Things were all so simple then, in April, when I brushed aside They Might Be Giants' energetic 1993 cover version of, "The sun is a mass of incandescent gas." The song was written by Hy Zaret in 1950, for Space Songs, part of the "Ballads for the Age of Science" series.
Well, the 1950 theory of state of the sun turns out to be wrong, and on their new CD, Here Comes Science, TMBG includes a musical correction: "The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma." Though it includes the lines, "Forget that song/ They got it wrong/ That thesis has been rendered invalid," I think they missed an opportunity to make a larger point about the advancement of scientific understanding.
What's worse: not only is the correction coming 16 years late, the new song is really mellow, and will not stick in kids' brains like the old, wrong version. If China is kicking our asses in plasma science in 2025, we'll know who to blame.