseas…”

    Nurse: “Isn’t he allergic?”

    Me: “… Pretzels. Pretzels can save us…”

    My therapist: “They’re for me.”

    Oh. Wait. I get it. That was sarcasm, wasn’t it?

    Carry on, then.

  7. Jeffery Keown says

    Eris rolled a golden apple into a wedding. The wedding turned violent.

    Clearly, Eris represents the liberal conspiracy to destroy the Sacrement of Marriage. It’s just too simple.

  8. says

    I got to read this late today, but I could not help laughing out loud (to everybody’s consternation at the workplace) when I read PZ’s take on the renaming.

    The New York Times reported today that the dwarf planet formerly known as Xena has been re-christened ‘Eris’. Quoting NYT:

    Dr. Michael E. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology who discovered the distant ball of ice and rock that he nicknamed Xena, chose the name Eris, after the goddess of discord and strife in Greek mythology. The International Astronomical Union made the name official today.

    “It is absolutely the perfect name,” Dr. Brown said, given the continuing discord among astronomers and the public over whether Pluto should have retained its planetary status.

    In mythology, Eris ignited discord that led to the Trojan War. “She causes strife by causing arguments among men, by making them think their opinions are right and everyone else’s is wrong,” Dr. Brown said. “It really is just perfect.”

    Hmmm… I have known about Ares, the God of War (Come on, I used to love ‘Xena, the Warrior Princess’!), but I don’t recall hearing about Eris before. It is strange, on reflexion, how Eris, associated with strife, is closely homophonic to Eros, the God of Love! Those Greek mythologists had a sense of humor!

    By the way, did anyone notice that Dr. Brown’s description above about Eris – causes strife by causing arguments among men, by making them think their opinions are right and everyone else’s is wrong – fits ever so nicely to Organized Religion?

  9. Ginger Yellow says

    Eris rolled a golden apple into a wedding. The wedding turned violent.

    Clearly, Eris represents the liberal conspiracy to destroy the Sacrement of Marriage. It’s just too simple.

    Ah, but Eris’s actions also led to an unnecessary military adventure which lasted far longer than expected at great loss of life on both sides and economic disaster for the invaders. Clearly Eris represents the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

  10. RCP says

    Oh wow, this guy is nuts.

    I’d post something on his site, but realized that it would be like shouting at a brick wall. A wall with bricks made of stupid held together with mortar made of crazy.

  11. no one says

    Another planet named after a cartoon character, Eris throws her apple on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

  12. says

    Being very familiar w/Greek mythos, I’d not heard the name Dysnomia before. So I looked it up. To much hilarity, I might add:
    “Dysnomia is a marked difficulty in remembering names or recalling words needed for oral or written language. Memory Disabilities People with memory disabilities may have difficulty with short-term memory. They have trouble remembering names, numbers, facts and even what they did a few minutes ago. These memory difficulties present significant problems in academic study. Such a person might study hard for a test or exam and think they know the material extremely well, but could wake on the morning of the test to realise it is all forgotten.”
    I found this incredibly amusing, but maybe that’s just me.

  13. DominEditrix says

    “Dysnomia”? They really could have come up with something snappier – it sounds exactly like a disability. “Poena”, perhaps, or “Libitina”. Why, for that matter, the switch from Roman names to Greek?

    The Pluto Formerly Known as Planet [now, #134340]: ‘I am not a number — I am a free planette!’

  14. Paul says

    I’m just surprised the fundies haven’t weighed in to decry the naming of planets after pagan gods.

    Death to the evil idolatrous astronomers! Onward to Planet Jesus!

  15. DAE says

    This guy really takes the cake, literally a rabid id creationist of the most dishonest and reprehensible sort. He recently blogged a feeble attempt to discredit “evolution.” The crux of the matter revolves around the recent discovery and description of an early lobe-finned fish. Janitch makes reference to a news item that reports on an article in Biology Letters entitled “Oldest coelacanth, from the Early Devonian of Australia” by Johanson, et al. In order to make clear the implications of this important fossil find the article’s abstract is presented in full below:

    Coelacanths are well-known sarcopterygian (lobe-finned) fishes, which together with lungfishes are the closest extant relatives of land vertebrates (tetrapods). Coelacanths have both living representatives and a rich fossil record, but lack fossils older than the late Middle Devonian (385-390Myr ago), conflicting with current phylogenies implying coelacanths diverged from other sarcopterygians in the earliest Devonian (410-415Myr ago). Here, we report the discovery of a new coelacanth from the Early Devonian of Australia (407-409Myr ago), which fills in the approximately 20Myr ‘ghost range’ between previous coelacanth records and the predicted origin of the group. This taxon is based on a single lower jaw bone, the dentary, which is deep and short in form and possesses a dentary sensory pore, otherwise seen in Carboniferous and younger taxa. (Biology Letters, Volume 2, Number 3 / September 22, 2006, pp. 443 – 446).

    Now, understanding what’s said here does not take much in the way of gray matter. The fossil record is inherently spotty and incomplete. Hey, we’re constantly discovering new forms of ancient life and it seems at an accelerating pace as our base of knowledge increases and new recovery techniques are employed. There are “gaps in the fossil record,” but these gaps are constantly being filled with new discoveries that are fully in accord with expectations. We also now have powerful genetic databases that allow us to extrapolate when evolutionary divergences took place in the past. What the above abstract clearly states is that until the recent discovery described in the article was made there was a gap between the time when lobe-finned fishes were inferred by genetic evidence to have made there first appearance (~410-415 Myr ago) and when they first appear in the fossil record (~385-390 Myr ago). Well, lo and behold, the new specimen dated between 407-409 Myr ago beautifully fills in that gap and shows how predictive a science paleontology really is! In the real world this study once again gives powerful evidence for the validity of evolution as the motive force in the history of life on earth.

    But how does Janitch totally misconstrue and misinterpret all of this? Below is his take on the issue verbatim from his blog

    Add 20 million years here, lose 20 million years there..

    by mikejanitch on Fri 01 Sep 2006 12:43 AM MDT | Permanent Link | Cosmos

    Add a little here.. lose a little there… .just like Katie Couric being photoshopped.

    Evolution.. again is proved to be the crumbling pillar of 19th century backwards “science”. Evolution, An idea thought of during a time when people were letting blood to recover from sickness, and when the intellectuals of the day held slaves. Evolution, an idea from a time before we had reliable microscopes, and before we had an understanding of cellular structure. Evolution, from a time before we had an understanding of Geology (age of the earth), and before we even knew about the complexity and design of things such as DNA, RNA, and Molecular “machines”.

    UPDATE: Some have said the bible is older than Evolution therefore my argument is invalid, however I am not quoting the bible, I am quoting modern day fact verified through scientific discovery. I am not trying to back up my claims even using the Bible, although I agree with everything in it, and believe it to be true.

    The evidence for Intelligent Design (God) is overwhelming— I’m not going to quote you bible verses, but I am going to to look into what science can tell us about the beginning of the universe, or what science can tell us about the design of living things. To automatically rule out ID because you are afraid to acknowledge that God exists is YOUR own problem, not mine! I’m not afraid to dissect it, to think and write about it. It’s quite possibly the single most important thing anyone could ever contemplate!
    So — please –don’t hate the player, hate the game, and don’t shoot the messenger!

    Today’s story, about a 410 million year old fossil which doesn’t fit into Evolutions time-line, is no surprise to any person who has kept track of all the failings of the evolution hypothesis. All one must posses is a truly open inquisitive scientific mind.

    Evolution doesn’t add up… *sigh* again.

    What? What is this nut job talking about? Does anything more have to be done to show how utterly ignorant these idiots are?