Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whale of a Time

I went to Te Papa Museum of New Zealand on the weekend and ventured the $8 for the Whales Tohora exhibit and I must say it was excellent. I took my daughter and it was an amazing way to introduce her to the concept of evolution. And I must say its such an easy idea to grasp, that even my 5 year old daughter got it.

We were wandering along looking at the fossil record for whales that had been displayed, and although it was simplified down to 4 or 5 major examples of the different stages in whale evolution, it was still easy to understand the concept. As I explained to my daughter about the fossils, she got the idea immediately - "they changed a little bit over a long time daddy." Wow. Out of the mouths of babes and all that.

Why is it that a 5 year old can grasp the simplest concepts of science and evolution, and it is impossible for weirdo creationists to do the same? They have an egotistical fascination with their own existence that says that some fictional character created everything just for them. Bollocks to that - we are only here by chance, so lets make the most of that chance and find out as much as possible.

It amazes me that people can wander along, blinkers on, saying "god did it all, and I'm not going to question anything". Isn't it far better to say "this is all interesting stuff, lets find out how it works and how we came to be here"? Science is an incredibly useful tool that allows us to investigate, every day, the world around us, and further the human understanding of Life, The Universe and Everything. Without it, there'd be no ipods, no telly, no movies, no internet, no computers, no modern conveniences that we all take for granted. It is an irony that many of the religious right rail against the scientific community using the very things science helped create.

Anyway, go and see the Whales Tohora exhibit at Te Papa - its well worth it and I guarantee you'll learn a thing or two about whales you didnt know before. Check out the virtual Seach and Destroy movie where you learn how Sperm Whales dive 1500m down and use sonar to detect and catch fish and giant squid.

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