Dinosaurs and Self Reflection at the History Museum of Los Angeles County

        

 

        In the majority of Los Angeles has many historical exhibits and art museums throughout the city. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is one of those attractions that have peaked my interest. When taking the metro rail from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles, I would notice the beauty of the Museum and its surrounding areas. I thought to myself, “why not expand on my knowledge and visit there.” When I arrived on Saturday at about 12 in the afternoon, I expected to see history and art, but had no idea as to the magnitude that the museum represented to visitors, especially the Dinosaurs exhibit. When I arrived I saw a diverse selection of people, young and old from various parts of the world. The museum should be on everyone’s to-do list to experience. It’s very easy to visit The Natural History Museum of-Los Angeles County, located in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Coliseum at 900 Exposition Blvd.  This is where the University of Southern California is located and where the new exhibit for the Shuttle is being constructed. The museum started construction in 1910 and was completed in 1913. The old world feel of this historical landmark, made with red brick and a dome, originally was home to art exhibits, which were later transported to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in the 1950’s.Referring to the history of the Dinosaurs, one of the most important factors for me is the dinosaur exhibit, which through scientific research is how scientists know the age of the earth. Incidentally, the rotunda of the museum was built for the dinosaur exhibit. It protects 35 million species dating back 4.5 billion years. It is also the source for Southern California teachers, and is the authority of the “big picture,” of the planet, the natural and cultural world, as it tracks the Earths biodiversity, because knowing what is out there is the first step to conservation. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County served as an agricultural fairground from 1872 until 1910. In 1909, Attorney William Muller Bowen helped lead the fight to convince the State, County, and City to develop the park as a cultural center, and, in this plan the State built an expansion building for California residents (later an armory). The County would then build a historical and art museum and the City would maintain the grounds. It is this introduction of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and what inspired the building of it, along with the Dinosaurs exhibit, intertwined with Socrates that will present all three subjects in this essay.

       As I entered the Dinosaur exhibit I was overwhelmed and intrigued at the size of these creatures and how much they weighed. Dinosaurs’ existed 200 million years ago. Scientists recognized them as a group of reptiles in the 1800’s. Now, after two centuries of research, earlier interpretations have given way to a deeper understanding of these animals. The first fossils, footprints, were found in 1802.According to the Bible, some individuals during that era had been left by Noah’s raven, who left the Ark that Noah built and sent the raven to scout for dry land, Today we know these tracks are of a small legged dinosaurs of which they’re 700 species of extinct dinosaurs. Some dinosaurs were 70 feet long, weighing many tons. Like many animals, dinosaurs changed in form and proportion as they developed. Scientists researched this by studying tissues on fossil bones to determine if the fossil bones belonged to babies, juveniles, or adults. They then took differences in the proportion of the bone to map the changes that occurred as these animals developed. Dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago, as well as most plant life and animal species because of a giant asteroid hitting the Earth. The crater that hit Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico is called Chicxulub Crala Goulet. Other Scientists believe extinction of Dinosaurs was caused through huge volcanos that exist today as volcanic rock from West-central India where lava extends over an area larger than the state of California. Perhaps that is why philosophers would agree with Marcel Proust, who stated, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

      Very few plants and animals leave fossils when they die. In this exhibit, we are observing the fossils of Dinosaurs. Under the right conditions, bones, teeth, eggs, skin impressions and footprints become fossils. These rocky remains give archeologists direct evidence of dinosaur’s ancestor’s life. They tell us what dinosaurs ate, how they lived, and what the world they lived in was like. Scientist’s lives then first recognized dinosaurs as a group of reptiles in the 1800’s. By comparing new fossils with those previously described they could see if they represented a new series. In doing so, the person who made the discovery carefully describes the new species and gives it a two part name (such as Tyrannosaurus rex) the names carry a special meaning, some refer to distinctive features of the animal or where they found the fossil. The various species of dinosaurs begin with Brachiosaurus; known for their long necks, some frills, head crests and long spines, which had to do with dinosaur’s survival. The Armored dinosaurs have a lizard shield and long bony spine along the sides of the neck. The oldest dinosaurs were the Cryolophosaurus.  They lived in Antarctica 185 million years ago, and have a nickname of “Elvisarerus,” named after Elvis Presley, because of its crest on its forehead. Stout horn dinosaur named “Einiosaurus (Buffalo lizard) lived in western North America and is 75 million years old. The feather like filamids named Tianyulong were small forest dwellers that lived 155 million years ago in what is now Northwestern China. Its notable feature, a row of long stiff filamids along its back. The Jurassiczou lived 145 million years ago and the Triassicdinosaur lived 251-200 million years ago. The era of how these animals developed is called Paleozoic. Animals began evolving into diverse numbers of forms approximately 542 million years ago, through rapid change  into the world’s largest mammals Extinction wiped out 90% of life and much of the discovery of Dinosaurs is attributed to Haley Garbani, considered in his time as the world’s greatest fossil hunters. He worked with Dr. Luis Chiappe, who was responsible for coordinating the Dinosaur exhibit at Natural History of Los Angeles County. Looking at the time period, Cretaceous started 145-65 million years ago, while Mesozoic lasted 185 years the dinosaur dominated lands eco systems. When one considers that Dinosaurs weighed as much as 80 tons and stood 40 feet high, there is also smaller versions as little as chickens. Dinosaurs were distinguished from reptiles in the position of their limbs. These creatures had a posture that was erect, similar to that of mammals... If you compare the Dinosaur with the crocodile, the Dinosaur would move like a cow with the limbs supporting the body beneath. Crocodiles “waddle” as their limbs project sideways from their body. The information presented on the Dinosaurs ruling the earth is not necessarily totally correct. In fact, the information on fossils being millions of years old in the here and now, is only tested through the density of the bones However, it does fit the idea of the evolutionists from their point of view. Other scientists referred to as creation scientists have a different idea about when the Dinosaurs negatives and show the evidence fits with their ideas about past beliefs from the Bible. They believe they can solve any of the supposed Dinosaurs history and show the evidence that fits with their ideas about past beliefs from the Bible. The Bible, a collection of books claims each writer was supernaturally inspired to write exactly what the Creator of all things wanted him to write down, to know where humankind came from and why we are here and what our future  will be. The first book of Genesis teaches us about the universe and how life came into existence. As time passed, Evolutionists claim that Dinosaurs’ evolved over millions of years. They tell us that amphibians changed into reptiles (including Dinosaurs’) by the gradual process. This, as it is stated would mean millions of creatures during that time, would be (“in-between”) as amphibians evolved into reptiles. However, there is no real evidence of this change from amphibians evolving into reptiles. This was proven through the study of fossils. What one does see however, is that fossils are 100% Dinosaur, not something in between. The final essence as it is presented, is that humankind existed, when the Dinosaur existed. By taking the time to increase ones knowledge, one begins to develop their character. Character is the depth of a person, who can intelligently speak about world matters and make intelligent decisions. Through opening ones senses, each individual can contribute to a more balanced life that is more pleasing. After all, a weak mind is not created but is attributed to those who are ignorant of the fact that life is worth living to the fullest degree. To understand the history of the Dinosaur and its extinction, and the development of humankind is to have a fuller picture of how we came to be. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in all its splendor, does this so well in so many areas such as the Dinosaur exhibit.

      Socrates’ believed human life was personal and one of spiritual growth. I believe and coincide with his philosophy, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” If individuals don’t take the time to reflect on their lives, to understand where they’re at and how to improve upon their lives, then what is the purpose of living? We must understand the true nature of our being by examining it and reflecting upon it. By doing so, we see our lives unfold before our eyes, and therefore understand our behavior patterns. This is done by the conscious and unconscious mind to understand the subconscious programming we have encountered. This is the powerful thought process that runs our life. By becoming aware of these patterns we can improve upon the unconscious repetition. All individuals will do much better in living a more productive life by using these principles. By seriously respecting what Socrates’ suggests in examining of ourselves, we can start to look at the unknown side, called the “blind spot.” Socrates’ method of self-examination can be accomplished by speaking to a psychotherapist, minister, or close friend. This will help reveal the “blind spots” we cannot see by ourselves.

     Throughout history society discouraged self-awareness. They wanted people to be left in the dark. Today, our lives are so busy, that we don’t take time to self-reflect. We rather are part of the Capitalistic system, which does not feed our souls, but focuses on the monetary gain, were we compete with each other on whose got the bigger home, in most cases, people still have an empty feeling and their lives are not fulfilled. Others fulfill their needs through God. In essence, we can shape our lives by making a conscious ethical choice, through our instincts and desires. Our thoughts are our deeds, which form into habits. These habits become our character we form in this life. If we examine our lives, as Socrates’ believed, we can gain the knowledge by the good deeds we complete. This in itself makes life worth living. In (Genesis 3.22a) it states “Then the Lord said “Behold the man has become like one of us to know good and evil.” In closing, I have found some startling facts by exploring the Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Exhibit and by taking Humanities 030. It has inspired me to take time to explore and not get caught up in the life of business, but rather to become more knowledgeable, therefore balancing my life in a more productive way. Although we have habits, some good and some not so good, the truth is not one of day dreams, but the realistic fact of where you’re at in this moment in time. In understanding that, you can then move forward by patiently doing the things that will help bring more meaning to your life, be it religion, meditation, or just the excitement of being with nature, while all along, learning about history and culture. This is what has come to my attention in appreciating Socrates vision and the evolution of humankind.

     

 

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