Good Life: Florida Museum of Natural History Sky McIlvanie

Nature on Display

Without a doubt, this was most definitely my favorite part of the museum. Although the dim lighting creates somewhat of a blurry picture, behind me you can see traces of trees and what appears to be landscape. This environment, although manmade here, examines the Northwest territories of Florida. It demonstrates the waterways and wildlife that are part of the rich biodiversity of the Panhandle. I learned how incredibly dense some parts of the woodlands are, and how extensively water shapes Florida. Rather than simply read information about this habitat, I got to experience it in a 3D format that completely surrounded me and gave me a very vivid image of this part of Florida's nature.

Nature and Ethics

This part of the Florida Museum of Natural History was solely dedicated to endangered or extinct species. A large poster with the headline "The Sixth Mass Extinction" captured my attention with the astounding fact that 99.99% of all species that have ever lived on the face of Earth are now extinct. This is an incredibly moving and impactful statement. To think of all the species and creatures that roam the Earth today only make up an insignificant percentage of those that once inhabited this planet befuddles me. Human activity has resulted in this extinction, and thus our vicious actions such as littering, destroying animal habitats, and simply not caring for the other species that are a part of this world have gotten us into this predicament. I completely agree with Leopold that we must coexist with this land, and I saw the same look of acknowledgment on my friend Eve's face as she took in the reconstructed habitats at the Florida Museum of Natural History that are being destroyed every day.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Behind me, although you cannot see it, my friend Eve is holding down the button that illuminates this display. Once released, it returns to darkness. The low light levels protect these burial pond animal carvings. Even through many years of decay, it is still apparent how detailed and finely carved some of the animal forms are. It is truly amazing to think about how these carvings have been preserved for so long and how sacred they were and still may be to a particular group of people. I believe the way the Natural History Museum allows us to visually acknowledge these important artifacts also helps us remember whatever may be sacred to our personal lives. Though we may not have any personal connection to these animal carvings, they are still protected and respected, as the Good Life tells us we should treat all beings and objects with respect and admiration, for life itself is sacred.

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