My respect and admiration for the natural world has become a larger part of my life lately with, perhaps, a greater recognition of evolution and the science behind the process. The rainbow explained has put stars in my eyes, so to speak. Today, I visited a dinosaur exhibit at the South Australia museum (intended, I believe, for children) called; ‘Hatching The Past’ and also the Adelaide Zoo. In this post, I reflect on the exhibit and discuss my feelings on its usefulness and cultural value.
When I first observed a pamphlet for the ‘Hatching The Past’, I remarked to a friend that it was the variety of exhibit to which I would very much like to take my own children someday. I had not actually intended to go, given the fact that the exhibit was aimed at children, until a savvy piece of advertising (A theropod skeleton on display in Rundle Mall) captured my interest and reminded me of the exhibit. Seeing how excited I had become, my partner convinced me to attend the exhibit anyway, despite my age. I was not disappointed.
The displays of reconstructions of dinosaur nests and groups of juvenile dinosaurs with parents filled me with whimsy and forcibly dragged forth my inner child. It is no secret to people who know me that I am a fan of dinosaur paraphernalia and it is perfectly likely that I enjoyed the displays as much as the young children who were there. There were plenty of things to touch and feel, video displays and the information on the placards concise yet informative. To put it to you this way; my partner and I are both eighteen and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. The excitement of the children around was, naturally, contagious.
In terms of my usual Atheistic viewpoint, the pro-evolution nature of the exhibition (How could it not be pro-evolution?) was pleasing, as was the enthusiasm of the children to understand it. The theorized evolution of dinosaurs into birds, for example, was explained by posters and videos. The glorification of professions such as paleontology and related academic areas warmed my heart. It is my hope that exhibits such as this will foster interest in Science and Nature among younger people, as they still do for me.
As for the remainder of our day, The Zoo was thoroughly enjoyable. In continuing the theme of embracing my inner child while simultaneously exploring Science and Nature, I hugged a goat in the petting zoo, after warning the animal sternly against eating my shoelaces.