Natural History Museum Erica CHammas

Nature and Ethics

Leopold’s points that he makes about human’s being “conquerors of the land” was prevalent in the butterfly exhibit. These animals were held captive in a room confined by walls and a see-through ceiling with no way out. Although there is no easy way to figure out a balance between entertaining the public and allowing these butterflies to be free, I still think there is a better alternative than having them constrained to the dimensions of this one room. The captivity of them was even a topic of conversation between my friends and I after leaving the museum. Besides the many ethical concerns this exhibit had, it was a very accurate representation of how butterflies interact with their natural environment. From a scientific standpoint, this exhibit is perfectly executed. From a humanity standpoint, however, I still feel determined to figure out a way in which we can admire these butterflies without eliminating them from their freedom.

Nature on Display

An exhibit in this museum that I found the most amusing consisted of many unique animal fossils. As soon as I walked into the room these pieces of art caught my eye due to their large, realistic structure. Besides the look of each fossil, the story behind them were very interesting. I found the “giant bear-dog” most amusing because of this interesting combination of animals, although the index states that it is neither a bear nor a dog. However, this type of animal is found in Eurasia and this brought myself to realize that although an animal named a “bear-dog” seems bizarre to an american, it might not be as abnormal to someone from a different country. I especially enjoyed how this exhibit allowed me to make this connection between countries and cultures as well as pique my interest in animals.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Natural History museum does an excellent job at relating different pieces of art and exhibits to our everyday lives. One wall even had multiple quotes from famous scientists that drew in connections about nature and different aspects of society. My favorite quote by Oliver Goldsmith, “the volume of nature is the book of knowledge,” brings up the importance and impact that nature has on one’s wisdom. After reading Walden, I completely agree with this statement and see the importance that our surroundings have on our mindset and state of being. Other quotes related nature to music or talk about nature’s great lengths and it was through these words that I was able to realize how much nature impacts almost everything we do. The natural world helps guide us every day and this exhibit helped draw me to the conclusion that I should not interfere with these processes.

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