Matthew Yglesias sticks up for the little rock:
There neither was nor is any need for busybody scientists to gin up a rigorous definition and then tell us Pluto doesn’t make the cut. It would be akin to gathering a giant conference to decide on a formal distinction between “bugs” and other small, gross animals. If we include worms do we need to include slugs? If we have slugs, then what about snails? And did you know that round worms (nematodes) are no more closely related to segmented worms (annelids) than they are to humans (chordates)? Well, I learned it about a year ago and suffice it say that I still use the word “worm” despite its lack of solid scientific backing. The world is getting on just fine.
Note that Yglesias is siding with fellow Harvard alumnus Michael A. Burstein. A sign of how W.G.U. teaches its students to sympathize with the common folk? Or are members of one elite, Ivy League alumni, trying to expand their power at the expense of another, the International Astronomical Union?