Because of the lag in publication (we are an issue behind schedule, this one will, D.V., catch us up to the schedule for the next issue) we have not had an editorial for two issues.
Planet Pluto, RIP
Pluto is no longer a planet. It is now a “dwarf planet,” whatever that is. In this issue we examine the debates and machinations that went on at the International Astronomical Union in Prague earlier this year. As usual, the press invented its own news—literally. At issue is the definition of “planet,” but if we take the new definition literally and strictly enough, there are now no planets in the Solar System except, perhaps, Mercury.
The demotion for Pluto is also a disappointment for the widow of its discoverer, Clyde Thombaugh. Mrs. Thombaugh, now 93, has trouble adjusting to her new role as the wife of the discoverer of the first dwarf planet instead of the wife of the discoverer of the ninth planet. Clyde Thombaugh died in 1997 at 90 years of age. At the time of his death there was already a movement afoot to strip Pluto of its historical planethood.
Last issue’s cover featured the Atlas V rocket that launched the New Horizon space probe headed for Pluto. While Pluto was being demoted, the space probe was in the asteroid belt speeding towards its destination for a 2015 arrival. Aboard the New Horizons craft are Dr. Thombaugh’s ashes. If all goes according to plan, the remains of Pluto’s discoverer will orbit that body until the dissolution of the heavens pronounced in II Peter 3:12.
For more on the matter from an insider’s perspective, read “The Reclassification of Pluto.” It’s far from over: the press to the contrary.
There is a common story in the Judaeo-Christian world that the pre-flood calendar consisted of thirty-day months. The theory stems from the chronology of the Flood. But does the chronology really fit? And what does it mean? Professor James Hanson examines the matter in “The Thirty-day Month” in this issue.
Report on the Shape of the Universe
If you thought the geocentrists’ arguments on the size of the universe were complicated, just look at the evolutionists’ arguments on the shape, and coincidentally, the size of the universe. Is it a sphere or a torus (donut), a cube, or a polyhedron? Smoke and mirrors, anyone? See the article on page 125 for details.
On a Personal Note
In May of 2007 I shall retire from teaching at the College. Lord willing and my health holds out, I shall be able to spend more time on matters geocentric. I would also like to write a multi-volume treatise on the astronomy of the Bible. There have been several books written about that subject but none have been even remotely complete, let alone exhaustive. But first, an updating of Geocentricity is in order.
All that is going to cost money and that is why this personal note. We have been holding the line on charges for several years. We are not yet planning an increase in subscription costs for 2007 either. At the current rate, we have been able to withstand two postal increases, including very significant increases in overseas rates. We have been able to do so because of decreasing printing costs. A decade ago, when the economy was particularly bad, we were able to cut subscription costs.
One other cost-cutting measure has been to cut the radio ministry in the Philippines in half, from an hour to a half hour. Even at that, we are short 20% for the quarter now under way. The bottom line is that to maintain this ministry smoothly and full-time we need about $3,000 a month. Currently we are running with a budget of about $5,000 per year, sometimes more, sometimes less.
And that brings us to another activity we would like to present to your, our readers. We are planning a third Conference on Absolutes for July 2007, most likely in Houston. The first Conference on Absolutes was held in 1978 at the Cleveland State University, the second in 1992 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Of course, geocentricity will be the main focus of the conference, but other absolute studies, such as relativity, preservation and inerrancy of Scripture, Mach’s principle, etc. are fair game. To that end, we have present a preliminary announcement on page 132 of this issue. In the meantime, please consider regular, monthly support for the activities of the Association for Biblical Astronomy.