Oh it will be nice to get back home and see this: Smithsonian's Natural History Museum opens its Hall of Human Origins

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    Mar 19, 2010 5:55 PM GMT
    "Every fossil tells a story.

    That's a central premise of the National Museum of Natural History's newest permanent exhibition, a gallery devoted to telling the story of human evolution. Walking through the David H. Koch (pronounced "coke") Hall of Human Origins, a 15,000-square-foot exhibition space that opened this week on the museum's first floor, it's hard not to feel the sense of, well, drama. This is a story replete with mystery, wonder, bloody violence and, yes, even a little tenderness. (It contains evidence of the earliest human burials.) Like a movie, it even comes with its own soundtrack: a recording of eerie music composed by a contemporary musician for a reconstructed, 35,000-year-old flute. ...

    There are really two parallel narratives here, each of which Potts defines with a question. The first has to do with science: "What does it mean to be human?" Our complex brains, the acquisition of language, tool use and the ability to walk upright are just some of the evolutionary milestones -- those defining characteristics that make us who we are -- that the show discusses.

    The second is more philosophical: "Why does it matter?" For at the heart of this story is the reminder that we are, as Potts says, "the last remaining species of a once-diverse family tree." As you stand face to face with Gurche's heads -- which are mounted, in one of the hall's most shiver-y touches, at the height each species stood -- you might just feel like the last Man standing.

    And that's the whole point. We shouldn't just look backward, but forward. Yes, we are wondrous creatures. ("What a piece of work is a man," and all that, as Shakespeare wrote.) But if the exhibition reminds us of anything about ourselves, it's that life -- and our place on this earth -- is fragile. "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/18/AR2010031800820.html?hpid=artslot

    Picture gallery:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/03/17/GA2010031702837.html?sid=ST2010031801514
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    Mar 19, 2010 6:01 PM GMT
    'There are a number of interactive elements in the Hall of Human Origins. "For fun, check out the morphing station, where you can have a picture of your face taken, and then digitally transformed into an early-human version of yourself," writes Michael O'Sullivan."

    Oh this will be neat. If I can post my transformation on here, I will.

    I bet TheIStrat would make the cutest early human. ... icon_wink.gif

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Mar 19, 2010 9:54 PM GMT
    i'll stick to the intelligent design museum that correctly knows the earth is only 6000 years old thank you very much
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    Mar 19, 2010 10:45 PM GMT
    calibro saidi'll stick to the intelligent design museum that correctly knows the earth is only 6000 years old thank you very much


    Hear! Hear!
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    Mar 19, 2010 11:23 PM GMT
    NotThatOld said
    calibro saidi'll stick to the intelligent design museum that correctly knows the earth is only 6000 years old thank you very much


    Hear! Hear!


    I really hope you got the sarcasm there... otherwise this is just too damn funny.
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    Mar 19, 2010 11:25 PM GMT
    Gwg, you're ruining it! 20 minutes on the spinning wheel, now weave!