Monday, June 7, 2010

the "museum of things that have changed since you were in elementary school"

Hi NYC sister,

I was in your fair city a few weekends ago and went to the Natural History Museum for a birthday party. Now, as you know, this is not always the safest place for you and me to be. Blessedly, our group was meeting at the T-Rex skeleton, which was far away from all the creepy things-behind-glass (floors 2 and 3).

Full disclosure: all the other groups there had small children. We did not. However, we did have blow-up dinosaurs which (incredibly) the guards did not take away from us and which we then gave to the small children. Also, we learned a lot.

It turns out science is not what it was when we were kids - not even science for the little ones. (I know you're a biology major, but bear with me as I fumble my way through this explanation of what I have recently learned about science.) Apparently, so many things have been disproved and/or contested that they have these stickered disclaimers everywhere, reminding us that some things are just theories or educated guesses or conventional assumptions ... In case you were wondering, here's some of the things that make the saying "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" just flat out wrong:

One - Pluto is no longer a planet.

Two - Birds are dinosaurs (and thus, dinosaurs are not extinct).

Three - "Reptiles" is no longer a word used in the scientific community.

So, to sum up what has happened to the world since we were children: we lost Pluto, gained dinosaurs, and reptiles no longer exist. I'm sad for Pluto, but otherwise I think it's a pretty fair deal.

your just-left-Boston sister

No comments:

Post a Comment