When I stumbled upon this exhibit that closely resembled a beach, I was reminded of my home (Pensacola Beach). The white sand, sea oats, and blue water were identical to what I see everyday at home; however, reading about the declining of all 7 of the marine turtle species made me more solemn. I have always wanted to see the hatching of baby sea turtles, but knowing that the threats of dredging, pollution, and beach development may eventually make this dream impossible is very concerning. Seeing this exhibit of the hatchlings just beginning life accompanied by the harsh reality that this beautiful species is actually declining allowed me to see Leopold's view that conservation efforts are doomed to fail unless we learn to appreciate the land for more than just its economic value. The way the exhibit made me feel as if I was actually at the beach allowed me to connect with nature and better understand the consequences of economic greed and the disregard of environmental conservation. I definitely felt an ethical responsibility to nature instilled in me after I left the museum.
Nature and the Human Spirit
The fossils of dinosaurs that lived 65 million years ago are some of the greatest mysteries of the natural world.
Stepping into the dinosaur exhibit immediately made me feel "connected to the eternal" as Heschel believes we should. Although there is advanced research that has allowed us a glimpse into how the dinosaurs lived, I still think their existence is one of the greatest mysteries and majesties of the Universe. While we can study fossils and hypothesize about these astonishing creatures, none of us will ever be able to fully understand their existence since we weren't there to experience it ourselves. The museum helped me step out of my ordinary life in this way. We get so caught up in our everyday lives that we forget how powerful the universe is–it wiped out the dinosaurs within a matter of seconds. I think considering this can help us better understand ourselves and what the meaning of life is while appreciating the mystery and majesty of the natural world.
Me and my friend Allie with a larger-than-life dinosaur fossil.