Natural History Museum

by Stephen Penfold February. 14, 2019 92 views

There is nothing I love more than to be out in the natural world, however, during the cold winter months my passion is visiting major museums ... I become inspired by the great explorers of the past and feel in awe of those heady days of pioneering discovery ...

This grand Neo-Classical building was designed to house the growing natural collections of the wealthy ...

This grand Neo-Classical building was designed to house the growing natural collections of the wealthy ...

Today, however, we often have mixed feelings about these grand 'collections' .... often the exhibits were taken though colonial rule without consent of the indigenous populations ... these collectors shot wild animals to order to be stuffed and mounted in their private collections and 'cabinets of curiosities'.

A typical cabinet of curiosities

A typical cabinet of curiosities

We need to be understanding of these times and the attitudes of these wealthy armchair collectors though ... we should not forgive or condone their actions, but rather than allow their ill gotten booty to go to waste, we should instead treasure the huge wealth of knowledge that these have brought to all humankind ... and even those poor slain and stuffed creatures - some now extinct - whose DNA combined with the meticulous recordings of the collectors is a massive help in today's many global conservation projects ...

Let us hope that many of today's endangered species do not go the way of the Dodo ..

Let us hope that many of today's endangered species do not go the way of the Dodo ..

Of course no visit to this great Museum at South Kensington, London we be complete without taking in the Dinosaurs .....

... especially the lifesize awesome and fearsome T-Rex animatronic

... especially the lifesize awesome and fearsome T-Rex animatronic

The name Dinosaur was coined by Sir Richard Owen, the obscenely wealthy and unscrupulous founder of this great museum ... however, he did not discover these extinct creatures ... he just took the glory ... He took the ideas of Gideon Mantel and others and published them as his own ... You see, these others where not members of aristocratic Royal Societies .... !!

Yes ... dinosaurs were discovered by a woman ... Mary Mantel ... but her husband took the credit !

Yes ... dinosaurs were discovered by a woman ... Mary Mantel ... but her husband took the credit !

Gideon Mantel was no angel ... he also stole the theories and discoveries of another woman ... Mary Anning. She was a poor woman who made a living by selling 'curiousities' she discovered along the beaches and cliffs of Lyme Regis - now known as the Jurassic Coast.

Mary was an intelligent individual ... she taught herself to read and would engage in conversation with the many wealthy collectors that visited her in search of fossils ... She read their 'scientific papers' and would mock them on their inaccuracies and in her view naive stupidity !! In turn these individuals stole her groundbreaking ideas and basked in stolen glory ... Thankfully today she has been awarded the recognition she justly deserves ...

Blue Whale skeleton illuminated at night in the great hall

Blue Whale skeleton illuminated at night in the great hall

My next Natural History Museum will be about Charles Darwin ... was he really the discoverer and father of evolutionary theory ... ??

Join the conversation
0
Be the first one to comment on this post!
Up
Copyright @Photoblog.com