Took a day trip up to Gainesville Friday to look around. I spent quite a bit of time at the Florida Museum of Natural History and really enjoyed it! From the outside the museum doesn’t look like much, and I admit to feeling afraid that the hour and a half drive had been a waste. But the ol “don’t judge a book by its cover” cliche is true here. What’s inside is wonderful. It’s a professional museum from start to finish. There is a ton of information that would certainly take much longer to absorb than the couple of hours I had available. I was just starting to really explore the fossil hall in depth when I had to leave.
The butterfly exhibit was awesome. Even my teenage boy was mesmerized by the dazzling array of critters flittering right in front of our noses. I had one blue butterfly hitchhike on me for a few minutes.
I split my limited time between the fossils and butterflies, giving the rest of the place little attention. I took a quick tour of the other exhibits, and they were creative, professional and educational. But I had to break away from the family to spend more time playing in the fossil hall. As I went along, I did a bit of tweeting. You can check out a few of the things I learned at my twitter page. (Strangely, I lost quite a few followers today. I didn’t twitter much, and the messages I sent were as interesting as I could make them in 140 character. I don’t know what I did to send those folks away. Oh well.)
Last year when the big fight over evolution in the state science standards was raging — both in the board of education and the legislature — I had mentioned a few times that these decision makers need to visit this museum that’s right here in our own state. Now that I’ve finally had the opportunity to visit for myself, I will definitely be harping on this even more the next time idiots try to claim that evolution needs “critical analysis” or other such smelly crap. Spend a solid hour or more truly studying all that the fossil hall has to offer and there is no way a person can leave there thinking evolution is on shaky ground. To still think so would either mean the person is maliciously lying or willfully ignorant. Period.
So, take a trip to Gainesville to check out this state treasure if you ever have the opportunity. It’s well worth your time.