Hope in the Midwest. Evolution at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.

I recently made another pilgrimage to the "Town that time forgot" in the midwest. It's a 3-hour drive from St. Louis. Like many refugees from the Bible Belt, I sometimes view the region as a monolothic reason-forsaken place where all skeptics and atheists must abandon hope, and their Cerebrum, before entering. Of course, that's not true.

During this trip I made a side-trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was great to see a Dinosaur exhibit, rich with discussions of evolution designed for children and those adults among us with childlike tendencies. Here are some photos from the exhibit, which was scattered among the plants and trees in the Botanical Garden.

Inside the climatron were lots of dinosaurs scattered among the trees. Among them, of course, a T. rex.

There was an area where kids could pretend to be palaentologists

Everywhere I looked there were surprises with all sizes and types of dinosaurs.

There were dinosaurs outside as well.

Dinosaurs were everywhere, not just some far away deserts.

Incubating eggs. Shhhh.

Another nest.

We have very good reason to bemoan and criticise the demagogues and liars among us who teach falsehoods about creationism. We should also remember that everywhere we go, there is reason, excitement in learning, and hope for the future. This was a great exhibit and really helped me feel better about my own origins in the midwest. By sharing this esperience, I would like to celebrate the fact that even in the heartland we have public places where children are taught the wonders of nature and evolution.

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Comment by Jo Jerome on August 23, 2010 at 3:39pm
Very cool! I used to live barely more than a mile from there; an easy walk or bicycle ride. Visited the botanical gardens often on many a dull day. They've always had great programs and events. This just further elevates my opinion of them!
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on August 23, 2010 at 10:54am
Sorry to post twice in a row. I have a lot of family and friends in MO. I just had to share that with them. Some of them may even go! LOL!
Comment by Grace Fitzpatrick on August 23, 2010 at 10:43am
That is so cool! My kids love dinosaurs. They would go nuts over this place. Of course, they do sort of believe the falsehoods Land Before Time and Barney generate. I.E. dinosaurs could talk. LOL!

Missouri can surprise the heck out of you. I am historian and genealogist. They have an impressive online archives collection. For a state that I tend to think of as low income, they have some really cool things like the only WWI memorial in Kansas City.

WV has a lot of cool stuff too. We have an amazing capitol grounds. It is so beautiful with loads of gardens and sculpture. The state history museum is a cross between a museum and an amusement park.

Funny how Missouri and WV have a lot less money than Kansas, but they have tons more education stuff and pretty, human created, things to see. Kansas has nothing. It's flat. It's boring. There's nothing to do. The capitol grounds are dumpy. There's barely a nod to art anywhere. I felt like I was in a cultural wasteland. Thank goodness for Ft. Leavenworth where we stayed. They have a great Lewis and Clark/military/western history museum. Plus the grounds on the base are nice. Funny, if you want one iota of history or culture, you have to go to a military base. *rolleyes*


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