...before wandering into the museum to see the Wankel T. Rex, Big Mike represents. Before Sue, it was the most complete (90%) T.Rex skeleton ever found.
We touched fossils of dinosaur bone, and a woolly mammoth tooth.
We viewed real maiasaura eggs, fossilized of course.
And, we got to take a peek into the femur of B.Rex, to see the medullary bone, that led Dr. Mary Schweitzer to announce, "It's a girl, and she's pregnant!"
Then, we moved on to astronomy in the planetarium, biology in the hall of frogs (so cool!), history on the living history farm, and just general fun in the children's Explore Yellowstone room.
With an eight year old boy in the house, we won't be completely leaving dinosaurs behind, but for now, as a family we're ready to move on.
Before we do though, I have a few last thoughts on studying paleontology with children, for my fellow Christian homeschool mothers.
- Whenever possible stay out of the creation vs. evolution debate. The science has become so detailed, and field specific, unless you have a doctorate in paleontology, geology, zoology, micro-biology, or some such thing, you're probably going to be in over your head.
- When you do have to jump into the debate, remember the old saying - "It's better to keep your mouth shut, and be thought a fool, than to open it, and remove all doubt." Or, if you want a verse, there's James 1: 19-20
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
- Instead, if you want to cast doubt on the theories of evolution, or secular paleontology, take the path of the historian. There's nothing like taking a look at what scientists believed with the utmost certainty 10, 20, or even 100 years ago, to make you question the validity of their present claims. Much like giving birth to six children, over ten years will shake your faith in the knowledge of the medical community.
- Keep in mind the metaphor of the duck and rabbit, taught by philosophy professors to their freshman classes. Sometimes, we can look at the same evidence and see a rabbit, while others will see a duck. Our perceptions are just different.
Jack Horner, in his book How to Build a Dinosaur, quoted Mary Schweitzer as saying science is like a football game, and those studying creation science are trying to play basketball on the field. I would prefer to say evolutionists are trying to play a game of football on the basketball court.
Either way, I agree with Dr. Schweitzer, that the whole thing can get kind of messy.
Still, it is a lot of fun to take a look at paleontology, especially if you like mysteries. We found going to the museum, and actually getting to see, and touch some of what we've been reading about, was fascinating, even more so, since almost all of the fossils we've been reading about have been found right here, in our own state.
But, just in case you really, really like debate, and want to jump in yourself, let me suggest checking out this You Tube video, of Dr. Marc Surtees (PhD in Zoology), refuting some of the current theory being put forward by a segment of paleontologists, that modern birds (or avian dinosaurs) evolved from what we used to call dinosaurs, and what children are now being taught to call non-avian dinosaurs.
For more science themed ideas and projects for children, check out this week's Science Sunday link-up, hosted by Adventures in Mommydom.
It's great to be a homeschooler.